Drone Pre-Flight Checklist

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Pre-flight checklists for unmanned aerial vehicles can catch mechanical problems and prevent damage. Checklists that include aircraft identification, flight paths, flying conditions and required documentation in advance of takeoff can ensure that drones and pilots are ready to fly. Get a clearer sense of what pre-flight checklists should cover and find out how Fluix can facilitate equipment management.

Checklists for Drone Risk Assessment

Several factors affect the risks associated with flying drones. Being aware of the current status of equipment and flying conditions and making a detailed flight plan can set an automated system or manual UAV operator up for success. Having the requisite documentation for operators is also crucial, as certificates and licenses demonstrate competence and can prevent fines and penalties for unauthorized drone flights.

Digital checklists are more convenient than paper forms for drone management. By using Fluix, an inspector or pilot can complete a pre-flight checklist on a smartphone or mobile device regardless of the availability of internet connections. In addition to pre-flight measures, checklists for post-flight, troubleshooting, maintenance and repair can inform preventive asset maintenance.

Key Steps for Drone Pre Flight Planning

Inspecting UAVs prior to flight maximizes the usefulness of findings while minimizing risk. In addition to assessing the physical condition of drones, a pre-flight check offers an ideal opportunity to verify that components are properly calibrated and secured in advance of takeoff. A complete pre-flight checklist could include the following sections:

  • Drone Inspection: Check the battery charge level of a drone and controller. Ensure that drone propellers rotate freely and are securely attached.
  • Flight Plans: Set a flight path prior to takeoff and obtain any necessary authorization. Plan flights in advance whether you use an automated program or operate a drone manually.
  • Flying Conditions: Weather conditions and visibility both factor into safe drone operation. Drone design is also a factor, as some professional UAVs can stand up to extreme conditions.
  • Pilot Documentation: Providing proof of a valid operator certification or license is an important part of pre-flight planning. Make a checklist field for registration numbers or prompt pilots to provide proof of compliance.

These pre-flight measures can go a long way toward managing risk. Post-flight checklists are also useful for clearing out debris, identifying damage and directing equipment maintenance or repairs.

Keep Records of Pre-Flight Drone Inspections

Fluix supports best practices for asset and data lifecycle management. After uploading a completed pre-flight checklist, the system can share this form with relevant parties or store checklists for future reference. The automation and workflow management capabilities of this platform enable stakeholders to act on reports of equipment damage or pilot noncompliance in a timely manner to limit unnecessary exposure to risk.

When a pre-flight inspection identifies damage, inspectors can use additional troubleshooting, maintenance or repair checklists to inform measures to restore a UAV to flightworthy status. Checklist responses can guide proactive maintenance for a single drone or an entire aerial fleet.

Upload Documents To Demonstrate Compliance

Commercial drone licenses and remote pilot certificates can be crucial for regulatory compliance. Airspace authorizations and operational waivers are other important forms for meeting requirements enforced by the Federal Aviation Administration in the United States, the Civil Aviation Authority in the United Kingdom or other relevant regulatory bodies.

Fluix simplifies the process of submitting equipment reports for approval. Attach images or supported file types to checklists for record-keeping or to signal the need for drone maintenance or operator recertification.

Customize a Drone Pre-Flight Checklist Template

A standard pre-flight checklist template for drones is useful for a wide range of applications. The location of a flight can warrant additional checks, licensing and maintenance measures. Whether a checklist needs to account for airspace authorization or specific local regulations, stakeholders can add any of the following measures to pre-flight checklists:

  • Flight Purpose: Indicating the purpose of a flight is useful for enterprises that operate drones for multiple purposes. Aerial image capture, data collection or hazard detection are common purposes for flights.
  • Securing Components: Drone components can become loose during pre-flight transport. A final check to ensure all parts are secure can prevent damage.
  • Storage Medium: Imaging equipment or sensors on drones typically store data on board. Make sure to use an SD card that has sufficient storage space.
  • System Calibration: Updating firmware and calibrating system instruments can ensure flights proceed according to plan. Reference drone manuals to calibrate compass, GPS, inertial measurement unit or return-to-home functions.

Checking the condition of the camera and gimbal is advisable before flights to capture aerial footage. In addition to making sure that imaging equipment and an SD card are secured, calibration checks set operators up for successful flights.

Develop Post-Flight and Maintenance Checklists

While pre-flight checklists give inspectors and pilots opportunities to catch and correct minor issues, it can be inconvenient to discover the need for extensive calibration or maintenance immediately before a scheduled flight. Post-flight checklists can indicate issues to address before the next flight.

Maintenance checklists can inform thorough structural inspections between flights. The timing of these checklists in a workflow is more conducive for repairs that require disassembly, soldering loose connections or replacing damaged components.

Pre-Flight Checklists for Safer Drone Operation

A pre-flight checklist can determine whether a drone is flightworthy and confirm compliance with relevant UAV regulations enforced by the FAA, CAA or any other national or regional aviation authorities. Fluix is an all-in-one workflow automation solution for creating, distributing, submitting and referencing checklists that promote safe equipment operation.

Ensure Your Drones Are Ready For A Successful Flight
Complete digital pre-flight checklists on-the-go
Share completed checklists automatically
Easily track the condition of your drones
Use in Fluix