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Preflight Check list

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by BallisticPhantom, Nov 30, 2013.

  1. BallisticPhantom

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    Does anyone have or have any interest in building a preflight check list, postflight maintenance check list? I am going to do this for myself for safety and tracking. I have read a couple posts but it never seems to finish out or become a final product. My intent is to laminate it and have a field guide to check off prior to flight as well as a post flight check. If so please let me know. If there is enough interest and or input I will see if we can get it posted as a sticky or on the phantom guide after the final draft is completed. This would be great for the new kids starting out as well. Here are my thoughts on the general categories. Any others you think we should add? I am going to start with Pre-Flight Check List as it is the most important and effects us all.

    Phantom Pre-Flight Check List

    FPV/Camera Check List

    Post Flight Review

    Battery Checks

    Post Flight Maintenance

    Software Load Maintenance and Calibrations
     
  2. OI Photography

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    Great idea! Especially if you can update the 1st post as bests practices are shared (I'll add a few later too).

    I'd suggest breaking down the first category into "Equipment checks" (Phantom, transmitter, etc) and "Range checks" (things related to the area you'll be flying in, both the airspace and the ground below).
     
  3. BallisticPhantom

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    This will be the official preflight check list I put a rev number on it for tracking please make your suggestions below and I will add them as needed.

    Phantom 1.1.1 Preflight Checklist REV 1.2

    Aerial & ground Pre-Flight Inspection:
    Note wind direction and weather conditions
    Verify no airport, air traffic, restricted air space
    Check for any hazards, obstructions, pedestrian or vehicular traffic, personal property within flight plan
    Check for wireless or EME interference potential, (Wireless Towers or Power Lines)
    Plan emergency landing area accounting for the above

    Battery check:
    Transmitter Verification
    Phantom Battery Verification

    Aircraft Check:
    Accessories Secured
    Props inspected -flaws/debris/Nuts Verified tight
    No Transport Damage

    Flight Prep:
    Turn On TX
    Set down Phantom on level surface plug in battery
    Allow IMU warm up and motor arming (listen for the jingle, no flashing yellow)
    Preform compass calibration (Optional)
    -Flip Toggle on TX Atti to GPS 10 times till Phantom shows solid Yellow
    -Pick up Phantom hold level with LED Facing you
    -Spin yourself and Phantom 360 till LED shows green
    -Turn Phantom 180 so LED is facing up
    -Spin yourself and phantom 360 LED Turns off

    Set phantom on level Surface allow GPS Lock
    -Solid Green 6 or more Sats
    *Wait for 10 seconds for Home Lock (shown by a burst of speedy green flashes)
    -Flashing Red 1 Blink than 6 Satellites locked
    -Flashing Red 2 Blink than 5 Satellites locked
    -Flashing Red 3 Blink less than 5 Satellites locked


    Takeoff or move to FPV Camera Check list
     
    Genghis likes this.
  4. BallisticPhantom

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    OLP Great Minds Think alike. Check out my first level precheck. I think it is what you speak of.

    I like your idea as well... to update the main posting continuing the edit... As the checklist develops I am planning on making it a downloadable document that is in a printable format. Thanks for the support and input.

    I notice you stated RANGE CHECK. I have been a long time RC'er and agree with this. However without stuff that moves (flight surfaces) how do you perform your range check?
     
  5. OI Photography

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    Sorry, I should have realized using that term might cause that confusion lol. By "range check" I meant an audit of the area you'll be operating in.

    Airspace:
    - Power lines
    - Proximity to airports, helipads, or other regulated airspace
    - Wind speed/direction
    - Antennas and other sources of RF and/or magnetic interference
    - Any other current or potential occupants of the airspace (regular aircraft, R/C aircraft, birds, kites, fireworks, etc.)

    Groundspace (just like the airspace, it's crucial to be aware of the CURRENT STATE of any terrain you'll be flying above):
    - Pedestrian or vehicular traffic, especially when flying low.
    - Buildings/Water/Trees and anything else that doesn't make a good emergency landing zone
    - Tall structures or other obstacles to flight or line-of-sight

    Those are just some examples off the top of my head, others are free to suggest more :)
     
  6. BallisticPhantom

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    OLP I updated to encompass your suggestions let me know what you think. Also if you can think of ways to make things shorter let me know. Keep in mind this is to be a reference guide/reminder check list or a double check we have not forgot anything for flight.

    Any others with input?

    I will leave this up bringing up to page one throughout the week so we can get everyone's input. It will be a living document meaning I will change it as we get suggestions on the post that you see above. Please feel free to contribute.
     
  7. OI Photography

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    Add to Aircraft Check:

    Prop Condition - No cracks, warping, other damage, or chunks of dirt/grass
     
  8. Topeeka

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    Excellent thought, and one I've done a little bit on. It's far to easy to get so comfortable with flying a Phantom that one can forget something simple, obvious or basic....with unpleasant consequences. I like what has been suggested here, I would add that the P2V needs about a dozen different steps..establishing WiFi, selecting the app, doing whatever camera options are desired, etc. Most of these are connected to the FPV function. I'll be following this thread and be interested to read more suggestions.

    Here are the steps I take when getting my P2V ready...these in addition to most of the ones in the preceding lists.

    Check battery level of the uninstalled main battery and install it in the Phantom
    Turn on range extender
    Turn on Controller (Listen for the confirmation beep...or double beep for FAA setting)
    Double check of the main battery level after installation in the Phantom
    Turn on main battery (Enjoy the sound and light show!)
    Activate "Settings" in iPhone
    Under "WiFi", view "Choose a Network" (There may be a wait for the WiFI to become active)
    WiFi for "Phantom****" should be active, if not, select it
    Activate DJI app on iPhone
    Verify battery power via app
    Check number of satellites acquired
    Check for installed SD card
    If needed, verify camera settings, still, video, burst, ISO, tilt, etc.
    No FPV image?? Remove lens cap from camera...!
    Operate S1 switch 9 times
    Perform Compass Calibration
    Start video camera or intervalometer for stills...optional, but nice to have take off images at times...!
    Double check for nearby obstructions, people, etc.
    Ready, Set, Fly..!!

    EDIT NOTE: Pull Up suggested that "best operating procedure" for ANY RC operation is to turn on your transmitter Before turning on the controlled device...the Phantom itself in this case. I've made that change in the sequence here...thanks PU..!
     
  9. BallisticPhantom

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    Topeeka thanks for your input. If you could co author the P2V I will build it same as the other. I will set it up just as the above. We can have 2 documents one for each. As I do not have a P2V, unless someone donates one to this cause, I will need your expertise to approve the ideas. I will post it later today.

    Keep the ideas coming guys!
     
  10. Topeeka

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    Sure BP, I'd be happy to share my list / thoughts for this project. At this point, I don't have anything to add to what I posted above, but I'll review my notes and experiences and add any updates or changes that occur to me.

    What I would like to encourage at this point, would be to have other "Owners with Vision"..(small pun there..!)...to post any additions, corrections, comments, etc. that they might have about the actual 'readiness' portion of getting their P2Vs ready to fly. Any posted thoughts I read on here, I'll incorporate with and 'edit' into what I have already listed....

    And...I assume the pay for this "job" might be exactly the same as yours...or maybe even double..???
     
  11. BallisticPhantom

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    Topeeka---Yes you can take 1/2 of my warm fuzzy feeling I get for thinking I am making a difference with the Phantom community. ;)

    Which I hope we will with this little project. :?

    Also I would like second the encouragement. This is for us all, the more we all participate the better it will be today and for future users. Even if you can't think of anything just let us know we are on the right track by posting to the thread that you like it/adopted it. :D
     
  12. BallisticPhantom

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    Version 1.2

    I added some IMU detail when warming up and GPS Home Lock info to the check list

    IMU- if 4 yellow flashes it is still warming up

    GPS home lock- establishment is indicated by a burst of fast flashing green after slow flashing green of GPS lock.
     
  13. ElGuano

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    I try to keep things simple when I fly. There are lots of important things to check, but anything more than 6-7 items gets burdensome for me and I find myself cutting corners.

    The most critical things I do for my flights:

    1. Check props for tightness.
    2. Check battery voltage.
    3. Once battery is plugged in, check gimbal initialization and turn on GoPro
    4. Do compass dance.
    5. Wait for CL blinks and HL blinks
    6. Fly.

    A lot of stuff, like turning on the TX first, getting 6 satellites, and making sure my flight timer is ready, are also important, but they don't make my critical checklist.
     
  14. Buk

    Buk

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    Still being a noob, I guess I practice a bit of voodoo, I try to just connect the battery and set the Phantom down and let it do its warm up and a'll of it's locks and finds all the satellites before I do the compass dance and then finish putting in the battery and connecting the extras (FPV TX, GoPro and voltage alarm).

    My thought is don't disturb it while its locking course, home and satellites. The less I move it during that period perhaps lessening the chance of a flyway.

    I've read someone said he/she puts in the first battery does warmup, locks and dance and then changes the battery before flying. First battery just used as a "sacrificial" lamb during warmups and calibrations. I don't do that...yet.
     
  15. Lithium12.6

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    This can be prooven or disprooven with a voltmeter. My feeling is, no need to do that.
    Even more since the Vision came out with a bigger battery I fly my Phantom I with two batteries.

    I made a checklist and taped on my transmitter, that includes turn on altimeter sensor (that is an extra I have) and camera.
    Often when I prepare people come closer asking questions, happened after one of this distraction after five minutes flying I had the feeling I did not turn on the camera. Now I am going down my checklist every time.
     
  16. BallisticPhantom

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    ElGuano- Thank you so much for the input. I agree we need to keep it short. I would love suggestions on how to combine or abbreviate items on the list but I think most of them are important. Is there something you think we should remove?

    Do you remember when you started flying the phantom? I personally found it very consuming, so many things to do. What order? What does that light mean? What does that blink mean? I forgot about some of the ancillary stuff... This built so I check them all when I get consumed or distracted by something else. The new kid or the seasoned Vet can benefit from reviewing this. The more diligent we are going though this, the better we become at the muscle memory and shortcuts will not be taken.

    As we get more accustom to this as a phantom pilot we skip steps to your point. I think the more we can do to ensure we grab all the safety aspects and appropriate procedures, the better our experiences and safety will be. Even having this laminated sheet in your phantom box that you just look at on the first flight out for the day. If you go though this list, that one time, it may just save your phantom and your surroundings from a simple mistake.

    At this time this list will not even be 1/2 a page, sometimes we spend more time ensuring our camera is running than we do caring for the 4 rotating razors we are about to take on an adventure. If something ever does happen having this just may prove we have done everything in our power to ensure we are responsible pilots.
     
  17. BallisticPhantom

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    Lithium good to hear we are on the right track. Anything on your check list we have forgotten on ours or did we get it all... Any Suggestions?
     
  18. BallisticPhantom

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    Buk so you wait for lock prior to doing the dance?

    If I am going to dance, I just wait for IMU and Motor Arming then Boogie, I am unsure there is a reason to wait for lock as it will re-establish after the dance. Any other thoughts on this?

    Thanks for the info Buk
     
  19. ElGuano

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    I actually think it's fine to start with a comprehensive list. As you mention, as people get more familiar with it they'll internalize what they consider the minutiae and make their own personal list. Maybe a short list of REALLY critical things for new flyers--things that, if you forgot to do everything else, would still let you fly safely and get home--for me that'd be checking and tightening props before every flight, and ensuring your TX is on your preferred mode (GPS/IOC-off).
     
  20. Lithium12.6

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    I propose to add to the list the direction of Wind and location of Sun. Might be even to look around and note high trees/buildings.
    A well behaved Phantom will not be blown away by wind but as pilots we always should be aware of it.
    The Sun is to take better videos, need to minimize facing the Sun.

    I can imagine someone says but of course need to make note of high trees and obstacles.
    Years ago I had a full size glider trainer, I still remember the list, among them was Belt and Canopy, one can say of course one should remember that, but distraction always can happen, we need discipline.