Drone Preflight Checklist

Use the Drone Preflight Checklist in the US for an overview of drone usage such as permission and legality, flight plan review, weather conditions, etc.

Drone Preflight Checklist



Power-on The Aircraft

1. Are the camera and multi-rotor UAS bound?


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2. Are the video feed and telemetry data feed live?


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Systems Status And Calibrate Sensors

1. Is the calibration image of a calibrated reflectance panel (CRP) captured, and are shadows not projected onto the panel during the image capture?


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2. Does the Flat Field Correction (FFC) calibration work for Long-Wave Infrared (LWIR) cameras?


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3. Is the FFC executed approximately every 30 seconds during the flight if the camera has a shutter?


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4. If no shutter is available, is the FFC executed before every take-off and while the camera is looking at a view that has a consistent temperature and emissivity?


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5. Are the shutter speed, aperture, white balance, ISO, image trigger period, focus, and color balance all appropriate for the intended use?


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6. Are additional payloads securely attached and functioning properly?


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7. Are IMU, compass, GPS, autonomous navigation, and emergency failsafe settings correctly configured for reliable and safe flight?


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8. Are Ground Control Points (GCPs) deployed, and is the UAS using Real-Time Kinematic (RTK) corrections or Post-Processing Kinematic (PPK) capabilities to achieve higher GPS accuracy?


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Final Launch Preparations

1. Is "CLEAR PROP" announced, and do all crew members respond with "CLEAR"?


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2. Is the aircraft launched? Are controls checked for responsiveness and correctness while flying at low altitudes?


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3. Is the flight plan executed?


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Final Launch Preparations

1. Is a post-flight calibration image captured at the end of the flight plan?


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2. Are the batteries and fuel tanks checked for cracks, punctures, or deformation?


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3. Are storage devices removed and the collected data backed up?


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4. Is debris cleaned from the UAS and packed into storage containers?


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Permissions And Legality

1. Are all necessary permissions obtained before heading to the flight location?


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2. Have the landowner or managing agency granted access to the launch and landing locations?


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3. Does the PIC have permission from the air traffic controllers of nearby airports i.e., airports within 5 miles of any point along the UAS flight path or controlled airspace the UAS may enter?


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4. If flying near an airport's traffic pattern, has the PIC filed a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) before the flight?


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5. Is the PIC prohibited from flying in areas with active Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs)?


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6. Is the UAS registered with the FAA, and is the registration number labeled on the aircraft?


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7. Is the necessary application completed if flying in controlled airspace? Is the Low Altitude Authorization Notification and Clearance (LAANC) system used to obtain authorization before a launch on the day of the flight?


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8. Is airspace authorization requested if an airport controlling the desired airspace does not participate in LAANC?


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9. Is the remote ID verified, active, and functioning?


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Scan The Launch And Flight Area

1. Are the launch and flight areas inspected for any obstructions?


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2. Are factors such as weather conditions, changes in terrain, vehicle or pedestrian traffic, and radio interference checked for?


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Review Flight Plan With The Operations Team (PIC, Spotters, And Mission Specialists)

1. Do all members of the operations team agree on the flight plan?


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2. Are communications devices verified?


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3. Are spotters positioned appropriately?


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Log Weather Conditions And Relevant Flight Parameters In The Flight Log

1. Who are the PIC and the flight crew members?


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2. What was the type of drone used? Is the registration number or flight controller ID included?


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3. What was the date and time of the launch?


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4. What was the date and time of the landing or completion of the mission?


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5. What were the weather conditions? (e.g., temperature, wind magnitude, and direction,humidity, cloud cover, etc.)


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6. Are flight parameters such as altitude, flight path orientation, flight speed, etc. recorded?


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7. Are the image capture parameters such as shutter speed, image capture rate, and type of camera recorded?


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8. Are fertilizer application parameters, such as a chemical name or ID, solid vs. liquid, nozzle type, spray parameters, and target droplet size recorded?


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Preparing The UAS

1. Is the Unoccupied Aircraft System (UAS) prepared?


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Preparing The Ground Station

1. Does the ground station have sufficient charge connected to the viewing screen?


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Check Aircraft For Damages

1. Are the batteries or fuel tank inspected for any signs of cracks, punctures, or deformation?


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2. Are the propellers examined for cracks or deformation and are they securely attached?


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3. Do motors rotate freely around a fixed axis and do not wobble?


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4. Are abnormalities, cracks, or fractures in the hull or the motor arms checked?


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5. Are all bolts, joints, safety zip ties, cameras, and attachment nuts and grommets present and secure?


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6. Are all parts repaired or replaced before flying if necessary?


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Mount Cameras

1. Is there enough space on the storage device to accommodate data collection?


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2. Are cameras mounted securely?


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Is this sample what you are looking for?
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Checklist by GoAudits.com – Please note that this checklist is intended as an example. We do not guarantee compliance with the laws applicable to your territory or industry. You should seek professional advice to determine how this checklist should be adapted to your workplace or jurisdiction.

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