It’s sunny and you are ready to fly. You turn on the drone and connect the controller and throttle up the stick. Guess what? It’s not taking off. Quite annoying, right! When I was surfing on the net I heard that most drone pilots also have faced this kind of issue. So I wondered why it’s happening and decided to find out why the drone won’t take off and how to fix it. In this article let’s find out why the drone won’t take off and how to fix it.
Why drone won’t take off?
In most cases, the drone won’t take off because of improper propeller installation, firmware issues, calibration issues, and geofenced zones.
Reason 1: Improper propeller installment.
If your drone propellers are spinning but it won’t take off or keeps flipping to the side, you have installed propellers in the wrong pattern. There is a pattern to installing propellers to the aircraft in order to work properly. So if you have installed them in a completely opposite way it won’t get the upward force to take off. Also if you have installed some of them in the wrong pattern, the aircraft would flip instead of taking off.
Solution: Install propellers in the proper pattern.
Many drones have marked propellers and matching mounting bases to indicate the proper propeller installation pattern.
- You find there are two types of propellers in the propeller set.
- One propeller pair has marks on it and others don’t.
- Install the propellers with marks on the mounting bases with marks. And rotate clockwise to lock them.
- Install other propellers that don’t have marks to mounting bases that have no marks. And rotate anti-clockwise to lock them.
Reason 2: IMU or Compass calibration is required.
IMU and Compass need to be calibrated properly to ensure safe stable flight. So when you haven’t calibrated the drone properly the system would detect the issue and issue and stop the takeoff. If you are facing this kind of situation there should be a popped notification on the app to calibrate the drone.
Solution: Calibrate the IMU and compass.
Calibrate the IMU and compass according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Below are the common IMU and compass calibration steps for DJI drones.
- Place the drone on a flat surface.
- First, remove the gimbal cover from the drone because when the drone restarts during the calibration process the camera would be damaged. It’s also good to remove the propellers from the drone but it’s not necessary.
- If the drone is foldable, power on the aircraft while its arms are closed in.
- Enter the IMU calibration panel and start the calibration. (In DJI GO 4 app, click on the three dots at the top right corner. Then click on the drone icon go to Main Controller Settings > Advanced Settings > Sensors > IMU and hit the “Calibrate IMU” button.)
- Once the above steps are done, the IMU calibration process would start. You need to place the drone in different poses to calibrate IMU.
- Start with the drone on its belly and wait until the IMU is calibrated in that pose.
- Next, move the aircraft onto its right side and wait until the IMU is calibrated in that position.
- Then change the drone over to the left side and wait until the IMU is calibrated in that position.
- Then Stand the drone on its back ends and wait until the IMU is calibrated in that position.
- Then turn the drone upside down and wait until the calibration process goes to 100%.
Now the IMU calibration is done and, next steps is to calibrate the compass.
- Connect the remote controller to the smartphone.
- Power on the drone and remote controller.
- Enter the Compass calibration panel and start calibration. (In DJI GO 4 app, Tap on the three dots at the top left corner and click on the drone icon go to Main Controller Settings > Advanced Settings > Sensors > Compass and hit the “Calibrate Compass” button.)
- Place the remote controller away where you can see the app screen.
- Take the drone aircraft into your hands and hold it horizontally and about 4 feet away from you. DJI aircraft’s indicators should be light yellow right now. Then spin around 360 degrees until those indicators turn to solid green.
- After that, hold the drone vertically and spin it again around 360 degrees until the indicators turn solid green.
Reason 3: Outdated Firmware or Firmware glitches.
Man, when I’m finding out the reasons for the drone issues, there is always mentioned firmware issues. So guess what, this issue also can be an effect of outdated firmware or firmware glitches.
Solution: Update/ Refresh/ Downgrade the firmware.
So if you have an outdated firmware version, update it to the latest version. Make sure to update drones to the same firmware version. If you started getting this issue after updating the firmware, try refreshing or downgrading the firmware. Below is the step-by-step for the DJI drone firmware update/refresh/downgrade process.
- Download and install the corresponding DJI Assistant 2 application to your DJI drone to the PC.
- Open DJI Assistant 2 application.
- Power on the drone and connect to the PC using the USB cable.
- Once the DJI Assistant 2 detects the drone, Choose the drone.
- Then log in to your DJI account connected to the drone.
- Then you’ll enter the firmware update panel of the drone.
- Click on the “Upgrade” or “Refresh” button in front of the latest firmware. If you are getting the issue after updating the firmware, tap on the “Downgrade” button in front of the recent firmware.
- Click “Start Update”.
- Wait until the firmware is completely downloaded and installed.
- Follow the same steps connecting the remote controller and update/refresh/downgrade its firmware.
Reason 4: No GPS signals.
If your drone is in GPS mode and you aren’t getting any GPS signals, you won’t be able to take off the drone. So you might have to change the location and wait until a sufficient number of satellites are connected to the drone. Also, you can fix the issue by changing the GPS mode to a different mode that doesn’t require GPS signals.
Reason 5: You haven’t registered the drone or registered recently.
If you haven’t registered the drone in your country or state or did recently this could be why the drone won’t take off. So if you haven’t registered the drone you definitely have to register in your country or state. You would be able to find the application just by googling it. If you registered the drone recently, it’s good to wait patiently cause it typically takes around a day before the system catches up, allowing you to fly with the newly registered drone.
Reason 6: Trying to fly in a Geofenced area.
Modern drone manufacturers like DJI have made some adaptations within the actual software to inhibit drones from flying in NFZ (No Flying Zones) or geofenced areas to make sure pilots satisfy all the requirements of FAA laws in the area. So If you are trying to fly in no-fly zone or geofenced zone the drone won’t take off.
Solution: Unlock possible Noflyzones.
Under this option, we would talk about most popular DJI’s Noflyzone unlock procedure.
- Connect the phone to the internet.
- Enter the Map of your drone-supported app on the mobile device.
- Tap on it again and you would see the detailed map.
- Now you would see colored circles and boxes in some places. If you are in a red, yellow, or blue area, you won’t be able to take off the drone casually.
- You can see more details by clicking on the area.
- If you are in a Restricted zone (red area), a densely populated area (dark red) area or, Regulatory restricted zone (light blue area) you can’t take off or fly the drone in the area.
- If you are in the Altitude zone (grey area), Warning zone (orange area), or green area, you can take off the drone without any extra work.
- If you are in the Authorization zone (dark blue area), or Enhanced warning zone (brown area), you have to unlock the zone before taking off.
How to unlock unlockable Noflyzones.
If you are in an Authorization zone (dark blue area), or Enhanced warning zone you can unlock those areas and fly or take off the drone inside the area.
- Before that make sure you are logged in to the DJI account that is connected to the drone.
- Tap on the zone. Then tap on “Yes”.
- Then tick boxes asking whether you are bearing the responsibility to fly in the zone.
- Then hit Confirm.
- The area would be unlocked and now you can take off and fly the drone inside the area.