How To Fix A Drone Wont That Take Off 11zon

How To Fix A Drone Wont That Take Off

I’ve experienced the frustration of a drone that won’t take off, but after some trial and error, I discovered a systematic approach to diagnose and fix the issue.

By checking your drones propellers, motors, compass calibration, GPS signal, firmware, battery voltage, wiring, and transmitter binding, you will be able to identify the root cause of the problem.

However, even after all these steps, there’s one crucial factor I haven’t mentioned yet that could be the key to getting your drone back in the air.

I’m James Leslie, a drone pilot who runs the UK’s largest drone survey service.

Throughout my years of experience in the field, I’ve encountered numerous instances where drones refuse to take off, and I’ve developed a comprehensive troubleshooting process to address this common issue.

checking drone wind levels

Check the Propellers

When your drone won’t take off, the first thing I check is the propellers.

They’re critical for providing the lift needed to get the drone in the air. I carefully inspect each propeller blade, looking closely for any signs of damage like chips, cracks, or broken edges. Even small nicks can throw off the balance and prevent the drone from generating enough thrust to lift off.

I also make sure the propellers are installed correctly. The writing on the blades should face up, and they need to be tightened securely.

Loose props can cause vibrations or fly off while spinning.

If I find any issues with the propellers when troubleshooting why the drone won’t take off, I replace them with new ones of the exact same size and pitch. Using mismatched or incorrect propellers is asking for flight problems.

dji mavic 3 cine vs mavic 2 25 11zon

Inspect the Motors

After ruling out the propellers, the next step is inspecting the motors when a drone refuses to take off. Carefully spin each motor by hand, feeling for any unusual grinding or resistance that could indicate a problem. The motors should turn smoothly and freely.

Next, examine the motor shafts, looking for any bits of string, hair, grass, or other debris that may be wrapped around and preventing the motors from spinning at full speed.

Even small obstructions can keep a drone grounded.

If a motor is vibrating excessively or not spinning at all, that’s a red flag that it may be damaged and need to be replaced. Faulty motors are a common reason for a drone not taking off.

To confirm if a motor is the culprit, I’ll usually swap it with a known good one from another arm. If the problem moves to the new location, you can be confident the motor is bad.

Inspecting the motors is a key troubleshooting step when diagnosing why a drone won’t lift off. Methodically testing each one helps isolate the issue.

my yuneec drone 12 11zon

Calibrate the Compass

Compass calibration, a crucial step in preparing a drone for flight, ensures the aircraft knows its true heading and orientation. If you’re trying to figure out how to fix a drone not flying, don’t overlook calibrating the compass.

The drone’s compass can be easily thrown off by interference from nearby metal objects, magnetic fields, or even the Earth’s own magnetic field.

That’s why it’s important to calibrate the compass in an open outdoor area away from buildings, power lines, vehicles, and other potential sources of interference.

To calibrate the compass, go into the settings menu of my drone’s companion app.

There initiate the calibration procedure, which typically involves rotating and flipping the drone in specific ways.

The app provides visual guidance to walk me through the process. It’s important to follow the steps carefully and avoid rushing.

Once the calibration is complete, the drone should have an accurate lock on its heading. With the compass calibrated, I’m one step closer to getting my drone back in the air and preventing future problems with it not taking off.

dji30t with james 11zon

Check GPS Signal

To get your drone flying again, make sure it’s receiving a strong GPS signal from enough satellites. Most drones require a GPS lock from several satellites to enter GPS flight mode and take off safely.

If I’m wondering ‘why won’t my drone take off’, one of the first things I should check is the GPS signal strength.

I’ll take my drone outside to an open area with a clear view of the sky, as buildings, trees, and other obstacles can block the GPS signal.

It’s important to be patient, as it can sometimes take a few minutes for the drone to acquire an initial GPS lock.

If I’m still having trouble getting a strong enough GPS signal, I may need to try flying in a different location away from tall structures or sources of interference.

In some cases, if the GPS signal is too weak or unavailable, the drone may default to a non-GPS flight mode like Attitude mode, which relies only on its barometer and can be more challenging to control.

Update Firmware

I’ll connect my drone to the manufacturer’s app and check for any available firmware updates that could resolve takeoff issues. Firmware updates are released periodically by drone companies like DJI and often include critical bug fixes, performance enhancements, and new features.

If my DJI drone won’t take off, one of the first things I’ll try is updating the firmware on the aircraft, remote controller, and batteries to the latest versions.

Before starting the update process, I’ll make sure everything is fully charged. I don’t want the drone or controller accidentally powering off in the middle of an update which could corrupt the firmware.

I’ll carefully read the release notes to see what’s changed and confirm the update is compatible with my specific drone model.

The update process usually only takes a few minutes.

Once it’s complete, I’ll restart the drone and run through the calibration steps again. With the latest firmware installed, I’m hoping whatever glitch was preventing my drone from taking off will be resolved.

If not, it’s time to move on to the next troubleshooting step.

drone operator

Calibrate Accelerometer

Sometimes an improperly calibrated accelerometer can prevent a drone from taking off by giving inaccurate tilt readings.

The accelerometer measures the drone’s orientation and motion, so it’s crucial that it’s properly calibrated. If it thinks the drone is tilted when it’s actually level, it won’t allow the motors to spin up.

To calibrate the accelerometer, I place the drone on a flat, level surface. Then I go into the settings menu of the app and find the accelerometer calibration option.

The app walks me through the process, usually involving rotating the drone in specific orientations.

After calibrating, I always test that the drone remains stationary when I move the control sticks. If it still drifts or tilts, I redo the calibration.

Once the accelerometer is sorted, I then check the battery voltage to make sure the cells are fully charged. Most drones won’t take off if the battery is below a certain voltage, typically around 3.6V per cell, to prevent over-discharging and damaging the battery.

With the accelerometer calibrated and a charged battery, the drone should be ready to fly.

mavic 3 drone battery 11zon

Check Battery Voltage

One key factor that can prevent a drone from taking off is insufficient battery voltage. If the battery doesn’t have enough charge, the motors won’t be able to spin fast enough to generate lift.

I always check my drone’s battery voltage before each flight. Most drones will refuse to take off and give a low battery warning if the voltage drops below a certain threshold, typically around 3.6V per cell.

When troubleshooting a drone not flying, checking the battery voltage should be one of the first things you do. I use a digital multimeter to measure the voltage of each cell in the battery.

If any of them read below 3.6V, I know it’s time to recharge or replace the battery.

It’s crucial to use fully charged batteries and avoid draining them too low, as this can permanently damage the cells and shorten their lifespan. As a rule of thumb, I land my drone when the battery reaches 20% and swap it with a fresh one.

Proper battery maintenance will help ensure your drone has enough power to take off and fly reliably.

crashed drone 7 11zon

Inspect Wiring

After checking the battery voltage, it’s important to visually inspect all the wiring and circuit boards for any signs of damage or loose connections that could prevent the drone from taking off.

I carefully examine each wire, especially those connecting the battery to the flight controller and the motors to the ESCs.

Frayed insulation, exposed wire strands, or melted plastic are red flags. I also check the solder joints on the circuit boards, looking for any cracks or breaks.

Another good test is to gently wiggle the wires while the drone is powered on. If I see any flickering lights or the propellers twitch, that tells me there’s a bad connection somewhere that needs to be repaired.

Loose wires can cause intermittent power or signal loss, leading to unresponsive controls or sudden failsafes.

It’s tedious, but inspecting the wiring harness from end to end is crucial. Just one overlooked flaw could cause a crash. I resolder any suspect joints and secure loose wires with zip ties.

Catching wiring problems early saves me from expensive repairs or replacements later.

flying a drone at night 3 11zon

Check Transmitter Binding

If the drone still won’t lift off after inspecting the wiring, I check that the transmitter and receiver are properly bound. This is a critical step in troubleshooting when a drone won’t take off.

The transmitter sends commands to the receiver on the drone, but if they become unbound, the drone won’t respond to any stick inputs.

To check transmitter binding, I look for any flashing lights on the drone indicating a lost connection.

Then, I put both the transmitter and drone into bind mode following the specific sequence for my model, which can usually be found in the manual.

Once in bind mode, I wait patiently for the transmitter and receiver to sync up. If the binding is successful, the lights on the drone will turn solid, and it should respond to commands from the transmitter.

It’s important to remember that the binding process can vary between different drone models, so always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions. By checking the transmitter binding, I can often resolve issues preventing my drone from taking off.

drone hardcase laid out 23 11zon

Contact Manufacturer Support

When I’ve exhausted all troubleshooting steps and my drone still won’t take off, it’s time to reach out to the manufacturer’s customer support for further assistance.

I’ll contact the manufacturer support team through their official website, email, or phone number. It’s important to provide them with detailed information about my drone model, the specific issue I’m facing, and the troubleshooting steps I’ve already attempted.

The support team may have additional insights or advanced troubleshooting techniques that I haven’t tried yet. They might guide me through more complex diagnostic procedures or request remote access to my drone’s settings for further analysis.

If the manufacturer determines that there’s an internal component failure causing my drone to not take off, they’ll advise me on the next steps. Depending on my drone’s warranty status, I may be eligible for a repair or replacement.

The support team will provide instructions on how to initiate the warranty claim process, including packaging and shipping my drone to their service center if necessary.

Conclusion

If you’ve exhausted all the troubleshooting steps for your drone that won’t take off, it’s time to contact the manufacturer’s support team for more targeted assistance and to learn about your repair and replacement options.

I’ve encountered my fair share of technical issues in the field. Drawing from my extensive experience, I can attest that sometimes the best solution is to rely on the expertise of the manufacturer’s support team to get your drone airborne again.

If you find yourself in need of professional drone services, feel free to get in touch with me at jamie@skykam.co.uk or leave a comment.

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