FPV drones are powerful but learning to land an FPV drone smoothly and safely can be a challenge. That’s what we’ll tackle in this article.
Why FPV Drones are Challenging to Land?
Unlike with a camera drone, which can land smoothly on the ground and calmly sit there, FPV drones are designed for agility and speed, not for smooth landings. These drones usually bounce or flip upon contact, depending on the flight controller and software. Hence, an FPV drone needs to be disarmed as it’s about to touch the ground to prevent any erratic response.
Techniques for Landing an FPV Drone
Here’s a technique I often use: I get as close to the ground as possible and reduce speed to a hover. Once I’m hovering, slowly ease off the throttle until the drone is a few inches off the ground (5 to 15cm for example), I disarm the drone, letting it drop relatively level to the ground. This method, while not always resulting in a perfectly smooth landing, is effective and minimizes potential damage to the drone. You can also disarm after touching down, but it’s not always possible if the ground isn’t level or landing on tall grass and the drone might bounce.
For those wanting to practice precise landings, setting up a cardboard box on the ground, and aiming to land on it can be a great exercise. If you manage your throttle stick carefully, you can achieve a gentle landing and disarming. However, most FPV pilots, including myself, don’t bother with perfect landings because FPV drones are robust and can easily withstand a tumble in the grass.
Air Mode Makes Landing Harder
Air mode is a feature in many FPV drones that can significantly improve flying experience. It maintains the drone’s rotational control when the throttle is reduced to zero, giving the pilot better control of the drone even at low speeds. However, it can make your drone bounce violently when come in contact with the ground. If you are suffering issues related to Air Mode, without disabling it completely, you can assign a switch that toggles air mode on and off to prevent bouncing during landing.
Wrapping Up: Practice Makes Perfect
One key point to remember when learning to land an FPV drone is that practice is essential. Do this over grass – an ideal place to practice landings and it cushions the impact. I see a lot of people have their arm switch on the left hand side of the radio, but personally I prefer to have it on the right side, which allows me to control both the throttle and the arming with different hands, increasing your control during landings.