The below are the 10 most common pilot errors when flying drones. A compilation and analysis of thousands of flight data and ‘blackbox’ recordings have revealed by DJI that these are the most common ways drones crash.

1 – CSC in mid-air (Combination stick command)

CSC-killswitchNew pilots often crash their drones by pulling the sticks to the bottom inner corners which stops the motors immediately. NEVER do it in mid-air unless in an emergency.




2-  Propellers Fly off

If you drone has self-tightening props be sure you screw them on tight until it’s firm, if not it may cause the propellers to fly off under high RPM.

  • Never leave props loose on the motor and hope it tightens automatically
  • Always double check and test before motors go on

No matter what propeller you have on any drone, make sure they sit tight and test spin before take off.


3- RTH Crash (Return to Home)

Always set your return to home altitude higher than any obstacles in your flight area such as trees & buildings. Most crashes occur when the drone goes out of signal behind a building or tree then when RTH is triggered it will fly directly into the obstacle if its in the way (unless if it has an obstacle avoidance system).


4- Auto landing far from home

When your battery is running low you will receive a warning message and 10secs to cancel RTH. After canceling RTH you can still fly, HOWEVER, once the battery level reaches critical levels the drone will start auto landing no matter where it is.

  • You can’t cancel auto landing but pitch/ roll & yaw are still controllable
  • Be sure you are not flying over water or in populated areas when this occurs


5- Flying out of sight

Very dangerous as all you can see is the video feed from the drone and nothing in the surrounding such as power lines, trees, buildings. You should always keep within VLOS (Visual Line of Sight).


6- Flying backwards

Everyone loves the view of a drone flying backward, however you cannot see what the drone could be potentially flying into. Always stand behind it and have a good view of whats to come in its path!


7- Indoor flying

Very often your drone will drift when flying indoors as there is usually poor or no GPS signal. When flying indoors switch to atti mode which doesn’t use GPS positioning but will require good piloting skills. Practice flying in this mode outside first so you get a feel for flying manually with no GPS stability help.


8- Failsafe RTH Ascension

When the drone is further than 20m from the home point and low battery RTH occurs it will rise up to the RTH altitude and begin to come home. This makes some pilots panic as it feels like it is about to fly away from you with no control.

  • Don’t panic, it will return home- just make sure no obstacles are in the way
  • If you need, you can cancel the low battery RTH & land manually.


9- Bad environment

This plays a big role in crashes, close calls and near misses. A bad environment is usually one of the following:

  • Tall buildings
  • Skyscrapers
  • Launching on metal or magnetic areas
  • CBDs
  • Power stations
  • High voltage power lines
  • TV transmitters
  • Mobile signal powers
  • Any sources of signal or electromagnetic interference


10- Braking distance

Flying at full speed is always fun but keep in mind your braking distance also increases. (Like a car). Its always better to start braking earlier than a sudden stop.



I hope these errors will give you an idea of what to avoid! Don’t be a statistic, always fly in an open area and do your research and read the manuals before your first flight.

If you want to keep you and your drone safe check out our drone workshops and virtual training!

Enjoy & safe flying!


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