My First Mission

It went pretty well considering.


Very nice!
What did you use to playback the video, that showed the telemetry info at the bottom?

I did that with DashWare:

Very good,I think I might have included an orbit around that monument you were flying next to

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I’ll come back and run that mission again in the summer when the landscape will look much better, greener, and when there are lots of boats on the water.

I’ll probably also crank up the cruising speed the next time, fly it faster.

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That looks like a nice place to fly. I’m glad that your mission went well. If this was truly your first Litchi mission there are a couple things that you should be aware of.

If you are an experienced pilot, you will know that there are a myriad of ways to get yourself into trouble. Flying a DJI drone is easy. It’s the unexpected things that sometimes cause us grief.

Flying a mile away would put your drone well beyond your visual line of sight. If something had gone wrong, you would not be able to see your drone. You were at 200 feet, so there would not have been any physical obstacles. Flying VLOS is one of the rules we must follow when flying drones in the USA (and most other countries).

Your pre-planned flight path followed roads. Since flying over people is also not allowed, it would be better to move your flight path to be over the grassy areas and only transition over roads when necessary. It looks like there were very few vehicles in the area so I’m guessing you flew on a Sunday morning or similar (which is what I would have done too).

Your flight was one mile away from a DJI “Authorization Zone” (Coleman A Young Airport). I’m not sure if you were already aware of that. Do you know what happens when either your flight path or your RTH path attempts to take your drone into an Authorization Zone that you have not deactivated? It’s like running into an invisible barrier in the sky. The drone just stops and hovers at that location.

Perhaps you already knew all of this. However, when you said it was your first mission, a few “red flags” went up. I’ve read about so many cases where the pilot got into trouble because they were unaware of certain details that might affect their flight.


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I fully understand all of the things that you said here and I do understand what the rules are but one thing about flying over roads or houses makes me wonder about a small drone like a Mini 2 and how dangerous it actually is to fly over roads like in a neighborhood versus how dangerous it is for a small single engine aircraft to fly over the same roads or houses? Why is it that commercial aircraft or private aircraft can fly wherever they please but flying a sub 250 gram aircraft in these areas is illegal? Makes no sense to me. But I will try to remain compliant with the rules whenever possible. So that being said, it seems that Litchi flights are restricted to flying over my own property or over a large open uninhabited field with no trees so I can watch it make circles on it’s own. By FAA rules, it should be illegal to use LItchi at all then?

I agree with most of what you say. I can’t answer why the rules are what they are. However, I do try to understand them as best I can and then fly accordingly. There are many things in our society that are much more dangerous than drones, yet drones are regulated much more heavily than those more dangerous things.

From a practical standpoint… In the unlikely event (bird attack, battery failure, broken prop, etc.) that your drone fell from the sky, would you rather it landed on a road (where it could possibly hit a car or be run over) or on the grass? I would choose the grass. Therefore, I choose not to linger over a road for an extended period of time. Crossing a road is sometimes unavoidable but less risky than flying along the path of the road.

I’m curious why you say this.

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Quote: “I’m curious why you say this”.

Just a random thought. Nothing against Litchi I assure you. In the context of the FAA rules for UAVs, and by your comments on how that video did violate the rule of mandatory LOS of all drone flights, it then seems that using Litchi to plan a mission that takes a drone well out of the pilot’s LOS is basically against the rules. But as we all know, Litchi is the perfect platform to take outstanding cinematic videos with our drones. So if I plan a mission to fly to a nearby school playfield and back and I lose sight of my drone due to the many trees along it’s mission path, then I am flying that mission outside of the FAA rules. Am I not? And by following the streets in my neighborhood assures me that I cannot be accused of spying on the neighbors by flying over their houses and if there was a malfunction along the way then the drone is not going to either land in a tree top and cannot be recovered nor will it hit someone’s home or any part of their property like a car for instance.

Like I said, this are my opinions base on the FAA’s misguided rules and nothing against Litchi whatsoever. I do prefer Litchi over the DJI Fly platform and will continue to use Litchi for it’s great features.

Have a nice day! :smiley:

Yes, BVLOS does violate current FAA rules. However, there are plenty who violate those same rules by flying manually regardless of what software is used. I am not aware of any FAA rule that singles out Litchi or autonomous flights as long as the pilot in command has the ability to take over control at any time.

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@graywoulf, while it is not a perfect solution to maintaining line of sight with your drone, some Litchi users plan out a larger mission and then break it up into several smaller missions that allow for better VLOS since you are flying in a much smaller area.

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I too do not know of any such FAA rule that singles out Litchi and I certainly hope that there never is one. Where I live, there are a lot of tall trees which block my view of the drones location visually speaking. Seems to me that the FAA should consider the visual monitoring that the app receives from the drone as a form of LOS in my opinion. Just like flying FPV, what better LOS than the view from the “eagles eye”?

Thank you Steve for pointing that out to me. I never thought of that way of flying Litchi missions. Duly noted. :+1:

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Thanks for the comments and yes, I am aware that flying a mile is breaking the VLOS rules. I thought I’d risk it given the circumstances of it being really cold outside, early in the morning, and the island park being for all practical purposes, empty. If you noticed in the video I think you only saw two cars total on any of the roads and there were literally no people out there. Although, my comment about returning and doing that again in the summer is off the table for obvious reasons.

But yes, this was over an empty island park in the winter. Not much chance of flying over people or running into any other issue. I was more curious if it would let me control it from that far away and given the lack of desert or wide open plains to try, that was the next best thing to do a range test.

I’ll not fly that far away again. :smiley: