Long-time DroneXL friend and drone , Lauren, explains in this short video how to safely hand launch and hand catch your DJI drone. Now keep in mind that if you hit the propellers, it will hurt, so this is not a maneuver that a novice drone pilot should attempt. It is best to try this first with one of the DJI mini drones because they are far more forgiving than a , for instance.

Hand Launch and Hand Catch Your DJI Drone Video

How to Safely Hand Catch Your DJI drone

Here's a bullet point list explaining how to safely hand catch your DJI drone:

  • Preparation:
    • Ensure the area is clear and safe for drone operations.
    • Understand the full procedure before attempting the catch.
  • Positioning your DJI drone:
    • Bring the drone down to your eye level.
    • Position the drone sideways relative to you for better visibility and control.
  • Switching to Sport Mode:
    • Activate Sport Mode on your DJI drone to disable all sensors. This prevents the drone from avoiding you or reacting to other movements.
  • Adjusting the drone settings:
    • Press the C1 button (or your custom reassigned button) to tilt the gimbal downward.
  • Hand placement for catching:
    • Place your hand flat and position it directly beneath the drone.
    • As the drone senses your hand and considers it the ground, it will hover slightly above.
  • Executing the catch:
    • Push the left stick fully down to initiate the landing sequence.
    • Monitor the gimbal closely; as it starts to rotate to a level position, the drone enters landing mode.
    • Transition your hand from a flat to a catching position.
  • Final Steps in catching:
    • When the drone goes into landing mode, immediately release the joystick so you don't accidentally turn the aircraft.
    • Focus on smoothly catching the drone as it lands gently in your hand.
    • Keep your hand steady and allow the motors to stop completely to avoid any sudden movements or motor damage.

This step-by-step guide ensures a safe and controlled method for hand catching your DJI drone, minimizing risks and enhancing safety during the procedure.

How to Safely Hand Launch Your DJI drone

Here's a bullet point list explaining how to safely hand launch your DJI drone:

  • Prepare the controller:
    • Hold the controller comfortably in your palm to ensure a stable grip and easy access to controls.
  • Initiating launch:
    • Locate and use the auto-launch button on your controller.
    • Tap and hold this button until the indicators on the drone turn green, signaling that the motors are ready.
  • Positioning the DJI drone:
    • Carefully position the drone above your head. Make sure it's stable and level in your hand.
  • Releasing the drone:
    • Once the indicators are green and the motors are ready, release the auto-launch button.
    • Allow the drone to lift off from your hand naturally without pushing it upwards.

This procedure ensures that the drone is launched smoothly and safely, reducing the risk of mishandling or accidental collisions.

How to Safely Hand Launch and Hand Catch Your DJI Drone
Hold the DJI controller so that you can use your thumb to initiate the launch.

Safety Precautions and Tips

Before attempting these maneuvers, ensure you have solid command and control over your aircraft. This technique is not recommended for absolute beginners due to the inherent risks.

Also, when bringing your drone down, do not walk towards it while looking up. This could cause you to trip if you're not aware of your surroundings. Instead, bring the drone to you to maintain a safe and controlled environment.

Practice and familiarize yourself with these hand launch and hand catching techniques with smaller DJI mini-drones before progressing to bigger drones such as the DJI Mavic 3.

Let us know in the comments below if you have any additional tips and advice that will help teach drone pilots to safely handle their drones without getting their fingers cut.

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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of DroneXL.co, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and EVXL.co, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ dronexl.co or @hayekesteloo.

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