My Pre-Flight Checklists

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I thought I'd share my custom pre-flight paperwork with you all. I work for a county agency and we like to be very thorough and cover all of our bases. So in additional to just 'following the rules', we go above and beyond to pre-plan and document all of our flights. I created a UAS Operation Brief that outlines all of the information regarding the location (including a satellite image and VFR Sectional Chart), flight maneuvers, flight crew, weather reports, etc. One of these briefs is filled out before each flight and signed off on by our agency's director and the PIC (myself).

I've also created a custom pre-flight inspection and pre-flight checklist, which document the condition of the aircraft, batteries, transmitter and other systems as well as all the steps leading up to take-off.

It's an admittedly cumbersome process that can't really be done at the spur of the moment, but that's kind of the point. There's an abundance of pre-planning, caution, and double checking. All of this helps us fly out missions as effectively as possible. All of this information also helps in the event that someone complains about our flights or in the event of a crash - we can always point back to our brief and checklists and say "Here's how we know we can fly here" or "Here's why I believe the crash was an anomaly or software error"

These checklists aren't the final product. The more we fly, the more we learn. There's things to be added and things to be taken off.

But I wanted to throw these out there to see what you all think! (PDFs are attached)
 

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  • Checklists.pdf
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  • UAS Operation Brief Blank.pdf
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Very NICE!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks so much for the posting.. Gives us a head start in making sure we have sufficient documentation for flights...
 

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Very nicely done. Do you have IC experience? Both of these look very much IC style work. Clean yet detailed.
 
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Excellent. Thanks for posting.

Sooner or later UAV flights might be restricted in the UK but with documentation like this it gives some credence for a flight.

Sorry to be picky, but on the Pre flight check list on the right hand side the word batery should be spelt battery.;)

Also, as above, instead of Airfield clear would 'Ops area clear?' be more appropriate. To an ex RAF man it makes more sense anyway. :)
 
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Talk about covering your a***e !

And quite rightly too. Excellent. Thanks for posting.

Sooner or later UAV flights might be restricted in the UK but with documentation like this it gives some credence for a flight.

Sorry to be picky, but on the Pre flight check list on the right hand side the word batery should be spelt battery.;)

Also, as above, instead of Airfield clear would 'Ops area clear?' be more appropriate. To an ex RAF man it makes more sense anyway. :)
Good catch on the typo! I'll be sure to fix that.

I have no aeronautics experience other than my recent entrance into UAVs so Ops Area probably would be more appropriate. I thought airfield sounded cool and like a real term hahah!
 
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Very nicely done. Do you have IC experience? Both of these look very much IC style work. Clean yet detailed.
I honestly don't even know what that is!
I'm actually a digital media specialist with a focus in graphic design so clean and detailed is the name of the game.
 
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Definitely covers your back if you want to pin point liability. I think a little too cumbersome such as listening all obstacles. That would seem a little redundant. Conditions can change by the time approval is given. One other sign off I would think is sufficient. The liability could be defined company, employee and drone. You need to cover your bases but, simplicity is most efficient. You focus on what is prudent to your situation.
 

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I honestly don't even know what that is!
I'm actually a digital media specialist with a focus in graphic design so clean and detailed is the name of the game.


Incident Command :)
 
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Good catch on the typo! I'll be sure to fix that.

I have no aeronautics experience other than my recent entrance into UAVs so Ops Area probably would be more appropriate. I thought airfield sounded cool and like a real term hahah!


It does, but on the other hand, it is illegal to operate near most airfields :rolleyes:
 
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Definitely covers your back if you want to pin point liability. I think a little too cumbersome such as listening all obstacles. That would seem a little redundant. Conditions can change by the time approval is given. One other sign off I would think is sufficient. The liability could be defined company, employee and drone. You need to cover your bases but, simplicity is most efficient. You focus on what is prudent to your situation.

I agree there are redundant items, but they exists to force us to think and examine every mission in detail. We have 13 properties that we fly in, many of which are hundreds of acres with many different control sites. It forces us to think ahead about what we at least need to consider. The obstacles portion is not meant to be exhaustive, which is why the space is very small. It's more to just cause us to THINK.

Our sign-offs are also less about pointing out liability and more about checks and balances. The FAA will hold the pilot in command responsible for any legal infractions, private citizens would pursue both the pilot and the agency for damages, and, if our agency truly believes the manufacturer is at fault, we will pursue that avenue. We included these two lines because our agency has a policy that requires our director to sign off on all remote control device use in our parks (including cars, boats and toys [were a conservation park district]). Her signature is proof that I personally have permission to fly and I'm not just out having fun. My signature is to prove that as a licensed operator, I approve of the plans, locations, and environment, even if I'm not the one controlling the aircraft. So it protects anyone who my be actually flying the drone and brings it all back to me - so it's more incentive to do my homework.
 
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I agree there are redundant items, but they exists to force us to think and examine every mission in detail. We have 13 properties that we fly in, many of which are hundreds of acres with many different control sites. It forces us to think ahead about what we at least need to consider. The obstacles portion is not meant to be exhaustive, which is why the space is very small. It's more to just cause us to THINK.

Our sign-offs are also less about pointing out liability and more about checks and balances. The FAA will hold the pilot in command responsible for any legal infractions, private citizens would pursue both the pilot and the agency for damages, and, if our agency truly believes the manufacturer is at fault, we will pursue that avenue. We included these two lines because our agency has a policy that requires our director to sign off on all remote control device use in our parks (including cars, boats and toys [were a conservation park district]). Her signature is proof that I personally have permission to fly and I'm not just out having fun. My signature is to prove that as a licensed operator, I approve of the plans, locations, and environment, even if I'm not the one controlling the aircraft. So it protects anyone who my be actually flying the drone and brings it all back to me - so it's more incentive to do my homework.
As I said you know your situation. I have had to check off on things that I had to operate. I took it very seriously. In my work, I was the exception. Most people just got tired of the "stupid " questions and zipped through the check off list not thinking. So the opposite happened instead of making them think. The redundancy bored them. I'd say don't get too specific if one point that generally covers another points. That is when an employee thinks it is a dumb question. Some people are born pencil pushers and love to do paper work. Others despise it. That is why they do what they do. Shorten it by a third and you will keep the most important aspects intact. The employee will be less apathetic.
 
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One thought:

What about adding a line: "Camera status at takeoff: video set?

I've often landed then realized I never activated the video the entire flight....

Ooooppps! :rolleyes:
Hahaha yup! Been there! That's definitely going in.

The checklists, I print font-back with the inspection on one side and the checklist on the other. I'm going to eliminate the Operation Information from the Checklist at the top to make room for more items.

Also I'm going to eliminate the Operation Date and Time lines from this section because the Opertion IDs already reference the date and time. We decided to ID our OPs with the date, location code (codes we already use for our parks), and expected takeoff time. So if we are planning a mission for June 30th at Osborn Park at 2:00pm, the Operation ID is "063017 - OPK - 1400"
 
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As I said you know your situation. I have had to check off on things that I had to operate. I took it very seriously. In my work, I was the exception. Most people just got tired of the "stupid " questions and zipped through the check off list not thinking. So the opposite happened instead of making them think. The redundancy bored them. I'd say don't get too specific if one point that generally covers another points. That is when an employee thinks it is a dumb question. Some people are born pencil pushers and love to do paper work. Others despise it. That is why they do what they do. Shorten it by a third and you will keep the most important aspects intact. The employee will be less apathetic.

All great points! I'll definitely have to consider that!
 
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I needed one for my U.S. Part 107 flights. Here it is:

· Check flight area for people and hazards

· Check propeller torque

· Check battery level

· Check transmission signal strength

· Check GPS satellite numbers
 
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Another suggestion please.

Pre-flight Inspection.

Batteries. Instead of Excellent Good etc. may I suggest this section is erased. You have it covered in the pre flight section. Each flight has a different battery normally. Referring to the Pre-flight checklist, 'Drone batteries' and the battery level, it would be far better to write the remaing battery percentage level. Little circles mean absolutely nothing - transmitter battery excepted.

IMO the word 'Drone' should be replaced by 'Aircraft'. Drone is usually accepted as a device for killing the ungodly.

Also, Rotors. Do you mean propellers of the actual motors?

Another - Fuselage. Who would take off with a 'poor' fuselage? I would put this in the Pre-flight section as fuselage inspection.

Also and another. In the pre-flight checklist I might be tempted to include the RTH height.

The following is also on my check list which you might want to consider for information only on the sheet somewhere although its on my check list.

TAP QUAD SYMBOL – SENSORS STATE
R/C EXP & Gain (0,5 - 0,4 - 0,5)
IMU values (0, 1, 1400 -1600)

I have my check list on a small chain attached to the controller, and its laminated. The check list - not the controller :p

Below is my complete check list that is attached to the controller. I hope you find it useful. It has got me out of trouble in times past.



P3A PRE FLIGHT CHECK LIST

1. Fit leg extenders
2. Remove gimbal lock
3. Clean camera lens
4. Inspect propellers
5. Install propellers and tighten.
6. Gimbal not obstructed
7. Tablet to R/C cable attached
8. Tx top left switch to P-Mode (To the right)
9. Tx ON
10. Phantom ON
11. Tablet ON
12. Open GO App
13. Tap large GPS box on Go App for aircraft status.
14. Enable ‘Multiple flight mode’.
Tap Tx – Tap quad symbol - enable ‘Multiple flight mode’
15. CHECK BATTERY STATUS (Cells)
16. Check satellite status
17. CHECK A/C GREEN LIGHTS FLASHING

Check status if not.
18. CHECK HOME POINT RECORDED
19. Takeoff & Hover 30 seconds & check stability
21. Fly to 5m away and move mode switch from P to F
22. Tap controller symbol on tablet & select HOME LOCK
23. When stable flight enter camera me
24. Tap WHITE BALANCE and set sunny / dull


R/C EXP & Gain (0,5 - 0,4 - 0,5)
IMU values (0, 1, 1400 -1600)
TAP QUAD SYMBOL – SENSORS STATE
 
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One thought:

What about adding a line: "Camera status at takeoff: video set?

I've often landed then realized I never activated the video the entire flight....

Ooooppps! :rolleyes:
If you use Litchi, you enable the automatic recording feature and you're covered. ;)
 

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