How to Fix a Drone that Won’t Fly

Coby McKinley Profile image

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Updated June 27, 2022

Even if you have a premier drone, you may occasionally wonder, “Why won’t my drone take off”? Failure to launch is a common issue for most drone models, and the solution is usually simple to troubleshoot. Unless there are obvious signs of damage, you should run through more straightforward types of repairs before digging around the circuit board. So, if you’re suffering from this typical drone issue, learn how to fix a drone that won’t fly with this guide.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Always check that your drone controller and mobile device are connected to the drone before takeoff.
  • No-fly zones for drones like power plants, schools, and military structures prevent pilots from flying UAVs.
  • Check your motors last because they are the most complex and expensive repair possibility.

How to Fix a Drone that Won’t Fly

If you’re learning how to fly a drone, it can feel stressful to have a drone that won’t take off. Fortunately, most pilots can fix this problem without having to fix the drone motor.

Insider Tip

If your drone has a manufacturing defect, contact the manufacturer and use your warranty before attempting a DIY repair.

There are a few common causes for a drone that won’t fly, but some require a selection of precision tools and extra parts. For example, any physical damage to a drone propeller will affect the takeoff process, so you’d need to replace the propeller. In addition, learn how much weight a drone can carry, so you can install a new built-in camera if it breaks.

STEP 1

You’re trying to take off too quickly. Most drones require a slight warmup period before flying, especially if it’s cold outside.

STEP 2

Go to your remote control settings and ensure that you have the correct firmware. If you have a firmware issue, you can fix it by installing or reinstalling the current firmware version.

STEP 3

If your remote controller is fully operational, try recalibrating your drone. Sensor and compass calibration is essential for a proper takeoff and flight experience.

STEP 4

Some areas like military bases and power plants will not let drones fly near them. These locations feature “Geofencing,” and your drone will not take off while in these off-limit zones.

STEP 5

A dead or bad battery can stop your drone from taking off. Replace the original battery with a new one, and see if you solve the battery issue.

STEP 6

Check your propellers for physical damage that might affect the drone’s lifting power. In addition, ensure that your propellers are free from any dirt or obstructions that may stop them from freely spinning. Propellers are usually simple to replace, but you need to place them on the correct motor.

STEP 7

Lastly, ensure that your drone motors are fully operational. Motors can get clogged with dirt and debris from crashes and routine flights. Ensure that your motors are clean before checking for internal damage.

Warning

Do not hesitate to contact a professional repair service if you’re unsure about a repair. Accidental damage during maintenance can cause safety defects.

F.A.Q.S

How do you reset a drone?

You can reset the drone power on some models by simply removing the battery and replacing it. That said, some advanced drones require additional software or an android app to perform a factory reset. In that case, plug your drone into the computer and go to the “settings” section, and you should see an option for a reset.


Why is my drone not responding to my controller?

If your drone isn’t responding to the flight controller, you likely have a software issue. Try performing a firmware update on your drone and remote controller. If you notice any error messages, consider calibrating your drone with the associated android software.


Do I need a license to fly a drone?

According to the US FAA Small UAV rule, any drone that’s heavier than 250g requires a licensed pilot. In addition, any commercial drone operation requires the pilot to register the drone and obtain a license from the FAA. Keep in mind that drone law can change depending on the county, city, or state where you want to operate your drone.


STAT: According to a 2017 Pew Research Center survey, 53% of Americans think drones shouldn’t be allowed near crime scenes. (source)

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