Launching and landing Skydio 2 from your hand is a quick and convenient way to start or end your flight, particularly if you can’t find a clear flat spot to take off, but it should be done with caution for your safety. Both maneuvers are dangerous and should not be attempted in unstable environments, such as during high winds or while standing on a moving vehicle or boat.

We highly recommend that users do not attempt hand launching or landing their first few flights with Skydio 2 until they’ve become familiar with the product.

Be sure to always follow all of our best practices and guidelines on Watch this Skydio Flight School video to gain a better overview for the Skydio 2 launch and land behaviors (including hand landing and launching). And be sure to read the section below for all of the suggested steps to follow for launching and landing by hand.

Hand Launching

  1. Find a clear spot to launch your Skydio 2. When hand launching, the area 10 feet above you, 15 feet in front of you, and 3 feet on either side of you should be clear.
  2. Use caution on windy days. If there is any wind, for your safety please make sure that it is blowing at your back, and never towards you. If the wind is gusty or coming from different directions, consider launching from the ground, or flying at another time.
  3. Hold your Skydio 2 from behind and pointed away from you, with your hand lightly gripping the battery from underneath. It’s critical that you keep your fingers below the Skydio 2 chassis and away from the propellers at all times.
  4. Point the front camera away from you and hold your Skydio 2 away from your body, level and still. Ensure your arm is extended such that the rear propellers will not make contact with your arm.
  5. Using your other hand, initiate the launch of your Skydio 2 using the app, Beacon, or Controller.
  6. Release Skydio 2 carefully as the propellers begin to spin up by slowly relaxing your grip. Keep your hand still - Skydio 2 will simply slide off your palm and take flight on its own. No need to push it up in the air, or any similar moves - just release your grip and use your flattened hand as a takeoff platform.

Hand Landing

  1. Ensure you have safe landing conditions, including low winds, and that Skydio 2 is hovering stationary within a few feet of you and is no longer following a subject. Position Skydio 2 so that it's over clear ground and you have ample space to move and catch it.
  2. Rotate Skydio 2 to face away from you so that the back of the chassis and the battery are closest to you. If you are using the beacon, you may use the Steering skill to position and rotate the drone where you want it.
  3. Initiate a landing through the app, Beacon, or Controller as you would normally. Do not attempt to grab or catch Skydio 2 without first initiating a landing. Doing so will result in the motors spinning at full speed and may cause severe injury. Skydio 2 will descend straight down.
  4. While Skydio 2 is landing you may nudge the drone forwards, backward, left, or right using the Controller or digital thumbsticks in the app.
  5. Skydio 2 will descend with full obstacle avoidance until it is 3m (10 ft) above the ground. Once Skydio 2 is less than 3m from the ground the LEDs on Skydio 2 will transition from blue to yellow and all obstacle avoidance will be disabled for the remainder of the landing. Do not attempt to hand land Skydio 2 until the LEDs turn yellow. Attempting to hand land Skydio 2 while obstacle avoidance is active will cause it to attempt to avoid your hand and may result in Skydio 2 impacting yourself or another nearby object. Users will be notified of this change on-screen if flying with the Skydio 2 app. See What do the lights on Skydio 2 indicate? for more detail on the Skydio 2 LED behavior.
  6. After the LEDs have turned yellow, lightly grab the vehicle by the battery from underneath as it touches down on your open palm. Once the drone has made contact with your hand, grasp the battery on the sides, and hold the drone in the same position until the propellers completely stop spinning.

Note: During the landing phase, Skydio 2 is checking if it is supported by a stable surface and motionless for several seconds to ensure that a safe touchdown has been achieved. Because of that, it may take the Skydio 2 several seconds to stop the propellers after touching down. If you don't keep Skydio 2 level and still when landing it on your hand, the motors may spin back up again. If this happens, maintain a firm grip on the battery and make sure you're keeping the vehicle flat and motionless for the motors to spin down. Do not attempt to rotate, pull, or flip the vehicle during a hand landing. Doing so may cause the battery to become dislodged.

Do not attempt a hand launch or a hand landing if:

  • There are high winds present.
  • Skydio 2 is not stable in flight for any reason.
  • Skydio 2 is performing an emergency landing after an accident or crash.
  • You are in an area where you do not have stable footing.
  • You are on a moving vehicle.

Be sure to check out our safety guidelines or related articles for additional tips.

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