Launching and landing Skydio 2/2+ 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. For your safety, always use caution when hand launching or landing. 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.

[caution] We highly recommend you do not attempt hand launching or landing during your first few flights with Skydio 2/2+ and instead wait until you have become familiar with the product. [/caution]

Always follow our best practices and guidelines on

Watch this Skydio Flight School video to gain a better overview for the Skydio 2/2+ launch and land behaviors (including hand landing and launching). Read and follow the steps below for launching and landing by hand.

Hand Launching

  1. Find a clear spot to launch. This means there are no people or other obstructions in the area 10 feet above you, 15 feet in front of you, and 3 feet on either side of you.
  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 from behind. Point it away from you, with your hand lightly gripping the battery from underneath. It is critical that you keep your fingers below the Skydio 2/2+ chassis and away from the propellers at all times.
  4. Point the front camera away from you and hold the drone 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 2/2+ using the app, Beacon, or Controller.
  6. Slowly and carefully relax your grip to release Skydio as the propellers begin to spin. Keep your hand still - Skydio will simply slide off your palm and take flight on its own. No need to push it up or any similar moves - just release your grip and use your flattened hand as a takeoff platform.

Hand Landing

  1. Ensure Skydio 2/2+ is not following a subject. Reposition the drone to hover stationary within a few feet of you. Ensure you have safe landing conditions, including low winds. Position Skydio so it is over clear ground and you have ample space to move and catch it.
  2. Rotate Skydio to face away from you so that the back of the chassis and the battery are closest to you. If you are using 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 2/2+ without first initiating a landing. Doing so will result in the motors spinning at full speed and may cause severe injury. Skydio 2/2+ will descend straight down.
  4. While Skydio is landing you may nudge the drone forward, backward, left, or right using the Controller or on-screen controls in the app.
  5. Skydio will descend with full obstacle avoidance until it is 3m (10 ft) above the ground. Once your drone is less than 3m from the ground the LEDs 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 2/2+ until the LEDs turn yellow. Attempting to hand land while obstacle avoidance is active will cause it to attempt to avoid your hand and may result in Skydio impacting yourself or another nearby object. Users will be notified of this change on-screen if flying with the Skydio app. Read What do the lights on Skydio 2/2+ indicate? for more detail on LED behavior.
  6. After the LEDs have turned yellow, lightly grab the drone 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 checks if it is supported by a stable and motionless surface for several seconds to ensure that a safe touchdown has been achieved. Due to this, it may take Skydio several seconds to stop the propellers after touching down. If you do not keep Skydio 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 keep the drone flat and motionless for the motors to spin down. Do not attempt to rotate, pull or flip Skydio during a hand landing. Doing so may cause the battery to become dislodged. [/note]

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

  • There are high winds present.
  • Skydio 2/2+ is not stable in flight for any reason.
  • Skydio 2/2+ 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.


If you have questions or need additional support—feel free to reach out! Skydio Support



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