An important component of your pre-flight checklist is understanding emergency behaviors associated with a lost communication link, weak or no GPS signal, and low battery. Even if you have taken every precaution, set a Home Point, selected your return behaviors, and checked the weather and your environment, circumstances can change quickly. Understanding emergency behaviors will help you in stressful situations.

Several of the emergency behaviors involve Skydio 2/2+ initiating an automatic return to home. The return flight will be dependent on the Return Behaviors that you established pre-flight. Skydio 2/2+ will always ascend before returning to avoid obstacles and retain its current obstacle avoidance setting while returning. 

Set Return Behaviors

Step 1 - Select the Settings menu S2_drone-settings_icon.png

Step 2 - Select the Drone tab

Step 3 - Select Return Behaviors

Step 4 - Select the Return Type

    • GPS
    • Vision

Return Height - set the return elevation  

    • the default is 32 ft (9.7 m)

Height Behavior

    • Absolute - ascends to the specified Return Height above the launch point before returning. 
    • Relative - ascend to the specified Return Height above the current position before returning. 

Drone Looks

    • the camera faces towards the Home Point
    • the camera faces away from the Home Point

Return Speed


Lost Communication 

Choose how your want your drone to behave if the signal to your controlling device is lost:

    • Return when Disconnected - toggle Off to disable Return when Disconnected in the Lost Connection menu. Skydio 2/2+ will not return if it loses connection—it will hover until it reaches low battery and land.
    • Wait Before Return - set the amount of time that you want Skydio 2/2+ to wait before it initiates a return flight, allowing time to reconnect.
    • Land Once Returned - when enabled, Skydio 2/2+ will return, hover for a specified amount of time, and then land.
    • Wait Before Land - set the amount of time between 0 to 300 seconds (the default is 240 seconds) that you want Skydio 2/2+ to wait before landing. This setting is only enabled when Land Once Return is toggled on.

[info text="If your drone is actively tracking a subject and the communication link is lost, it will continue to follow the subject for 30 seconds and attempt to regain connection.  If the connection is not established after 30 seconds, Skydio 2/2+ will automatically return to the Home Point (if one was specified) or the last known location of the tracked subject (if no Home Point was specified)."] 

Lost Communication Link

A lost link is the loss of communication (uplink and downlink) between Skydio 2/2+ and the controlling device that may result in the loss of flight control. 

    • uplink refers to the transmissions of flight command instruction from the ground control system to Skydio 2/2+
    • downlink refers to the transmission of real-time video, telemetry, and sensor data from Skydio 2/2+ back to the ground control system

In the event of a lost communication link or failure of the controlling device, Skydio 2/2+ will automatically return to the Launch Point (or Home Point). You will maintain the ability to customize Lost Connection return behaviors, and view the launch point, home point, and last known location on the map. It is absolutely important to maintain visual contact with the drone when a lost link happens. Being able to track the drone and move towards it, if necessary, will make it less likely for the communication link to be restored.

[info text="If the return type is set to GPS but the Skydio 2/2+ enters a GPS denied situation, your drone will return to the last known GPS point using vision navigation. If a GPS link is not re-established, your drone will return to the launch point using vision navigation."] 


Lost GPS

In the event that the Skydio 2/2+ GPS signal is lost, your drone will continue flying as normal. You will still be able to Return Home and fly to the waypoint, but your flight will be less accurate. If Skydio 2/2+ loses GPS while executing a Waypoint mission, Skydio 2/2+ will attempt to fly to each waypoint. At the final waypoint, a GPS Lost alert message will display. You can manually pilot the drone and attempt to regain a GPS signal.

If Skydio 2/2+ does not obtain a strong GPS signal (poor or non-existent throughout the flight), you may not be able to set a Home Point, fly to a waypoint, or return to phone/home. If your Return Type is set to Vision, however, you will be able to reliably return to the Launch Point using the vision navigation system. 

[info text="When Skydio 2/2+ is flying at high altitudes or over large bodies of water, visual positioning becomes more difficult and the drone relies on GPS to assist with lateral positioning. In the event that GPS is lost in such conditions, Skydio 2/2+ lateral positioning will be affected and the drone may initiate an emergency landing."] 


Low Battery

When Skydio 2/2+ battery is low, there will be a series of notifications and actions to ensure a safe landing:

    • Skydio 2/2+ will assess your altitude and distance from the Home Point, then warn you when it is time to return home. It is recommended to you initiate a return or land at this time, however, you can choose to keep flying.
    • Skydio 2/2+ will then notify you when it has 2 minutes of flight time left based on its current altitude and the battery indicator will begin a two-minute countdown. You may choose to continue flying, however, it is strongly recommended that you fly to a safe location and land.
    • When the two-minute countdown is complete, Skydio 2/2+ will initiate an automatic landing that you will be unable to cancel. You will maintain the ability to nudge the drone in roll, pitch, and yaw to avoid any obstacles.

[info text="Skydio 2/2+ will only automatically return to the Home Point when it reaches a low battery if you have Return to Home Point selected in the Low Battery settings. If you have Always Ask selected, you will receive a low battery notification at which point you will need to command a return using the Return to Home button in the app or on the Skydio Controller."] 


Emergency Landing

If Skydio enters an unexpected state that it cannot recover from, it will automatically initiate an emergency landing. An alert notification will display that your drone is initiating an emergency landing. Skydio will try to use the navigation cameras and GPS system to descend vertically.

If these are not available, the vehicle will descend quickly using only the barometer which may result in lateral drift. If the emergency has been resolved Skydio will stop emergency landing and you will regain control of the drone.


Emergency Flight Termination

When flying with the Skydio Controller or Skydio Enterprise Controller, you have the option to terminate your flight in the event of an extreme emergency. Simultaneously press and hold the Land and Return buttons on the controller for three seconds while in flight to immediately stop your drone's motors.


[warning] Terminating a flight will cause your drone to crash. Damage resulting from Flight Termination is not covered under warranty and may result in injury or damage. Use only in extreme situations. [/warning]


Recovering a lost drone

In rare cases when control is not re-established or a low battery alert is ignored, your Skydio 2/2+ may land in an unintended location. Take note of the drone’s last location, altitude, and heading information. In the event that your Skydio 2/2+ is lost, you may view its last known location:

Step 1 - Select the INFO menu

Step 2 - Select your device name

Step 3 - Select Find Drone

If the Coordinate setting is enabled, the latitude and longitude of the current or last known location will be displayed, making it easier for you to locate your lost drone.

To Enable Coordinates on the map

Step 1 - Select the Settings menu

Step 2 - Select the Phone tab

Step 3 - Select On Screen Display




View Last Flight

The View Last Flights feature is designed to assist you with locating your drone in the event of a crash, emergency landing, or low battery landing in an unintended location. 

Step 1 - Select the INFO menu

Step 2 - Select your device name

Step 3 - Select View Last Flights

    • review video of the 10 most recent flights



Explore More

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