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 X2 initiating an automatic return to home. The return flight will be dependent on the Return Behaviors that you established pre-flight. Skydio X2 will always ascend before returning to avoid obstacles and retain its current obstacle avoidance setting while returning.

Set Return Behaviors

Return to Home - set to either the launch location or the Controller location.

If a Home Point has been set for this flight:

    • Launch Point option will be replaced with Home Point

Step 1 - Select the Settings menu icon X2-user_guide-flying_x2-flight_screen_icon-1__device_settings_.png

Step 2 - Select the Drone tab

Step 3 - Select Return Behavior


Step 4 - Select Return Type and set the return using:

    • GPS (default) OR
    • Vision for use in GPS-denied environments

Step 5 - Select Return Height

    • set the height the drone ascends to before returning
    • default return height is set to 66 ft (20 m)

Step 6 - Select Return Behavior

    • Absolute return height - X2 will ascend to the specified Return height (above the launch point) before returning
    • Relative return height - X2 will ascend by the specified Return Height above the drone’s current position before returning

Step 7 - Select Drone Looks

    • set X2 to either look toward or away from while flying to the return destination


Step 8 - set the return speed of X2 while returning using the slider

Low Battery - when enabled, Skydio will automatically return to your Home Point when the drone's range will soon exceed the battery's capacity to return home.

    • Always Ask (default) - you will be asked to select a low battery behavior when your drone only has enough battery to return and land
    • Return to Home Point - the drone will automatically return to the set Home Point adhering to the return settings.
[note] You must set a Home Point to use the Low Battery Return to Home Point. [/note]

Step 9 - Select Lost Connection Return Behaviors to 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 and the Lost Connection menu. X2 will not return if it loses connection—it will hover until it reaches a low battery and land.
    • Wait Before Return - Specify the time you want Skydio X2 to wait before it initiates a return flight, allowing time to reconnect.
    • Land Once Returned - When enabled, Skydio X2 will return, hover for a specified amount of time, then land.
    • Wait Before Land - Specify the time between 0 to 300 seconds (default - 240 seconds) that you want Skydio X2 to wait before landing. Only available when Land Once Return is toggled on.


Lost Communication Link

A lost link is the loss of communication (uplink and downlink) between Skydio X2 and the Enterprise Controller, which may result in the loss of flight control. 

    • uplink refers to the transmissions of flight command instructions from the ground control system to Skydio X2
    • the downlink refers to the transmission of real-time video, telemetry, and sensor data from Skydio X2 back to the ground control system

In the event of a lost communication link or failure of the controlling device, Skydio X2 will automatically return to the Home Point (or Launch 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 during a lost link event. Being able to track the drone and move towards it, if necessary, will make it more likely for the communication link to be restored.


Lost GPS Signal

  • If the GPS signal is lost, the drone will continue flying as normal. You will still be able to Return Home and fly to waypoints, however, the flight will be less accurate. If Skydio X2 loses GPS for an extended period of time, actions that require GPS (Return to Home/Controller, fly to a waypoint, Waypoint missions) will be disabled.
  • When Skydio X2 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. If GPS is lost in such conditions, lateral positioning will be affected, and the drone may initiate an emergency landing.
  • Skydio X2 loses GPS during Waypoint Mission: X2 will attempt to fly to each waypoint, but may experience some location inaccuracies. At the final waypoint, a GPS Lost alert message will display. Manually pilot the drone and attempt to regain a GPS signal and restart the mission.
  • Skydio X2 loses GPS during GPS Night Flight: If Skydio X2 loses GPS while in GPS Night Flight mode, it will initiate an emergency landing.
  • Skydio X2 never had GPS: If Skydio X2 never obtains a strong GPS signal, you may not be able to set a Home Point, fly to a waypoint, or return to Controller/Home. If your Return Type is set to Vision, however, you can reliably return to the Launch Point using the vision navigation system.

[info text="If the Return Type is set to GPS but the Skydio X2 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."] 


Low Battery

When Skydio X2 battery is low, there will be a series of notifications and actions to ensure a safe landing:

    • X2 will assess your altitude and distance from the Home Point, and warn you when it is time to return home. It is recommended that you initiate a return or land at this time. You can choose to keep flying.
    • X2 will 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, X2 will initiate an automatic landing that you cannot cancel. You will maintain the ability to nudge the drone in roll, pitch, and yaw to avoid obstacles.


Emergency Landing

If X2 enters an unexpected state that it cannot recover from, it will automatically initiate an emergency landing. An alert notification will display that X2 is initiating an emergency landing. X2 will try to use navigation cameras and GPS to descend vertically. If these are unavailable, the vehicle will descend quickly using only the barometer, which may result in lateral drift. If the emergency has been resolved, X2 will stop the emergency landing, and you will regain control of the drone.


Emergency Flight Termination

In the event of an extreme emergency you have the option to immediately terminate your flight. 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]


Lost Drone

If the Map Coordinate setting is enabled, the coordinates of the current or last known location are available, making it easier for you to locate your lost drone:

Step 1 - Select the INFO menu

Step 2 - Select your device name

Step 3 - Select Find Drone


View Last Flight

Designed to assist with locating your drone in the event of a crash, emergency landing, or low battery landing in an unintended location. Review the video of your 10 most recent flights, even when your phone or Controller is not connected to X2.

Step 1 - Select the INFO menu

Step 2 - Select your vehicle

Step 3 - Select View last Flights

Step 4 - Select a flight to review the video



Explore More

Explore related articles for additional information

Access Skydio X2E Quick Reference Guides, Checklists, and Manuals 


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