Launching and landing Skydio X2 from your hand is a quick and convenient way to start or end your flight, particularly if you are not in a clear, level area. 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 text="Launching and landing Skydio X2 from your hand is an advanced maneuver for experienced pilots. Obstacle Avoidance is disabled during launch, your drone will climb approximately 5 ft (1.5 m) above your hand and hover. Do not touch the spinning propellers and exercise extreme care to avoid injury. Do not hand launch and land while in GPS Night Flight mode."]

Visit the Skydio Safety and Operating Guide at for detailed information.

Hand Launch

Step 1 - Identify a clear area to launch

    • 10 ft (3 m) above
    • 15 ft (4.5 m) in front
    • 3 ft (1 m) on either side

[warning text="Do not hand launch on windy days. If there is any wind, for your safety, ensure that it is not blowing towards you. If the wind is gusty or coming from different directions, consider a ground launch."]

Step 2 - Create a launch pad on your open hand by lightly gripping the battery to stabilize:

    • keep the drone level and still, at arm’s length from your body
    • keep your fingers below the chassis and away from the propellers at all times

Step 3 - Point the camera away from you

Step 4 - Ensure that the rear propellers will not make contact with your arm

Step 5 - Initiate launch using:

    • controlling device - select the launch button
    • Quick Launch - press the battery power button four times

Step 6 - Release as the propellers begin to spin up by slowly relaxing your grip. Keep your hand still and level.

    • X2 will slide off your palm and take flight
    • do not push or throw the vehicle up in the air

Quick Launch

Quick Launch allows you to use the battery power button to hand launch your Skydio X2 so that you do not have to balance the controller in one hand and your drone in the other. To initiate a Quick Launch:


Step 1 - Select the Device settings menu

Step 2 - Select the Drone tab

Step 3 - Scroll down to Quick Launch and toggle ON


Step 4 -Select Fly Now on the Enterprise Controller

Step 5 - Follow the step for a hand launch

Step 6 - Press the battery button four times

The propellers will begin to spin up, and the drone will launch


Hand Landing

Step 1 - Reposition X2 to hover stationary within a few feet of you. Ensure you have safe landing conditions, including stable footing and low winds. Position Skydio so that it is over clear ground, so you have ample space to position yourself.

Step 2 - Rotate X2 so that the camera faces away from you and that the back of the chassis and the battery are closest to you. 

Step 3 - Press and hold the land button, X2 will decent straight down.

[warning text="Do not attempt to grab or catch Skydio X2 without initiating a landing, the motors will continue to spin at full speed and may cause severe injury."]

Skydio X2 will descend with full obstacle avoidance until it is 10 ft (3 m) above the ground. Once your drone is below 10 ft (3 m), the lights will transition from blue to yellow and obstacle avoidance will be disabled for the remainder of the landing.

[warning text="Do not attempt to hand land until the lights 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."]

Step 4 - 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 stop spinning.

[caution text="While landing, Skydio X2 will check to see if it is supported by a stable and motionless surface for several seconds to ensure that a safe touchdown has been achieved. It may take several seconds for the propellers to stop rotating after touching down. If X2 is not stable and level, the motors may spin back up again. If this happens, maintain a firm grip on the battery and keep the drone level and motionless. Do not attempt to rotate, pull or flip Skydio X2 during a hand landing. Doing so may cause the battery to become dislodged."]

Do not attempt a Hand Launch or a Hand Landing if:

    • high winds or gusts are present
    • Skydio X2 is not stable in flight for any reason
    • 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
[note] Performing a Hand Landing is never required. Landing directly on dry, even ground is safe. Do not fly in precipitation, fog, or snow. [/note] 

Explore More

Explore related articles for additional information

Skydio X2 Operation Manual and Guides


 Skydio, Inc. A0292

Was this article helpful?