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[POLL] Do you hand launch and catch?
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2649 79 2018-9-12
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Leon.
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Australia
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Sure it has razor sharp props with tip speeds in excess of 200km/h but it's just so satisfying, and suprisingly easy once you figure out the trick to it.

I find the easiest way to catch is to keep the sensors on, descend with the drone facing away while keeping a flat open palm directly below it.
It will stop and hover once it detects your palm, continue to hold the stick down until it’s happy and starts descending slowly, at which point flip your hand around, grab it gently and wait for the props to stop.

Familiarize yourself with where you can and can’t hold beforehand to avoid a nasty cut and inevitable crashed drone.
Do so at your own risk, YMMV.




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2018-9-12
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davidmartingraf
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I have over 150 flights under my belt and never once have I hand launched and caught my Mavic Pro. I see no reason to do this when the drone has a high success rate of automatically taking off and landing. Hand launching and catching, in my opinion, just increases your marginal error for experiencing a complication?
2018-9-12
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Glenn Goodlett
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Only if I absolutely need to, but rarely. In fact, I can count this years hand landings on my eight remaining fingers.
2018-9-12
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thehippoz
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United States
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Yeah catch and launch. I trust the m1 with sensors off. The m2, seems good too.
2018-9-12
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Suren
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I have never hand launched or caught my drone
2018-9-12
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jimmylee
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I never tried hand launch but I would like to try it someday.

For now I carry a thick front door welcome mat with me for those times where there is no decent place to take off.
2018-9-12
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pjollain
Second Officer
Flight distance : 92110 ft
France
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I am not tempted to do it, as DJI mentions you should not do it.
I read a few days ago on this forum the story of a guy who crashed his drone while hand launching. When he turned to DJI to activate the care insurance, they analysed the logs, and detected that the drone was moving before the motors were spinning, and they refuse to take the case into consideration, as you should not take off from a moving vehicle...  
2018-9-12
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Sky Carrier
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Flight distance : 590102 ft
Netherlands
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Never, don't see the need for it
2018-9-12
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CA Mavic Pro
First Officer
Flight distance : 639652 ft
Lebanon
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Have done it a few times, not the easiest thing to do.
2018-9-12
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Pequod.
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Australia
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pjollain Posted at 2018-9-12 20:30
I am not tempted to do it, as DJI mentions you should not do it.
I read a few days ago on this forum the story of a guy who crashed his drone while hand launching. When he turned to DJI to activate the care insurance, they analysed the logs, and detected that the drone was moving before the motors were spinning, and they refuse to take the case into consideration, as you should not take off from a moving vehicle...

I’m genuinely curious about the details of this. Where did he launch from? A boat? Back of a ute?
GPS accuracy isn’t high enough for it to detect minor movements in a hand launch. Accelerometers only detect change in velocity, of which there would be little of in a steady stationary hand launch.

I’d like to see a quote from the DJI Care Refresh ToS suggesting this voids the service as it’s common practice for smaller drones.


2018-9-12
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Mountaindrone
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I have probably  1 000 flights with catch or launch directly in my hand, with Phantom 3 and now with Mavic Pro, Mavic Air and Mavic 2.

I practice in mountain and the ground is never flat.

With some simply rules, I have a very hight safety level. I have never had any probleme.

A video in french with my advice to reduce the risk level.

2018-9-12
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pjollain
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Pequod. Posted at 2018-9-12 21:53
I’m genuinely curious about the details of this. Where did he launch from? A boat? Back of a ute?
GPS accuracy isn’t high enough for it to detect minor movements in a hand launch. Accelerometers only detect change in velocity, of which there would be little of in a steady stationary hand launch.

The guy was on a boat. If I remember correctly, the boat was stopped, but he actually launched the drone, meaning that the accelerometer detected the change in speed. He mentioned that he was doing this all the time, but in that case it didn't work, and the drone just disappeared in the water...
I thought about this case because the title of this thread also mentions "launch", while there are some other methods where you just hold your drone for the takeoff.
2018-9-12
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Pequod.
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Australia
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pjollain Posted at 2018-9-12 23:24
The guy was on a boat. If I remember correctly, the boat was stopped, but he actually launched the drone, meaning that the accelerometer detected the change in speed. He mentioned that he was doing this all the time, but in that case it didn't work, and the drone just disappeared in the water...
I thought about this case because the title of this thread also mentions "launch", while there are some other methods where you just hold your drone for the takeoff.

Boat catches and landings seem to go wrong so often, I recall a failed inspire landing once.
2018-9-13
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A CW
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With smaller drones I often hand launch/land but not larger ones
2018-9-13
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gnirtS
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I hand launch a lot (mavic is so low to the ground dust and weeds are an issue) and catch a lot (same reason).  I also work boats where hand launch and hand catch are the only safe options for using it.

For landing its landing protection off, hover just above height, reach up and grab and down left stick with other hand after grabbing.  I dont like the "hand under and let it descend" method - not keen on it descending to my hand when the boat is moving regardless - i want it nailed to the spot.
2018-9-13
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Woe
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Never seen a reason to hand catch or launch.
2018-9-13
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Drone-Mike
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United Kingdom
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When I want to feel alive... I'm so lonely.
2018-9-13
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Dirty Bird
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If you hand catch you are only 2/3rds of a pilot...
2018-9-13
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UCBarkeeper
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Switzerland
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i usually start from the ground if possible, but i started to hand "land" most of the times. basically to show the people around that a drone is nothing bad and scary.
2018-9-13
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Mountaindrone
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Dirty Bird Posted at 2018-9-13 05:09
If you hand catch you are only 2/3rds of a pilot...

exactly the opposite !  
2018-9-13
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DJIJAKOB
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Interesting poll!

I hand catch quite often, why? Well mostly because I can . The trick is as you explain to hold you hand underneath giving the sensors a second or two to recognize your hand. Normally the drone rises a bit when it has recognized the object (hand) underneath. I then pull the left stick all the way down and it lands smoothly in my hand. I always hand catch if the ground is not flat. Wet grass, small rocks, and uneven ground in general can damage the gimbal over time.

I avoid hand launching at all costs. Done it before and it is scary. Balancing the drone in one hand and prompting take-off with the other hand. It's complicated and there's too much room for failure.
2018-9-13
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Koelkop
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South Africa
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I hand launch and catch almost every time, Why?? Because I live in a really sandy area and I cant be bothered to lug a landing pad around all the time, and even with a landing pad the down wash from the props kick up dust and I prefer to get as little dust on my drone as possible.

To launch I simply hold the drone and slide to take off, let it start to pull at my hand an let go.


The trick I use to catch it is to hold it at the notch behind the camera with my thumb and index finger, with all the sensors enabled it does not pick your hand up if you do it right. After that you simply hold the left stick down, or flick it 90deg, or lift it up slowly until motors start to idle then turn it of by pulling the left stick down once.
2018-9-13
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dbparti024
Second Officer
Flight distance : 3343 ft

United States
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Pure insanity not worth the risk. I know there are a few video's out there, but you never see the epic fails for obvious reasons.
2018-9-13
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Koelkop
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South Africa
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dbparti024 Posted at 2018-9-13 11:44
Pure insanity not worth the risk. I know there are a few video's out there, but you never see the epic fails for obvious reasons.

Then I must be truly insane!

Have done it almost 700 times now, drones has not yet decided to attack me.
2018-9-13
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Pequod.
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Australia
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Koelkop Posted at 2018-9-13 06:48
I hand launch and catch almost every time, Why?? Because I live in a really sandy area and I cant be bothered to lug a landing pad around all the time, and even with a landing pad the down wash from the props kick up dust and I prefer to get as little dust on my drone as possible.

To launch I simply hold the drone and slide to take off, let it start to pull at my hand an let go.

The thought of debris kicking up and scratching the lens makes me cringe.
Not to mention the air intake vents only have a mesh over them. No IP rating here, just a conformal coating.
2018-9-13
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gnirtS
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dbparti024 Posted at 2018-9-13 11:44
Pure insanity not worth the risk. I know there are a few video's out there, but you never see the epic fails for obvious reasons.

Insanity?  Works perfectly provided you're not an idiot and its the only safe way to fly off boats.
2018-9-13
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BengalBoy
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Always hand launch and catch.  
2018-9-13
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Illuminations
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I always hand catch and launch from my hand, 90% of the time I'm flying somewhere without a suitable surface to take off from, and even when I have a good surface I'm so much in the habit of hand launching/landing that I just do it automatically. It was how I did it with the spark and it was just natural to do it with the Mavic 2 as well when I upgraded. I've had one or two mishaps - a slight cut from the Spark and a light bruise from the Mavic 2, but that's nothing if you've grown up on a farm like I have! Besides, it's just too cool to have an aircraft fly off and settle back onto your hand like some kind of freakish cyborg bird!
2018-9-13
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Roland Schulz
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I do it mostly since starting or landing in the rocks isn‘t possible from the ground.
Keep respect, but it‘s possible.
2018-9-14
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FlashGJ
Second Officer
Flight distance : 293379 ft
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I started hand launching and catching with my Mavic Pro because I was often in locations where tall grass, weeds or deep snow during the winter made it impossible to fly otherwise. My Mavic 2 Pro has now never touched the ground during launching or landing, and most likely never will.
2018-9-14
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Bing Err
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davidmartingraf Posted at 2018-9-12 16:55
I have over 150 flights under my belt and never once have I hand launched and caught my Mavic Pro. I see no reason to do this when the drone has a high success rate of automatically taking off and landing. Hand launching and catching, in my opinion, just increases your marginal error for experiencing a complication?

I disagree. I think holding it up to launch gets it away from metal and concrete and gets a better GPS signal. Also, it keeps the drone clean. I landed on the ground a few times in California and it was very dusty and dirty. Made me regret not catching it. But to each their own. If you feel safer your way and it works for you then keep it up.

I do think it impresses a crowd when you land it right in your hand. Seems to get a bit of attention.
2018-9-14
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Bing Err
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gnirtS Posted at 2018-9-13 13:28
Insanity?  Works perfectly provided you're not an idiot and its the only safe way to fly off boats.

I agree for boats. If you don't hand launch and land you're asking for a damaged or sunk drone.
2018-9-14
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SiDo
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Bing Err Posted at 2018-9-14 16:10
I agree for boats. If you don't hand launch and land you're asking for a damaged or sunk drone.

First post so quick introduction.  

I have owned a Phantom 3 std for 3 years.  I travel A LOT with my family, so just bought a Mavic 2 Pro with Fly more kit (Bought 9/12 the day before the fly more kit price increase ... arrives tuesday).

I am looking to learn / master the hand launch / catch to allow me to fly from boats.
2018-9-15
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Bing Err
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SiDo Posted at 2018-9-15 08:00
First post so quick introduction.  

I have owned a Phantom 3 std for 3 years.  I travel A LOT with my family, so just bought a Mavic 2 Pro with Fly more kit (Bought 9/12 the day before the fly more kit price increase ... arrives tuesday).

Ok, I've launched and caught from boats in rivers and lakes. Both are tricky depending on your currents or river strength. Are you or a friend/family member going to be operating the boat? Does your boat have a GPS trolling motor? I ask because the Mavic Air was very tricky this year to catch while on a boat in the Mississippi because the river was moving so fast. In the past on a lake we just dropped the trolling motor and had it hold a GPS coordinate and that was enough to hold the boat still to catch the drone. BUT.. on the Mighty Mississippi the river was FAST, and the trolling motor couldn't keep up. We ended up just pointing the boat upstream and giving just a little gas to attempt to stay in one spot, and that gave me enough of a fixed location to catch the drone. Also, give your self more battery life at the end of the flight to catch the drone. I only left 30% and by the time I caught it the battery was down to 8%. Quite scary. Also communicate with the boat driver and let them know exactly what you expect of them before the flight. Lastly, if all else fails I'd keep a fishing net very close at hand. Just incase you aren't able to safely grab the drone then the last attempt should be to catch it with the net. This COULD cause damage to your drone, but better than losing it at the bottom of a lake or river. This probably sounds like a lot of instruction, but if you start out on a calm lake and move up to fast rivers you should be able to get the hang of it without losing a drone. Good Luck.
Here's a vid I shot this year in Northern Wisconsin on Long Lake, and then another I shot on the Mississippi.

2018-9-15
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Goof
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Flight distance : 666483 ft
Australia
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Used to do it a lot with the P4, though it is a lot easier on that machine to catch relatively safely, since you can grab a leg well away from the propellers.
2018-9-15
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SiDo
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Thanks Bing Err.

I will practice a lot prior to trying from a boat,... and would have 3rd party drive the boat,... my son fly,... and I would catch (hopefully!).

My drone arrives tuesday.  We have a 3D printer, and I'm a former engineer... so I'm going to see if there is a feasable way to mount a catch handle (removable) on the underside w/out messing up the obstacle sensors.
2018-9-16
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Blellow
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You not flying unless you hand launch n land.  

Just kidding, I hand launch/land all the time. It's safer for the drone n more fun!
2018-9-16
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MagicRide
First Officer
Flight distance : 4577241 ft
United States
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I hand launch and land a lot specially in dusty grassy terrains, it helps keep the motors, camera, and gimbal free of dust. Hate to carry launch pads as it adds another package when I'm hiking.
2018-9-17
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davidmartingraf
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Bing Err Posted at 2018-9-14 16:08
I disagree. I think holding it up to launch gets it away from metal and concrete and gets a better GPS signal. Also, it keeps the drone clean. I landed on the ground a few times in California and it was very dusty and dirty. Made me regret not catching it. But to each their own. If you feel safer your way and it works for you then keep it up.

I do think it impresses a crowd when you land it right in your hand. Seems to get a bit of attention.

That is a good side of looking at it. I've only hand launched my Spark and it worked out well, but when I compared it to ground launching and landing I couldn't help but notice the degree of marginal error between hand and ground launch/landing scenarios just pointed to ground than hand because it was deemed safer.
2018-9-17
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alexmbraMav
Second Officer
Flight distance : 475220 ft
Portugal
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Until some flights ago, I wasn't confident enough to do it. But recently I had to learn and test it, because I had to take off from a mountain with very uneven terrain. So, no way to take off from the ground.
And I must say, it is very easy to do.  
One thing I do before grabbing the drone it to turn off the down sensor just before grabbing it. This way the drone won't fight to go up when I grab it.
2018-9-18
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