DJI Flight Modes Explained

In this post, we are going to discuss the DJI intelligent and standard flight modes and functions. We will explain the functioning of each flight mode, its activation and usage. We will take you through the configurations.


Standard DJI Flight Modes

Position Mode (P-Mode)

Position Mode is the standard flight mode of all DJI models. All features such as anti-collision sensors, GPS and Glonass for positioning, visual positioning sensors (VPS) to ensure that the drone remains above the ground’s surface and plenty of other features can be used in this mode. So, this mode offers enhanced security features.

P mode also lets you carry out all the typical functions such as standard flying and aerial imagery capturing. The optimum altitude that can be attained is 500m and there is no optimum limit for horizontal limit which tends to restrict the drone’s movement.

The following two DJI drones offer optimum range but you can also opt for signal amplifiers which can enhance the aircraft’s performance while it is still being covered under the insurance program. This is not pertinent if you purchase a product that has to be electronically connected to the radio controller.

Sport Mode (S-Mode)

If you love to have adrenaline pumping through your body as well as your beloved aircraft, then this is the mode you should go for. All DJI drones including the Mavic, Phantom and Spark are able to fly at amazing speeds and in an accurate manner.

This all-rounder kind of a flight mode is a great option if you interesting in carrying out stunning aerial maneuvers. Once the mode is triggered on, the technical limits of the drones are stretched as they lean into a flight trajectory as far as possible. This mode enables drones to attain their optimum speeds without crashing. The anti-collision sensors are turned off automatically in this mode which means that the additional safety measures are no more there and the braking distance is elongated.

It is prudent not to fly close to buildings and other objects with this mode triggered on. Nevertheless, the GPS and Glonass modules continue to work in the background. In case of a malfunction such as a loss of signal, the drone flies back to its original point of takeoff. Keep in mind not to capture videos and images in the sport mode since the images get blurred out and propellers often come in the way of the camera sensor.

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The ATTI mode will let you hone your flying skills as all auxiliary modules are turned off in this mode or they are not active while working in the background. In this mode, the barometric pressure is responsible for keeping the height of the drone. In contrast to other modes, the position is not stabilized through GPS or Glonass which means that the machine will not be able to retain its position in windy conditions; thereby forcing the pilot to readjust the path and position and hence getting a feel for flying.

The ATTI mode is the way to go if you want to capture soft images and fly indoors. It is always a great feeling to be able to fly a drone yourself but you need to be able to decide in emergency situations whether you want the autonomous flight features to take over or not.

Keep in mind that even if GPS and Glonass do not stabilize the drone’s position, they are running in the background to ensure that the drone does not fly into a prohibited flying zone or in case of a malfunction, it returns back to its original point of takeoff.

This drone is the safest around and avoids collisions and crashes.

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Beginner Mode

The DJI drones ensure that everything stays normal in the beginner mode. This is the mode that is opted by novice pilots as it is the most reliable and safe mode available on the palette. It ensures that the drone does not cross a range and altitude of thirty meters and the speed is also reduced by one half.
The beginner mode can only be triggered on when the drone is on the ground and can be switched off during flight. The anti-collision sensors function in this mode. After consuming two or three batteries, the beginner mode can be turned off since people learn to fly a DJI drone real quick.

This gizmo is a safe option with a great camera and solid battery.

DJI Intelligent Flight Modes

Course Lock Mode

The course lock mode is one of the oldest modes of flight that you can find on invariably every DJI drone. It is a great option for cinematographers and ensures flight safety and precision in seemingly difficult terrains.

If a DJI aircraft veers left or right on its axis in the Standard, the flying directions also tend to vary with rotation. When the drone is turned at 90 degrees right and throttled in the forward direction, the drone will not fly in the forward direction but to the right, in a direction portrayed by the camera. If the drone is again rotated 90 degrees right and given a boost in the forward direction, the aircraft moves towards the pilot at 180 degrees.

However, the course lock mode enables a pilot to determine the drone’s direction. For instance, you may set up 0 degree in the course lock mode and turn the drone 90 degrees right on its own axis. Now, when the drone is given a boost in the forward direction, typically the drone would have flown to the right but not in case the course lock mode has been triggered on. The directions are saved and no matter in what direction the pilot turns it around, when the aircraft is given a boost, it will fly in the direction of 0 degrees and the same holds true if the machine is flown in the backwards, rightward or leftward directions.

This mode is exceptionally handy if a pilot has to traverse his machine through narrow regions. Moreover, this mode is incredibly useful if you intend to fly the drone in a straight line while focusing on a certain object continuously. The pilot simply has to configure the direction, trigger on the course lock mode and then the drone will fly in the forward direction on being given a boost. The pilot can also turn the drone on its own axis if the aim is to capture stunning aerial imagery.

Home Lock Mode

We all know that if we keep on looking at the monitoring screen of our smartphone for a longer duration of time, the drone might end up getting out of line of sight. It can be made to return back safely simply by pushing the Return to Home key. But that also means that the pilot loses control of the drone.

The Home Lock Mode ensures that the pilot does the talking and also saves on battery and time. If the drone gets out of line of sight, the stick cannot be employed to bring the aircraft back since you never know the direction in which the drone is flying.

This is where the Home Lock Mode comes to the rescue. The direction in which the drone is flying does not matter as the pilot can use the stick to make it come back home which is typically the original point of takeoff. Nevertheless, you do not have to wait for the drone to come back to you as it is enough to fly the drone within the line of sight. Once it gets back into the range of vision of the pilot, the Home Lock Mode can of course be switched off.

Find out the safest of all DJI drones as below.

Point of Interest Mode

You can catch of glimpse of those amazing videos in which a drone encircles a certain object while focusing it. It takes time and skill to carry out such aerial stunts and will also end up consuming a lot of battery power. The Point of Interest mode lets a pilot hover over the target object. A grid is recommended to be used with smaller objects which makes it easier to figure out the center.

Once the drone moves to the center, the pilot simply has to push the button to trigger the Point of Interest mode on. Then the aircraft is made to fly farther at least five meters from the center. Then the pilot configures the speed and direction and push the Go key. The DJI drone automatically encircles the target object while making it the center of the images. The camera can be operated and flight can be controlled during this process.

ActiveTrack Mode

This is one of the most sought after features and one of the primary reasons consumers from all over the world prefer to buy DJI drones. For instance, here is a tremendous drone that is equipped with ActiveTrack technology and allows pilots to capture stunning aerial imagery in 4K UHD resolution at a frame rate of 60fps.

Have you ever made an attempt to cover anyone while in action? It seems quite a complicated thing to have the target object focused at the center of the image with a varying speed and direction of the aircraft.

Most of the DJI drones use GPS to track the target objects (this is how it wors!). But this can fail you more often than not in capturing good quality aerial imagery and if one uses a GPS based tracking, a smartphone, a radio controller or a leash have to be used.

The images are assessed by ActiveTrack technology in real time and the target object marked on the smartphone or other monitoring device is followed. It can be triggered on within a few moments and tracking can be exceptionally accurate. Camouflage apparel is discourage since the target object should have colors distinct from the background.

The height of the flight can be varied as and when required within a minimum of 5m above the original point of takeoff and a maximum of 500m but also keep in mind that most of the objects appear smaller and smaller from a certain elevation. Moreover, the aircraft can be maneuvered via a smartphone, radio controller or leash and the mission can be ended or paused as and when desired.

The GPS based Follow Me Mode is an alternative if the ActiveTrack mode is not serving your purpose.

Here is a fine drone by DJI that is equipped with sophisticated autonomous flight features. It incorporates omnidirectional anti-collision sensors which make it easier to capture the target object from the rear end while encircling it or even flying in front of it without running the risk or crashing into a tree or any other object. Here are the details!

TapFly Mode

If the TapFly mode is activated during flight, the pilot might get a bit discouraged. Actually, not much difference in flight pattern is visible but TapFly mode can be really handy as if you come to know what it can handle, you would certainly not want to miss using it.

In this mode, you only need to tap on the screen, have the speed adjusted and tap Go. The drone will resultantly fly towards the target with the anti-collision sensors activated and protecting the device from crash.

The TapFly mode is exceptionally handy when making timelapses. This can be accomplished by opting for a slower speed or making a video of longer duration or capturing multiple images during the flight. Do not fret, if a pilot uses a low speed, as it enables the drone to capture a stunning time lapse video.

This DJI Drone is loaded with tons of flying mode. Here is a cheaper alternative that has the best of all the worlds.

Waypoints Mode

Almost all the latest DJI drones are equipped with the waypoints mode. This feature lets a pilot configure a flight trajectory on a map by using waypoints and then programming the altitude and speed with which they want the drone to fly. Owing to safety reasons, it is not possible to use a map where the trajectory can be determined using fingers. The trajectory can only be retraced which means that you will have to fly the trajectory on your own by using Waypoints on the most concise of points.

Once the waypoints have been configured, the drone can follow the trajectory on its own but remember that this feature can only be used for a radius of 500m while a single flight can have a maximum of 99 waypoints. Each waypoint should have a minimum distance of 5m and an optimum distance of 500m while ensuring that the total distance does not exceed 5Km. You can maneuver the flight and camera when the waypoint mode is activated. The pilot can have the drone rotated around its axis midflight while controlling the gimbal simultaneously for capturing exquisite aerial imagery. The trajectories can be saved for later use and this comes up as a great feature for cinematographers and researchers.

This drone by DJI can follow preprogrammed routes.

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Follow Me Mode

The Follow Me mode comes up as a great alternative to the ActiveTrack mode. This mode lets the drone automatically follow target objects while focusing them. But to be honest, this might not be the most accurate of modes out there.

The drone should be connected to a radio controller to use this mode and have a minimum elevation of 10m and optimum elevation of 500m. But for most videos, an elevation of 10 to 30m is recommended.

The aircraft follows a GPS signal transmitted by the radio controller at 10Hz frequency. The elevation of the drone and the direction of the gimbal can be changed at any time. Moreover, the mission can be paused, ended or taken over as and when desired. Keep in mind, however, that the Follow Me is not always handy as the target objects are not always in the picture as the only use of GPS signal is littered with latency and inaccuracy. That is why we recommend the ActiveTrack mode over the Follow Me mode.

As far as autonomous tracking is concerned, this drone by DJI is a superb contraption. It is loaded with omnidirectional anti-collision sensors which let a pilot capture the target object from the rear end while encircling it or even flying in front of it without running the risk or crashing into a tree or any other object.

Cinematic Mode

This mode was primarily created for capturing amazing video footages. As a matter of fact, there are not smart functions included in this mode and actually you do not need any to create a great aerial video.

The Cinematic Mode is based on the P mode (more details on P Mode can be found here). The major difference to typical flight that this mode has to offer is the braking attitude of the aircraft. If the stick is not employed by a pilot after a certain aerial stunt, the drone does not stop automatically. It gets slower and slower and then eventually stops.

The main aim of the manufacturer behind this feature was to allow the aircraft fly in a soft manner and without bucking. Yaw movement is another difference from the conventional flight. The optimum rotation speed is automatically reduced in this feature which enables softer images. To cut to the chase, the Cinematic mode ensures that the drone has a longer braking distance and a reduced yaw speed.

This drone is the safest out there and avoids collisions and crashes of all kinds.

Tripod Mode

The Tripod mode is a smart mode that works similarly to the normal flying mode “P”. All the sensors operate in a normal fashion and the drone reacts typically if the settings are changed. However, in this mode, the speed is greatly reduced. For instance, in case of the DJI Mavic Pro, the aircraft has a speed of about 36Kph which is reduced to 3.6Kph in the Tripod mode which is just about one tenth of the optimum speed in the normal mode.

In this mode, the braking distance is also increased which means that a pilot will need almost one meter if he endeavors to make the aircraft stop. This is a go to mode if you are flying the drone closer to the ground or indoors. Here is a great video if you want to learn how to fly your drone indoors.

This drone is the safest out there and avoids collisions and crashes of all kinds.

Fixed Wing Mode

The Fixed Wing Mode can be used when you want your drone to be flown similar to a real world airplane. Make your DJI Mavic or Phantom fly like a plane and put the DJI goggles on for a rollicking flight experience.

The drone has to speed when flying in the forward direction. Then the fixed wing mode is triggered on and it becomes difficult to rotate rightwards or leftwards as is the normal practice. Similar to a real world airplane, the drone yaws around the vertical axis and rolls around the horizontal axis in cases of rudder angle to the side.

So, the gimbal tilts along with the drone to give the semblance of real airplane flight. The drone makes a descent or climb rather than losing altitude or climbing up when the elevation is being adjusted. It appears as if the drone is being flown with a pitching movement around the transverse axis.

Keep in mind that the fixed wing mode is not a part of the intelligent flying modes. This mode can be triggered on for your DJI Mavic Pro as follows:

Main menu > Remote menu > Activate Set to Fixed Wing Mode

The aircraft does not switch to the fixed wing mode after this as there are a couple of buttons which can be used to control the fixed wing mode. The C1 button located at the bottom of the radio controller can be used to trigger the mode on during flight and C2 can be used to switch it off.

This drone is the safest out there and avoids collisions and crashes of all kinds.

Terrain Follow Mode

An uneven surface is followed by the aircraft in the Terrain Follow Mode by ensuring that a preprogrammed altitude is maintained. This can be a handy mode to use during free flight as well as when the ActiveTrack mode has been switched on.

The aircraft employs sensors and an integrated barometer to maintain the elevation and offers a fixed height of 1m to 10m AGL. This system can be quite handy in an uphill flight but during a downhill flight, the pilot needs to control the drone manually to maintain the altitude. This may have been programmed in such a manner to ensure safety but it also tends to make the feature rather futile, to be honest.

This DJI Drone is a great beast if you want to fly in the ActiveTrack mode as it tracks objects and also encircles them without running the risk of crashing.

Draw Mode

The Draw Mode is a relatively new mode that has been made available for only a single series of DJI drones. This mode lets the pilot sketch the flight trajectory with fingers on the screen and the drone automatically follows this path. An altitude between 2m and 500m has to be maintained.

Once the trajectory has been mapped out, the pilot needs to configure the speed of the beast and trigger on the Heading mode. The pilot can choose between the Forward Mode in which the camera follows the direction of flight or the Free Mode in which the drone rotates around its own axis while it is flying autonomously. This is a great feature if the flight trajectory is not straight and the drone is required to be rotating around its axis during flight, for instance, when focusing on a certain landscape.

This drone is the safest out there and avoids collisions and crashes of all kinds.

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