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What Causes Drone Flyaway and How to Prevent It?

Estimated reading time: 16 minutes

All of us drone flyers, professionals, and hobbyists who enjoy flying drones capturing beautiful moments, and having the time of our lives fear one thing and one thing alone – that is drone flyaway.

If you’re new to drone flying, you might be wondering, what is Drone Flyaway, and how do I deal with it? Well, don’t worry because that’s precisely what I’m here to tell you.

According to the FAA, when a drone experiences a lost link with the control transmitter due to interference or flying out of range, it is called a Drone Flyaway. The drone is incapable of following the controls provided by the pilot through the controller and acts unpredictably while experiencing Flyaway.

But that’s not all. In this article, I’m going to explain Drone Flyaway deeply, tell you how you might encounter it, how to recover from it, and prevent it. I’m also going to give you cool hacks that can counter Drone Flyaway.

So, if you want to know everything about Drone Flyaway and how to deal with it, sit back, relax, and read this article until the end.

What Is Drone Flyaway?

Drone Flyaway is the process of an unmanned aircraft drone losing control and making unknown and unpredictable flight decisions, uninfluenced by the transmitter because of lack of transmission connection.

Drones are meant to be known as far as a specific drone’s range goes. That’s a rule that everyone is familiar with. But that’s something that is on paper, and we can’t practically make out.

This is why many drone flyers actually experience Drone Flyaway more than usual. A small mistake, out of range movement or magnetic field interference can cause your drone to lose control completely.

To understand how the range of a drone works, how flyaway can be caused and be recovered from, is vital to become proficient at flying a drone, that’s what we’re going to learn here.

Credit: Jerry White

How Far Can a Drone Fly Without Experiencing Flyaway?

This question might be echoing in your mind right now. How far and wide can my drone go without experiencing flyaway?

The answer is simple. A drone can travel as long as its range allows it to.

The range of a drone is the boundary or limit that it can travel without experiencing flight control and transmission loss due to interference or weak connection between the controller and the drone.

Different drones come with different limit ranges. There are many factors that affect the range of a drone.

The longer the range of a drone, the further it will be able to fly without experiencing flyaway.

400ft Height Limit Rule:

According to the FAA, you are only permitted to fly within the height of 400ft without a license in an open field area.

If you want to fly above this distance, you will require a license and get your drone registered.

So, according to this rule, if you’re thinking how high you can fly your drone, you’re only going to remain within the limit of 400ft vertically to comply with the drone flight rules of FAA and avoid collision or flyaway.

What Are Different Drone Range?

To give you a reference of how far drones can fly, I’m going to tell you about the different ranges of drones to which they can travel without going berserk.

Let’s take a look at short, medium, and long ranges and what kind of drones have each of them

Short Range:

Mini-drones and smaller sized drones usually come with short ranges of around 300–500 meters.

Mini-drones are usually meant for beginner casual fun. Moving further than 500 meters could cause these drones to undergo flyaway.

EMAX Tinyhawk 2 is a short range mini racing drone.
EMAX Tinyhawk 2 is a mini racing drone

EMAX Tinyhawk 2 Review

Medium Range:

Medium ranged drones have a flight range of somewhere between 1–5 kilometers, which is excellent. You can find drones with this much range in both entry-level drones and professional drones.

If your drone comes with this kind of range, you need to make sure you maintain sight of the drone and keep it within about the mentioned range to avoid drone flyaway.

DJ Mini 2 can fly up to 2.5 miles.
DJ Mini 2 can fly up to 2.5 miles.

DJI Mini 2 Review

Long Range:

The long-range drones have a range of around 5–10 kilometers. You’re looking at larger UAVs and high-quality professional drones like the DJI Mavic Air 2 if you want this kind of range.

These drones have more than enough range, so most probably you won’t have range cause flyaway with such drones, but you should still not take chances anywhere over a specific range of the drone.

DJI Mavic Air 2 is a long range drone.

What are the Major Causes of Drone Flyaway?

If you’ve ever experienced a drone flyaway and lost your drone. Maybe it got seriously damaged because of it, you would definitely be looking for answers as to what might have caused it.

That’s why I’ve made a list of the reasons and major causes of Drone Flyaway.

You can take a look at and try to avoid the next time you’re flying your drone professionally or for entertainment.

Lack of Professional Skill:

One of the most common causes of drone flyaway is the lack of professional drone flying skills.

When a beginner gets a drone and starts flying it, usually they’re not familiar with how far can the drone can fly and how to control it if it is gone too far to call it back to the landing zone.

This lack of proficiency can cause the drone to go out of its range and basically experience a flyaway where it cannot receive the control transmission anymore.

And If you’re unlucky, the drone can crash violently and can be destroyed, which may be really problematic if it isn’t insured.

Magnetic Interference:

One of the more technical reasons for drone flyaway to occur is magnetic field interference.

When you’re flying your quadcopter drone in an open field, there could be a chance that there’s a power station or an electric pole nearby the flight zone of your drone.

If that’s the case, and you unknowingly fly the drone a little too close to the station, the magnetic field of the poles is going to interfere with the radio signal transmission and cause connection problems which can ultimately lead to your drone undergoing flyaway.

Credit: mrkentdotcom

Inattention to the Drone:

Inattention is one human error that can happen, no matter how skilled you are.

I’ve seen beginners as well as professionals crashing their expensive drones just because of lack of attention when they were flying the drone for fun or in a professional environment.

What could happen is that you might be hovering right around the maximum range of your drone where a few seconds of inattention might occur, and your drone might end up going outside the range limit.

This may cause the drone to experience flyaway, losing its control and ending up crashing into an unrecoverable pile of scraps, which is a nightmare for any drone pilot.

Windy Weather:

Weather plays an incredibly important role in drone flight and is the major cause of drone flight disarray and flyaway.

The reason for wind and bad weather affecting drone flight is that despite being large and powered up, they’re still light enough for us to carry them, and if we can carry them, the wind can definitely do better.

If you’re experiencing strong wind in your area, your drone might be controllable at first, but reaching a certain point, it might completely make you lose control, and it may fly away uncontrollably due to the power of the wind.

Autonomous Flight Modes:

Drone autonomy is becoming more and more popular nowadays. That’s why more drones have autonomous flight modes as well.

If you have a drone that comes with different flight modes including autonomous flight and hover as well as RTH modes, then you definitely need to be more careful as to where you use them.

The thing is, although most drones have an automatic flight, they do not come with built-in obstacle sensors and can crash or move out of the range easily, making the drone experience flyaway, ruining the drone flying experience.

Does the Occurrence of Drone Flyaway Depend on Upon Proficiency?

I think it really depends. There are some reasons for drone flyaway occurrence which might be due to lack of experience and then there are unavoidable reasons, but they’re pretty rare in my opinion.

Let’s take a look at the Drone Flyaway experience of newer drone pilots and professional pilots to get a bit of perspective as to what it really is.

Flyaway for a Beginner:

Everyone starts as a beginner. Not knowing how to properly fly and control the different buttons and sticks could be difficult.

Obviously, one of the things that could be new to beginners is drone flyaway.

You could be flying your drone on a regular day when suddenly your drone starts behaving weirdly. Turns out it went out of its range and ended up experiencing a Drone Flyaway.

For beginners, I think the best course of action would be learning about everything, reading manuals, taking notes, and starting off within a limited distance instead of going all out while flying the drone.

Flyaway for a Professional Drone flyer:

Professionals understand Drone Flyaway and the fact they need to fly the drone within its range, but sometimes minor misjudgments can occur.

However, the main reason for flyaway for professionals can be magnetic interference.

That’s why for in some drones, there are actual magnetic interference blockers and calibration methods that can provide help against flyaway caused by magnetic interference.

How to recover from Drone Flyaway?

If you have encountered a drone flyaway, or you just want to take the necessary steps to secure your drone’s future, you might be wondering what kind of recovery process you should be looking to adopt.

Well, in some cases, there is no way to recover. However, it all depends upon the situation. If you’re in luck and your drone doesn’t experience the worst-case scenario, here are some ways to recover from drone flyaway if you ever experience it.

Using RTH Mode:

I know that I mentioned autonomous flight modes being the reason for drone flyaway, but every so often, the Return to Home function can be a blessing in disguise.

If you’ve lost control of your drone, and the transmission seems to be lagging, what you can do is try to keep pressing the RTH button which may get registered and that could help in recovering the flyaway drone.

The return to home function would basically trigger the algorithm within the drone to return to the flight zone, even if the transmission isn’t working as smoothly as it should within the drone’s range.

So, it is definitely one of the better ways of recovering from drone flyaway.

RTH Mode on DJI Controller.
RTH Mode on DJI Controller.

Flying it Down Directly:

This is a long shot, but it could be used as a smart way of avoiding irreparable loss to the drone.

The first thing that you’re going to want to do is stay completely calm in the occurrence of a drone flyaway.

This way, you’ll be able to do the right things and make the right moves.

Next, just try your level best and make sure that you bring the drone down and keep giving instructions through the distorted transmission so that some controls can be picked up by the drone, and it can land in a safe space.

Locating your Drone:

This recovery process is one that you’re going to have to use after the drone lands or crashes due to fly away to hopefully find it in good shape.

If your drone comes with the “Locate my drone” functionality, then you will use it. This is going to most likely provide you a GPS location of where your drone has crashed.

You can go to that location and recover your drone. Hopefully, it landed in a safe place and is good enough to be flown once again.

However, if that’s not the case, you should still bring it home and maybe get it repaired for future flights.

How to Prevent Drone Flyaway?

Now that we know what drone flyaway is and how we can recover from it, it is time we know how to prevent drone flyaway so that we can altogether avoid the possibility of our drone experiencing flyaway.

I’m going to provide you with all the necessary steps that you will have to take to avoid and prevent drone flyaway.

Step 1: Starting in a Closed Space:

As a beginner, the best way to prevent drone flyaway is by learning to fly a drone professionally and proficiently before going out in an open field and experimenting with flying over a larger distance.

You can take lectures, read instruction manuals, and apply trial and error to understand the basics of drone flight, and you can use your garden or even your house to just basically start off.

This way, when you get out in the open and fly your drone, you’ll be able to compose yourself, pay attention, and fly the drone better, which will reduce its chances of undergoing flyaway and crashing.

Step 2: Avoiding areas around Electric Poles and Power Stations:

If you’re going to pick an area for your drone flight, you must comply with the FAA rules and regulations of drone flight. You need to pick the perfect area, without residents and buildings, an open field, perhaps.

You need to also make sure that there are no power stations or electric poles near the area you’re going to be flying your drone around.

In this way, the possibility of your drone experiencing flyaway will be reduced because there won’t be the possibility of magnetic interference due to the open field being free of outside magnetic fields.

Drone flying near electric poles

Step 3: Checking the weather:

A professional drone pilot understands the requirements of drone flight. It is what must be kept in view to avoid crashes and flyaway.

One important step when you’re thinking of preventing drone flyaway is to check the weather of the area you’re going to fly your drone around. It has to be completely clean.

If the area is not clean or strong winds are blowing in the fields, the best course of action would be to avoid that area and let your drone flying excitement locked in for another day with a clear sky.

Step 4: Charging your drone fully:

Making drone preparations before the flight is also a step that should be on your drone-flyaway avoidance checklist.

You need to charge your quadcopter drone completely. No matter how long it takes, make sure that you get your drone fully charged before it is ready for a flight, since drone flight times aren’t too long away.

If you’ve got a DJI Mavic Air 2, you’re going to be set for more than 30 minutes of flight time, so you’ll definitely not face drone flyaway and unfortunate crashing because of low battery.

Step 5: Using a GPS Tracker:

One of the best ways of avoiding and preventing drone flyaway is basically using a GPS tracker with your quadcopter UAV.

You’re going to put the tracker onto the drone, and you’ll know where the drone is headed and how far it is gone.

This way, you’ll be able to know how far you can fly the drone without the drone actually experiencing unpredictable movement and loss of transmission due to range limitation issues.

Moreover, if your drone does flyaway due to lack of attention, the GPS tracker will be able to guide you where the drone might have crashed for you to easily find it.

What Are the Top 3 GPS Trackers?

Since not all drones come with “Locate my drone” functionality and GPS trackers are basically remarkable for flyaway prevention and recovery.

So, here’s a list of the best GPS trackers that you can use with your drones to keep them safe and insight.

DroneScape Find the Drone:

One of the most trusted GPS manufacturers worldwide, DroneScape’s Find the Drone is an amazing, cheap, and functional GPS tracker.

You’re going to get everything you want from this tiny tracker. The system is equipped to tell you the speed, location, real-time tracking, and many more statuses of your drone in-flight.

Basically, you’ll know when and where your drone is and will be heading. So, you can easily track it and avoid flyaways and possible crashes when bad times are looming over your drone.

DroneScape a black color GPS Tracker.
DroneScape- GPS Tracker

Scout Universal Drone GPS:

A small, compact, and high-quality GPS tracker is no apart from the Scout Universal Drone GPS tracker. This drone comes at a good price and is definitely a great choice if you’re looking for a superb GPS tracker.

It provides real-time GPS tracking worldwide without any GSM issues or range problems.

The tracker also comes with dust, dirt, and water resistance, making sure that the live feed is not interrupted and you’re aware of your drone’s wellbeing at all times.

Trackimo Drone GPS:

Arguably, the best GPS tracker on this list has to be the Trackimo Drone GPS tracker. It comes with 3G included as well as coverage in over 190 countries. The device comes loaded with a SIM with 12 months of worldwide data.

The battery of the GPS tracker is, 3500mAh. You can simply attach this to the drone you’re flying and track it as it is being flown. You won’t have to worry about losing it ever again.

This is because not only will you be able to track your drone with this GPS tracker, but you’ll also be able to share the live location link with friends and family if there’s an emergency.

Trackimo GPS on a DJI Drone.
Trackimo Drone GPS Tracker is the best choice.


Flying drones is truly a wonderful experience, no matter whether you’re doing it professionally or you’re just casually spending your spare time.

But drone flyaway is a very real problem and I felt like we needed to understand it.

I hope you learned a lot about drone flyaway, as well as the different steps and methods of recovering and preventing it.

And If you follow these steps, I assure you, you’re going to have the best drone flying experience without any flyaway at all.


What Is Drone Flyaway?

Drone Flyaway is the process of an unmanned aircraft drone losing control and making unknown and unpredictable flight decisions, uninfluenced by the transmitter because of lack of transmission connection.

What are the best GPS Drone tracker available?

1. Trackimo Drone GPS
2. DroneScape Find the Drone
3. Scout Universal Drone GPS.

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What Causes Drone Flyaway and How to Prevent It?
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What Causes Drone Flyaway and How to Prevent It?
Here we talk about the factors causing drone flyaway and how to prevent it.
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Remoteflyer Private Limited
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