How to Plan a Drone Video Flight

It is a great idea to have multiple checklists to run through before a scheduled drone shoot. I have six different checklists that I run through before every shoot. (You can also download all of the checklists from this lesson in the project file.) Three of the checklists I use are ‘Advanced Preparation Checklists’ and three are ‘Day Of Checklists’.

How to Plan a Drone Video Flight

How to Plan a Drone Video Flight

Advanced Preparation Checklists

Location Scout Checklist

Before filming at a location for a client or yourself, it is always a good idea to know as much as you can about the location prior to the shoot.

Confirm Client Location
2. Map
Location on Google Earth
3. Check VFR
Map of Location
4. Prevision
Flight Areas
5. Locate
Safety Crash Areas
6. Gain
Permissions if Needed
7. Weather

How to Plan a Drone Video Flight

Mission Planning Checklist

With this checklist you can identify your shoot goals and how you will accomplish them.

Scenario: Big Picture
[Client goals, weather, terrain]
Specific Goals for Flight
[Resort back to if things change]
Execution: How
to Do
[Flight path, shot list, timing, safety]
Murphy’s Law
[What can happen?]
[Clothes, food, equipment, emergency]
[Communication Methods, Roles]

Drone Pack Checklist

This is the checklist you will use when packing up your drone the night before a shoot.

Number of Drones
2. Batteries
Charged & Packed
3. Controller
Batteries Charged
4. Controller
& Screens Packed
5. iPad
Charged & Packed
6. Check for
Drone Updates
7. Camera
Batteries Charged
8.  Drone Cameras Checked & Packed
9. Electronics
Cables Packed
10. Props &
Fasteners Packed
11. Memory
Cards Formatted & Loaded
12. Visual
Drone Inspection
13. Cases
14. Backup
Items Packed
15. Emergency
Gear Kit in Car
16. Eye Gear

‘Day Of’ Checklists

Morning Shoot Checklist

Various things to check on the morning of a shoot before you leave for the location.

Check Weather, Wind, Rain
2. Confirm with
3. Location
Map Prints Ready
4. Drones
Packed & Loaded
5. Gear Packed
& Loaded
6. Personal
Items Packed
7. Directions
to Location Ready
8. Vehicle Trip

How to Plan a Drone Video Flight

Pre-Flight Checklist

Review this checklist with your drone at the shoot location directly before taking flight.

Firmware Updated?
2. Visual
4. Props Tight
/ Locked
5. ND Filter
6. Memory in
Camera / Formatted
7. Camera
Batteries Charged
8.  Monitor Brightness Adjusted
9. Shade or
Monitor Hood on
10. Transmitter
11. Drone On
12. GPS Lock /
13. Minimum
Height Adjusted
14. Minimum
Return Height Adjusted
Transmission Frequency
16. Camera
Picture Style
17. Safe Take
Off Location
18. Emergency
Locations ID
19. Eye Gear On
20. Area Clear
of People
21. Take Off

Safety Procedures

Review these safety procedures in the event of an accident.

1. Return Home
2. Warn
Surrounding People
3. Drone
4. Drone
5. Battery
Life Prediction
6.GPS Map
7. Determine
to Drive After or Stay
8. Hunt Within
1. Warn People
of Eminent Crash
2. Turn off
3. Stay Back
until Drone is Inactive
4. Take Photos
of Damage
5. Assess
Damage to Drone
6. Assess
Property Damage
7. Contact

How to Plan a Drone Video Flight

Remember, all of these checklists are available for you to download in the project file.

Mentioned in this tutorial