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How to hand catch a drone!




Hand catching a drone is sometimes preferred instead of launching or landing a UAV from the ground because of uneven terrain. Launching off a boat or from sand can be disastrous for the drone, so the hand catch technique can be used to ensure safety. Some drones like the DJI Spark are designed to launch from the hand, but other consumer drones like the DJI Mavic and Phantom 4 series are hand caught with a slightly different technique because of their unique shapes. This first video can be used as a reference to hand catch a drone like the DJI Mavic, Autel EVO or the new Parrot Anafi:


Launching or landing a drone with the hand catch technique can be dangerous if done wrong because the propellers can potentially cut skin, so please proceed with caution! Hand catching is generally safe, but make sure to be fairly comfortable with piloting a drone first before attempting this technique.

How to hand catch drones like the DJI Mavic

Before even turning on the drone, hold the drone in a comfortable hand catch position so you know what to look for when the drone actually lands in your hand!

hand catch

Screenshot from YouTuber Sean Ozz’s video.

Hover the drone at a reachable distance about two to three feet within arm’s reach.

Form your hand like you’re about to throw a paper airplane or a football, and then get ready to grip the bottom sides of the drone.

Slowly descend the drone and firmly hold the quadcopter once it safely lands in your hand.

The propellers will still be spinning, so continue to descend and hold the drone until the motors shut off.

How to hand catch smaller, foldable drones like the Mavic Air

Other drones like the Mavic Air or the Parrot Anafi can be hand caught with an open hand instead of a grip-like hand catch. YouTuber Jeff Greene demonstrates how to hand catch a smaller quadcopter like the Mavic Air in this video:

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