Falcon 8 UAS: Basic Training - Before You Begin

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Before Using the Falcon 8 UAS

  • Before using the Falcon 8 UAS:
    • Review safety guidelines.
    • Perform system inspection.
    • Charge batteries for UAV and MGS.
    • Download and install application software.
    • Check for firmware updates for the UAV.

 

Safety Guidelines

  • Safety Guidelines
    • The following safety guidelines must be read, understood, accepted, and followed by any personnel who operate the system.  
    • A list of guidelines can also be found within the online manual.
    • All UAVs must be operated according to the laws of the country they are used in.  It is the sole responsibility of the pilot to be informed of applicable restrictions.  
    • The pilot of an UAV should always act accordingly to their best judgement, focusing on safety of the people and environment in which they are flying.
    • As stated previously, all UAVs must be operated according to the laws of the country they are used in.   It is the sole responsibility of the pilot to be informed of applicable restrictions.  The following rules are always applicable:
    • Operate in visual line of sight only.  Flying beyond visual line of sight is prohibited. 
    • Operate in uncontrolled airspace only.
    • Keep UAV within maximum operating altitude. Prior permission by authorities required.  
    • Performing the safety check, pre-flight check and post-flight check according to safety precautions before and after every flight is required.
    • Rotating propellers are capable of causing serious personal injury and property damage. Keep a safe distance and/or wear appropriate safety equipment (safety goggles, gloves).
    • A UAS can in rare cases suffer electrical, mechanical and/or other failures which may lead to a partial or complete loss of flying capability. The pilot is responsible for conducting all flights at a safe distance from people, moving vehicles etc. such that in the event of loss of flight control, no personal injury will result.
    • Operating the aircraft close to power lines, power transformers or other areas with high electromagnetic disturbances or in urban canyons can have severe effects on the GPS stability and/or the magnetic field sensor. The pilot must have the training and ability to fly the system in HEIGHT MODE in any situation.  HEIGHT MODE is recommended to avoid these problematic environments.
    • Always give way to other aircraft.  Watch out for low flying helicopters.
    • GPS MODE will limit your maximum speed.  Flying the aircraft at wind speeds above 12 m/s is not recommended.  Note that wind conditions on the ground and in the air can differ.
    • Do not fly the aircraft at temperatures below -5° Celsius (23°F) or above 35° Celsius (95°F).
    • The UAS and payloads are not waterproof.  Only fly in dry conditions.
    • Intensive training of every pilot before operating the UAS in all flight modes, and to maintain the UAS in a safe and airworthy condition is mandatory.
    • The aircraft is not made for repeated assembling and disassembling.  After assembly and before the first flight, a system and pre-flight check is required.
    • Transporting the aircraft in any other transport containers not approved by Topcon or Ascending Technologies is not recommended.
    • Using other devices in combination with the aircraft other than approved by Topcon and Ascending Technologies (e. g. batteries, battery chargers, cameras, etc.) is prohibited.  Any unapproved modification of the aircraft is prohibited.

 

 

Topcon Falcon 8 operator training is required before using this guide with the product.  If you have not been trained, please contact your Topcon dealer before proceeding.

 

 

System Inspection

  • System Inspection
    • Is the transport case free of visible defects?
      • If there is evident damage or unknown visible defects from the last transport, please take special care during the inspection of the flight system.

 

System Inspection

  • System Inspection
    • Is the UAV free of visible defects?
      • If there are visible defects, please get in touch with your Topcon UAS dealer.
      • Check for any loose or missing screws, cracks in the carbon cross airframe, motor rails, etc.  

 

System Inspection

  • System Inspection
  • Are the propellers in good condition?
    • Replace propellers if there are any cracks, breaks, or other damage.
  • Are the propellers firmly mounted to the motors?
    • Move the propellers gently while holding the motor.  The nut on top of the propellers is self-tightening, and needs to be finger tight.  Never tighten it with too much force as it might damage the motor.  

 

System Inspection

  • System Inspection
    • Nudge each propeller individually so that they turn, and check if any unusual sound can be heard.
      • If there is a scratching sound, this might come from debris in the motor.  Use canned pressurized air to clean the motor.  
      • If there is a rattling sound this might come from a propeller which is not attached tight enough. Carefully check the self-tightening nut on top of the propeller again and tighten if necessary. 

 

System Inspection

  • System Inspection
  • Are the landing feet firmly attached (finger tight)?
    • Check the screwed joint of each landing foot.  
    • If a loose foot is discovered, secure it with the included Loctite.  To do so, unscrew the foot completely, clean the thread, apply a drop of Loctite to the thread, then screw in the foot so that it is finger tight. The Loctite should be finger tight after three minutes, and fully set after 24 hours.

 

System Inspection

  • System Inspection
    • Are all the antennas (data link and video) firmly attached for both the Falcon 8 UAV and Mobile Ground Station?
      • Check all connections to ensure that the signals will be transmitted / received in ideal quality.    

 

System Inspection

  • System Inspection
    • Are the motor rails properly connected to the central unit?
      • Check the two cable connections.  If necessary re-tighten the screws carefully.
    • Is the SD card of the black box correctly inserted into the Falcon 8 UAV’s central unit?
      • Check the SD card in front of the Falcon 8.  If on the MGS there is the message "No user SD card", please take out the card, make a backup copy, format it and re-insert it into the Falcon 8.

 

System Inspection

  • System Inspection
  • Perform a visual inspection of the LiPo battery. 
    • Look for any damaged leads, connectors, broken heat-shrink, extreme swelling of cells, punctures or other irregularities.   Do not use if any of the above issues have been found.
    • If any damage to the battery pack is found, do not attempt to charge or fly with the battery.  Contact your local dealer as soon as possible.