Why Drones Tilt Sideways

One of the most exciting features of drones is the ability to self-stabilize in the air. This feature makes it easy even for a beginner pilot to fly the drone. Sometimes the drone doesn’t hover in a single place; instead, it starts to move in a sideways direction. This lateral movement of the drone is often referred to as drifting.

When the drone starts drifting, the pilot is forced to adjust the thrust so that the drone stays in a level position.  If you are looking for a solution to fix the drifting drone, then you are in the right place. In this article, we shall look at some of the generic reasons why the drone starts drifting, and also we shall look at some of the popular hobby drones and their fixes.

There may be several reasons why your drone is flying sideways. The gyroscope that controls the thrust of all the motors of a quadcopter may be miscalibrated. This can be solved easily by recalibrating the gyroscope by following the instructor’s manual thoroughly. One of the most common and overlooked reasons is that of defective drone motors. One or more drone engines may be faulty, causing the other motors to work harder, leading the drone to drift sideways. The propellers must be aligned properly with the markings and according to the manufacturer’s manual. Otherwise, it will lead to a drone tilting to one side and a crash. Also, see that the pitch, yaw, and roll are calibrated to neutral positions before taking off. Take off the drone from a leveled surface rather than a slant surface as this may cause the Gimbal camera to misalign with the horizon.

Reasons why drones drift sideways

Gyroscope miscalibration:

To know why the drone is flying sideways, we need first to understand how a drone works. The drone gets a lift from the thrust generated by its four propellers. The gyroscope is the central system that is attached to all four motors of the drone. The gyroscope measures how many times a drone is tilting in a second and adjusts the thrust of the engines independently. This helps the drone to hover in a single place without drifting. The correction is happening hundred times a second to keep the drone stabilized.

So if the gyroscope is off even by a small degree, it causes the drone to drift. The solution to this problem is straightforward. Keep the drone on a level surface and recalibrate the gyroscope by following the manual. This shall solve the problem, and you can take the skies safely.

Faulty motors:

This is one of the most simple reasons yet often overlooked. Drones utilize all four powerful motors to generate enough lift. If one or more drone motors are not working correctly, it causes the drone to fly sideways.

After the flight, check the motors, and if you find one or more of the motors overheating, that is why your drone is flying sideways. A simple solution to this problem is to replace the faulty engines with a new one, and you will be off to the skies in no time.

Propellers alignment:

Propellers are the most crucial part of the drone that creates lift. If the alignment of the propellers is not correct, then the drone will start flying uncontrollably. You can notice that an uneven lift is generated when you try to take off the drone. The drone will tilt front or back when you try to take off.

A very simple solution to this problem is to align the propellers correctly according to the markings and the manual. This realignment will solve the tilting problem, and you are good to go.

Launching the drone from a slanting surface:

Novice pilots often make the mistake of launching the drone on an uneven surface. Doing so will make the Gimbal camera to be misaligned. This will make the footage that is recorded with the drone slightly tilted. To correct this problem, always take off from a leveled surface. Make sure that the Gimbal roll is in perfect alignment with the horizon. This alignment assures that the drone will stay utterly stable in the air without drifting.

Controller settings:

In your controller pitch, yawn and roll settings are the most important ones. If there is a miscalibration in these settings, it may lead to a drifting drone. To correct this, set your pitch, yawn, and roll to 1500 in a neutral position.


How to align horizontal alignment on DJI drones?

After you hover your drone in the air at a single place, you notice that the horizon is slightly tilted. Then you wonder how you can correct this alignment. The solution is relatively simple. The first thing you have to do is enable the grid lines in the camera settings under the grid option. This will ensure that horizontal gridlines appear on the camera, which makes it easy for you to adjust the tilt.

Now, after that, you need to go to Gimbal settings and press adjust gimbal roll. Now press the corresponding arrow in which way you want the Gimbal to rotate. Rotate the Gimbal until the grid lines align perfectly with the horizon.

This is the simplest and easiest solution to correct the horizontal alignment on DJI drones.


Drifting Issue with popular drones with solutions

Drifting issue with the DJI MAVIC AIR2

This high-end drone offers special features like cinematic content, 8k video, 34 minutes flight time, and APAS 3.0 obstacle avoidance. This drone is available at 799$ in the market.

The most common problem in these drones is that if you don’t fix the correct propeller on the right motor wing, it will result in a malfunctioning propeller. This could be dangerous as the propellers’ lift is wrong, and the drone may completely flip out in the middle of the air and result in a crash. To avoid this mistake, make sure to fix the correct propeller onto the suitable motor.

The pro version in this model offers us the locking system. If the correct propeller is not attached to the right rotor, the lock won’t fit in.


Drifting issue with the PARROT ANAFI

This is a highly lightweight drone and offers 4k HDR 30fps with Gimbal stabilized camera. This is also a high-end drone costing around 799$.

The most common problem in these kinds of drones is the miscalibration of the gyroscope. This miscalibration will lead to driting of the drone sideways. Gyroscope recalibration can be done by going through the instructor’s manual thoroughly and following the steps. Once the recalibration is done, take off from a leveled surface and check if the camera is in perfect alignment with the horizon.


Drifting issue with the DJI MINI 2

Mini 2 is the most popular drone among beginners. Mini 2 is a highly lightweight drone(242gms) and offers pretty good features like 4k 30fps video.

The most common reason why this drone starts drifting is because of the faulty motors. A straightforward solution to this problem is to replace one or more of the defective motor with new ones. You can detect the defective motors by checking for overheating in any one of the engines.






Screeshots taken from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gJyOIzoAsU


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