How to Hand Catch a DJI Mavic Pro Drone

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First off: Full Disclaimer.  Catching or launching any quadcopter from your hands involves significant risk.  One false move could cause serious, even permanent, damage to you or your drone.  You must exercise extreme caution while attempting a Hand Catch.  Do not attempt a Hand Catch if you are inexperienced, unfamiliar with all of the settings of your drone and remote controller.

Ok, so we all know there may be times when you have no other choice than to land your Mavic in your hand.  Maybe you’re on uneven terrain, on a boat or experiencing a malfunction that prevents the Mavic from landing on it’s own.  Even a simple lawn can just be too long to land on.

We’ve heard many Mavic pilots having to do it ‘in the wild’ and being thankful for the fact that they practiced it many times beforehand.  If you’re going to do a hand catch, it’s something you should feel very comfortable doing.  Practice in a safe and controlled environment.

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Here’s a few suggestions before you attempt to Hand Catch your Mavic:

  • Let’s not try it on your first day.  You need to be familiar with how your Mavic flies, how the remote control works and the features inside the DJI Go app.
  • Watch a few videos of experienced pilots doing different Hand Catches to get a feel for what to expect.
  • Memorize in your mind the steps to completing a Hand Catch
  • You need to be in an open area, away from obstacles and people.  Preferably there is no wind.

We’ve seen Mavic pilots who do Hand Catches with the Landing Protection ON and some who do it with Landing Protection OFF.  It comes down to a personal preference, but we think turning Landing Protection OFF takes some of the unpredictable reactivity out of the Mavic which could potentially make it easier.

Rather than try to explain  how to Hand Catch your Mavic, we thought we’d let two experienced pilots show you in their own way.

John at iFlyForFun’s channel does a great job showing us how the Mavic behaves while demonstrating a Hand Catch.

Next, Ed Ricker Vlogs shares his first attempt at both Hand Catching and Hand Launching.  He also does the Hand Catch with both ON and OFF setting for Landing Protection.

Again, like the video above, you’ll notice is that when Landing Protection is set to ON, once the bottom sensors of the Mavic detect your hand below the drone it will attempt to elevate….and if you are holding the Mavic it will try to pull out of your hand.

One more reminder that if you’re going to attempt a Hand Catch with your Mavic Pro you need to exercise extreme caution, have excellent familiarity with the settings of the DJI App and controls of the Remote.

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