Understanding risk, and your decision to take off


There was a recent post about someone doing some HereLink testing over a built up area, and it raised some questions about risk.

We live in a very complicated world, where perceived risk, and actual risk, do not need to be related for fear and bad news to spread.

A few facts…

ZERO deaths from civilian unmanned aircraft incidents of any type… (let’s keep it that way…)

One… only one rock solid proven incident between an unmanned civilian aircraft (a phantom) and a full sized aircraft (US military helicopter) no injuries, but significant $$$ damage

Many unidentifiable objects seen by airline pilots attributed as UAVs or “drones”

Mass hysteria at Gatwick over “ALLEGED” drone sightings, no evidence to prove the existence of said drones exists.

With that all said… there is still a real responsibility that all of us in the industry carry, and we MUST go above and beyond to do things right!

We have multiple categories of users in the CubePilot community, Tinkerers, photographers, surveyors, emergency services, hobbyists, OEMs, package delivery companies, organ deliveries, medical supply deliveries, reconnaissance, security, on and on and on…

Each has its own risk profiles.

And then there is us… ProfiCNC and Hex.

We try to build the best hardware in the industry, and we pride ourselves in being open an honest with you. It is important to read this while keeping in mind, any failures that can occur in a cube (or related hardware) can and DO occur in other manufacturers hardware, we are just blatantly telling you about it.


What are the risks…

Hardware failure… it happens…
Software failures… it happens…
Human factors… read up on these…
Environmental factors… random weather
GNSS issues
Communication issues
External interference
Etc etc

Basically, at any time, in any flight, something could go wrong. A failure to plan, is a plan to fail.

It is 100% your responsibility as the pilot in command to do a full risk assessment of every stage of your operation.

In the case of a prearm check failing… what do you do? Having a backup plan, spares, second aircraft, these are all ways to make you succeed. Last minute “fixes” are recipes for disaster.

In flight… have you planned for communication failure? Does it even behave as you expect? Have you tested it? What happens if the flight controller goes nuts? Where could the aircraft end up? What’s your backup plan? Esc failures? What happens next?

In Australia CASA (our FAA) has rules that allow flight without a license for sub 2KG vehicles assuming they follow SOCs (Standard Operating Conditions) these rules were designed with these failures in mind.


If you are flying outside these conditions, then you need to accomodate the risks. There are many many ways of doing this, and many cube users are safely flying in some increasingly complicated areas. We commend users who do a correct risk assessment and act responsibly. But it’s their risk!

If you need coverage for this additional risk, you must get insurance! And any flight outside of SOC must as part of its risk assessment, indemnify this community, Ardupilot, Hex, ProfiCNC, and anyone that gives advice here from any responsibility in your application.

Follow the service bulletins, follow our mandatory advice. If anyone contradicts that advice, ask them if they are willing to indemnify your use of their advice…

Be smart… fly safe, have fun.

And in the future on this forum, rather than lecturing people on how they do their testing, or run their operations etc, just link to this post… let’s keep this forum free of internet police as much as possible…

(Mike Boland) #2

Well said.

1 Like
(Bobby Watts) #3

Well said thanks Philip!

1 Like
closed #4

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