Do You Need A Drone Landing Pad

Do You Need A Drone Landing Pad?

After spending your hard-earned money on your new drone, you want to ensure it will last the longest time possible! One of the items that can help you do this is a landing pad. 

So do you need a drone landing pad? Short answer yes. However, some claim hand launching and landing are effective, but that is not practical if you own a big drone. Besides, not everyone is good at hand launching; I would know since I have been nipped by propellers a few times.

When taking off or landing, a drone pad protects your drone’s camera lens and propellers against grass, snow, dirt, rocks, sand, water, and debris.  

Read on to learn more on what you may or may not need a landing pad.

Let’s get started. 

What Is A Drone Landing Pad?

What Is A Drone Landing Pad

Also referred to as a drone pad, a landing pad is a flat surface on which the drone lands safely. It can be made of plastic or a light metal. 

Others are made of material that can fold or roll up for ease of carrying. These materials protect the drone’s motor, propellers, and camera from damage by water or debris.

It’s an essential asset, especially for pilots who love flying drones on beaches, mountains, or hilly places. Areas with long grass could damage your drone. Hence, they require a drone pad, too.  

Why Do You Need A Drone Landing Pad?

Why Do You Need A Drone Landing Pad

Buying a drone landing and launching pad may seem like a waste of money until you spend way more repairing camera gimbal and (or) propellers

Depending on where you’re flying your drone from, a drone landing pad could make operating your drone more efficient and offer protection against grass, water, dirt, and sand.

Below are reasons why you should buy a landing pad. 

Drone Protection

A landing pad protects the drone’s most sensitive parts, such as the motors, propellers, and camera, from snow, sand, water, grass, moisture, and dirt. 

When used for taking off, a landing pad protects these crucial yet delicate parts from getting damaged. This happened once when I went to take off from very tall grass. Some of the grass got caught up in one of the motors, causing the drone to whirl around at take off. I was lucky I managed it at a lower altitude.

Now imagine some debris went into the motors then hindered the motor’s operation when the drone was a few meters above the ground.

You may not be able to salvage the drone from the resulting crash. Moisture could even have more devastating effects since it would start corroding the internal parts and you would only realize the effects when it’s too late.

Weather Protection

Extremely cold, rainy, hot, damp areas could affect the drone’s performance and damage the drone’s battery. 

Therefore, a landing pad creates a conducive environment for the best drone’s performance and saves you a lot of money that could be used in repairing the damaged parts.

Excellence Visibility and Ease of Recognising Location 

Most landing pads have bright colors to enhance visibility. Hence, they make it easy to see the drone when landing or taking off. 

Therefore, controlling your drone in the right direction and avoiding crashes is easy. Besides, if your drone has a visual navigation system, it can recognize the landing area easily when you use features such as Return to Home. 

Cleaner Footage

Debris and dust blur the camera lens, giving you poor video or photo quality. With a landing pad, no debris will get to the lens; hence, the footage is clean and clear. 

Safety Zone Indicator

Some drones are small, and people operating near your landing or take-off zone could easily miss them. So, use a drone pad to help others know that there’s a drone in operation. 

Hence, they can stay away from that zone to avoid accidents or injuries.

Varying Types Of Drone Landing Pads

Varying Types Of Drone Landing Pads

Landing pads come in different sizes and designs. The different sizes help to cater for different drone sizes. 

Some high-end drone landing pads are foldable to ease portability. If you often use your drone at night, you can also get an illuminated one. 

The cost could vary based on these and other factors. Let’s have a look at the various options available. 

Illuminated Drone Landing Pad

Buy an illuminated drone landing pad to enhance visibility when flying your drone at night. If you have a lower budget, consider buying one with a reflective strap. 

These landing pads are easy to see at night or if the environment is poorly lit.

Foldable Landing Pads

To enhance portability, a foldable drone landing pad is ideal. Though most feature a round shape, they come in varying sizes to accommodate all drone sizes. 

Regardless of the size of the pad, once folded, it changes into a compact size that is easy to carry around.

Multi-Functional Landing Pads

Traveling with your drone can be hectic when you have other luggage. A multi-functional drone pad has built-in pockets to store drone accessories. 

Not only is this convenient, but it also protects the accessories from damage. 

Double-Sided Landing Pads

Landing pads with two usable sides with different patterns or colors improve the pad’s visibility when used under different conditions. 

You, therefore, decide which side to use based on the lighting conditions.

Hard Surface Landing Pads

Made of hard materials such as light metal or plastic; these pads are durable and offer excellent stability during landing and take-off. 

However, they’re not ideal for pilots who love traveling with their drones as they’re not foldable.

Inflatable Landing Pads

When using your drone pad, you can inflate it for use but deflate it when storing. 

Deflating makes it possible to travel with the pad, but inflating creates a cushioned takeoff area for the landing surface.

Roll-Up Landing Pads

Featuring a square or rectangular shape, roll-up drone landing pads make portability easy. Their flexible material helps make rolling up into a compact size possible. 

What To Consider When Buying a Landing Pad

What To Consider When Buying a Landing Pad

There are several factors to consider when buying a drone landing pad based on your drone type and size. These factors include size, portability, durability, price, stability, and ease of usage. 

Let’s discuss further.

Durability

A drone’s pad material defines its quality, equivalent to durability. A drone pad that can withstand water, wear, and harsh weather conditions will last longer despite where you use it. 

Such a drone pad could be made of nylon material and is great for pilots who love flying on the beach.

Size

The drone size determines the drone’s pad. Big drones, for example, the DJI Matrice series, need a large landing pad, while small pads are ideal for small drones such as the DJI Mini. 

A large pad leaves extra space on the sides when the drone lands. This leaves no chance for the drone to miss the drone pad whenever it lands, ensuring it’s completely safe from damage caused by water and other elements.  

Portability

Convenience when moving around with your drone is essential. Therefore, when choosing a drone pad, buy one that can be folded or rolled up. 

It should also be lightweight. 

Pilots like myself who love taking video shots or photographs of mountains and hills need drone pads with handles or straps because they are easy to carry to any place and for long distances.

Price

Your drone quality determines the cost of the drone pad to buy. A cheap, small drone needs a smaller pad, which is less expensive. 

On the other hand, large drones used by professional pilots need large drone pads. 

Durable drone pads with extra features such as excellent stability and inbuilt storage anchors and lights may be much more expensive. However, they’re worth every penny. 

Don’t buy a cheap drone pad if it cannot protect your drone from damage. You’ll spend much more than the amount you’ll be trying to save through a cheap pad. 

Stability

Use a stable drone pad to ensure the drone lands and takes off properly without being blown away by the wind. 

The wind could make your drone flip over, making landing safely impossible. Sometimes, it may even be blown away by the wind when taking off. 

Ease of Set Up

Buy a drone pad that is easy to set up to avoid wasting a lot of time, which could highly inconvenience you when shooting videos and photos at events. 

How To Properly Use Your Drone Landing Pad

Your drone type determines how to set it up. However, for most drones, it’s straightforward. Here’s what you should do. 

  • Choose a flat area that isn’t crowded and must be free of obstacles, such as buildings, trees, and powerlines.
  • Set up the landing pad as instructed by the manufacturer. It could be rolling, folding, or any other way, as the manual guide instructs.
  • If the drone pad has two sides, one featuring bright colors or patterns for better visibility and the other plain, choose the right side based on the lighting conditions.
  • Clean the drone and place it in the middle of the pad. Initiate its take-off while ensuring it rises vertically.
  •  When landing, use the automated landing feature or manually control the drone to land at the center of the pad.
  • Clean the drone pad and pack it up as instructed in the manual guide.

Closing Line

A drone’s landing pad protects it from water, dirt, grass, and moisture. These could damage your drone’s camera, motor, and propellers. Consequently, you could spend a lot of money repairing the drone.

To save yourself such costs, buy a good quality drone pad based on the size and type of your drone. 

If you’re a professional drone pilot who travels often, consider buying a multi-purpose drone pad to store drone accessories. A drone pad with illuminating light or bright colors is ideal for night usage. 

Author
Peter Karanja

Peter is a licensed drone pilot and drone fanatic. He owns a DJI Air 2S that he uses to shoot videos for fun, enjoyment and for clients.

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