DJI FPV kill switch [the two options]

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DJI has entered the first-person view (FPV) drone market with its first FPV drone. The drone is perfect for those who want to get into aerial photography or videography and have fun flying at high speeds and viewing the flight through the first-person video stream.

There is a dangerous combination of stick movements and button presses that can quickly kill the motors of your DJI FPV drone. Make sure you know what they are so you don’t inadvertently stop your motors midflight and crash.

DJI FPV remote control has a kill switch on the top right-hand side of the controls. When using manual mode, this button twice will start or stop the motor. You can also kill the DJI motors by using the Combination Stick Command.

How do you do an emergency stop on DJI FPV?

There are two ways that you can do an emergency stop on the DJI FPV. You can use the Combination Stick Command (CSC) any time or double tap the start/stop button if the drone is in manual mode.

When using normal or sports mode, the drone can only be stopped by performing a combination stick command midflight in an emergency. You can change the default setting in the goggles.

While using manual mode, pressing the start and stop button twice will stop the motors at any time. Be warned that stopping the motors midflight will cause the aircraft to crash.

Using the Control Stick Command (CSC)

CSC command stands for Combination Stick Command. CSC is when both joysticks are pulled down fully and to the corners. The CSC is used to start the motors of a DJI drone and can also be used to stop the motors quickly in an emergency.

Using the DJI emergency propeller stop feature is very simple; all it takes is learning to send a command to the drone using only the joysticks.

The drone can also take commands based on how the joysticks are held.

You can start and stop the motors using a combination stick command (CSC).

Push the sticks to the bottom inner or outer corners to start or stop the motors during mid-flight. Once the motors have started spinning or stopped, release both sticks simultaneously and continue with your flight.

Using the Start stop button

The remote control of the DJI FPV has numerous buttons on top of the controller that are controlled by your fingers.

On the top right hand side of the remote control is a start/stop button.

The exact function of this button depends on the mode that you are currently flying in.

For example:

  • When using Sport mode, press once to enable or disable cruise control. When cruise control is enabled, the aircraft will maintain the current flight speed and fly forward.
  • When using Manual mode, press twice to start or stop the motor.
  • When using Normal or Sport mode, press once to cancel Low Battery RTH when the countdown appears in the goggles.

Because the function of this button varies depending on your current mode of operation, you have to be very careful that you do not inadvertently press the button while in manual mode during your flight.

Doing so will crash your drone.

Also, there has been a lot of criticism about positioning this button near the camera shutter button.

Here is an example of someone who inadvertently pressed the stop/start button while in manual mode, thinking they were pushing the shutter or recorded button.

How do you disarm DJI FPV?

DJI has chosen to disarm their FPV drone with a double tap button instead of an A/B toggle switch. On traditional FPV controllers, to arm the motors, you toggle an A/B switch to start the motors and then flip that switch back to disarm them.

If you have flown traditional FPV drones in the past, it may take a while to get used to arming your drone this way.

Ensuring that you are completely familiar with all the different buttons and the combination of presses required to start, stop, and kill the motors will be paramount in keeping your drones safe.

Unfortunately, there are many people who have ended up crashing their drone because of the accidental pressing of this button.

You can practice in the DJI FPV online simulator to get comfortable with all the functions.

One of the added complications is that you will probably be flying this drone using the headset, meaning that you will not be able to look at the remote control while flying.

Extra practice will be required even if you’re coming from another drone in the DJI ecosystem that you are very comfortable with.

Why you’d need to use the DJI FPV kill switch

Turning off your drone in the middle of the flight seems like suicide – because it is. You will cause damage to your drone if you allow it to freefall, and there are some instances in which the drones will be destroyed completely.

However, using the combination stick command to stop the drone is in the best interest of safety if:

  • the drone is rapidly ascending or descending despite your commands
  • the drone is accelerating away from the intended direction
  • the drone is heading toward people
  • the drone is heading toward another manned aircraft such as a helicopter or light plane
  • the drone quickly heads out of your line of sight
  • the drone is twisting, turning, and flipping in the air
  • you notice that the drone is drifting quickly to one side – indicating a faulty motor
  • you need to stop your drone from heading out over water despite trying to return.

Turning off your drone midflight will be one of the hardest decisions you can make as a drone pilot, especially if you are flying one of the latest flagship models from DJI, such as the DJI FPV.

There is a lot of money flying when you are flying a drone, but the safety of people should be a priority for any drone pilot.

Wrapping up

This article has covered everything you need to know about the DJI FPV kill switch and how you can inadvertently hit it during flight.

Ensuring you understand the combination stick command and that the start/stop button kills the motors in manual mode will help you avoid inadvertently crashing your drone.

Always fly within your capability zone and slowly expand your skills until taking photos, flying, and navigating the drone becomes second nature.

The Author

Dr Andrew Stapleton is a Drone pilot, Writer and YouTuber with a PhD in science. His drone footage has been featured on TV (ABC Documentary) and he has written and/or produced videos for Science Alert, COSMOS magazine, and Australia's Science Channel among others. He has been a drone pilot for many years and has flown many types of drones.