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The Complete Guide to Drone ATTI Mode

drone atti mode

If you’re a DJI drone pilot, you’ve likely come across ATTI mode at some point. Now a built-in feature on newer models, ATTI mode is a setting you can manually select on older DJI drones like the Phantom 3 and 4. It’s also manually available on commercial drones such as the Matrice and Inspire 2 – though it’s referred to as A mode on these.

But what exactly is ATTI mode and how can it affect your flying?

Today, we’ll be discussing everything you need to know about DJI’s ATTI mode. In the right circumstances, it can be a super useful feature that can save you from losing your drone. Let’s take a look.

What’s ATTI Mode?

P Mode, S Mode and OPTI Mode

Why Do People Like to Fly in  ATTI Mode?

When will i need to fly in atti mode, should i learn to fly in atti mode, steps to take when learning to fly in atti mode.

ATTI Mode, short for Attitude Mode, is a DJI-specific mode that allows drone flight without the use of GPS or VPS (Vision Position Systems). ATTI mode is also other drones too but it may have a slightly different name.

Because GPS/VPS are deactivated in ATTI mode, you need to be aware that there’ll be no obstacle avoidance and your drone won’t course correct if there’s a gust of wind.

When in ATTI mode, your drone will attempt to keep its altitude based on barometer readings but will drift forwards, backward, and side to side in the wind. You’ll need to manually adjust your course to counteract the wind making it extremely difficult to fly in bad conditions.

In ATTI mode your drone also won’t automatically break. If you want to slow down, you’ll have to move the stick into the opposite position – kind of like a reverse thruster.

Some other modes you may want to note are Positioning(P) mode, Sport(S) mode, and OPTI-mode. The latter is only available on a few drones.

This is the standard mode your drone will usually be in. Both GPS and VPS are active and will help your drone to be stable during flight, even in windy conditions.

Sport mode is designed for those of you who want your drone to go fast. When activated, your GPS will still be running, but only the side VPS are turned on. You’ll notice that when you fly in this mode, your drone will tilt more to generate speed.

If your drone doesn’t have an adequate GPS signal, it may go into OPTI mode, which is purely run on the VPS. However, using the VPS alone can be detrimental because it doesn’t do well at low altitudes, in the dark, or when flying over reflective surfaces like water.

So if it’s so difficult, why would people want to fly in this mode?

One of the main benefits of flying in ATTI mode is that you’ll end up with a much smoother picture when filming, which makes it appealing to professional videographers and hobbyist cinematographers who want to capture the best footage they can. Additionally, it makes it easier to fly your drone in narrow or enclosed spaces.

Also, it’s simply more fun, and people like a challenge.

Flying in ATTI mode will present a lot more difficulties and overall make you a better drone pilot. Additionally, if you have a drone that can manually switch to ATTI mode, it’s great practice in the event your drone auto-switches to this mode mid-flight as you’ll know how to react and will be able to control your drone safely.

Finally, some people like to fly their drones indoors. Though we don’t recommend flying drones inside (unless it’s a small toy drone designed for indoor flight), many people still will, and more often than not, the GPS will fail.

Any time that your drone’s GPS fails, whether you’re in the sky or not taken off yet, your drone will kick into ATTI mode.

But why does the drone GPS fail?

Failure can happen for many reasons including interference, shielding, or just a general system failure. It can also happen if your drone has compass issues, so it’s important to recalibrate your compass regularly – especially traveling by air. Regardless of the reason, it’s your responsibility to be able to control the drone and be able to land it safely.

Flying your drone without any sort of guidance is a real skill that you need to master, and you can’t master things overnight. Nevertheless, it’s important that you regularly practice flying in ATTI mode so you don’t get caught out if you ever lose GPS.

Additionally, if you’re flying your drone for commercial/enterprise reasons, or take part in what’s classed as higher risk flights (not your standard recreational flights) you’ll need to demonstrate your ability to fly in ATTI mode.

mavic mini fly indoor

Whatever the reasons, learning to fly in ATTI mode is a valuable skill that can help anyone become a more competent pilot and avoid crashes.

But, I have a drone that has no option to manually switch to ATTI mode, meaning I can’t practice.

There are some workarounds to this. Some people suggest covering up the VPS sensors on the bottom of the drone which can kick the drone automatically into ATTI mode. However, this isn’t always effective as you also require a weak GPS signal for your drone to go into ATTI mode. This hack might work inside the home, but if you only have limited space, you’re likely going to crash and do more harm than good.

Fear not, you still have a couple of options.

It’s always worth checking for firmware updates initially, as last year the Mavic 2 Enterprise updated its firmware to include manual switching to ATTI mode and this could be something that is filtered down to hobbyist drones in the future.

Next, you can always consider buying a drone that has a manual ATTI option. The Hubsan 501s is a great, sub $200 drone and if you do crash, at least you’ve not done it to a $450+ drone.

If your budget is really slim, you can also use a toy drone to help you learn how to fly without GPS and obstacle avoidance. We recently did a round-up of the best micro drones and they’re a great way to perfect your flying skills. They’re lightweight, super cheap, and put simply if you can fly them well, you can pretty much fly anything. – Don’t take them outside though.

When practicing flying in ATTI mode for the first time, we recommend taking your drone out into a wide-open space with no obstacles. Also, make sure there’s little to no wind – you’ll be surprised how much your drone can drift even in seemingly calm conditions.

If you know anyone who has experience flying in ATTI mode, invite them along to help you, or seek advice from your local drone club.

When taking off and landing , use Positioning(P) mode and then switch to ATTI once you’re stable and ready.

Hover your drone close by so you can see it easily and monitor the way it drifts and operates. Make regular small course corrections as soon as you see it move. Remember if things get out of hand you can always switch back into P mode.

man is flying a drone

Try to practice some simple flying maneuvers . Practice hovering over static objects like cones or whatever you have lying around and then move on to turns. Once you feel comfortable, try flying in a figure of eight shapes. This will help you to get used to how your controls react in a real-life setting.

After you’ve had a fair amount of practice, and you know what to expect, you can start taking the drone out in gradually windier conditions to see how it handles.

Keep practicing until you’re fully confident that you could recover your drone if it automatically went into ATTI mode midflight and keep your memory fresh by flying like this every so often.

Final Thoughts

We hope this covers everything you need to know about ATTI mode and that you’re in a position to practice flying your drone this way to avoid unnecessary disaster if you lose GPS/VPS.

Remember when you’re just setting up your drone, it may take a few minutes for the GPS to kick in. Don’t be impatient and wait for the signal, this way you won’t accidentally end up in ATTI mode and inadvertently crash your drone. Let us know your experience flying in ATTI mode below.

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Why Learning to Fly Your Drone in ATTI Mode is Essential

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One reason for the surge in popularity of modern drones is the ease with which they can be used. Through arrays of sensors and smart features, anyone can pick up a drone and learn to fly it in less than an hour.

However, an over-reliance on user-friendly drone flight features can put you in trouble when something goes wrong. Do you know what to do if your drone suddenly loses the ability to hover in place? Before that happens, it’s good to get a bit of practice by flying your drone in ATTI mode?

What is ATTI mode?

Dji air 2s deep dive.

ATTI mode (short for Attitude mode) is a flight mode in DJI drones where the GPS positioning and other visual positioning systems are disabled. In this mode, the flight has to be done completely manually. Without the aid of automatic positioning systems, a drone will not maintain a stable hover. This means that it can drift sidewards or lose altitude without pilot intervention. It will also maintain motion in any direction unless force to steer it in any other direction.

In older DJI drones, ATTI mode was just another of the standard flight modes that pilots can manually switch to. This seems to have been discontinued in more modern DJI drones like the Mavic Air 2. However, the drone can still automatically switch to ATTI mode if it detects a weak GPS signal.

There is currently no method endorsed by DJI to “force” ATTI mode on their newer drones. The crudest way to do this would be to cover the GPS receivers and downward vision system with some tape or aluminum foil. However, this would essentially lock your drone into ATTI mode with no way to fly it normally without having to retrieve it. This can be dangerous if you’ve never used your drone in ATTI mode before.

The safest way to fly in ATTI mode would be to use an older DJI drone, like the classic Phantom models. These drones have ATTI modes that can be activated via a physical switch on the controller. Phantoms are used in some countries (such as Canada and Australia) where learning to fly in ATTI mode is a requirement for drone pilot certification.

Why practicing in ATTI mode can be useful

Basically, ATTI mode is the mode that the drone switches to when things go wrong. Your drone may lose GPS reception when it flies under a canopy or when it flies near a strong source of signal interference. When this happens, you can suddenly lose the GPS stabilization feature that you have heavily relied on.


Learning to fly in ATTI modes is also important if you’re planning to fly your drone indoors. Indoor space is great because it’s outside of FAA jurisdiction. However, indoor flight may also be one of the most difficult things you can do as a drone pilot. The dynamics of drone flight change massively when you’re flying near walls and ceilings. You also do not have the benefit of GPS stabilization when indoors.

Professional drone photographers and filmmakers often fly in ATTI mode on purpose. Flying in ATTI mode allows them to shoot smoother videos without the jerky motion that typically results from sudden braking or constant GPS correction.

Learning to fly in ATTI mode gives you good practice on what to do when conditions are not perfect. If your drone loses GPS reception momentarily, you will have to rein it in lest it ends up flying away uncontrollably. It’s worth mentioning that drones suddenly shifting to ATTI mode is one of the major reasons for drone flyaways, especially in the hands of an unskilled drone pilot.

The skill to fly in ATTI mode is essential enough that some aviation agencies in other countries even require it for drone pilot certification. There may be no such requirement by the FAA but we believe that it is a valuable skill to learn nonetheless.

Tips for flying in ATTI mode

Flying in ATTI mode can be quite dangerous if you’re not used to it. If you’re still practicing, here are a few tips to keep you and your drone safe.

1. Practice in an open space with no people


The first piece of advice is to practice in ATTI mode in a relatively low-risk area. You want to be in a wide-open space with minimal obstacles and no nearby bodies of water. You will want to keep the drone close enough that you can see its attitude without having to rely on the onboard camera. More importantly, do your practice in an unpopulated place. A crash is not a certainty but is more likely when flying in ATTI mode.

2. Use propeller guards

Related to the first item, you may want to install propeller guards on your drone before doing your practice run. It would be a shame to have to replace your propellers every time you try flying in ATTI mode. This is not something that you can be an expert on with just one practice session.

3. Avoid practicing in strong winds

Drifting because of strong winds is one of the major hurdles of flying in ATTI mode. If you’re still new to this, then practicing on a clear, calm day would be a good idea. As your skills improve, you can try to fly in progressively stronger winds. Wind drift is something you will need to deal with eventually.

4. Do the basic maneuvers

Practicing in ATTI mode should be treated like the first time you tried flying your drone. You will have to relearn the basics, including the basic flight maneuvers. These include taking off, landing, hovering in place, flying in a figure-eight, and doing the standard roll, pitch, and yaw movements. You will find that you will need to make more frequent inputs to control the behavior of the drone.

Don’t expect to get a handle on flying in ATTI mode over a single practice session. The very essence of learning in ATTI is knowing how to adapt to changing situations. Doing repeat practice runs will help you develop this skill in a variety of conditions. It also helps massively to do these exercises with another drone pilot, preferable one who already knows how to fly in ATTI mode. For this particular skill, experience is the best teacher.

Final thoughts

Flying in ATTI mode may have become an overlooked skill nowadays, especially since it’s no longer a flight mode that drone pilots can easily switch to. However, it’s still worth the time to practice flying in ATTI mode, particularly for professional drone pilots.

It’s quite frustrating that modern DJI drones no longer provide a convenient option to switch to ATTI mode. This is likely a consequence of DJI drones implementing a built-in Geofencing system that only works if the drone has active GPS reception. In this context, make sure that you are not in a controlled airspace when doing practice runs in ATTI mode.

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What is the ATTI Mode in DJI Drones?

What is the ATTI Mode in DJI Drones?

Joseph Flynt

As drone technology becomes more and more sophisticated, new drones are also becoming smarter. Drones are now getting equipped with more sensors that allow them to do autonomous functions, such as obstacle avoidance and intelligent routing. Still, there is no replacement for good old piloting skills just in case all these sensors fail.

A good instance of sensors not fulfilling their supposed functions is when DJI drones go into ATTI mode. If you own a DJI drone, this is a mode that you have probably seen activated and perhaps struggled with. What exactly is ATTI mode and when is it triggered? Should you continue to fly when your drone goes into ATTI mode? All those questions and more will be answered in this article.

What is ATTI Mode?

Simply put, ATTI Mode stands for “attitude mode”. As its name implies, flying in ATTI mode relies greatly on the directional attitude of the drone, or the direction in which it is pointed. ATTI mode is commonly triggered when the drone loses GPS connection, such as during the first few seconds when the drone has just started up.

ATTI Mode can also be triggered when its internal compass malfunctions, which may be caused by a nearby magnetic source or any large metallic structure. When this happens, the compass will typically need to be recalibrated before the drone can fly again.

Without a GPS connection, the drone cannot hold its horizontal position. This means that it is prone to drifting along with the wind. The drone can still hold its vertical position by using its built-in barometer. However, horizontal movement will be completely yielded to the drone pilot. Auto-braking is also deactivated in ATTI mode, and the drone will carry some inertia before it comes to a stop.

Drones going into ATTI mode can be particularly problematic for new drone pilots. Without the help of a GPS or any visual positioning system, it can be very easy to get into a crash. Orienting the drone and getting the right directional attitude can also be quite challenging, especially when the drone has flown too far away.

It’s very interesting that although new pilots typically have a problem with drones that go into ATTI Mode, expert pilots prefer it to a GPS-controlled mode. What is the reason behind this contrast of mindsets? Is flying an ATTI mode something a drone pilot should be afraid of or something they should be getting used to?

How does it differ to the other flight modes?

In order to understand the intricacies of the ATTI Mode, it is worthwhile to look at the more “standard” flight modes that DJI drones operate on. DJI flight modes are often prefixed with a “P”, which stands for Positioning mode. This means that the drones make use of its array of sensors to help it identify and maintain its position.

Under ideal circumstances, a drone will be in P-GPS Mode. In this mode, the drone uses both GPS positioning and vision positioning, allowing it to maintain its horizontal positioning by counteracting drifts caused by the wind. Depending on the model, a different number of visual sensors also help the drone identify and avoid obstacles in its surroundings.

If the drone loses its GPS connection but can still identify objects using visual sensors, it goes into P-OPTI mode. However, optical sensors can fail when it’s extremely dark, or when they are faced with highly reflective surfaces or surfaces with repeating patterns. Moreover, P-OPTI mode will deactivate when the drone flies above 3 meters, as its downward facing sensor can no longer detect the bottom surface.

Another oft-used mode in DJI drones is Sport mode, which allows the drone to fly at its maximum speed. This mode deactivates all safety features, including visual and infrared systems. The GPS sensors are still used to enhance flight stability, given that the drone can secure a GPS fix.

Why is ATTI Mode associated with flyaways?

ATTI Mode has earned a bad reputation due to its frequent association with drone flyaways. Flyaways happen when the drone gets out of control of the pilot, commonly resulting in the drone flying further than intended.

Drone flyaways commonly occur when the drone suddenly loses its GPS connection and goes into ATTI Mode. For new drone pilots, this can be a very unexpected situation which they don’t know how to react to. Without GPS guidance, there is no way for a drone pilot to active its automatic return-to-home function. The drone also loses any horizontal stabilization, meaning that it can very easily drift with strong winds.

When the drone shift into ATTI Mode, it can only fly relative to its directional attitude. This sudden change in orientation can be quite jarring to the drone pilot, and it could take some time before they can orient themselves to the drone’s direction. During this adjustment period, the drone pilot is left helpless, unable to determine how to fly the drone home.

What are the advantages of flying in ATTI Mode?

Despite its difficulties, many experienced drone pilots even prefer flying in ATTI Mode and look for ways to manually activate it. These are some of the most commonly cited advantages of flying in ATTI Mode:

1. Smoother videos

Flying in ATTI Mode reduces the usual jerkiness caused by the constant corrections being made by the GPS technology to stabilize the drone’s horizontal position. The lack of auto-brake features also means that drones come into a slow and smooth break, carrying over some inertia before the drone naturally stops. These effects results in generally smoother drone footage. For many professional drone filmmakers, flying in ATTI Mode is pretty much a given.

2. Gives good practice

Experienced drone pilots often advice new pilots to get used to flying in ATTI Mode. Practicing in ATTI Mode is merely prudent, given that GPS signal dropouts will inevitably occur in the course of drone flight. Flyaways happen only because drone pilots do not know how to react when their drone suddenly goes into ATTI Mode. With the right amount of practice, a pilot will get used to flying against and along with the direction of the wind.

3. Necessary for indoor flight

For many professional drone pilots, being able to fly indoors has become a necessary skill. Whether it’s for capturing footage for a live event or for real estate advertising, indoor flight is a valuable addition to the skillset of any drone pilot. Naturally, flying indoors will mean that the drone will have no GPS connection. The lack of horizontal stabilization can make your drone drift even in the presence of light winds from an indoor ceiling fan or a breeze from an open window.

Although your DJI drone might have an array of visual sensors for obstacle identification, wayward drifting may still be a challenge for its autonomous obstacle avoidance system. Thus, it is still best to develop your piloting skills to a level that will allow you to fly indoors in ATTI Mode.

4. Prevent flyaways

As described above, flyaways in ATTI Mode are typically the result of drone pilots not knowing what to do once their drone loses its GPS connection. Practicing in ATTI Mode allows the drone pilot to get a feel for flying a drone even as it drifts with the wind. By developing this skill, a drone pilot can safely navigate their drone home even with the challenges of flying in ATTI Mode.  

Which DJI drones have ATTI Mode?

DJI Phantom drones, being designed for professional photography and filmmaking, can be put in ATTI Mode with a flick of a physical switch on the remote controller. This is a widely used and well-known feature that has made the DJI Phantom drones one of the most popular professional-grade drones through the past few years.

Consumer-level drones, such as the Mavic and the Spark, also come with an ATTI Mode. The main difference is that they cannot be activated manually. Instead, these drones automatically go into ATTI Mode when they lose their GPS connections. This is the reason why there have been a lot of drone flyaways due to ATTI Mode – without the provision to manually switch to ATTI Mode, pilots of these drones are often caught by surprise and do not know how to react.

However, a workaround has been developed recently for the owners of Mavic and Spark drones who want to fly in ATTI Mode on Purpose. Using the DJI Assistant 2 software, the drone pilot can switch out one flight mode – usually Sport – and replace it with ATTI Mode. This effectively remaps the flight mode options of these drones, finally allowing manual ATTI Mode activation. This configuration in all Mavic drones, including the newly released Mavic 2 models.

How to fly in ATTI Mode

Flying in ATTI Mode takes a little getting used to, and these are the usual tips we have received from experienced drone pilots:

1. Practice on a cheap drone without GPS

Although it may be tempting to active ATTI Mode on your DJI drone right away, flying in ATTI Mode right away without practice is pretty much asking for an accident to happen. For a low-risk method of practicing, we recommend using a cheap toy drone. Toy drones typically do not have any GPS modules, and their small sizes make them very vulnerable to drifting. The skill of compensating for wind direction is very valuable and something you will need once you fly your expensive drone in ATTI Mode.

2. Orient yourself immediately (use camera, keep within VLOS)

The other challenge when flying in ATTI Mode is being able to orient yourself to the drone’s directional attitude. Should you fail in this aspect, there is practically no chance that you will be able to fly your drone safely home.

The most immediate option to get oriented to the drone is to fly using the drone’s real-time video feed. If you can find certain landmarks that will point the drone towards your direction, then you can probably navigate it home rather easily.

Another option is to determine the orientation of your drone visually. Obviously, this gets harder the farther the drone is. Should your drone go into ATTI Mode and you find yourself unable to determine its orientation, the best course of action is to go as close to its as possible. When you get a sense of your drone’s directional attitude, it becomes so much easier to fly it towards your intended direction.

3. Fly at high altitudes

It may seem counterintuitive because you want to land your drone, but many experienced drone pilots recommend getting your drone to gain altitude. There is some good reasoning behind this. Getting your drone higher up means that it is less likely to crash into any obstacle. It also means that it gets into better position to regain its GPS connection, allowing you to fly normally again.

4. Use Tripod Mode

Activating Tripod Mode is recommended when flying your drone indoors in ATTI Mode. Flight controls are dampened in Tripod Mode, allowing you to make finer movements negotiate the smaller and more constricted environment. It is also assumed that there is less drift when flying indoors, so you won’t need to compensate as much.

Final thoughts

Flying in ATTI Mode can be considered a double-edged sword: while it provides better quality video footage for professional drone photographers, it also often results in drone flyaways. In any case, learning to fly in ATTI Mode is a worthwhile exercise for any drone pilot. GPS dropouts and compass malfunctions are inevitable, especially considering how many sources of signal interference there are in an urban environment. Even large natural structures, such as cliff walls and trees, can prevent a drone from getting an accurate GPS fix.

Learning to fly in ATTI Mode is so critical that many experts have said that it can one day save your drone. Given how many instances of drone flyaway are reported due to GPS dropouts, we find it hard to argue with this declaration.

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8 Best Tips for Time-Lapse Photography Using Drones

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DJI Drones – How To Change Flight Modes (Positioning, Sport, Attitude)

DJI series drones like an Inspire, Phantom, or Mavic have three standard flight modes that are available depending on the type of flight needed. This article will not discuss the intelligent flight modes (ActiveTrack, TapFly, Tripod,…). Being aware of […]

  • Post author By Jessie Edmisten
  • Post date November 15, 2021
  • 2 Comments on DJI Drones – How To Change Flight Modes (Positioning, Sport, Attitude)

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DJI series drones like an Inspire , Phantom , or Mavic have three standard flight modes that are available depending on the type of flight needed. This article will not discuss the intelligent flight modes (ActiveTrack, TapFly, Tripod,…). Being aware of the differences in these flight modes and how to switch to them can be important to every DJI drone owner.

Three Standard Flight Modes

  • P (Positioning) Mode : This is the default mode. Positioning mode has GPS/GLONASS sensors enabled to hold the drones position to prevent it from drifting away. Obstacle sensors are enabled to prevent crashes.
  • S (Sport) Mode : Sport mode can be also be thought of as speed mode because it increases the speed that the drone can fly. Phantom 4 series drones and the Mavic 2 can reach speeds up to 45 mph. The Inspire 2 can reach speeds up to 58 mph. In sport mode, the GPS/GLONASS sensors are enabled. However, the obstacle avoidance sensors are disabled which means it is important to be aware of how close you are to any objects.
  • A (Attitude) Mode : Attitude mode is commonly referred to as Atti mode. In Atti mode the GPS/GLONASS sensors are disabled. Obstacle avoidance sensors are also disabled. This mode uses the barometer to maintain the altitude. It is sometimes useful to use Atti mode in enclosed areas because GPS/GLONASS can become confused and effect the flight negatively. Also, while flying in the other modes, if GPS/GLONASS signals are lost then the drone will go into Atti mode.

Steps To Enable Multiple Flight Modes

The following steps were written using the  DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2 . The other DJI drones like the  Inspire  or  Mavic  series will have the same or similar steps.

  • Open the DJI GO 4 app.
  • Tap the three dots on the upper right side.

DJI GO 4 Main Screen

3. From the side menu that displays, click the drone icon at the top left to display the Main Controller Settings screen.

DJI GO 4 General Settings

4. Click the toggle switch for Multiple Flight Modes to turn it on.

DJI GO 4 Main Controller Settings

5. Use the switch on the side of your controller to change to from P (Positioning) Mode to S (Sport) Mode or A (Attitude) Mode.

After changing to a different mode than P (Positioning) Mode, the text next to the drone icon at the top will change from GPS to Sport or Atti.

DJI GO 4 Sport Mode

Every DJI drone owner should know the difference between the three standard flight modes and when to use them. To use sport mode and atti mode, multiple flight modes need to be enabled in the DJI GO app and then the mode needs to be selected on the transmitter.

For information about Beginner Mode check out this post .

Here are some more articles you may be interested in:

Review Of KINBON Drone Landing Pad

Review Of Smatree Phantom 4 Battery Charging Hub

Six Simple Accessories To Improve Aerial Photo/Video Flights

2 replies on “DJI Drones – How To Change Flight Modes (Positioning, Sport, Attitude)”

On a mavic pro Does the alt mode only work if GPS in weak The switch on side of controller Is only p and s mode

You need to manually assign ATTI mode using DJI Assistant v1.1.2

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Top 10 reasons why the dji phantom 4 pro v2.0 remains a favorite for many drone pilots.

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The iconic quadcopter from DJI, that needs no re-re-introduction , has remained a favorite of many drone pilots even though the competition is heating up. Here are our top ten reasons why the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0  ( DJI ,  Amazon ) is the one and only drone that can do it all and should be at the top of your list as well.

Top 10 reasons why the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 remains a favorite

Yes, we know, the DJI Phantom is not perfect. It certainly has its shortcomings as well and yes it is an aging quadcopter that has been overdue for a successor. However, at the same time, the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 still remains at the top of every drone enthusiast or professional’s list, because it is the one and only drone that can do it all and will perform time and time again.

Here are our top ten reasons why the aging DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 is the king of the hill.

1. Stable aerial platform

The DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 delivers when it comes to providing a stable aerial platform. In windy and rainy conditions or even at high altitudes you can count on the DJI Phantom to provide you with a stable aerial platform that will allow you to create the amazing still imagery or videography that you need. No other off-the-shelf, affordable drone delivers the way the Phantom does.

Top ten 10 reasons why the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 remains a favorite for many drone pilots

2. Great range and connectivity

The DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 offers you OcuSync 2.0 HD transmission that will give you a stable and reliable connection. It will also allow you to fly the drone safely in almost all kind of environments if you know what you are doing (ATTI mode). And it provides you with a range of almost 5 miles, meaning that you will run into the legal restrictions from the FAA before you will be limited by the drone.

3. Great photo and video quality

The DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 has a camera with an f/2.8-f/11, wide-angle lens (24mm) and a 1-inch CMOS sensor that shoots 4K video at 60 fps / 100Mbps and can take 20MP stills with a dynamic range of 12.5 EVs, according to DxO .

The Phantom allows you to shoot video in D-Log mode and H.265 codec for very crisp and professional-looking video footage, easily beating what comes out of the DJI Mavic 2 Pro. The DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 comes with a mechanical shutter that eliminates the rolling shutter effect and also makes this drone ideal for commercial applications such as mapping .

atti mode phantom

4. 30-minute flight time

The DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 allows you to stay airborne for up to 30 minutes with its Intelligent Flight Batteries. This means that it still offers you one of the best flight times of all DJI drones and means in practice that you have the time to position the drone exactly so to take the shot you had in mind. Or to try and capture complicated video shooting maneuvers again and again until you get it right.

atti mode phantom

5. Weatherproof

The DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 can deal with high winds and rain. The motors are strong enough to fly confidently in high wind conditions as you can see in these videos where a Phantom was used to capture racing sailboats. And even though the drone is not officially waterproof, it can definitely withstand some rain.

atti mode phantom

6. Nearly indestructible and easily repairable

No drone is indestructible and neither is the Phantom 4. But I have seen plenty of Phantoms that were seriously damaged and that would still start up and fly. Of course, you should not fly a damaged drone as it will not be as safe an aircraft as it could be. It does mean however that you do not need to baby a Phantom and in case your drone does get damaged, the aircraft is easy to repair.

atti mode phantom

7. Easy to fly

The DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 is a drone that responds well and quickly to pilot input and in combination with DJI’s latest version of their DJI Go 4 app, OcuSync 2.0, and the drone’s 5-direction obstacle sensing, it makes for a quadcopter that anybody can fly safely and easily. The Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 will allow anybody to start as a beginner drone enthusiast and graduate as a professional drone operator. Not all drones will allow you to do that.

atti mode phantom

8. ATTI mode

The DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 has a dedicated ATTI or Attitude mode switch on the controller which will allow you to quickly take manual control of the aircraft in case of a fly-away or a situation in which there is a lot of GPS interference. The fact that you do not have to dig into the menu system but can quickly flick the switch to activate the ATTI mode makes the drone that much safer an aircraft to fly. Very few drones that are on the market today offer you this functionality.

atti mode phantom

9. Intelligent Flight Modes

Intelligent Flight Modes on the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 make many things easier for sure. For instance, the drone offers you ActiveTrack, TapFly, Draw Mode, and Gesture Mode. These are all nice but the most important Intelligent Flight Mode, I think is the Return to Home mode. At any point in time, you can easily and quickly hit this button on the Remote Controller to bring the drone back home safely and quickly.

10. Ergonomics

The DJI Phantom is a larger drone and for sure it is not the easiest aircraft to travel with. The landing gear adds to the size of the drone and the Remote Controller is bulky as well. If you’re looking for the ideal travel drone, the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 is not it.

However, on the flip side, the large drone makes it easy to hand-catch the aircraft during landing procedures. And the larger remote controller makes the drone easier to fly for people with larger hands or even with gloves on. The controller is easy to grab and buttons are easy to find and press. Not all DJI drones offer this level of usability.

atti mode phantom

In conclusion

The aging DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 may not be the perfect drone for everybody in every situation, but it for sure is the perfect drone for most people in most circumstances. If I had to pick one drone right now that will always deliver, that will fly in pretty much any circumstances, and that can be flown by a beginner drone pilot while at the same time allowing a professional drone operator to earn an income, I’d grab the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 in a heartbeat. No doubt about it.

What do you think about the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0? What drone would you pick if you could only pick one? What do you like or dislike about the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0? Let us know in the comment below.

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Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Main Writer at DroneDJ, where he covers all drone related news and writes product reviews. He also contributes to the other sites in the 9to5Mac group such as; 9to5Mac, 9to5Google, 9to5Toys and Electrek. Haye can be reached at [email protected] or @hayekesteloo 

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DJI Phantom 4 Tutorials For Active Track And Flight Modes

DJI Phantom 4 Intelligent Mode Tutorials

These Phantom 4 tutorials will show you how to fly the quadcopter, how to use the intelligent flight modes such as Tap Fly, Active Track, Follow Me and Points Of Interest, Waypoints and more. The instructional tutorials will cover all the Phantom 4 models including the new Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 tutorials.

As well as the Phantom 4 tutorials, we have included a terrific Phantom 4 Pro camera tutorial, showing you how to use the various camera settings to capture great aerial cinematography every time.

Keeping your quadcopter up to date is important and you will find links to the Phantom 4 firmware update tutorials at the end.

The Phantom 4 has a terrific choice of intelligent flight modes and an excellent camera. This makes the Phantom 4 one of the best drones on the market. It is used by both hobbyists and professionals in commercial activities.

You can read our full DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 review here, which includes some terrific videos.

OK. Let’s start with the Phantom 4 tutorials.

DJI Phantom 4 Tutorials

These DJI Phantom 4 tutorials are well explained and easy to follow and cover all intelligent flight modes;

  • Beginner Mode
  • Flying in P-Mode (Position)
  • Flying in S-Mode (Sport)
  • Flying in A-Mode (Attitude) tutorial
  • Active Track (Profile, Spotlight, Circle)
  • Phantom 4 TapFly tutorial
  • Draw tutorial
  • Phantom 4 Waypoint tutorial
  • Point Of Interest
  • Gesture Mode tutorial
  • Terrain Follow Mode
  • Phantom 4 Tripod Mode
  • Course Lock tutorial
  • Phantom 4 Home Lock tutorial
  • Best Camera Settings tutorial

If you would like more detailed information on each flight mode, we have a great article entitled Phantom 4 Intelligent Flight Modes Explained .

Phantom 4 Beginner Flight Mode

In “Beginner Mode, the Phantom 4 cannot fly higher than 100 feet (30 meters) or beyond the recorded home point. It also prevents camera tilt controls giving new pilots a chance to familiarize themselves with flying before adding more distance and camera control. The Phantom 4 is set to beginner mode by default.

When Beginner mode is switched off, the Phantom 4 will default to its maximum flight altitude of 390 feet (120 meters) above its takeoff point. This can be adjusted to a maximum of 1640 ft (500 meters). You can also set your own maximum distance.

Here is a short Phantom 4 tutorial to switch off the Beginner Mode .

Understanding DJI Flight Modes (Position, Sports & Attitude)

It is important to know the difference in the 3 flight modes (P-Mode, S-Mode & A-Mode) and why you would fly in those flight modes. This short DJI Phantom 4 tutorial explains everything about the Position, Sports and Attitude flight modes.

DJI Phantom 4 Pro Tutorial – Flying In P-Mode (Position)

This is your regular flight mode. It includes GPS and GLONASS satellite positioning.

P-Mode allows your quadcopter to use its vision sensors, obstacle sensing and drone collision avoidance technologies .

It is also the position you need to be in to use all the intelligent flight modes, such as Waypoints, ActiveTrack, TapFly, Course Lock, Tripod mode etc.

Flying The Phantom 4 In Sports Mode Tutorial

Sport Mode (S-Mode) allows you to fly the Phantom 4 at speeds up to 45 mph (72 km/h). On the remote controller you need to switch to S-Mode.  You also need to enable “Multiple Flight Mode” in the DJI Go app. While flying in Sports mode you will have full satellite and vision positioning support.

NOTE:  In sports mode, obstacle sensors are turned off so you need to be fully aware of where you are flying.

This is a nice DJI Phantom 4 tutorial showing you how to fly in Sports mode.

How To Fly Phantom 4 In Atti Mode Tutorial

ATTI or Attitude mode allows you to fly as fast as in Sports mode. Now, in Atti mode, the satellite navigation is switched off.  So you have no GPS or GLONASS satellites for navigation and the drone will drift when hovering.

Now there is GPS working in the background, which can detect and prevent the drone from flying into a no fly zone.

The inbuilt IMU, Flight Control and barometer will hold the Phantom 4’s height so it won’t drop.

Atti is all about manual flying. This next DJI video tutorial explains how to fly in Atti mode and the reasons you would want to fly in Atti mode.

If you would like to learn more about how drones keep stable in the air, they read this terrific article entitled, “ Drone Stabilization, IMU and Flight Controllers explained “.

Phantom 4 Pro Tutorial For Active Track Follow (Trace, Profile And Spotlight)

This Phantom 4 Pro ActiveTrack intelligent mode allows you to mark and track a moving object on your mobile device screen. In Active Track, the Phantom 4 will detect and automatically avoid obstacles in its flight path.

The Phantom 4 Pro recognizes subjects, follows and captures them as they move, making it easier to film complex shots.  The Phantom 4 Pro can identify and track bikes, vehicles, people and animals.

The next two Phantom 4 tutorials cover Active Track and flying in Trace, Profile and Spotlight mode.

  • Trace – Follows you even if you move away or change direction, while avoiding obstacles. In Trace, the Phantom 4 quadcopter can also circle you.
  • Spotlight – Locks the camera on the subject, while you fly in almost any direction. The subject basically becomes the center of attention.
  • Profile – Tracks the subject horizontally. It will fly along side the subject.

Terrain Mode In ActiveTrack

The terrain follow mode works while flying using Active Track. In Terrain Follow Mode, the Phantom 4 will maintain a height above the ground between 3.28 feet (1 meter) and 32.80 feet (10 meters). This mode is designed for use on slopes of no more than 20 degrees.

When this mode is enabled, the Phantom 4 Pro’s current height will be recorded. The drone will maintain the recorded height during flight and ascend when the slope rises. However, the Phantom 4 Pro will not descend in downward slopes.

Note: If you need parts or accessories for your drone, then check our DJI Phantom 4 parts, upgrades and accessories page .  There is a huge amount of parts and accessories for this quadcopter. You can also find terrific Phantom 4 accessories here.

Here is another excellent Phantom 4 ActiveTrack tutorial showing you all 3 modes. There is some beautiful scenery in this video.

DJI Phantom 4 Tap Fly Tutorial

In TapFly mode and with the quadcopter in the air, all you need to do is simply tap on the screen and the Phantom 4 will fly to that point in a straight line.

The quadcopter uses it’s vision sensors to detect obstacles and fly around them. If it cannot find a path around the obstacle, then it will hover in place. You can also use a ‘Pause’ button on the Phantom 4 Remote Controller to stop the quadcopter.

There are now three TapFly modes;

TapFly Forward – Tap to fly in the selected direction. TapFly Backward – Tap to fly in the opposite direction of the tap.  So, you can tap in the bottom right corner of the screen to fly backward towards the top left. TapFly Free – Lock the forward direction of the Phantom 4, without locking the camera direction allowing it to turn as it flies.

NOTE:  Obstacle Avoidance is not available with TapFly Free.

It’s very important to understand TapFly mode completely and here is two excellent Phantom 4 tutorials on TapFly.

Here is another terrific tutorial showing the Phantom 4 Pro Tap Fly in action.

DJI Phantom 4 Pro Draw & Waypoint Tutorials

Dji phantom 4 draw.

The Phantom 4 Pro intelligent flight mode called “ Draw ” allows you to create a route on the screen in the DJI Go 4 app. You draw the route on the screen and the Phantom 4 Pro will fly along in the direction, while at the same time keeping the flight altitude locked.

This allows the Phantom 4 pilot to work the camera.  Now, there are two Draw modes, which can be used in different scenarios.

Forward – The Phantom 4 follows the route at a constant speed with the camera facing in the direction of flight. Free – The Phantom 4 only moves along the route when instructed. In this mode, the camera can face in any direction during a flight.

As the Phantom 4 flies, it will automatically brake and hover, when it sees obstacles provided that the lighting is appropriate – no darker than 300 lux or brighter than 10,000 lux.

DJI Phantom 4 Waypoints

DJI Phantom 4 Pro Tutorials

Dedicated Waypoint Software

The Phantom 4 Draw and Waypoint intelligent flight modes are quite limited.  There are better options from 3rd party companies, which provide top waypoint navigation.

For example, if you would like to use the Phantom 4 Pro to create a 3D map of a terrain, then the best option would be to skip the DJI Draw or Waypoint intelligent flight mode and use a 3rd party application. These applications have advanced precision waypoint mapping to identify the area and flight path for the drone to fly.

Here is a short list of some of the best 3D mapping software packages for drones. They all have software which is installed on the Smartphone or Tablet device.  They can create 3D images very quickly.  The following software are excellent for creating 3D images and all have waypoint navigation.

  • Pix4DMapper
  • DroneDeploy
  • Precision Mapper

The best 3D mapping software for drones are reviewed in our article on top 3D photogrammetry software .  This includes reviews with videos of the leading photogrammetry companies for building 3D maps of terrain and structures.

Uses For Waypoint Navigation

Waypoint navigation give the Phantom 4 Pro more uses outside of aerial filming.

The Phantom 4 Pro can be mounted with  multispectral camera sensors , which have multiple uses including precision agriculture and golf course maintenance.

Phantom 4 Draw Tutorial Video

This Phantom 4 Pro Draw tutorial shows you how to use the mode along with great tips.

DJI Phantom 4 Waypoint Tutorial

Here is a quick tutorial showing how to set up the Phantom 4 for Waypoint navigation.

Phantom 4 Pro Using DroneDeploy Software For Waypoint Navigation

DroneDeploy software allows you to create 3D maps of any terrain. Here is an excellent tutorial with the Phantom 4 using the DroneDeploy software. The below tutorial is a few years old and you can visit the DroneDeploy website for the latest software.

DJI Phantom 4 Point Of Interest Tutorial

With Point of Interest selected, the Phantom 4 will orbit around the subject automatically, allowing the pilot to focus on the filming or photography of that object.

Here is a terrific video showing you how to program and use the Phantom 4 Point of Interest intelligent flight mode.

Phantom 4 Tutorial For Gesture Mode

With the Phantom 4 Gesture Mode, you can take selfies easily using a few hand gestures.  There is no need for the remote controller.  The Phantom 4 uses its advanced computer vision technology to take instructions through gestures.

All you have to do is simply lift your arms when facing the camera and the aircraft will recognize this movement. The Phantom 4 will then lock and place the subject in the center of the frame.

When ready for the photo, you hold your arms out to signal the Phantom 4. A three second countdown will begin, giving you a chance to strike a pose.

This next Phantom 4 Gesture mode tutorial will show you exactly how to use this feature.

DJI Phantom 4 Tutorial On Terrain Follow Flight Mode

The Phantom 4 Pro uses its downward vision sensory system in Terrain Follow Mode. This allows the Phantom 4 to maintain a height above ground between 3.28 feet and 32.80 feet (1 and 10 meters. This mode is designed for use on sloped terrain at no more than 20 degrees.

When this mode is enabled, the Phantom 4 Pro’s current height is recorded. The Phantom 4 will maintain its recorded height during flight and keep this height as the slope rises.  Now, the Phantom 4 Pro will not descend in terrain mode on downward slopes.

Here is a quick DJI Phantom 4 tutorial on the Terrain Follow intelligent flight mode.

Phantom 4 Pro Tripod Mode Tutorial

Tripod allows the Phantom 4 drone to fly slowly, very smoothly and very controlled. This gives the pilot every opportunity to capture super smooth photos and video.

In Tripod Mode, the maximum flight speed of the Phantom 4 Pro is limited to 5.6 mph (9 km/h) and the braking distance is reduced to 6.6 feet. The responsiveness to stick movements is also reduced for smoother more controlled movements.

Now, the Tripod mode should only be used where the GPS signal is strong or when the light conditions are normal.

If the GPS signal is lost and the vision system cannot function, the Phantom 4 will automatically switch to Atti mode. In Atti mode, the Phantom 4’s speed will increase and the drone won’t be able to hover steadily.

So you have to be very careful using Tripod mode.

Here is a great tutorial and information on the Phantom 4 tripod mode including its best uses.

Phantom 4 Course Lock Tutorial

Course lock is great for flyby aerial filming. When Course Lock is activated, it locks the current Phantom 4 nose direction as the aircraft forward direction. The Phantom 4 will move in the locked directions no matter what its orientation (yaw angle) is.

This easy navigation allows you to fly in a set direction as you fly alongside moving objects or across scenes.

Here is a terrific DJI Phantom 4 Course Lock tutorial demonstrating how Course Lock mode works.

Phantom 4 Home Lock Tutorial

Home lock is a great little feature. It allows the Phantom 4 to fly back to it’s home point by pressing down on the right control stick.

It will fly a direct path back to the home point. This allows you to concentrate on filming. You can rotate the Phantom 4 while it flies along the Home Lock path.

Here is a DJI Phantom 4 Home Lock tutorial in beautiful snowy landscape.

Updating The Phantom 4 Firmware Tutorials

Knowing how to update the DJI Phantom 4 firmware to the latest version is important. These firmware updates contain fixes to solve software bugs, add new features to the quadcopter, gimbal, camera and remote controller.

Here is the link to the Phantom 4 firmware tutorials , which show you how easy it is to keep your Phantom 4 up to date.

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Why do I have to fly my GPS stabilised multirotor in ATTI mode?

The flight test can be a stressful time, yet it need not be if you are well prepared. 

Most people can fly their multirotor quite adequately when the GPS stabilisation system is functioning.  However, what happens when this system fails due to shielding, interference, or a system failure.  Granted this does not happen often, however it can and will happen. You as the pilot must be capable of operating your drone in a reduced level of automation to safely get the drone to a place where it can land and be retrieved. 

Because of this the CAA requires that each flight assessment using a GPS stabilised multi-rotor must include a portion conducted in its basic flight mode. 

Most multi-rotors (including DJI manufactured ones) feature a basic flight control mode called ATTI mode, short for Attitude mode.  In this mode instead of maintaining a fixed GPS/vision sensor location when hovering, the drone will simply try to stay level and at the same altitude.  This means if there is wind the drone will move with the wind and the pilot will need to counteract this with the controls to maintain a fixed position.

However, trying to practice in this mode is a problem if you have a drone that cannot manually select ATTI mode (such as the new DJI Mavic, Phantom and Spark series). Yet they will go into ATTI mode when there is a GPS failure or magnetic interference.

Therefore, in order to prepare for the assessment, you must have access to a multi-rotor with selectable ATTI mode (or equivalent mode).

Practice, practice, practice flying in ATTI mode.  This is not something you can master in a couple of flights.  Chose a large area well away from buildings or people on a calm day initially to minimise wind drift. Gradually increase the wind speeds as your skills improve.  Small and frequent control inputs, as soon as you detect the drone is drifting away from your desired flight path. Try not to allow it to drift away then attempt to arrest the drift, it is better to do this early as soon as you detect any movement.   If you get into difficulty go back to P mode.

Make your take off and landing on the first few flights in P mode. Then switch to A mode mid flight.

Practice hovering over and moving between cones laid out in a 20m square.  You can use any object if a cone is not available.

Practice flying the drone in all orientations including towards yourself so you can get used to compensating for drift in all directions.

Once you can comfortably fly in all orientations without any tendency to turn in the wrong direction a good manoeuvre to progress to is a horizontal figure of eight flight path around two cones.  This gives practice in making left and right hand turns, controlling the drone when its flying towards and away from you.   

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What is Atti Mode on DJI Drones? It’s Dangers And Benefits.

Atti (attitude) mode is an interesting feature that DJI drones have, it’s when your GPS does not work properly or at all (maybe in the mountains for example), and as a result, the bird will not be able to hover in one place or use it’s intelligent flight features.

It will actually move around whether you push it lightly or if the wind moves it and this feature can actually be very dangerous if you’re unfamiliar with it, but if you become more experienced, there are massive benefits to flying with it on and I’ll explain it here.

what is atti mode on drones

First of all, let me tell you a “funny” story of how I was first introduced to atti mode…

A friend of mine was visiting my area with his girlfriend and she was (and is) a Vlogger. At the time, she was hired by a company to travel the stats and Canada to film certain locations and the same company provided her with a Mavic Pro drone , which I also own.

But the problem was she had never used it or even opened up the box because she was scared that it would fly away, that it would crash, that it would hurt her, basically the usual worries people have when they don’t understand these machines. So she basically carried it around with her all the time but never used it.

When I heard this, I offered to set up everything for her and show her how safe it was to use the Mavic Pro. After charging the battery, installing the DJI Go 4 app and updating the firmware, I was ready to show her how it works, but the problem was, we couldn’t go outside to fly it because it was dark, so we all decided to stay in their apartment and fly it there and when I say fly, I mean having it hover in one spot so I can show them it’s features (there was very little space to actually fly around in).

When I turned it on, I was surprised to see that I could not get a GPS signal (we were located in the city, so there were plenty of satellites in the area to catch a signal). In fact, all I saw was atti mode.

Now I had seen this before on my other birds (including the Phantom 4 Pro ) but I never bothered to study it because it would quickly switch back to GPS mode, so I didn’t mind it. But after waiting for the GPS signal to be found, it wasn’t, it remained on atti mode and I decided to take a risk by taking off.

As the Mavic Pro lifted into the air, it started to drift backwards, right at me. I was freaked out (and so was she) that  it was doing this and eventually it could not back anymore because I was cornered between it and the kitchen, so I decided to make a move and catch it the air with my hand. This luckily resulted in a safe “landing”. I then tried to fly it again, and the result was still the same thing.

This event pushed me to discover more about the atti mode feature and as for the girl, last I heard, she was still scared of drones. So much for my brave attempt at showing off…

Here’s what I learned about the atti mode feature:

1) When there is no GPS signal and the drone/controller is turned on, this feature will activate.

It’s basically a way to keep flying it without having to go through the red tape of safety set up. 

2) There are scenarios in which this feature will turn on. This includes:

-As I said when there is no GPS signal.

-When there is too much metallic interference in the area (radio towers, magnetic interference, bad connection to the drone, ect…). This was the case when I tried to show the girl how to use her Mavic Pro, but didn’t realize there was metal all over the apartment which interfered with the GPS. I only later realized this). 

-You MANUALLY turn it on. You may be wondering why in the world you’d want to do this, but I will explain in a bit why there actually are MAJOR benefits to using this option.

-When the weather is very cloudy or there is some sort of signal interference in your area which interferes with the GPS signal.

3) When it’s on, the following features will be turned OFF on your drone:

  • Return to home.
  • Obstacle avoidance.
  • GPS location.

Basically many of the safety features will be removed once the feature is on.

Ok so let’s talk about the dangers of this:

-If you are beginner like I was when I first discovered this mode, you are more likely to run into trouble flying your drone.

-There is a WAY higher chance of a crash happening as obstacle avoidance does not work.

-There is drift happening and your model WILL move on it’s own. It will not remain still in the air and this can have it crash into an obstacle.

-The ability for the drone to fly further and better is reduced as the GPS signal helps it’s safety features work well. Fly it within your eye range if you have to. 

-If a fly away happens, the drone will NOT return to it’s original take off point. Make sure to keep it within range so the signal between you and the remote is strong (it is literally the only thing connecting you to the model).

-For DJI Spark users and Mavic Pro ( Mavic Air people too) who use their phone to control their model, my advice would be NOT to even try it. Use a remote, as the signal will be much stronger. Even with a cell phone’s reduced signal range, it’s still tougher to fly with the phone than with a remote. 

Think of an auto pilot system turned off and you being forced to control everything yourself without help, that’s atti mode in a nutshell. And speaking of the Spark, it hit me a surprise atti mode recently and almost caused it to crash ( this is what happened ).

Now for the benefits, yep there’s actually some good ones!

People who first experience atti mode on their drone may freak out like I did and never want to fly it that way, but in my case, as time passed, and I started to dig deeper into this feature, wanting to find out just why drones have it and as I said on the Phantom 4 Pro, you can literally SWITCH to it. There has to be an intelligent reason why this exists right? Well there are a few:

-Firstly the ability to fly in VERY narrow corners becomes more possible.

With obstacle avoidance working on drones all the time, sometimes being in a tight corner like in between rocks (like I often encounter on hikes) will make your obstacle avoidance go crazy and if you’re not careful, if the drone senses an obstacle and bounces away from it, being in the tight corner, it can easily crash into another corner. Atti mode removes this danger by letting YOU, the pilot have FULL control over it. Yes it will drift, but it beats having an auto pilot obstacle avoidance screwing you up.

-It is more challenging to pilot your drone in this and some people may like this.

Personally I am not one of them, but I can see reasons and scenarios in which an advanced pilot will need this feature to get a great shot.

There are more reasons, but I honestly do not want to mention them because people may misuse them. I’d rather you use this feature in these 2 circumstances and also do note that you should ALWAYS adhere to the flight rules in your region.

Having a safe flight with atti mode on. How to do it:

1) Know that it can be turned on, on it’s own or you can also turn it on. If you elect to turn it on, be ready to fly more carefully as the danger of a crash increases.

2) Fly within your eyesight view. The signal between you and the remote will be stronger so there’s less chances of who knows what happening and the drone flying away or not catching the signal.

3) Only use this feature IF you’re an advanced pilot and understand how this feature works.

Practice it in an open, safe area where if something happens, you can land it safely and not hurt anyone. And also have other experience with flying in that if something happens, you can think quick and take safe action/s. You should be able to pilot the model very well before trying this feature out.

4) Have experience catching the model with your hand. In my case, where I fly, usually there aren’t any flat landing areas, so I have to rely on myself to catch it.

atti mode phantom

8 thoughts on “What is Atti Mode on DJI Drones? It’s Dangers And Benefits.”

Nice article. I finally realized how my first crash happened. I was in metal indoor drone park practicing. When I got too close to the net it was drifting and I panicked and let go of the controller and it just hit the net.

I currently own the Mavic pro 2 , I have read many messages asking the same thing, but how do can I prepare for atti mode if I can’t practice in it?

Actually you can practice in it Matthew, you just have to turn off the GPS and sensors, BUT I would ONLY do that if you’re in an open area with no wires, no metal obstructions, so if something happens, you’ll have plenty of time to switch the GPS back on and get better control of the drone.

Overall though, besides getting used to the feeling of flying in atti mode, this is just an occurrence that doesn’t really happen often, especially not with an advanced drone like the Mavic Pro 2, BUT it will happen if you put it in situations like you did where the risks are greatly increased.

So overall, try out flying in atti mode in an open area, become more comfortable with the controls under that condition and then just avoid activating it when in risky areas. Another good thing to do is fly the drone close to you (within sight), this will ensure the signal from the remote is strong with the drone and will reduce the risk of atti mode activating.

It is better for you to buy a toy grade drone to improve your controlling skills. If crashes happen, you will not cry…

Maybe, but toy grade drones are also harder to pilot in general. If you’re VERY tight on money and have never flown drones, yeah buy the cheap ones, that are under $20, but if you have a few $100, I’d honestly get one of the top grade drones because they are easy to fly and have a lot of safety features. You can also get insurance on them just in case.

Good article. I am just learning about this after suffering a terminal crash with my Mavic Air in Costa Rica. Unfortunately I had no room, time or experience with this so it hit a tree and fell into the river.

I did manage to recover it and it was insured. As a software type I fail to see any goodness to why there’s a need to turn off collision avoidance while in this mode. An obstacle is an obstacle. Why would loss of point of reference (GPS) be a determent to obstacle avoidance. If a pilot wants to truly fly without it then give them the option to turn it off in this mode. At least it would give a few more precious moments to react in tight or dangerous confines.

Hi Ivan, sorry to hear about the Mavic Air crash you sustained, but thankfully, since it is insured, you should be back up and flying soon.

I agree that even while in atti mode, there should be the ability for your device to still have it’s sensors work. However, I would argue that in SOME cases, having sensors on may actually hurt your flight and improve the odds of a crash.

One such example is where you’re flying in tight space and causing the sensors to go off and push the drone in the opposite direction of the obstacle, and thus putting it into a position to hit another obstacle from an end where it has no obstacles. This is something you should ONLY be doing if you have a lot of expertise in flying and understand how to handle the bird in these situations.

Its possible to debug the Mavic into atti mode by using the DJI Assistant 1.1.2 and then altering the config files. There are plenty of videos out there showing you how to do it.

It enables you to change the S mode into atti mode. Sure its more tricky to fly but if you lose GPS when flying then the drone will switch to atti. If people are not used to it they will invariably panic and probably lose their drone.

In the UK when you take a GVC certificate, if you cannot fly in atti mode then this is shown on your certificate. Similar to taking your driving test in a manual or automatic. I personally think it should be a user selectable, option as it is in the Phantom 3 Professional and Phantom 4, then its down to preference if you use the atti mode or not.

Hi Christopher, I had no idea this was part of a test in the UK (to be able to fly in atti mode), but I do think it’s an important skill to have. Thanks for sharing your positions on atti mode.

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ATTI Mode: A Guide

ATTI mode, or Attitude Mode, is the most manual way to fly a drone. 

As drone technology develops, there has been a shift towards automated features that reduce pilot workload. Advanced sensing technology and intelligent flight modes have made flying a drone easier than ever before.

However, there are some valuable applications for when ATTI mode is a must, namely for performing indoor inspections where the Global Positioning System (GPS) is not reliable.

In this flight mode, the pilot intervenes to directly control the drone's attitude, and the optical sensors are disabled. A pilot should enable drone ATTI mode if they notice unpredictable behavior and stability issues due to the limitations of optical sensors in challenging scenarios.

In this guide on ATTI mode, we’ll take a deep dive into the following topics:

  • What is ATTI Mode?

When to Use ATTI Mode

Common use cases for atti mode.

  • How Does ATTI Work?

Benefits of Flying in ATTI Mode

Atti mode flying tips.

  • The Future for ATTI Mode

Other Drone Flight Modes


What Is ATTI Mode?

ATTI mode is when you are flying without intelligent flight features like GPS positioning and optical sensors. You are flying the drone manually without any assistance or automatic corrections when flying ATTI mode. 

Most pilots typically fly their drone in either GPS or OPTI mode. However, in ATTI, the lack of satellites and sensors for positioning means the drone can sway in different directions and lose altitude without pilot inputs. For this reason, all drone pilots should understand how to fly in ATTI mode if they can't rely on the drone to do the heavy lifting.

[Related read: What Is a GPS-Denied Drone? ]

Drones with ATTI mode are not as common as they once were. Earlier drones had the unique feature of being able to turn on attitude mode, but in the case of indoor drone technology, this capability is essential. 

A drone cannot connect to satellites when flying indoors, which is where ATTI mode shines. With indoor drones being used for inspections in mines, sewers, and other indoor or confined spaces, GPS is not always reliable enough to fly in ATTI mode.

Due to the extreme dangers and unpredictability of mining, the mining industry has been an early adopter of using indoor drone technology. 

Specialized drones like the Elios 3 are specifically designed to fly in GPS-denied environments using ATTI mode. As you can imagine, there is no chance of having a GPS connection thousands of feet below the surface of the earth.

[Related read: Why We Made The Elios 3 ]


ATTI mode is a useful flight setting when the GPS signal is affected or out of range.

  • Indoor inspections. Drones are used to inspect boilers, sewers , tanks, mines, and other enclosed spaces out of GPS range.
  • Bridge inspections. Large metal support beams significantly reduce GPS signal accuracy.
  • Building inspections. Buildings are constructed using vast amounts of concrete and steel. The rebar and steel used for these structures can cause signal interference.
  • Critical infrastructure. Sensitive government facilities like military bases restrict the use of GPS signals for security reasons.

The Elios 3 has flight modes optimized for demanding flight environments requiring precision and accuracy.

How Does ATTI Work? 

Using ATTI mode puts the pilot in complete control of the aircraft. Creature comforts like visioning positioning systems and GPS systems are unavailable in this mode, so it’s truly a manual flight mode. 

Drones with ATTI rely on an onboard barometer, which measures air pressure to determine the pressure altitude. Doing so helps keep the aircraft level. However, it will not prevent the drone from drifting in different directions if acted upon by wind.

What Conditions Can Trigger ATTI Mode Automatically?

  • Flying over highly reflective or monochromatic surfaces
  • Operating a drone with dirty vision positioning system sensors
  • Flying near concrete and large metal structures
  • Using high-speed flight modes, making it difficult to obtain a signal

In most cases, ATTI mode is a fail-safe setting that triggers when GPS is unavailable. However, there are various reasons why you should use it.

1. Helps You Prepare—and Be Ready—for the Unexpected

When flying a drone, many factors can make it an unpredictable event. Signal loss, interference, and other malfunctions can quickly turn a good flight into a disaster. 

Knowing how to fly a drone in ATTI mode will reduce your reliance on GPS and position systems, preparing you for the worse. 

2. It’s Optimized for Flying Indoors

Indoor drone operations certainly present risks and challenges because of obstacles and signal interference. Attempting to use a GPS drone indoors can be dangerous as it can become erratic and confused. Unlike regular flight modes, ATTI only relies on barometer sensing technologies and a skilled pilot.  


3. You’ll Get Smooth Footage

While flying a drone in its normal state is more manageable, it doesn't necessarily mean it records the best footage. A common pitfall is a drone will make positioning corrections throughout the flight. The adjustments can cause your footage to appear jittery, affecting the overall quality. 

The lack of stabilization mechanics will result in a smoother flight. For this reason, many professional photographers and filmmakers will fly their drones in ATTI mode. Of course, this takes lots of practice, and it's not something you will catch onto the first time.

Being capable of flying in ATTI mode smoothly takes time and practice—and it's not something you will get the hang of on the first go.

1. Start Off Slow

Remember the first time you flew a drone? You were probably quite uncertain how it would go. If you have relied on the GPS flight mode for years, it can be easy to think, "oh, I can handle ATTI easily." In reality, it's a different beast to tackle. 

Pretend you have never flown a drone and perform basic flight maneuvers. Rushing this process will only result in one thing, crashing! 

Here are some flight modes to try: 

  • Taking off and hover
  • Landing the drone
  • Hover in place 
  • Flying in a figure-eight pattern 
  • Try performing roll, pitch, and yaw movements 


2. Fly Your Drone in a Wide-Open Space 

Flying in ATTI mode is nothing like the regular flight modes. Always practice in a large field or open space without people nearby. It's also best to avoid areas with ponds, lakes, rivers, etc. 

Do your best to keep the drone within a manageable range. The further away the drone is, it will be harder to determine the attitude without using the onboard camera. Once you can assess the position of your drone with your eyes, try using the video feed. 

The live footage can be helpful by using obstacles to help you evaluate its position relative to your surroundings. Crashing the drone is not always a guarantee, but the increased probability during the learning phase is high.

3. Monitor Weather Conditions

Drifting is usually corrected in GPS mode, but flying in ATTI removes this safeguard. As a precaution, be mindful of weather conditions, especially the wind. Strong winds will severely impact performance and your ability to maintain control of the drone. 

As you become more comfortable, try flying in stronger winds. Having this experience will make you a better pilot when the unexpected happens. 

4. Practice on an Inexpensive Drone

The last thing anyone wants to do is to crash their expensive drone. Many cheap drones for sale do not have GPS and are great for beginners learning ATTI. Although they will not be equipped with fancy barometric sensors, they give you a feeling of what flying ATTI is like (scary at first). 

When you feel ready to test your skills, switch into ATTI mode in non-emergency situations. 

The Future of ATTI Mode

It's safe to say most consumer drones are moving away from manual flight modes. However, that does not mean that there are no practical uses for ATTI going forward. 

As numerous industries continue to adopt drone technology for indoor use, there will be a plethora of new applications. Therefore, more specialized drones like the Elios 3 will come to market for more niche work when consumer drones don't cut it.  

The key to becoming a master of manually flying is to get out there and practice.


There are three other common drone flight modes: ASSIST mode, GPS mode, and OPTI mode.

What is ASSIST Mode?

ASSIST mode is the standard flight mode that is engaged before an operation. Several sensors around the drone measure its distance and motion to nearby objects. 

It uses this information to automatically remain perfectly stationary. However, optical sensors have a limited range and can become less accurate due to dust, direct sunlight, or featureless surfaces.

What is GPS Mode?

The GPS network comprises satellites orbiting the Earth to provide positioning information. GPS drones are the most common type of drone, and they feature a built-in module that allows them to determine their location in relation to GPS satellites. 

The more signals the drone can receive, the more accurate positioning and GPS-reliant flight features will be. There are numerous types of GPS systems depending on your location, and some drones are only compatible with a specific network.  

The following are flight modes that rely on GPS signals:

  • Waypoint Navigation 
  • Return to Home (RTH)
  • Position Hold 
  • Follow Me 
  • Point of Interest (Orbit)

Although most newer drones lack a dedicated ATTI mode, a drone will automatically shift into Attitude mode if the drone fails to connect or loses a GPS connection. Learning to fly in Attitude control mode will prepare you for flying in GPS-denied environments or when a signal loss occurs. 

What is OPTI Mode?

OPTI mode is a flight mode that only uses optical sensors to stabilize the drone—no GPS. While flying indoors, OPTI mode is more stable than ATTI mode, but still, a pilot will lack full control of the drone in OPTI mode.

To fly indoors in OPTI mode, it is best practice to fly in a wide open space with good lighting. Also, presetting some boundaries may help your drone stay in OPTI mode before quickly going into ATTI mode.

We are hosting demonstrations throughout the world to showcase our new indoor inspection drone. Sign up to see the Elios 3 live in a location near you.


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What is drone atti mode

What is drone ATTI mode? [the ultimate guide]

I was so surprised by the features of the NEW DJI range at these prices!!! Check them out:

If you have a DJI drone you have probably seen that there is a mode called ATTI mode. This exists alongside four other modes which are beginner, GPS mode, Opti mode and sport mode. It’s important that you understand what ATTI mode is because it can save you from issues such as flyaways and can be used by professionals to give a much smoother video. This is not a beginner mode as it will require you to have a good level of control and precision while flying the drone.We are gonna go over everything you need to know about atti mode and answer the question: what is drone atti mode?

Table of Contents

What is drone atti mode - the controller

What does ATTI mode stand for?

ATTI stands for attitude mode. In this mode the GPS sensors are disabled as are the global navigation satellite systems (which will mean the drone will drift with the wind) and object avoidance sensors. The aircraft uses an on-board barometer to maintain altitude and to keep it level. This mode is used for capturing smoother footage, flying indoors, or preventing flyaways in the event of GPS signal failure or compass errors.

When does ATTI get triggered?

There are three ways that Atti mode could be triggered:

1. Manually

You can turn on anti-mode manually using the GO4 app or some drone models have a physical switch on the remote control to switch between position, atti and sports mode. You can select the mode which is best for you depending on the type of mission you are flying and what your intended outcome is for the flight.

2. GPS signal is lost

ATTI mode can be triggered automatically if the GPS signal is lost on your DJI drone and if the vision system cannot function. This is true if the drone is in a capture mode such as tripod mode. If this happens the flight speed will increase and the aircraft will not be able to hover in place. So use tripod mode carefully only if you have got a great GPS signal.

3. Forward and downward vision system is affected by a surface

If your drone has forward and downwards vision system they can easily become affected by the surface that they are flying over. The ultrasonic sensors may not be able to accurately measure distances when operating above sound absorbing materials and the camera may not function properly in some environments. A regular mode to be flying in is positioning, or p-mode, which is used if you are taking shots or video as the drone stays steady and prioritises stability for excellent images. If the GPS or the vision systems are not available the aircraft will switch from position mode to atti mode.

If you are operating the aircraft over these types of surfaces proceed with great caution:

  • flying over monochrome surfaces (pure black, pure white, pure green, pure red)
  • flying over highly reflective surfaces such as metal roofs
  • flying at high speeds of over 22 mph at 2 m in height or over 11 mph at only 1 m of height
  • flying over water or transparent surfaces
  • flying over moving surfaces or objects
  • flying in an area where the lighting changes frequently or drastically
  • flying over extremely dark or extremely bright surfaces
  • flying over services that can absorb sayings for example thick carpet or dense grass
  • flying over surfaces without clear patterns or texturing
  • flying over services with repeating patterns or textures such as tiles and brickwork
  • flying over inclined surfaces that will deflect sound waves away from the aircraft.

Another way that you can ensure that atti-mode is not turned on without you realising is to make sure that your senses are always clean and free of dust.

You need to be really careful of the drone turning itself into atti-mode as this is when most incidents happen. Imagine that you are flying around and you are relying on the GPS and other sensors to keep you at a stable height and geolocation and without warning the drone start drifting with the wind. You will need to be able to identify quickly that the drone is no longer able to fix its position using GPS and you will have to do manually stabilise the drone against any environmental wind drift as well as pilot the drone home manually.

If you are flying your expensive DJI drone and you are a beginner this can be incredibly scary and is a big contributor to drone incidents resulting in drones becoming broken beyond repair. Here are some of the best ways that you can stop Atti mode being triggered automatically.

How to stop atti-mode being triggered automatically

There is no doubt that atti mode can be very scary if you are new to flying drones. Drone technology has come on so much that we often rely on advanced stabilisation systems (such as GPS) to keep our drones safe without thinking about it. There are a few things that you can do to make sure that your drone will never fly away from you and that you are prepared for any incidences of automatically triggered atti mode. Here are the two top ways of stopping atti-mode being triggered.

Always fly in a strong GPS location

The first thing is to make sure that you are always flying in a location that has a strong GPS signal. On the GO4 app there is a little satellite signal indicator. This tells you how many satellites are providing information to the drone to keep it stable. The drone will not enter GPS mode until it reaches eight GPS satellite signals. I would not take off if I only had eight GPS satellite signals. That means that if you lose one of the signals your drone could quickly go into atti–mode. I do not take off unless I have at least 12 to 14 strong satellite signals. This gives me enough of a buffer if a number of the satellite signals are lost and gives me a piece of mind while flying.

You should also avoid flying near these types of areas:

  • areas with high signal interference – this is common when travelling in cities with skyscrapers and places where you are flying amongst tall trees or mountain ranges around you.
  • Flying inside – if you are flying indoors the concrete and steel case is can block the satellite signals.
  • Flying underground – we’ve all been there with our drone when we really want to explore the inside of a cave or up the face of a mountain or overhang. These are perfect places for GPS signal to become weak and get lost.
  • Solar storms – allow this happens very rarely, the last event happened in 1859, a solar storm have the potential to knock out and effect any orbiting satellites which the GPS system relies on.

The common connector between all of the above issues is lack of being able to see the sky. Before you fly plan your flight area and look up into the sky if you can see a lot of it then the GPS signal will likely be strong. If, on the other hand, the sky is obscured by trees, buildings, earth, or any other absorbent material then you risk losing GPS signal and the drone may automatically switch into atti mode.

Check out my other article how to fly drone – click here. In this article I go through everything you need to know about flying a drone like a pro.

Clean sensors

The second way to stop the drone automatically going into atti mode is to clean the sensors regularly. You should clean the sensors by using a small microfibre cloth and only use very light rubbing action to dislodge any dirt or grime. If you find that you need a little bit of help with a solvent use a small amount of isopropyl alcohol to remove any dirt or grime that have been left by fingerprints.

Although all of this can seem like atti mode is something that you should stay well away from you can actually use it to your advantage for a number of reasons. Be warned however that this is not a beginner flight mode and you will need practice in flying in this mode. We’ll cover that in a later section. These are some of the reasons why you may want to consider using atti mode while flying your drone.

The benefits of ATTI mode

What is drone atti mode?

The benefits of atti mode are that you have greater control over many aspects of the drone flight. By practising in atti mode you will learn how to fly the drone and compensate for things like drifting in the wind. By developing this skill you can safely navigate your drone at all times even if it automatically goes into atti mode.

Faster speeds

Using atti mode allows you to fly at faster speeds. It turns off any speed restrictions that you may have in other flying modes such as positioning mode or tripod mode. If you are serious about flying fast you may want to also consider sports mode on your DJI drone. The sports mode will also turn off any sensors and allow you full freedom and maximum acceleration and turning speeds.

Use atti mode with caution and always turn back to a more suitable mode as soon as you have reached your destination or you no longer want to travel at faster speeds.

Smoother footage

Turning on atti mode reduces the drones stability mechanisms. This is normally seen as jerkiness or jumping in the footage because the GPS technology is trying his best to auto stabilise the drones horizontal position at all times. The lack of the auto breaking features means that the drones will come to a slow and smooth stop continuing to move even though you have let go of the controller.

This is something that you will need to compensate for and if you are used to flying in positioning mode it will be something that you will have to get used to.

The lack of breaking means that it results in a smoother capture of drone footage which means that many professional drone photographers and filmmakers will fly in atti mode often to get the perfect cinematic feeling for their shot.

Useful for flying indoors

Flying indoors is a fun experience but comes with a load of risks. Not only do you have to do navigate in tight areas there are many overhanging obstacles as well. Professionals will have to use atti mode regularly if they are doing things like real estate advertising or flying indoors to capture a unique perspective of the scene. Flying indoors will mean that you don’t have any GPS location and the lack of horizontal stabilisation can make your drone drift even in the presence of light drafts such as from an open window or air-conditioning.

Although a DJI drone does have a load of other sensing equipment and hardware on board it can be very challenging if the drone is drifting to the side and your drone does not have side sensors.

Prevents flyaways or compass errors

One of the best reasons for learning to fly in atti mode is to stop flyaways. Flyaways are a common occurrence if the GPS location or signal changes rapidly and unpredictably throughout a flight. The return to home option will be completely broken and you will rely on a line of sight piloting method to get your drone home.

Compass errors can also occur if you are flying near reinforced concrete or any other surface that is metallic or magnetised. Even if you get close to power lines they put out a small magnetic field that could easily disrupt the flight of your drone.

Learning to pilot your drone properly and manually without GPS or Geo positioning software is the ultimate failsafe for when things go wrong. Practising in atti mode will be the difference in a confident pilot compared to someone who always relies on the geolocation and auto hovering components of a drone.

Let’s take a look at how you should practice flying in atti mode.

How to fly in ATTI mode

You should spend some time learning how to fly in atti mode as you will have the confidence to return your drone safely to its takeoff spot in any situation. Here are the simple steps that you should take to make sure that flying in atti mode is as comfortable as possible:

  • practice at high altitudes – while keeping a visual line of sight go up to a high altitude where you can still see the drone and turn on atti mode. Getting your drone up very high means that you are less likely to crash into any obstructions and it means that you are in a better position to regain GPS connection as soon as you turn on positioning mode.
  • Practice flying toward yourself – one of the hardest things to do, in a drone that does not have headless mode (where the drone always moves in the direction of the joysticks regardless of the direction it is pointing), is to fly toward yourself. The controls are reversed in this situation and so be good practice for you so you can return home without any issue.
  • Use the video feed – using the video feed and getting used to understanding where you are in relation to the drones video feed will help you fly back using atti mode. The first thing I do when I am unsure of where I am is a focus on the first person view of the drone and see if I can pick out any recognisable landmarks or identifiable features in the surroundings.
  • Practice on a drone you don’t mind losing – one of the biggest issues with flying a drone in tricky situations is that you may eventually end up crashing the drone. You can pick up a second-hand Mavic mini or another DJI drone that is cheaper to practice your flying. That way if things go wrong you won’t be damaging your pride and joy.

Flying in atti mode should be something that is on your to-do list. Once a month I recommend that you try it to see if you can overcome any of the flight quirks such as drift.

As a drone pilot you should be confident flying in atti mode. Atti mode is something that can be scary if you are not used to it. There is a chance that your drone will go into atti mode automatically if it loses GPS signal or the visual positioning system is confused by reflective or absorbent surfaces.

It’s not all scary however. You can use atti mode if you are a professional photographer to get smoother shots as the drone will not try has hard to maintain its position when you let go of the joysticks. It will also follow through to create a natural deceleration when you let go of the joysticks. All of this means that you are more likely to get the shots of your dreams. Atti mode can also allow you to fly indoors with greater stability as it doesn’t rely on GPS signals to maintain its stability. As long as there is not a huge draft coming from any of the doorways, windows, or air-conditioning devices you may not have two correct very much for the drift .

Given that atti mode is another tool in your drone arsenal to become an expert drone flyer you will need to get comfortable with it.

atti mode phantom

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.

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DJI Mavic Pro & Air: What Is Atti Mode?

Atti mode is a specific set of settings that the drone uses that are easy to understand, but not so easy to control if you are used to the normal GPS mode.

Let me explain…

Technically, What Is DJI’s Atti Mode?

Before we jump into the Mavic drones specifically, it is a good idea to understand what Atti Mode is for most drones on the market.

Atti Mode is  short for Attitude Mode, where the drone will maintain a specific altitude but not position . That means the drone will remain at the same height but drift around in the wind.

It also means that there is no auto-braking when you are flying, so the drone will continue moving in the direction you are flying until you push the stick in the opposite direction to brake.

What Is GPS Mode Then?

In GPS Mode the Mavic Air (or Pro) uses the satellites from the GPS system to help with positioning. In fact, it uses them a lot.

When the drone is in GPS mode a lot of things are happening automatically, many that are not really obvious:

  • Maintaining position while hovering is one of them
  • Auto-braking is another

What Is Atti Mode On the Mavic Pro?

Atti Mode on the DJI Mavic is a little different to previous DJI drones because it is NOT a mode you can specifically choose to use.

On the Mavic, Atti Mode is when there are not enough satellites around or connected to put the craft in GPS mode.

(Read more details on the Mavic in the manual )

So, when you are indoors or have just started your drone, the controller will almost always warn you that it is in Atti Mode. At least until it has found enough satellites to use GPS (or alternatively it might use  OPTI mode while you are indoors).

If you do not wait for the GPS to be fully active (ie. enough satellites found), you risk crashing your drone. (** Unless you are in OPTI Mode – where the optical sensors can help you out)

Trust me, I did it just last week while trying to show off my drone to some friends. I didn’t wait for the GPS before taking off and then wondered why the drone was behaving so erratically. A few minutes later, as it landed not so gracefully in knee-high grass, more like a lawnmower, it dawned on me! Atti mode :>

If you want to see a video of someone forcing their Mavic Pro into Atti Mode and how hard it is to fly, see the video below:

Your Mavic Is In Atti Mode, Should You Fly?

I have never done this (on purpose), but have read up on the forums and this is what I can tell you:

  • Atti Mode is very different to normal GPS mode on the Mavic Pro & Air (or any other drone)
  • You need to be very careful when flying it in this mode (practice in a wide-open space first)
  • You have to learn to compensate for the wind and brake by reversing the drone’s direction on the controller

If you are indoors, you will likely always be in Atti Mode to begin with, so be careful. Consider using Tripod Mode (which dampens the controller) so you are less likely to hit anything along with OPTI mode .

Remember the Mavic Pro does not have side or back sensors so walls are a big issue (On the Mavic Air this is less of an issue as they are sensors/cameras on all sides ). Make sure you have plenty of space though, whenever you fly inside..

In the video below are more details on flying a Mavic Pro inside (including some settings you should be careful to set: hint, Return To Home altitude can be a big issue).

Why Do People Like Atti Mode?

With drones like the Phantom 4 you can specifically enter Atti Mode and disable the automatic compensation that the drone tries to apply.

Why would you want to do this when it is a lot riskier? Two reasons:

  • You get a lot smoother motion when filming
  • It is a lot more fun and responsive to fly

BUT, with the Mavic Pro we do not have this option. It is only really a warning that GPS is not ready yet.

Atti Mode is really just a warning that the drone is not ready to fly or cannot lock on enough GPS signals, so be sure to wait when you start your drone and check before you fly.

Losing control of it after take off is not something any of us want, especially when you just spent over $1000!


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Americans are racking up more 'phantom debt' — why that's a problem


  • Over the holidays, the use of “buy now, pay later” loans hit an all-time high.
  • Because the lenders generally don't report to the major credit-reporting companies, it's hard to know exactly how much of this debt is currently out there.
  • These loans can also be hard for consumers to keep track of, which can lead to debt problems, experts say.

Payments trends for 2024: 'Buy now, pay later' boom

Some types of debt can haunt you.

"Buy now, pay later" loans, especially, can be hard to track, making it easier for more consumers to get in over their heads, some experts say — even more than credit cards , which are simpler to account for, despite sky-high interest rates .

Over the holidays , the use of installment payments hit an all-time high, up 14% year over year, according to Adobe's latest online shopping data .

Buy now, pay later is now one of the fastest-growing categories in consumer finance, according to a separate report by Wells Fargo.

'Phantom debt' may mean people are more in the red

"Because no central repository exists for monitoring it, growth of this 'phantom debt' could imply total household debt levels are actually higher than traditional measures," said Tim Quinlan, senior economist at Wells Fargo and co-author of the report.

Since buy now, pay later loans are not currently reported to major credit reporting agencies, that makes it a challenge for a lender to know how many loans a consumer has outstanding, Quinlan said. 

"It's hard to know how much of this debt is out there," said Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst at Bankrate. "It's this kind of shadow debt that's hanging over people."

More from Personal Finance: Americans are 'doom spending'   The first step to setting an annual budget This strategy can help you meet New Year's resolution goals

There's a reason that buy now, pay later companies, such as Affirm, Afterpay and Klarna, are so popular among shoppers.

"With credit card interest rates north of 20%, a BNPL [buy now, pay later loan] affords consumers access to capital without increased costs," Quinlan said.

"What we have is a business model that is perfect for uncertain times," Affirm co-founder and CEO Max Levchin said recently on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street."

However, managing multiple buy now, pay later loans with different payment dates can also be a challenge, Quinlan added.

"BNPL could lead to an increase in consumer debt, as consumers may be more likely to take on additional debt if they know they can spread out the payments," he said. "You can bury yourself in low monthly payments."

42% of 'buy now, pay later' made late payments toward those loans, survey finds

While the typical terms might break a purchase into four equal interest-free payments, not all buy now, pay later loans work that way.

"A lot of these plans are stretching on longer and even charging interest; I find that very ironic," Rossman said. "It's feeling more and more credit-card like — that can get people into trouble."

In addition, if a consumer misses a payment, there could be late fees, deferred interest or other penalties, depending on the lender. 

Separate studies  have also shown that installment buying could encourage consumers to spend more than they can afford on impulse purchases .

" This can lead to debt problems," Quinlan said.

Buy now, pay later operates in 'de facto stealth mode'

Buy now, pay later products are not regulated in the same way as credit cards, which means there may be fewer protections in place for consumers, Quinlan said.  

"More worryingly, BNPL does this in de facto stealth mode because it largely flies beneath the radar of both regulators and policymakers," Quinlan said.

Meanwhile, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has opened an inquiry into buy now, pay later lenders .

The CFPB said it is particularly concerned about the lack of clear disclosures of loan terms as well as how these programs affect consumer debt accumulation, what consumer protection laws apply and how the payment providers harvest data.

"Until there is a definitive measure for it, there is no way to know when this phantom debt could create problems for the consumer and the broader economy," Quinlan said.

Subscribe to CNBC on YouTube.



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