UAV Standard Operating Procedure

Drone Standard operating procedure sample


The purpose of this document is to shed light onto the UAV Standard Operating Procedure for the safe and efficient mission use of a UAVs or Drones.  This document was created in combination with Texas State Law, crew safety, minimum damage to persons, property and equipment and mission efficiency in mind.  In no way is this document legally binding and Texas State Law should be consulted before any action is taken. Reality IMT Inc. makes no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the results obtained from the use of the information on this website. Reality IMT Inc. shall have no liability for the accuracy of the information and cannot be held liable for any third-party claims or losses of any damages. The information contained in this web site does not constitute a confirmed procedure and should not be relied upon in connection with any project related decisions. Reality IMT Inc. may, at any time, revise the information on this web site without notice and makes no commitment to update this information. It is also worth noting that any damages to property or person are the sole responsibility of the Remote Pilot in Command also referred to as Pilot in Command.

Before arriving at the mission. Consider the following.

1- Mission delicacy
2- Area of Operations size
3-Potential motor vehicle/ pedestrian traffic redirection
4- Loss of communications efficiency due to large crew
5- Potential damage due to overload on small crew

Before mission start:

1-Make sure all members that must be certified are so
2-Crew has been properly briefed
3-Permit for the area of operations has been granted and present in the mission area in case it must be provided to proper authorities


Once in the mission area, check for:
1-Storm clouds in the immediate area
2-Storm clouds in the area outside of the AOR that may enter the AOR
3-Damp conditions that could possibly interfere with the UAV
4-Strong winds

Whether or not to operate the UAV under these conditions is left to the discretion of the pilot in command.  

Continue to examine the mission area obstacles and dangers such as:

2-Flying birds
3- Airborne debris
4- Other UAVs
5- Low hanging wires
6- Other potential dangers

Whether or not to operate the UAV given these obstacles is left to the discretion of the pilot in command.

The mission area should also be inspected for possible obstructions to line of sight between the observer and the UAV such as:

2- Hills and Mountains
5-Dust, Smoke, Fog or Mist
6-Other potential obstructions

Whether or not to operate the UAV given these obstructions is left to the discretion of the pilot in command.

This mission area continue to be investigated for possible radio interference such as:

1-Radio towers
2-Vehicles with active radios
3-Other UAV’S
4-Passing aircraft
5-Nearby cellphone use
6-Other possible interference

Whether or not to operate the UAV given possible radio interference is left to the discretion of the pilot in command.

After the UAV has safely been transported to the mission area, physically inspect the device for any damages that may affect flight capabilities such as:

1-Warps and bends
2-Loose parts
3-Missing pieces
4-Debris lodged or stuck in assemblies
6-Loose internal pieces noted by rattling sound when the device is moved

At this point the UAV should be allowed to run for sixty seconds while the device is continued to be inspected.

While the device is active, check for:

1-Excess battery drain
2-Wobbling or veering
3-Accurate GPS
4-Buzzing, rattling, grinding or other sounds indicating a problem with the operation

Allow the device to hover a meter above the ground for further examination.  

During the hover, does the device:

1-Wobble or veer
2-Emit sounds indicative of internal problems/ strain on the assembly
3-Show any other problems that may indicate problems during flight

Land the device and deactivate


Position all crew members in proper places in the mission area.

The pilot in command should be at the controls or have immediate access to them
The observer should have line of sight of the device and prepare to move to maintain it if necessary

Perform a communications test.  Make sure all communications are audible and clear.

At this point, there should be silence in the mission area.

Crew members should now give the all ready.

The pilot in command will now inform the crew they are activating the device and then do so.


-It is vital to use communications only when absolutely necessary as the Pilot or Pilot in Command will need to maintain focus on the UAV.

-Should the observer note that an obstruction has entered the mission area, such as:

1-Airborne debris
2-Sudden change of weather
3-Other potential dangers

The crew member should immediately inform the Pilot in Command so that they can make any sudden adjustments or abort the mission.


Line of sight between the observer and UAV should be maintained at ALL TIMES, and should line of sight be broken, it is absolutely necessary for the observer to regain line of sight immediately or risk aborting the mission due to the potential dangers of an unobserved UAV.

! Loss of sight for more than thirty seconds is considered grounds for an emergency landing !

The Pilot in Command should be in constant communication with the team as to the current state of the mission so changes or instructions can be provided and made if necessary.

It is also paramount that a crew member who receives vital information answer in the affirmative to indicate that they have heard said information.

The Pilot in Command should also constantly be aware of the safest place to land in case of emergency.

Proper places to land during an emergency include:

2-Flat ground
3-Areas clear of trees
4-Areas clear of water
5-Area clear of other debris
6-Areas easily accessible for recovery of the UAV
7-Areas free of any people, animals, domiciles, or property

In the case of an emergency landing, if the device is being operated by a pilot other than the Remote Pilot in Command, the Pilot in Command must IMMEDIATELY take control of the UAV.

Upon Mission completion or abortion (non emergency), the Pilot in Command will:

1-Inform the crew

2-Navigate the UAV to the Landing Zone

3-Inform the crew to check the LZ for debris/ obstacles in the way of a safe and efficient landing

4-Carefully land the device



After a mission, the crew should be debriefed as to the success or failure of the mission and should discuss potential areas of improvement and given merit where necessary.

The device should also be checked for:

2-Bent or broken parts
3-Debris lodged in any of the assemblies
4-Scratches or cracks
5-Damage to any equipment


Scroll to top