Procedures

Unpacking and Setup

1.

Aircraft

REMOVE from case

2.

Prop straps

REMOVE

3.

Booms

UNFOLD

4.

Ring latches

LOCK

5.

Receivers and wiring

CHECK

6.

Isolator cartridges

SELECT and INSTALL as

necessary

7.

Payload mounting location

CONFIGURE as necessary

To set up ALTA X for flight, remove it from the case, and remove the prop straps.

Unfold the booms by placing one hand on a boom and one hand on the airframe and then unfolding the boom. The boom linkage system will unfold all booms at once. Once unfolded, be sure to latch each side of the locking ring. These latches are redundant and ensure that the booms stay in the open flight position during flight.

Check that the receivers and the electrical connectors that attach to the receivers are secure.

For information on installing isolator cartridges and setting up payload mounting locations, refer to the Isolator Cartridges and Configuring GroundView or SkyView sections of this manual.

Before Starting

1.

Payload

SECURED

2.

Isolator Cartridges

VERIFY SECURE

3.

Propellers

CHECK CONDITION, VERIFY TIGHT

4.

Propeller Hubs

VERIFY SECURE

5.

Motors

CHECK CONDITION

6.

Radio Controller

ON, VERIFY TX BATTERY

7.

Radio Controller Model

SELECT

8.

Aircraft Placement

AWAY from people and obstacles

9.

Battery Pack Voltage

VERIFY ABOVE 48V

10.

Battery Packs

SECURE

11.

Battery Leads

CHECK CONDITION and CONNECT

12.

Aircraft

KEEP STATIONARY

13.

Flight Controller

Allow to INITIALIZE

14.

Blade Dampers

VERIFY 8 PRESENT AND IN GOOD CONDITION

15.

Orientation Lights

VERIFY SOLID COLORED, DIM

16.

Receiver

VERIFY BOUND

17.

ALTA X QGroundControl

CONNECT

VERIFY NO WARNINGS

19.

Compass Calibration

CALIBRATE if required

20

Radio Control Range Check

AS REQUIRED

Check that the payload is secure by checking that the Toad In The Hole quick release lever is fully clamped and closed and that the payload does not slip. Check that all isolator cartridges are locked in place, especially if they have been recently replaced.

The blades should be checked for damage, including nicks and scrapes. If a propeller blade has been nicked enough that it catches a fingernail, it should be replaced. Blade bolts should be tight and blades should show little slop. There should be no slop between the propeller hub and the motor.

ActiveBlade dampers should be present and in good condition

Motors should spin freely, and there should be no grinding or scraping sound from the motor. The inside of the motor should be free of debris.

Always turn on the radio controller before powering ALTA X. Follow the battery installation guidance in the Battery Installation section of this manual for battery installation instructions.

While the Autopilot initializes, keep ALTA X as stable as possible.

If ALTA X moves during initialization, it may not boot properly and will fail to start or not maintain heading.

At the end of this process the LEDs will go from white to the user selected colors (stock colors are green facing forward and red facing toward the rear of the aircraft) indicating ALTA X is ready for arming.

Verify that there are no flight warnings by connecting to ALTA X via ALTA X QGroundControl and checking for warnings or errors. For more information, see the ALTA QGroundControl section of this manual.

Before Takeoff

1.

Prop Area

CLEAR

2.

Mode Switch

MANUAL

3.

Home Switch

UP/OFF

4.

Radio Controller

VERIFY CORRECT MODEL

5.

Telemetry (if equipped)

CHECK OPERATION

6.

GPS Signal

LOCKED (GREEN LIGHT)

7.

ALTA X

CHECK ORIENTATION and ARM

8.

Orientation Lights

VERIFY USER-DEFINED COLOR

9.

Motors

START, and VERIFY OPERATION

10.

Flight Controls

VERIFY CORRECT

11.

Throttle

AT MINIMUM

Prior to start, check the surrounding area to ensure people and objects are clear of ALTA X and its props. Also ensure that there are no people or objects between the ALTA X’s takeoff location and its intended flight path.

Ensure that ALTA X QGroundControl shows all sensors are calibrated and ready for flight.

ALTA X’s props spin at a high RPM and the ends of the blades move at high speeds. ALTA X’s props can cause severe injury or death or cause damage to objects while rotating. Always ensure the area surrounding the props and ALTA X is clear of people or objects prior to starting the motors.

Do not approach ALTA X while it is armed or motors are spinning.

To start the motors, hold full low throttle and full right yaw. Ensure that all the motors are spinning. Raise RPMs slightly and move the pitch, roll, and yaw controls slightly. ALTA X should pitch, roll, and yaw as commanded due to isolator cartridge flex. Ensure that the ALTA X behaves as expected. If it does not, shut down ALTA X and ensure the propellers are installed in the correct orientation and radio settings are correct.

Do not make large yaw commands while on the ground with the Skyview landing gear installed. Large yaw commands can cause instability.

After checking flight control directions, advance the throttle directly from idle to hover throttle. Prior to takeoff, do not advance throttle stick above idle until prepared for flight as this can spool up motors undesirably. While throttling up for takeoff, do not loiter in ground effect. Once in flight, use the Mode Switch to select between Manual, Altitude, or Position Mode only after first confirming proper flight performance in Manual Mode.

Only take off in Manual Mode or let the ALTA X take off autonomously when doing a waypoints mission. Attempting to take off in Altitude or Position Modes may cause ALTA X to tip over.

Altitude Mode and Position Mode are assistive only and are not a replacement for pilot skill and ability. Pilots should be proficient in Manual Mode flight in order to react to emergency situations as required.

After Every Flight

1.

Mode Switch

MANUAL

2.

Home Switch

OFF

3.

ALTA X

LAND

4.

Motors

DISARM and STOP

5.

Orientation Lights

VERIFY LIGHTS DIM

6.

ALTA X QGroundControl

CHECK for warnings

7.

Batteries

DISCONNECT AND REMOVE

8.

Radio Controller Power

TURN OFF

9.

Aircraft Condition

INSPECT

10.

Motor and Prop Condition

INSPECT

11.

Battery Condition

INSPECT

Upon landing, disarm the motors by holding minimum throttle and full left yaw. This is typically done on the left radio control stick by moving it to the bottom left corner with mode 2 controllers. Disarming can only be done while in Manual Mode. Once the motors are stopped and disarmed, the Orientations Lights will dim indicating it is safe to approach ALTA X.

Only approach ALTA X after confirming that it is disarmed by verifying the Orientation Lights have dimmed.

The downwash from the propellers can disturb debris. This debris can be ingested by the propellers or motors and cause damage. After the flight, ensure there is no damage to the propeller blades and that the motors still spin freely and quietly. Take extra care when operating in areas with large amounts of debris, such as sand, dirt, or gravel.

After flight is also a good time to check the condition of battery packs. Always refer to the battery manufacturer’s recommendations for inspection and replacement intervals or requirements.

After Last Flight

1.

Propellers

FOLD and PLACE inline with boom

2.

Boom Latches

UNLOCK

3.

Booms

FOLD

4.

Prop Straps

INSTALL

5.

Payload

REMOVE

6.

ALTA X

INSERT into case

Keeping ALTA X on the payload or landing gear easily facilitates the folding process as ALTA X may be turned on the Toad In The Hole adapter while folding the propellers and booms. Release each boom latch and then fold the booms inwards. Fold the propeller blades such that the booms with grey ActiveBlade bumpers are pointed towards each other. Install prop straps to help keep props secure while placing ALTA X in the case.

Ensure the ALTA is placed in the case properly by matching the grey ActiveBlase bumpers to the colored marks in the pelican case.

Pay special attention to the external GPS, 900/868MHz Telemetry radio and optional accessories if installed (FPV camera and Tx) when putting the ALTA X back into its case

Emergency Procedures

Emergency Guidance

The emergency procedures listed in this section are the recommended practices for handling the aircraft in the event of an aircraft emergency. This guidance should be considered and applied as necessary.

The risk of an emergency can be reduced substantially through proper aircraft maintenance, by performing thorough inspections before and after all flights, and with careful pre-flight planning.

Emergency situations are dynamic events, and not all conditions or procedures can be anticipated or applied during the event. These procedures are not a substitute for a thorough understanding of aircraft systems and sound pilot judgment.

In general, if an emergency occurs, three basic actions can be applied to most situations:

  1. Maintain aircraft control—Small emergencies can quickly escalate if the pilot is distracted attempting to troubleshoot the problem. Always maintain visual contact with the aircraft during an emergency to reduce the likelihood of losing orientation.

  2. Analyze the situation—Once the aircraft is stabilized, begin to assess the cause of the emergency if practical.

  3. Take appropriate action—In many cases, the appropriate action will be to land the aircraft as soon as possible. Always consider the safety of yourself and others before attempting to save the aircraft in an emergency.

Alarm Indication

1.

Mode Switch

MANUAL

2.

ALTA X

LAND as soon as possible

3.

ALTA X QGroundControl

CHECK IN APP WARNINGS

Alarms are displayed if the flight controller determines there is a condition present that can adversely affect the safety of the flight. Alarms are indicated by the Boom LEDs quickly flashing.

Land as soon as possible when the Boom LEDs indicate a warning, and investigate the problem while ALTA X is safely on the ground. It is best practice to set the mode switch to Manual when an Alarm is observed to maintain full control authority of ALTA X.

Pilot Loss of Orientation

1.

Control Inputs

NEUTRALIZE

2.

Mode Switch

POSITION

3.

Yaw

NOSE AWAY

4.

Roll

VERIFY DIRECTION

Alarms are displayed if the flight controller determines there is a condition present that can adversely affect the safety of the flight. Alarms are indicated by the Boom LEDs flashing.

Land as soon as possible when the Boom LEDs indicate a warning, and investigate the problem while ALTA X is safely on the ground. It is best practice to set the mode switch to Manual when an Alarm is observed to maintain full control authority of ALTA X.

Position Mode may not function as expected if Position Lock has not been achieved. It is best practice to wait for Position Lock prior to takeoff, even if Position Mode is not planned to be used during the flight.

Unexpected Flight Controller Behavior

1.

Control Inputs

NEUTRALIZE

2.

Mode Switch

POSITION

3.

ALTA X

LAND as soon as possible

If ALTA X behaves unexpectedly, neutralize controls by centering the throttle/yaw and pitch/roll sticks and observe ALTA X. If it is still flying in an uncommanded manner in either Altitude or Position Mode, switch to Manual Mode. In most cases, unexpected behavior is due to erroneous sensor readings, degraded GPS signal reception, or compass issues.

If the unexpected behavior occurred while in Manual mode, land as soon as possible and check ALTA X QGroundControl for any warnings.

Battery Exhaustion

If battery cell voltage is below Alarm Voltage (all flight modes)

1.

Boom LEDs

SLOW FLASH

2.

ALTA X

LAND as soon as possible

If battery cell voltage is below Land Voltage while flying in Manual Mode

1.

Boom LEDs

SLOW FLASH

2.

ALTA X

LAND as soon as possible

If battery cell voltage is below Land Voltage while flying in Altitude or Position Mode

1.

Boom LEDs

SLOW FLASH

2.

ALTA X

WARNING popup in ALTA QGroundControl

3.

Pitch and Roll

MANEUVER away from people or objects

If the battery cell voltage drops below the Alarm Voltage, the boom LEDs will flash. Terminate the flight and land as soon as possible.

If the battery cell voltage drops below the Land Voltage, the boom LEDs will flash. The pilot will remain in full control of the ALTA X in all three flight modes and full throttle authority is available to the pilot in a battery exhaustion event

ALTA X will only Autoland if the battery exhaustion failsafe is set to RTL.

Radio Loss of Signal (LOS)

1.

Controller Battery

CHECK

2.

Controller Antenna

REPOSITION

3.

Mode Switch

POSITION

4.

Home Switch

Return-to-Land

Loss of Signal (LOS) can occur if the radio controller stops transmitting a signal, or if ALTA X is too far away to receive it. In the event ALTA X detects a LOS, it will automatically execute a Return-to-Land or Autoland as configured in ALTA X QGroundControl if using an S.Bus/S.Bus2 or DSM2/DSMX radio type. While ALTA X includes these emergency control modes, it is always recommended to attempt to regain signal link with ALTA X to keep the pilot in control of the aircraft.

Move the antenna orientation for best signal strength. Ensure the radio antenna matches the direction of the receiver antennas. Move the radio away from objects to get a clear line-of-sight to ALTA X.

Set the Mode switch to Position and the Home switch to Return-to-Land so ALTA X will continue to approach the home point if the signal is momentarily regained, resulting in higher likelihood of regaining full signal reception.

If efforts to regain control signal are unsuccessful, ALTA X will begin either the Return-to-Land and Autoland sequence as configured in ALTA X QGroundControl. Refer to the Flight Controller Modes section of this manual for additional information regarding functionality available with specific radio types.

Loss of FPV Signal

1.

Control Inputs

AS REQUIRED

2.

Visual Contact

MAINTAIN

3.

ALTA X

POSITION for optimal signal reception

If visual contact or FPV signal is not maintained:

1.

Mode Switch

POSITION

2.

Home Switch

RETURN TO HOME

3.

Throttle

AS REQUIRED

An FPV Loss of Signal (LOS) can occur if the aircraft flies out of range or if it flies behind an object that interrupts the signal. Maintaining visual contact is the preferred method to re-establish control of the aircraft, either with the pilot seeing the aircraft, or by the use of a visual observer.

Yawing the aircraft can help signal reception if the body of the aircraft is blocking the line of sight between the transmitter and receiver antennas.

If FPV signal or visual contact cannot be maintained, setting the Mode switch to Position Mode and enabling Return-to-Land can be used to bring the aircraft back to signal reception range.

It is the responsibility of the pilot to see and avoid other aircraft, people, or obstacles. Always maintain direct line of sight with ALTA X during flight, use visual observers as operations require, and follow local regulations regarding see-and-avoid requirements.