How to: Completing your mission in the Field App
The FlyFreely Field app allows you to log your RPAS operations electronically, without the need for paper checklists and documentation.
While it’s possible to plan missions in the Field App (see this post for details), it will makes sense for most operators to complete the mission planning in the FlyFreely Office App and then use the Field app (as the name implies) in the field.
To get started, you can download the Field App from the Apple app store (IOS) or Google play store (Android) We’ve developed the field app to work on a smartphone screen, but you can also run it on larger devices like tablets and iPads.
Once you have the app installed on your device, log in using your FlyFreely credentials. If you have any missions (where you are the Remote Pilot in Command) currently ready to fly, they will show up under the RTF tab. You can also view any cancelled or completed missions by tapping on the relevant tab.
When you arrive at your mission site, open the field app and tap on the mission to begin. You will get a confirmation that the mission is ready to fly, and will have to slide across the bottom of the screen to activate the mission – this is to prevent accidental data entry when the phone is in your pocket. Tapping anywhere in the mission details area at the top of the screen will bring up the mission details (from your planning). Swipe across the various screens to view details, notes and attachments as required. Tap the top area again to return to the current step in your mission.
The first step is to confirm or adjust the pre-flight configuration. This includes selecting the correct Remote Pilot, RPA and battery set (for information on batteries and sets, please see this article). Once you’ve done this, proceed to the next screen by pressing the chevron button in the lower right. You’ll notice that this chevron button isn’t yet available on the next screen. This means that we still have to take some action before proceeding. In this case, you can see that the ‘Standard Pre Flight Checklist’ button is grayed out – we need to complete this section.
Any checklists that are completed in the field app will be automatically synced with the server at the end of your mission and will then be visible in the Office App. The content of the checklists depends on your organisation’s specific procedures and setup. To complete the checklist, simply scroll through the steps and confirm each step as you complete it.
Note: If your equipment fails a specific item on the checklist (for example, if some kind of damage is detected making the RPA unservicable) it is up to the Remote Pilot to make the decision not to fly. The field app records your checklist responses but doesn’t make recommendations or prevent you from flying when issues are identified.
Once you’ve completed any required checklists, JSAs etc, you’ll be ready to fly. Swipe the bar to start the flight timer and carry out your flight. Once you’ve landed, swipe again to stop the timer. This time will be automatically recorded against the flight. If you need to edit this time (for example, if you accidentally leave the timer running) you can do so by tapping on the digits and entering the correct time.
Note: If you need to abort a flight at any time, you can do so by tapping on the current section name (eg. Pre-flight configuration) then tapping the progress indicators at the bottom of the screen (the four circles indicate the phase of the mission we are currently in). You will then see Abort Flight in the lower right. Tap this to end your flight – for example, if deteriorating weather or an unforeseen hazard prevents the continuation of the flight.
Once your flight time has been recorded, you’ll proceed to the post-flight section. Again, the content is dependent on your organisation’s processes but will likely include a post-flight checklist, which is completed the same way as the pre-flight section we saw earlier. After completing any checklist/s required, you will be presented with the option to start another flight (eg after a battery change) or end all flying (the mission is concluded). If you continue flying, you will be taken back to the pre-flight configuration screen where you can select a new battery and proceed to your pre-flight checks.
If you choose to end your flying, the mission will be marked as completed. Tap the blue chevron button on the next screen to sync the mission and upload your flight information.
Note: If you are operating in an area with low or no mobile signal, your data will be saved and automatically synced when you return to mobile or wifi coverage (you may need to unlock the device for this upload to occur).