Override Flight Modes with Stick Movements

I want to be able to override whatever flight mode I may be in very quickly. Ideally i’d like to just move the sticks to take over control of the drone. Does this work? I find having so many different modes programmed into a few switches to not only be confusing, but potentially dangerous. I want to be able to get out of trouble fast.


Not exactly what you’re asking for, but PX4 has a version of this for breaking out of an RTL after a geofence violation. Users found it confusing and unexpected, so it’s off by default.

So this is definitely doable, but at least based on what I’ve seen so far it doesn’t work well in practice.

What’s you switch configuration? We might also be able to do something to simplify that side of it.

Nothing is built yet. I’m still in the design phase and doing my planning for how I want the system to work. In reading the PX4 manual I see that it is recommended to have as many as 6 modes programmed into one channel thru 2 switches. As an RC airplane pilot I would never do that, so it seems foreign to me and I am wondering why the drone world thinks this is such a good idea. Even the Phantom drones have a panic button.

Has anyone else looked into this issue?


I would give it a try and see if you still find it complicated.

Typically I only use 2 switches.
1 main mode switch (3 positions) - STABILIZED / ALTITUDE CONTROL / MISSION (configure as desired)
1 RTL switch (2 position) - my emergency switch that overrides the others

Depending on the situation I either pull the main switch all the way towards me for a manual mode, or flip into RTL.

For anything more complicated you can connect a phone/tablet/computer and change modes through QGroundControl.

I’m starting out with a Spektrum DX6i which only has two position switches. I could use one for RTL/manual and one for STABILIZED / MISSION.
I would have to program the switches so that MANUAL mode would turn off everything else. This might be a challenge with the DX6i