Thank you for your interest in the CAPLA drone. This is a highly regulated, expensive piece of equipment that you will be responsible for. Therefore, we want to make sure you are trained in the use of the drone and aware of your responsibilities before you are allowed to take it out.

To check out a drone, you need to complete these training steps:

  1. Study these documents for a broad understanding of FAA regulations and your responsibilities.
    1. Remote Pilot Study Guide
    2. Airman Knowledge Testing Supplement for Sport Pilot, Rereational Pilot, and Private Pilot. This is the resource you will be given during the actual FAA drone pilot certification.
  2. Watch the Course on aerial videography free at UA Computer Based Training series
  3. Install the DJI Go App on your phone and/or wireless tablet (needs a cellular connection)
  4. Watch the safety tutorials in the App
  5. Take the FAA Test Quiz at
  6. Pass the CAPLA Drone Quiz - available at

Once you have passed the CAPLA exam, you are eligible to check out the Drone. Before taking the drone, you will need to provide a use case that includes the following information:

  • Operator(s) Name, email and cell phone number. Only the listed operators will be allowed to use the drone
  • Location(s) of the drone flight
  • Letter giving permission for each location
  • Reservation time

You will also need to demonstrate proper setup, takeoff and landing to a designated CAPLA drone instructor. Below is a copy of the Pre-Flight and Flight Checklists.

Pre-Flight Preparations

  • Please make sure you double-check the inventory list before taking the Drone from the office. You will be responsible for any missing parts when it is returned.
  • Install DJI Go app on your phone or wireless tablet (needs a cellular connection)
    • Watch the safety tutorials in the App
  • Download and install DJI pre-flight checklist app or use the paper version (download here)
  • Make sure to take of the camera cover before turning on the drone. The camera gimble does a movement check and you can damage the camera if it is not removed.
  • Check battery capacity by pushing button on the back of the battery pack
  • On the drone controller, click the power button twice, holding it down until it beeps.
  • On the drone, click the power button twice, holding it down until it starts.
  • Check that the light on the controller is green. If it is red, it did not connect to the drone. If it is red, please check that the antennas are correct. If that does not work, check the troubleshooting video in the DJI App (under Academy in the menu – Linking the Remote Controller)
  • Connect your phone or tablet to the controller with a USB cord. You will need to provide the correct connection cord. From the DJI Go App, select the DI Phantom 3 Professional and click on the Camera button.
  • From the connected app you can finish going through the checklist using the onscreen information. Download and install DJI pre-flight checklist app or use the paper version (download here)

You may now take the drone to your site. Please be sure to get permission to fly your drone in that area. Note that certain areas, such as the UA, hospitals and national parks have strict regulations about drone use.


  • Walk your site and make note of any obstacles that may cause issues with the drone.
  • Go to your site and do the Pre-takeoff checklist (download here)
  • Check the Flight Settings for the Drone (provide directions for setting all of this)
  • Make sure to set the Home Point setting before flight
  • Make sure Remote Controller Signal Lost is set to Return Home
  • Set Max flight altitude – 50 meters
  • Set Max flight distance – 50 meters
    • If you need a longer distance, please present a use case to the department before checkout.
  • Turn on Head LED
  • Activate Smart Return to home

If you have any questions, please contact the drone coordinator or CAPLA IT at