9 Drone Maintenance Checklists for Commercial Operations

drone maintenance

The commercial drone industry is still young – it desperately needs processes for compliance and efficiency

With all of the excitement surrounding commercial drone applications, it’s more important than ever to ask yourself – do you have the tools in place to maximize the potential of your drone fleet?

Without the proper tools to build and refine the perfect business processes, you risk wasting resources trying to figure out sub-optimal approaches to common problems.

Systematic and comprehensive information on commercial drone operation is sparse and difficult to find, with much of the information that exists for the operation of drone systems in the USA coming from and maintained by the strong backbone of hobby enthusiasts pouring time and energy into supporting and developing the field.

Until relatively recently, commercial drone operation had been stifled; at best something of a grey area, at worst a confounding and legally precarious gauntlet. In 2015, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted hundreds of new exemptions for companies to operate drones in the U.S., opening the doors to a whole new level of commercial UAV potential.

drone pre-flight checklist example

In this post, I will introduce you to these tools as a collection 9 maintenance checklists for commercial drone operations. This checklist pack was crafted by pulling together the most recent information on commercial, general-model drone maintenance, and compliance.

Here are all of the checklists covered in this post:

Drone Pre-Flight Checklist

Drone Pre-Flight Checklist

The humble pre-flight checklist. Doubtless, one of the most important checklists you could incorporate into your operations process.

Every time you fire up your UAV, you should be running this pre-flight checklist alongside it.

Designed to unpack the essentials and prepare you and your drone for the next flight as easy as possible, there’s no reason not to pick this one up.

Click here to get the drone pre-flight checklist

Drone Post-Flight Checklist

Drone Post-Flight Checklist

Partner to the pre-flight, this post-flight checklist for UAV systems is built to cover all procedures you’d expect to encounter immediately after finishing up with a drone operation.

The reasoning for incorporating a solid post-flight checklist (and the same goes for pre-flight) is that you need to be on top of your drone-related processes so you can both ensure you’re doing rigorous tests on your UAVs, and keep maintenance logs that centralize information for your team.

Whatever you’re doing, whether you’ve just finished the first flight of the day or last flight of the month, you should be meticulously recording details about each operation for contingency and error-prevention.

Click here to get your post-flight checklist for yourself

Drone Safety Checklist

Drone Safety Checklist

When operating machinery, safety is paramount, and the same goes for piloting unmanned air systems. Especially when you’re out in the field, there are so many factors out of your control, that it’s almost insane not to have a tested safety process in place to deal with all of these factors.

This drone safety checklist is a process designed to be just that.

Operations managers and pilots alike will benefit from this guide which incorporates pilot and UAV compliance, emergency procedure, site assessment and a checklist design which encourages feedback for process improvement.

Click here to get your drone safety checklist

UAV Compliance Checklist

UAV Compliance Checklist

Compliance in commercial drone operation within the USA has recently undergone (and is very much still undergoing) heavy revision.

The FAA is the national authority which governs much of these regulations, including pilot tests and certifications such as the part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate and various operational waivers and airspace authorizations.

Making sure you’re fully compliant with all of local, state and FAA legislation before flying commercial drone operations can be incredibly off-putting.

That’s why we’ve crafted this checklist to make that process as low-effort as possible for you.

Inside we’ll guide you through full UAV compliance so you won’t have to wade through pages of potentially irrelevant regulation in a field where much of this is still being worked out.

Without a doubt, this checklist will help you to navigate the confusing landscape of commercial drone compliance.

Click here to get the UAV compliance checklist

Drone Troubleshooting Checklist

Drone Troubleshooting Checklist

If your UAV is behaving erratically and you aren’t sure what the problem is, then you need to run a troubleshooting checklist.

Having a thorough troubleshooting process helps to identify the root of a particular problem – where you might understand that the drone isn’t behaving properly, this checklist will enable you to isolate whatever component is causing the problem, and then proceed with any necessary repairs or replacements.

Click here to get the checklist for drone troubleshooting

Drone Testing Checklist

 Drone Testing Checklist

Before you can begin troubleshooting, you’ll first need to perform tests to check that the drone is behaving correctly in the first place.

This extensive, non-specific drone testing checklist is designed to uncover problems with your unmanned air systems that you otherwise would have missed. If you can highlight a certain problem with how the drone is behaving, you can then begin to troubleshoot and ultimately repair the unit in the most efficient way possible.

Click here to get the checklist for drone testing

Routine Drone Maintenance Checklist

Routine Drone Maintenance Checklist

Drone maintenance is often overlooked as a routine process, with many adopting the “fix-it-when-it’s-broken” mentality. The truth is, this approach, along with a lack of a proper maintenance procedure, turns a blind eye to faults that are already in the system, but just haven’t had the chance to show themselves yet.

This checklist is designed to be run after 10 flights or 2 weeks – whichever comes first. This robust approach will make sure you catch any errors before they can turn critical. We’ll run-down a full component inspection, with proper battery handling and control software updates.

Basically, everything you need to keep your drone in tip-top shape.

Click here to get the checklist for routine drone maintenance

Drone Repair Checklist

Drone Repair Checklist

Drone repair can be dirty work. Not only can it be difficult to keep track of exactly what needs fixing on which unit across your fleet of UAVs, there are so many components that comprise a working drone system that the repair task alone can be a lengthy undertaking even for a seasoned technician.

We’ve designed this checklist to simplify the process and streamline your drone repair, filling job identification for useful records and future job cross-referencing and utilizing conditional logic to give you the exact instructions you need to complete the repair, nothing more, nothing less.

Whilst the checklist is for general application (not a DJI repair checklist, for example) it will save you time and effort by guiding you through an optimized process for fixing your damaged units.

Click here to see our drone repair checklist

New Drone Setup Checklist

New Drone Setup Checklist

Setting up a new UAV system for the first time is exciting – getting everything out of the box, piecing it all together and running those first checks in preparation for the maiden voyage.

But it can also be daunting. New drones can require careful preparation before they’re suitable for operation, which is exactly why we’ve made this checklist to help you through that process.

We’ve unpacked the essentials and condensed everything you need to know into this handy little template.

Click here to get the new drone setup checklist

Save time on repetitive drone workflows with process automation

If you want to take your approach to process management to the next level and start automating dull data entry and repetitive workflows, then check out these three ideas for time-saving automation:

Automatically email drone maintenance reports to technicians

drone maintenance reports checklist

Use data you enter in testing and maintenance checklists to generate reports for technician and repair staff. This saves you from entering the same data twice, and gives you a ready-to-use report template for recurring tasks like repair, maintenance, and testing.

Facilitate hand-offs between different departments

drone maintenance checklist with task assignments

Use task assignments and stop tasks to automatically notify other departments when it’s time for their part of the process to be carried out. This automates away the need to manually update numerous staff members for approval or delegation — it’s all handled by Process Street.

Schedule and assign recurring drone maintenance to improve accountability

scheduled drone maintenance checklist

You can schedule a Process Street checklist to recur at regular intervals, such as weekly, monthly, or quarterly. A recurring checklist retains its assigned members, which means you’ll be automatically notifying the assigned staff when it’s their time to go and do the task. This makes tasks assignments visible, and places them in the context of a simple-to-follow checklist, improving accountability in your team.

Business process automation, you say?

Above are some entry-level ways you can add automation to your processes, but your workflows can become even more powerful with the help of integrations.

Instead of manually passing information between the many tools you use, integrations allow your tools to ‘speak’ to each other, triggering actions like sending an email or saving a file to a cloud folder.

Learn more about streamlining and automating your workflows in our ebook, The Ultimate Guide to Business Process Automation.

If you liked this template pack…

Then check out these similar checklists below – chances are there’s one you can pick up and run with.

If you’re interested in using any of these customized checklists to help with your workflow automation, or you’re keen to get started building systems for your drone operations, then don’t forget to sign up for a free Process Street account today!

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Oliver Peterson

Oliver Peterson is a content writer for Process Street with an interest in systems and processes, attempting to use them as tools for taking apart problems and gaining insight into building robust, lasting solutions.


One Comment

I agree with these 9 awesome checklists, really very informative post. Thanks for writing such a post.

I have a question about drones, I am going to buy a drone with a smart camera, can you plz tell me “What things we need to check on a drone before buying?”


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