Easily create a mission plan from FlyFreely's Mission Planning screen.
In this post, we’ll cover mission planning in the office app. The mission planning feature is designed to streamline your process by guiding you through the essential aspects of planning your missions in sequence.
The planning screen is divided into 4 sections. Continue reading for the full tutorial, or skip to the required section below.
Create New Mission
The first time you open the FlyFreely app, your Missions widget will be empty. If it is not visible on the dashboard, make sure the Missions checkbox in the Left Nav Bar is checked. To begin creating your first mission click the Add (+) button.
Throughout the mission planning screen, required fields are denoted by the red tick symbol. Optional fields have a grey tick. All fields will display a green tick once completed.
You can get additional help and prompts by toggling the 'Enhanced Help' switch in the bottom-left of the screen.
This section outlines your basic mission goals and sets the mission location.
- Mission Name: It's good practice to develop a consistent naming convention for your missions.
- Mission Classification: Use 'dummy mission' for practice and training mission that won't be physically flown. For more info, see this article.
- Mission Objective Description: A summary of your mission objectives. This free-text field can include details such as job number, client information and specific requirements and deliverables.
- Mission Location: You can draw a new flight area (see here) or select an existing location template.
After creating or adding a location, you will see an 'airspace disclaimer' popup which must be acknowledged before proceeding. This indicates that the in-built airspace check is operational. For more information, see this article.
Once the location is set, you can perform further location checks using the following features.
- Nearby Aerodromes: Allows you to search by aerodrome name, code or distance from your flight area, and add any relevant information to the mission plan.
- Mission NOTAMs: Search, read and select relevant NOTAM messages to add to your mission plan.
Under the Mission Resources heading, you will enter the details of the resources and authorities to be used for the mission.
- Mission Type: Select the type of mission to be flown (training, commercial or testing) for record keeping purposes.
- Mission Workflow: Workflow options will depend on your organization's configuration, and the selected workflow determines which ruleset is used by the airspace checker. See this article for more info on workflows.
When a workflow is selected, the app will check the associated primary authority to see whether it is configured correctly. If there are any issues detected, there will be a yellow warning icon displayed. Clicking on this icon will allow you to view and edit the authority to resolve the issue:
- RPA: Select the RPA to be used on this mission. You can make repeat selections if you intend to take more than one RPA on this mission (eg a backup).
- Equipment: Any non-RPA devices to be used on the mission (eg ground stations, payloads).
Note: In order to select an RPA / Equipment for a mission, it must have already been added to the system (you can't add items from the mission planning screen). You can add these items via the relevant widget on the dashboard screen.
When selecting an RPA, the list will be divided into 'Active', 'Not on Register' and 'Expired' sections, based on the register status of each RPA. Any RPA falling into the 'Active' section should have all required documentation up to date and be in serviceable condition.
If your required RPA isn't on the associated authority register at all, it will look like this:
This indicates that the selected RPA hasn't been approved to operate under the selected authority, or that it hasn't been added to that authority register in the system.
Next, add the details of any personnel associated with this mission.
- Remote Pilot in Command (RPIC): This person has overall 'in field' responsibility for the conduct of the mission. Once your mission is ready to fly, it will appear in the field app for the RPIC only.
As with RPA, the register status of remote pilots is highlighted for reference. As above, any issues detected in the register can be resolved by visiting the relevant authority register.
- Crew: You can add any additional crew here. This might include additional Remote Pilots, or spotters / observers.
- Crew Notes: Enter any other relevant information regarding your crew, specific duties etc.
In the Mission Planning section, add additional details regarding the mission activities.
- Time Zone: Automatically set based on your selected location.
- Planned Time: Enter proposed date and start time of your mission.
- Estimated Duration: Enter mission duration.
- Time of Day: Automatically set based on the 'planned time' and 'duration' data entered. Civil twilight start/end are also shown for your selected location (used by airspace check).
- Expected Maximum Height: Enter the maximum height you need to complete the mission (used by airspace check).
- Contact Details: Enter any relevant details you wish to have available on site (via the field app). this could be site management, emergency services etc.
- Radio Frequencies: Add any VHF frequencies you wish to monitor. Frequencies added in the 'nearby aerodromes' section above will be displayed here automatically.
The airspace check will update as you add details into this section, in conjunction with the location and mission workflow (ruleset) selected above. For more information on this feature, see our article.
The forms included in this section are based on the selected mission workflow. For instructions on configuring workflows, see our article. (link)
In some cases, you won't find any additional documentation here. In this case you should be able to scroll to the bottom of the screen and select Submit for Approval or Fly depending on your workflow configuration.
Required forms will display a red tick symbol. Click start to complete each form. Once all required forms are complete, the 'Submit for approval' or 'Fly' button (depending on workflow) will be unlocked and you can complete the mission plan.
You can also attach any other relevant files that you wish to include in your mission plan using the 'attached documents' control.
You can import form responses from previously planned or completed missions. Click the ... button on the right hand side of the documentation section, and select 'prefill from other mission'. Once you've selected a mission and imported your responses, click continue to check the form then click complete.
Note: This import will only work with missions using the same workflow and forms (and the same version of each form).
Submit Mission Plan
Once all required fields have been completed, the Submit for approval or Fly button will be unlocked, depending on the selected workflow.
For workflows requiring approval, your plan will be sent to the Chief Remote Pilot to check and approve. Once approved, the mission will display as 'Ready to Fly' and will appear in the field app for the nominated Remote Pilot in Command.
For non-approval workflows, clicking Fly will send the mission directly to 'Ready to Fly' status and it will show in the field app.
To learn about using the FlyFreely Field App to record your mission, click here.