Flying Manually (RC/Joystick)

Auterion Mission Control significantly improves the safety and ease of manual flight.

Mission Control is commonly used in controllers that combine both ground station and physical joysticks. On screen "virtual joysticks" can be enabled to fly manually on devices without physical sticks (or a completely separate RC or joystick controller can be used).

Mission Control can be used to:

  • Fly using two physical joysticks, or virtual (on screen) joysticks.

  • Configure the controller mode (choose what functions are assigned to different stick movements).

  • Monitor the flight (including its state) using the map and vehicle telemetry.

  • Take off, land, return home and land using automated modes. These can be triggered from the fly tools or by assigning the actions to physical buttons on the controller.

  • Transition VTOL vehicles between multicopter and fixed-wing modes using the VTOL status icon.

  • Track a particular target with the camera (region of interest).

Manual Flight Modes

Mission Control allows you to select either of the two safest and easiest flight modes supported by PX4: Position mode and Altitude mode.

Always prefer Position mode for manual flight (unless your vehicle does not have GPS)! It is the easiest and safest manual flight mode, in particular for new fliers. It uses GPS to provide stable and predictable movement, and is suitable for a wider range of applications and weather conditions.

Ensure that the sticks (real or virtual) are centered before enabling manual modes!

The manual modes can be enabled using the mode selector as shown.

Stick Functions

Two control sticks control the vehicle's movement during manual flight. The action of each stick in a particular flight mode depends on the type of vehicle and how the actions are mapped to sticks/stick movements (controller mode).

Position Mode and Altitude modes have the same intuitive flight controls, which make it simple to understand how the vehicle is expected to move. The controls make it impossible to flip or roll the vehicle, and easy to recover stability in the event of any problem. The only difference between the modes is the behavior when sticks are centered.

An overview of the default Position mode stick functions for multicopter and fixed wing are provided below (VTOL vehicles use the same mappings, depending on whether flying as rotor or fixed-wing vehicle).

Mission Control uses the popular controller mode 2 stick layout by default. When using a Joystick, the mode can be changed in: Vehicle Settings > Joystick.

Multicopter (Mode 2)

Centered sticks: The multicopter will actively brake, level, and be locked to a position in 3D space — compensating for wind and other forces.

Fixed-Wing (Mode 2)

Centered sticks: The fixed wing vehicle will level out and hold its straight-line path (it will resist being moved off this track — compensating for wind and other forces).


Vehicles have moving parts that are potentially dangerous when powered (in particular motors and propellers)! In order to minimize the time when a landed vehicle has powered motors PX4 supports the concepts of explicitly arming a vehicle before takeoff and disarming it shortly after landing (or if it is too slow to take off).

Arming may be dependent on a physical safety switch being engaged on the vehicle. This is commonly integrated into the GPS unit, but may also be separate.

Arming/disarming may be triggered in a number of ways:

  • Select the Armed/Disarmed status indicator in the Fly View > Vehicle Status Indicators.

  • Use a dedicated arming button on the controller (if assigned)

  • Use a stick gesture (if arming button not defined). For mode 2 controllers this is:

    • Arm: Left stick to bottom right.

    • Disarm: Left stick to the bottom left.

For more information see Prearm, Arm, Disarm Configuration (PX4 User Guide)


The easiest way to takeoff is usually to use the automatic Takeoff mode. For a multicopter or VTOL this will simply takeoff to a preset altitude and loiter.

Takeoff mode can be triggered using:

  • A dedicated button on the controller (if assigned).

Alternatively you can use Position Mode to take off manually:

  • Multicopter: Arm, then raise the altitude stick

  • Fixed Wing: Arm, launch vehicle into wind with sufficient acceleration to trigger launch

VTOL Transition

For VTOL vehicles, use the VTOL button in the left toolbar to toggle between multicopter and fixed-wing flight.

For more information see Flying Using High-Level Commands > VTOL Transitions.

Return and/or Land

Most of the time you will want to use Return Mode to fly back to the launch point and land.

Return mode can be triggered using:

The return flight path and landing behavior depend on the vehicle type and configuration. Generally a multicopter will ascend to a safe height and fly a direct path to the nearest of home or any rally points. A fixed-wing vehicle will use a fixed wing landing pattern defined in a mission plan. The options depend on your configuration. For more information see: PX4 User Guide > Return mode.

It is also possible to land at the current position using Land Mode, which may be triggered using the Land tool.

Point of Interest (Position Mode)

Users can set a Point Of Interest (POI) on the map in fly view. The camera will then track this ROI in when flying in position mode (only).

To set the POI:

  1. Ensure you are flying (the POI cannot be set when landed)

  2. Press the POI button on the left Toolstrip.

  3. Select the target location for the POI on the map.

  4. Acknowledge the confirmation prompt

Mission Control will then add an POI marker at the selected position, and mark the POI status icon (application top bar) green ("enabled").

Note that the POI isn't actually enabled until the vehicle is in position mode!

To remove an POI, select the POI status icon in the toolbar and select the popup option Disable POI.

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