Return to Home (RTH): an indispensable function in drones


Find out how DJI Return to Home (RTH) works and why it is invaluable to any drone-driver.

The DJI RTH function is a very useful safety feature that allows you to return the drone to a safe and accessible landing location. Read on to find out how this technology works and how you can benefit from it.

3 Return to Home modes

Smart RTH

This mode allows users to command the drone to return to its starting point by tapping the RTH button on the remote control or via the DJI GO 4 app.

RTH for low battery

When the battery level of the DJI drone drops to a specified level, a prompt will be displayed on the DJI GO 4 app and the drone will return to the reference point.

Failsafe RTH

This mode takes your drone back to its starting point if it loses its signal when connected to a remote control or via Wi-Fi.

How does RTH work?

A DJI drone sets its takeoff position as a reference point when it receives four or more GPS signals. The drone will continuously analyze the GPS coordinates in real time and use a compass to help its return flight. Anything that interferes with the location of the RTH point, the GPS or compass can affect the RTH function.

To ensure that your drone returns to its starting point safely, fly it to a clear area without interference and remember to update the base point before any flight.*

* Please note that urban areas with many tall buildings can interfere with GPS signals. Magnetic fields, high-voltage cables and metal structures can also interfere with the compass.

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Preliminary preparation of the drone

When a drone enters Failsafe RTH mode, you will not be able to control the drone to avoid obstacles. However, if you set a relatively higher flight altitude in the DJI GO 4 app, the drone will rise to that altitude before returning to the base point. By flying at a higher altitude, the drone can avoid most of the obstacles on its path, which is a simple and effective way to ensure safer flight operation.*

* If the current drone height is higher than the altitude set in the DJI GO 4 app, it will return directly to its current altitude.

When you return to the starting point, the drone can detect obstacles with its vision sensors and climb to a safe height.*

* Vision sensors can only detect obstacles with clear textures in a well-lit environment.
Note: Mavic Pro, Mavic Air and Spark do not have upward vision sensors.

Intelligent RTH functions

RTH Failsafe Mode

A drone will return to the starting point using its original flight path and will restore the signal connection as soon as possible, allowing users to control its flight path.*

* The drone does not return to the starting point using its original flight path when used with other RTH modes. Instead, it will choose the shortest flight path to return to the starting point. Note: DJI Spark will always choose the shortest flight path to return to any RTH mode.

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Smart RTH Mode

When the drone arrives above the starting point, the landing guard is automatically activated and the descending sensors determine whether the area below the drone is suitable for landing. If the area is not suitable for landing, the drone is positioned on the spot, waiting for the user’s command.*

* Note: The DJI Spark can only detect water surfaces and cannot detect flat, even surfaces.

In addition, ensure that the lighting conditions are adequate during take-off and landing.*

* Note that the DJI Inspire 2 does not support Precision Landing.

Drones with Return to Home

With the RTH function you can continue to record spectacular aerial shots and ensure safe flight operations. No matter where your adventure takes you, follow these simple steps to maintain good flight practices. Take the first step with a DJI drone today.