UAS maintenance is of vital importance to their safe operation. This broadly falls into two areas: the actual hardware that flies, and any software used both on and off the airframe in order for it to operate. Specific documented action should be taken to ensure that both hardware and software are properly maintained. For hardware, it will be obvious that the flying airframe operates in a harsh environment subject to large acceleration and deceleration forces, changes in temperature and humidity, and significant vibrations. In addition, various fuels and oils will be in use and may be spilt onto the airframe or its systems. For software, the chief dangers are undetected bugs in flight critical software either being present from the outset or being inadvertently introduced either by firmware upgrades or during operator-based programming of those functions that are designed to be set by the flight team.[1]

  • [1] A classic example is the inadvertent selection of the wrong flight control program from a set available on the pilot’stransmitter, all with similar names.
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