TLDR: Hope for the best, plan for the worst.
It's the night before the big race. You've gone to bed way later than had you planned because you were working on last minute repairs. You can't sleep because of the nerves; but on top of that, you're laying there wondering what you may have forgotten to pack... or even worse thinking of what you need to pack in the morning.
This is not a good state to be in and it can absolutely be avoided. The best thing you can do to help you get that much needed rest is to have a plan, execute it, and go to bed feeling confident and prepared. Here's how I do it..
The week of:
There are many things to do before race day and some of that stuff can be done the week leading up to it.
- [ ] Test hover all of your quads. This is going to help you catch any obvious issues and give you time to fix them.
- [ ] Charge big Field Charging Battery
- [ ] Charge GoPros
- [ ] Charge Quad batteries
- [ ] Charge Fatshark batteries
- [ ] Clean off SD cards & thumb drives
The night before:
- [ ] Check into the MultiGP Race. This will tell you your VTX Channel.
- [ ] Set VTX channels on all of the quads you're bringing with you. You may not think you'll end up using quad #3 or #4, but if you do, you certainly don't want to be tinkering with your channels as they're calling you to the line.
I personally like to pack the evening before, then drive somewhere close and fly a single pack. You're going to figure out real quick if you forgot your transmitter, goggles, or ground station battery. If you fly a pack, you know you have atleast the bare essentials to get you in the air tomorrow.
- Quads (Obviously) - Make sure you have all of your backups packed too.
- [ ] Laptop & USB Cable for changing quad settings
- [ ] GoPros (chargers & batteries)
- [ ] 10x10 Canopy
- [ ] Chair
- [ ] Folding Table
- [ ] SD Cards
- [ ] Thumb Drive for Connex recorder
- [ ] Sunscreen - Can't tell you how many times I see guys fried by the end of the day. Bring your sunscreen!
- [ ] Change of clothes - You're out in a, potentially muddy, field and can't control the weather. If you're driving in from out of state/town it's best to be prepared for anything.
- [ ] Contacts - I'm legally blind without my contacts so this is a big fear for me that I'll lose a contact and be done for the day.
- [ ] Light gloves if cold - I can't fly with frozen hands.
- [ ] Phone charger
- Drone Stuff
- [ ] Radio/transmitter
- [ ] Ground Station
- [ ] Goggles
- [ ] Spare parts boxes/containers
- I bring extra motors, HS1177 cams, VTX, and arms for my pencil arm'd quads.
- [ ] Extra nuts/screws container
- I typically bring frame, motor, and camera screws.
- [ ] Lots of Props! Plan to use at least a new set for every race you'll participate in. If all goes well, you may use that 1 set the whole time but don't plan on it.
- Batteries & Charger
- Food & Drink
- [ ] Cooler
- [ ] Bottled water
- [ ] Caffeinated beverage
- [ ] Food for lunch. Dunno about you but I get the shakes when going long periods of time without eating. Shakes lead to crashes and poor race performance. You may be in an area without food options nearby and you may not have much time between heats. Pack a lunch!
- [ ] Double Sided Tape
- [ ] Electrical Tape
- [ ] Assorted Heat Shink
- [ ] All sized hex wrenches, wire cutters, strippers, & xacto knife. Field repairs are sometimes required.
- [ ] XT-60 Soldering Iron & glue gun if you have them.
Some will say I over-prepare, but you won't cash me on race day with my pants down!
Is there anything else I forgot? Any ritual you follow? Let me know in the comments! I'm interested in hearing from other pilots.
I was considering throwing together a PDF version of this checklist if anyone is interested.