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With Betaflight I often find myself crashing the drone while landing. It gets better with practice, but in general there seems to be no throttle command for constant speed descent. Any throttle value below stable hovering means the craft will go down with ever-increasing speed. With some luck I manage to reapply throttle just before the craft hits the ground, reducing the touchdown speed, but it's quite hard for a novice pilot to do it right.

This is in contrast to most commercial drones which seem to limit the speed in general, and especially near ground. Most actually have a landing button, but simply going down until the drone touches the ground works too.

I have a barometer on my FC, so Betafligth must be well aware of the vertical speed. Is there a configuration which makes landings more novice-friendly (by limiting the speed or otherwise)? Are there alternatives (e.g. iNav, Cleanflight, etc.) which are more noob-friendly?

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INav has altitude hold (or rather, the stick controls the rate of ascent/descent) like a photography drone.

Betaflight does not have this mode, and it is unlikely to get it.

Alt hold does not aligns with the philosophy of the project as a whole. Betaflight is for acro flying.

Cleanflight has a GPS mode, which presumably controls altitude, but it's marked as a 'WORK-IN-PROGRESS. This mode is not reliable yet'

You're right that throttle position gives you vertical acceleration, not speed. Effectively it's always in 'rate' mode. Like an RC helicopter, you have to constantly juggle the stick to maintain a steady hover. Converting your transmitter to remove the notches on the throttle can help, as they're never quite in the right place. I also found that pinching the stick gave me finer control. Race drones are pretty tough, and also tend to over-react when they touch down, so I usually disarm when a few inches above the ground. Some people stick half-inch thick foam pads to the underside.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for that link you found, it was an interesting read. To see that someone actually implemented a useful feature with only 0.3% of flash overhead, only to see it rejected on grounds of "philosophy" looks pretty toxic indeed. $\endgroup$ Jun 1, 2023 at 7:32
  • $\begingroup$ Small question: Cleanflight appears to have BARO mode ("Altitude hold mode") in addition to GPS mode. Do you know what it does? $\endgroup$ Jun 1, 2023 at 7:36
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    $\begingroup$ Well spotted, I'd missed that. Yes, I would expect BARO mode to do what you want, so stick position relates to vertical speed, with centre stick being hover. My experience of indoor quads with altitude hold is that they slowly bob up and down over a foot or two but are very helpful for beginners who are still learning throttle control. $\endgroup$ Jun 1, 2023 at 15:35

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