Description of column headings

Where is there a description of the column headings in flight planning mode for Arducopter?

Specifically how do you turn on the column headings?

What is the purpose/function of Grad%, Dist, AZ?

I am attempting to shoot a rockface wall, oblique to add to a NADIR mission. What I am envisioning is starting at WP1, 10m altitude, moving west to east to WP2, with the camera/UAV facing north or 90 degree off of the flight line. Then fly to WP3 which is 10m higher than WP2, flying east to west to WP4. Then fly to WP5(20m) which is 10m higher than WP4, and fly west to east to WP6(30m).

So, I would like to know what the Grad%, Dist, AZ mean, and the best way to create the flight plan as noted above.


You set your flight path by selecting the lat/long coords of each point you want to fly to, and the altitude of those points. Those are the only spatial items you enter. The columns you listed are computed on the basis of the coords and altitudes you’ve entered and just give you info on each leg between your waypoints. You don’t fill them in. Gradient, Distance and Azimuth all should be pretty self explanatory.

Thank you for the reply, and I should have apologized beforehand for my ignorance.

If you would be kind enough to impart a portion of your knowledge of the subject, I would be most appreciative. Where would you suggest I look for the description of Grad%, Dist, and AZ as it relates to Pixhawk and MP? I have been unsuccessful in my search through the online documentation.

Regarding flight plan, I am attempting to shoot a rock cliff, and shooting straight down does not pick up the cliff face, whereas face the cliff face and shooting pic’s does. So, the flight plan or mission is a grid mission in the vertical / Z axis plan instead of the horizontal / X axis plane. Does this make any sense?

Thanks in advance for sharing your knowledge and wisdom.

Grad is discussed in this thread: … n-planning

Azimuth is the angle between the line formed by the first waypoint and the next, and due North, in degrees (I believe it’s degrees and not something weird)

Dist is merely the horizontal distance between the first waypoint and the next, in meters.

It sounds like you are just doing a lawnmower grid in the vertical direction. You may need to make use of the Condition-Yaw command to make sure the camera remains pointed at the cliff face.

Be cautious about flying autonomously near a cliff face. On even good days the GPS will wander a bit, possibly resulting in less than precise tracking. But flying next to a large cliff can block a good number of GPS satellites degrading the positioning and perhaps hitting the cliff.

Cool deal, and thanks for the info.

The cliff face may only be about 90m tall and the plan is to launch up on top, move out over the edge at least 100m, then descend to 10m AGL at the cliff face base.

Attached the WP file if interested.


You can use the same location with different heights for multiple waypoints.
Also suggest that you start at the bottom of the face and fly up. You’ll get better footage than flying down through your own turbulence.

I am playing around with autolanding missions, and have researched “gradient” here and on diydrones. Once upon a time in 2013, someone discovered the same thing I discovered this morning, which is that in MP, when changing display units between metric and imperial, the grad % in the MP mission table changes. That seems counterintuitive to me. In 2013 on diy thread, Michael said it was a bug, and would be fixed in next release. Shouldn’t Grad % remain constant as one would load a flight plan from file with MP in either metric or imperial units?