Feature idea: Key combination to safely switch flight modes

Not sure if this already exists within the ArduPilot code. I’m thinking of using the momentary switch in the transmitter as an enabler key to switch between flight modes. I think BetaFlight has an implementation of this. Most of the accidents in my team were caused by the pilot accidentally switching the flight mode. Any thoughts?

Mix that in the Transmitter.

Not available in many transmiters like HereLink.

It doesn’t sound like a good idea whether native in the flight controller or mixed into the transmitter.

Let’s say you have a 3-position mode switch and a momentary mode-enable switch.

The user commands a mode change without holding the enable switch, and now there is a visual/tactile mismatch between actual flight mode and switch-position, creating an already counterintuitive situation.

When the mistake is recognized, and the momentary enable switch is depressed, what is the desired behavior?

  • To switch immediately to the mode commanded by the mode switch? That seems like a recipe for disaster as well.
  • To wait for a mode switch change with the enable switch held? Seems that may continue to muddy the human/machine interface waters.

If you had crashes as a result of unintentional flight mode changes, it doesn’t sound like you need a low level hardware fix. It sounds like you need some combination of better trained operators, a more intuitive transmitter layout, and/or aural cues for flight mode commands.


I see your point here and I agree with you. So, the solution, for now, would be to get a transmitter that has some “hidden” buttons that are less vulnerable to unintentional actions. However, I still think that it’d be a good idea to come up with a safer logical sequence to switch flight modes using radios with a conventional switch layout.
Thanks for your comments though!