Rally Points and their use

I want to be sure that I am clear on the use Rally Points for Planes.
My understanding is that a Rally Point is kind of like a virtual “Home”. You can set the position and altitude of a Rally Point at various places in the mission plan. Then if there is a Fail Safe, the plane will go to the nearest RP or Home, whichever is closer. Is this right?
I just had a crash and loss of plane where the Circle and RTL function did not appear to perform as expected. According to Tridge, when Terrain following is active, the short FS circle should follow the Terrain, mine didn’t, it headed into the ground trying to reach the “Home” altitude for a RTL.
Soooo, if I understand Rally Points correctly, they appear to be a much safer and more robust way to negotiate hills in case of a FS.


I always tell people their Failsafe should be set to “Auto” flight mode so the drone will continue mission if it loses radio signal or telemetry from the ground control station or transmitter, that said, if you want the drone to go to a rally point upon signal loss then your failsafe flight mode must be “RTL” (return to launch)

If you forgot to upload your rally points to the drone, your plane will head home in RTL flight mode, and if your “Home Location” altitude is set below ground level, the drone will likely crash in RTL mode.

I talk about this in my training video here:


Skip ahead to 3:07 and you will see what I mean about Home Location Altitude and how to properly set it.

Hope this helps

Rick Burd

Hi Richard,
That’s a great video. Please make an advanced techniques one when you have more time.
I was flying FBWA when I went to FS. Tridge says when one has Terrain following enabled, the FS Circle should follow the terrain altitude, mine did not. It behaved like it was doing a normal RTL and going to the home altitude. In my case, this would make it fly through a mountain.
I have to check but are you saying it’s possible to have FS go to Auto? And will the Pixhawk then go to the nearest WP and continue a “Mission” even if it was not on one?
IMO opinion, the plane FS needs to be vetted like copter was a couple of years back. I think it work pretty good if you are on level ground but I’m not sure about hills and mountains.