How to setup GPS Rescue Mode in Betaflight

How to setup GPS Rescue Mode in Betaflight

GPS Rescue Mode is intended to bring your quad back autonomously in case of an emergency such as loss of video or radio link.  The only purpose is to bring the quad back into range so you can retake control as soon as possible.  It is not meant to be a reliable Return to Home mode. Keep this in mind, and (other than for initial testing) only activate it to avoid losing your quad. In order to increase the probability of GPS Rescue's successful operation, please read this document and configure your system as best as possible for your particular environment and flying style.

GPS Rescue in Betaflight is not a full "Return To Home" (RTH) function. It is not meant to be a tool to autonomously fly your quad home and you should not try and use it this way. It has no ability to auto-land and will intentionally "soft-crash" when it approaches the home point. Its entire purpose is to return the quad closer to home so the pilot can resume control in the event of signal loss. The pilot should resume control as soon as possible and not rely on GPS Rescue to fly home.

Warning: Use with extreme caution

  1. This is an experimental feature.
  2. Use with extreme caution.
  3. This documentation WILL change so check this page often.
  4. Unless stated otherwise, this documentation refers to the last stable release (currently BF4.0)
  5. If you plan on using this as a failsafe method you should ABSOLUTELY enable sanity checks!
Always read the latest and official betaflight documentation before using this feature.

Before you can use GPS Rescue

Before configuring or testing GPS Rescue, you must calibrate the accelerometer and ensure that angle mode works properly. Set up the "ANGLE" flight mode and test in flight to ensure that the craft self-levels and behaves normally. If the craft does not properly level then recalibrate the accelerometer and test again. GPS Rescue uses angle mode so if this is not working properly GPS Rescue will be unable to recover the craft and may cause it to fly in the wrong direction.

How to activate and configure GPS Rescue mode

Common Issues

  1. Ensure that you are flying further than the minimum distance to home (100m by default) before testing GPS Rescue. The minimum distance can be set in the CLI using
set gps_rescue_min_dth = <meters>
  1. At distances less than this, GPS rescue will cause the quad to drop.
  1. In some particular setups, the accelerometer can drift over time and this can avoid GPS Rescue to work properly. This can be checked by flying for a long time and then activating angle mode, if the quad does not get to a nearly perfect stable orientation please do not use GPS Rescue on this quad.
  2. some GPS units need configuration with U-Center to work. 
  3. GPS Rescue is still actively maintained/developed, so if you're not using the last stable Betaflight release, chances are you could hit a known issue. Please be sure to use the last stable release (currently 4.0).
  4. GPS Rescue is not and will never be completely reliable, so it should never be used as the only recovery measure. Showing lat/lon GPS Coordinates on the OSD (and recording the flight with a DVR), logging the telemetry (including GPS coordinates) in the Radio TX or using an autonomous beeper are some measures that should be in place even before testing GPS Rescue.

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