Always looking to improve on what safety methods that are currently in place, a close eye on the Air Accidents Investigation Board (#AAIB) and other sources of information that comes from a 'Just Culture' approach, ensures we are able to learn from past issues that may have been encountered by other organisations, to further improve safety in our own operations.
So, what's a hand-held orienteering (or similar) #compass got to do with drone flight safety? ... well an intrinsic part of an UAS is it's flight controller and it simple terms, it takes many inputs from a number of components within the airframe to build a 'picture' of where it is within the 3D world; it's height and positioning, as well as orientation and heading. One such component is an internal compass, which is used along side other attitude related components and if the compass is interfered with, via external forces, you could encounter undesired flight path results.
As part of pre-flight checks now, following a recent AAIB report into a drone incident, we have updated our pre-flight checks to include a manual compass check prior to take-off, to help improve safety to other air users and on the ground.
Stay safe out there!