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1st Crash - Embarrassing But Lucky

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision + Discussion' started by MapMaker53, Dec 16, 2014.

  1. MapMaker53

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    I was asked to demonstrate my P2V+ to a small group in my office parking lot today. I'm always leery about doing so because I feel rushed when setting up. Took my time though and had everything set and ready to go, but noticed I only had 6 sats. Figuring that would be fine for just a few passes across our parking lot, I took off and headed across the lot at a brisk pace at around 15 ft altitude. As I neared the end of the lot, I let the right stick center and figured it would stop pretty quickly in GPS mode. But because it was moving directly away from me, I couldn't tell until it was too late that it wasn't stopping. Before I could react, it hit some small tree branches, tumbled to the ground, and flipped onto the pavement with the props spinning. My guess now is the sats dropped from 6 to 5 during the flight across the lot, went into ATT mode, and momentum took over in that direction for it to have not stopped. No damage to the bird except two torn up props (I have several extras) and a great deal of embarrassment to myself. It was clearly pilot error on my part and a lesson learned. My gimbal was equipped with the original stick-on PhantomFix bracket (I hadn't changed it out to the new screw-on version yet) and I feel it definitely saved me an expensive repair - especially considering one of the two nylon zip-ties acting as a safety lines through the gimbal suspension broke. I know those small zip-ties are thin, but I didn't think one could actually break. Both breakaway pins are still okay though. They must have had more play in those stretchy rubber balls than the tie did. I've since tested everything and all seems fine. Have wifi signal and image, no camera dance, underside lever works the camera, and motor temps are fine. An embarrassing but lucky day for this Phantom owner. That's the last time I put any trust into 6 sats.
     
  2. flyNfrank

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    Sorry about the crash. You should attach some pic's of it.

    Are you saying the plastic ties broke and the gimbal was damaged from it?
     
  3. BlackTracer

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    Nice recovery. The tendency in front of a new group of onlookers is definitely to rush. Good for you for fighting that urge. I have never had good stability with 6 sats especially when first taking off.

    I am also glad to hear that your gimbal saver worked. I have the same stick-on saver on mine, which I hope to never test out.
     
  4. Prylar Bek

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    So, quick question. Having known that you only had 6 sats, would you have been better off flying in ATTI mode to control the bird better?
     
  5. BlackTracer

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    This question is not at me I know but I am going to give my opinion anyways!!! I think he would have been better off in ATTI. Because not knowing it has switched to ATTI on you mid-flight is much worse than knowing you are in ATTI by choice.
     
  6. msinger

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    Prylar Bek, it seems the issue was he was not aware the mode switched from GPS to ATTI. GPS mode should have offered the most control at 6 satellites.

    It would be nice if the DJI app had some kind of audible sound to let you know when the satellite count changes and/or the mode changes.
     
  7. N017RW

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    Don't the rear LEDs change from green to yellow when in Atti (regardless of whether its by S1 or a drop in sufficient sat #s)?

    They do on a P2NV in Naza mode.
     
  8. msinger

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    The rear LEDs change to blinking yellow in ATTI. It might be hard to see that if the Phantom is far away or at a bad angle.
     
  9. Prylar Bek

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    OK, let me get this straight. If the SATS drop to 5, it AUTOMATICALLY goes into ATTI mode?
     
  10. MapMaker53

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    Since I was just demonstrating it, I hadn't bothered to turn on the video. I had actually planned on finishing up with a photo of the group that was watching but never got to that. There was no damage except for the two props and the one saftey zip-tie. The gimbal's lower frame (if you call it that) apparently pulled away enough to snap one of the corner safety zip-ties, but the other corner zip-tie held fine and prevented the frame corner pins from snapping. I'm just amazed that one of the zip-ties broke. It tumbled from the tree from about 15 ft up with small spindly branches slowing it's fall somewhat. Ran over to it, picked it up and shut off the battery. Probably a good idea to hold the left stick down as one runs over to a downed bird to shut the motors, but I wasn't thinking very clearly at that point. LOL.

    Yes, with 6 sats I probably should have started out in ATT mode, knowing how the bird would react to the sticks. Honestly, I have never been able to clearly see the lights in the daylight, except maybe the red ones. Might be my eyes. Might be because I'm not a seasoned pilot yet, but blinking lights and colors are probably the last thing I notice while flying.
     
  11. Prylar Bek

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    SAME HERE. This is what I did. I purchased two sets of "headlights' duel bright LED's Runs from 9 v batts, that I velcroed to the front and rear. I put a set of RED filters on the rear and left the white ones up front, here is their address. http://www.dronefly.com/product-p/head-light-led.ht Anyway it allows me to see MUCH better the bird during the day. Have flown 6 sorties and the batts are still full. The LED's are bright and take almost no power. Might want to try it
     
  12. BlackTracer

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    Yes. Even if S1 is up (NAZA mode). With S1 up, you are in atti if sats are < 6, and in GPS if sats are >= 6, end of story.
     
  13. MapMaker53

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    Having almost met with disaster, I totally agree that there should be an audible alarm when GPS Mode drops below 6 sats. I haven't built the habit of having my eyes continually scan the FPV numbers as I fly. I find myself totally engrossed in the view and occasionally find myself thinking "Gee.. I wonder how much battery I have. Or "I wonder how many satellites I have." Probably common with new fliers. I know those things are EASILY in view. I just don't think of looking at them.
     
  14. Meta4

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    Yes .. without a proper sat lock, the Phantom defaults to atti mode.
     
  15. skymotion

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    Flying with only 6 satellites is the minimal to takeoff, and usually it will get more when you get higher attitude. In this case I would also fly above obstacle like trees and buildings so if it drifts it would be safe. Playing attitude mode is an option but either way if you fly on tree level altitude, and the phantom gets caught in a wind, it will certainly drift and crash if near a tree.... You get the point :D
     
  16. MapMaker53

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    Yes. It was definitely pilot error on my part. I always go for some altitude first, but I was trying to give the crowd a closer look as it traveled across the parking lot and took a relatively low flight path. I know that altitude is my friend, but I had a brain fart today. Hey, even the brains at NASA screw up and lose a rocket every now and then. Nothing to be TOO embarrassed about I guess.
     
  17. Prylar Bek

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    Ha. True. Fly on
     
  18. justin00

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    The rear leds change from flashing just green to green and red when you have 6 sats..

    So if you have 7.. just green flashes..
    If you change to 5 or 6 it will flash green and red.

    Mine only changes to yellow if i manually switch it to atti.

    Sounds like that doesnt really help though if you guys cant see them. There pretty visible, for my 31 yr old eyes anyways :)
     
  19. Prylar Bek

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    Well I have been paying more attention to them for sure. But c'mon at 100 yards away or more you can really see them flash?