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Almost lost - learn from this!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by zma, Jul 11, 2013.

  1. zma

    zma

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    Location:
    São Paulo, Brasil
    I was incredibly lucky not to have lost my phantom - it was gone for more than a few moments. I had the bright idea to take it up at night (my 4th or 5th flight ever), I was feeling a little cocky since I made some big strides that day in terms of getting better at orientation in flight, and I didn't make sure the GPS saw all 6 satellites.

    I punched up the throttle to get it about as high as I could to get some good shots of the city, and after I spun it around to get some views, it was so far away I couldn't tell the orientation. In combination of probably sending it out of range on accident and not having had home locked in, it just drifted away, like a little star.

    Panic set in, and I started running towards it down the street (in hindsight, completely useless considering how far away it was), but luckily my bro-in-law peeled around the corner in his car and picked me up, then we just went towards it, cris-crossing streets.

    If there were large buildings around, low clouds, no car, if we hit a dead end, if it descended, it would have been completely lost, but luckily I had a great line of sight on it and my bro drives like a madman and we caught up to it as the battery was almost dead, but it was still hanging in the air.

    For a moment, I thought it was completely gone, but luckily I have learned the lesson (with enough trauma to remember it!) and still get to keep my phantom.

    I immediately started researching secondary GPS location devices. I'm going to get one. That night, I dreamed that I installed one
     
  2. Gizmo3000

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    Location:
    Sherman Oaks, CA
    yikes!
    lucky save!
    (hope you had your number on it as well).

    always remember to wait for the 20x green blinks!
     
  3. zma

    zma

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    thanks for that advice -- - i never thought about how many green blinks, but I'll look for 20+ from now on.

    so far, if i am in an urban area, it can be hard to get all green blinks. Now I have my number on it and i'll be ordering a secondary GPS soon...
     
  4. jumanoc

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    Lucky landing !
    I'm also in urban area. No problem for recording home site and getting the 20 green flash leds. Just wait enough, specially with first battery which takes longer for warm all phantom devices. Always sit behind phantom when warming for record the right nose direction for using HL and CL modes.
     
  5. Jenniar

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    Yes,you are so lucy and you should be careful in the future.
     
  6. Darrell1

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    No need! You've already learned a great deal. Now, it is extremely rare I lose orientation, but when I do, I just pull back and see which way it is moving. If it is not moving back, I rotate and pull back again.

    If I feel like flying at very high altitude (since Big Brother is watching, we'll call that 400 feet), I just make sure I stay straight above my head.

    Post the video here. I'd love to see how high you were at night.
     
  7. GeneL

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    Location:
    Northern California
    The last thing I do before arming, even after seeing warmup confirmation, is to force home and course lock by toggling the IOC switch.
     
  8. Alex

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    *Ding* It's the last thing I do before takeoff. Lucky to get that back, and yeah, it's really easy to get cocky and have an issue.

    I've been flying for months and I still can't bring myself to fly it out over water. The penalty for having a mental moment is too expensive!
     
  9. Roadkilt

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    I've added an extremely bright, dime sized led headlight to the battery door that runs off the balance plug on the battery. It uses no power really, but is easily visible in daylight against the sky so I always know which is front. If I don't see it I rotate the quad until it shows up then I know where it is. It's the best accessory out there, and cheap at $15 bucks. Looks great at night, insanely bright. Even for a non tech person can drill a hole in the door, glue the light on and you're done.

    This is the one I bought

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/DJI-Phantom-Qua ... 1e784985d6
     
  10. BruceTS

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    Location:
    Granada Hills CA
    From day 1 I never liked the lighting arraignment with red front, green back, so this last time I had mine apart I swapped 2 ESC assemblies to make it red left, green right. Why because at night when your flying it's easy to get confused when the quad is flying towards you or away, the lights blend together at distance, side by side there's a distinct separation of the 2 colors, so less confusing. Also it conforms to aircraft lighting standard.
     
  11. Audaciter

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    I did the same thing.
     
  12. diomark

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    I had the bright idea to fly over the fog cover in San Francisco. Shot it straight up for 2 minutes. Took almost 7 minutes to get it back within sight (and almost a dead battery..)

    Keep the Phantom within eyesight people...

    (btw - the 2 minutes up was not enough to get past the fog cover...)

    Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk 2
     
  13. edunwody

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    Location:
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    Ha, I tried the same thing in Moss Beach just south of SF. Scared the hell out of me. What was I thinking.
    Did a RTH. The phantom gods where looking out for me.

    E


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  14. zma

    zma

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    Location:
    São Paulo, Brasil
    thanks for all the insights

    I ended up ordering a very small gps tracker - lets see if it works! I'm planning on velcro-ing it to the phantom, so I can just put it on when I plan on going higher than a couple hundred feet. If it really doesn't weigh it down too much, I may keep it on their all the time.

    When i get it from china (where else?), and have it up and running, I'll make a post.
     
  15. Ojcze Nasz

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    Good one.
    Still can't decide whether to buy tracker or a brother in law ;)
     
    ChrisW likes this.