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Embarrassing confession from a noob

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by speedytwenty, Jul 30, 2015.

  1. speedytwenty

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    When I first received my DJI P3P last month, it only took a couple flights to feel confident in the drones behavior and controllability. After flying it on the farm in wide open spaces a few times, I attempted an indoor flight where space was very tight.

    My intention was to auto-takeoff, elevate, maneuver through the room, and then land again. While taking off (with auto-takeoff) I was expecting the phantom to rise to approximately 3 feet and I would maneuver it from there. But instead of hovering after auto-takeoff the copter unexpectedly continued to climb and basically shot up to the ceiling. The ceiling was only 8 feet high so I had very little time to react, and my noob instinct was to grab the drone before it crashed into the ceiling. This was a very dumb thing to do and I paid for my mistake with blood. The props gashed my arm pretty good and my fingers got cut up while trying to get it under control.

    It was a bloody mess, but the Phantom 3 was unharmed, props and all.

    Had I been more seasoned or not such an idiot, I could have had the right instinct and used the controller to tell the copter to descend. Or I could have used both joysticks to kill the props. But once I grabbed the drone, I no longer had both hands which are necessary to shutoff the props. I had to resort to pulling the battery.

    I can't explain why the copter continued to rise after auto-takeoff. But following the incident, I practiced turning off the propellers outdoors while hovering at a foot or so and I try to think ahead to be prepared for the unexpected on all my flights.

    I wasn't recording at the time, and I may have deleted it because I was extremely embarrased.. but that video may have gone viral! "Man fights drone. Drone wins!"

    New to this forum and this was a valuable (yet painful) lesson for me, so I thought I'd share.

    Cheers
     
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  2. AlmostTan

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    What kind of surface were you flying on? Was it carpet? VPS isn't great on all surfaces.

    Also: you don't need two hands to shut off the props. You just need one - just hold the left throttle down once hovering in your grasp and after 3 seconds it will shut off.

    That said, if my p3 started to go crazy - I would probably shed some blood rather than lose it.

    All we can do is learn from our mistakes - and share w/ people so they don't do the same! Sounds like you're on the right track...
     
    speedytwenty likes this.
  3. speedytwenty

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    Thanks for your response. Yeah I was taking off on carpet. Do you think that could have had an impact on takeoff? I had done an auto-takeoff and auto-landing on carpet before, and this was the only time I've seen this behavior after auto-takeoff.

    Retracing my steps... right before this indoor flight, I had flown outdoors at ground level. And when I took it indoors, I was on the second story. I don't know the technical details well enough to know if the subtle elevation change in takeoff points for back to back flights could have been a factor.

    I suspected perhaps the joystick may have been stuck in the up position, but I couldn't tell and haven't seen the joysticks stick in any position.
     
  4. AlmostTan

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    If I had to wager my guess, I would think it was the carpet. From the VPS section of the manual it says that VPS struggles when flying over sound-absorbing surfaces such as thick carpet.

    It would especially be true of your VPS system if its on the latest firmware which tends to make it even more unreliable.

    I doubt the joystick got stuck (haven't seen that one yet) and the only other thing may be what you said - that you moved to the second story. Is there a greater chance for magnetic compass interference up there? Closer to your WiFi router, even?
     
  5. speedytwenty

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    Funny you mention the latest firmware. This was the day after I had updated to the firmware that was released by DJI in June. I thought firmware updates were supposed to fix things! Is there a known issue with the latest firmware that makes you suggest the VPS is less reliable?

    You also raise a good point. This was in an apartment complex, practically in the same room as the wifi router, so it could be very likely that there was interference.
     
  6. AlmostTan

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    Oh well then it is definitely the FW revision. It is a known buggy FW that DJI has publicly acknowledged sucked. They are supposed to be coming out with a new one AND a way to roll back FW. In the meantime, most are turning their VPS off because it is causing a lot of erratic behavior and crashes. And in this case, bloody appendages.
     
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  7. RoyVa

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    Hope you are healing well. You said it lesson learned. Me I never fly indoors. To risky for reasons just like yours. Happy future flying!
     
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  8. speedytwenty

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    Thanks, @RoyVa. All healed up now, but I have a nice scar to remind me to fly safe.

    I haven't flown indoors since, and doubt I will again.
     
  9. WeeMrP

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    Have to apologise up front, your description of the event made me laugh out loud! Glad there was no damage to the phantom and that there were no digits lost!

    Just had my maiden flight today and have to say I was nervous as hell having read all the stories about them flying off on their own! All good though, she came back in one piece.
     
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  10. TonG

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    Well, well...
    It is definitely a severe lack of flying skills.
    Don't blame your tools!
     
  11. AlmostTan

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    What??

    It's his lack of flying skills that caused his quad to accelerate vertically without throttle input? No.

    How he responded to it, however is up for debate....

    Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
     
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  12. TonG

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    If you don't have the skills, don't fly indoors in tight spaces.
    Don't blame your tools!
     
  13. AlmostTan

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    Maybe you have a reading comprehension problem, so I'll do you a favor and ask one more time: what does his quad vertically ascending without throttle input have to do with his skillset?

    Skillset comes into play with the rescue but not this cause.

    Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
     
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  14. RoyVa

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    Ok back to friendly... No need to validate our points. Accidents happen. Glad their were no major injuries to pilot or craft. He's already. Said lesson learned!
     
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  15. BlackHawk388

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    Look at it this way. Your Phantom could have impacted the ceiling then, descended suddenly with props still turning, right into your outstretched hands and tumbled onto your face!

    I thought about flying mine inside one time. I even had 7 Sats locked in. But still, things happen so quick in such a relatively small area that I just turned it off and went outside to fly. Memories of my first few flights inside with my X5C made me too nervous to continue!

    Glad you're all healed up and no damage to the Quad.
     
  16. JKDSensei

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    If you're indoors, "AUTO" anything is a bad idea. Flight indoors can certainly be safe. It all depends on your knowledge of the machine and your flying skills.

    I fly indoors all the time. No incidents yet.

    I do think that learning to fly a quad in FULL manual mode first is very helpful to avoid crashes.

    Glad you weren't seriously injured. Never let those props get near your neck or an artery.
     
  17. BenDronePilot

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    That's really unfortunate what happened with your arm getting cut up and hope you'll help up okay. But I must say it really was a dumb / noob move using a function you have no control of such as an auto take off in a small confined space. You have no idea or control of your bird when using such a feature and absolutely no margin for error. Manually taking off would have been the proper way to go and what I do when flying indoors. Auto land on the other things is okay or safer to use but stick with manually taking off and landing for indoor flight.
     
  18. PHISHinMA

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    I blame Skynet.
     
  19. Jermz

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    I want to try it in the gymnasium some time, it's a big enough area I can have room to try stuff
     
  20. JKDSensei

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    Do you have any experience flying drones that have no flight stabilization other than gyros ?