Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

Sign up for a weekly email of the latest drone news & information

Flying Near or under Large Steel Structures

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by woosie54, Nov 11, 2014.

  1. woosie54

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is a warning to all budding drone pilots out there.
    Keep your drone well clear of large metal bridges, as I have experienced just recently at my home in South Queensferry, Scotland
    I was intending to take some video of the Forth Rail Bridge, the drone behaved perfectly on the near side of the bridge, but after flying beneath it to the other side, I lost control and had a flyaway, resulting in my drone and go pro ditching in the river forth, resulting in total loss (sickening)
    Fortunately I can claim from my Household insurance

    So be warned, stay clear of large metal bridges, as it screws up the signal
     
  2. N017RW

    Joined:
    May 2, 2014
    Messages:
    6,236
    Likes Received:
    1,611
    Location:
    Palm Beach Co.- FL
    The problem is most likely with the compass.

    I've flown non-magnetometer reliant aircraft around metal structures for years on various control frequencies and modulation types with no issues.
     
  3. zenoshrdlu

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Totnes, Devon
    Sad to hear - who is your household insurer? If they will pay out I think I should switch to them!
     
  4. wattage

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Messages:
    264
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    Sorry to hear that Woosie. Did you still have line of sight with your Phantom when it went mental? Nice to hear from a fellow Scot with a Phantom btw, thinks that's three of us on this forum now!
     
  5. woosie54

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm insured with Direct Line with personal possessions away from home covered, which I need working away from home in Aberdeen.
    Hi wattage, yes I did have line of sight when it went down, but couldn't regain control, it decided it was going for the water and nothing I could do, oh well **** happens
     
  6. wattage

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Messages:
    264
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    Weird. Maybe a low battery auto-land happened but guess we'll never know :-( Hope your insurance sorts it out, good shout with Direct Line, think I'll give them a try.
     
  7. pilsburypie

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2014
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Sorry for your loss and thanks for letting us know your experiences with the metal bridge. Can you keep us posted on whether Direct Line actually payout on this. Would be nice to know if they do as I'd be surprised as a Phantom is such a high risk item of loosing/crashing compared to other items away from home.
     
  8. darwin-t

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2014
    Messages:
    513
    Likes Received:
    5
    A guy I know was flying through a VERY short railway tunnel - calling it a tunnel at all is a bit of a stretch. As soon as it got under it, it did a 90 degree turn directly into the concrete wall.
     
  9. Andy_h

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2014
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    This also happened to a guy from Edinburgh he was flying next to the forth rail bridge and his phantom had a fit and went crazy , he was very lucky and fail safe took over and brought it home.



    Hello from Scotland
     
  10. Noël

    Noël Guest

    Been over the bridge many times going to Aberdeen. Was thinking of flying near it, but will skip that thought now.
     
  11. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    Messages:
    4,910
    Likes Received:
    1,789
    Location:
    Lost Angeles
    There are likely three factors at play here:

    1. When you fly under something, the field of satellites in view by the GPS antenna will change very rapidly and will likely drop. As the field changes, your likelihood of a "jump" (a sudden change in GPS position) goes up and your precision goes down.

    2. The compass will be influenced by large ferrous objects (in this case steel). It will cause the compass reading to deviate and if it is significant enough and you still have a GPS signal, you will get TBE.

    3. If you allow a metal structure with lots of interconnecting metal parts to come between you and the Phantom, the structure could interfere with the RC signal. This depends on a lot of factors. A fence, for example, can in some cases act as a Faraday cage blocking signals from reaching their destination.
     
  12. woosie54

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well Guys, thanks for all your concern on my loss, but the good news is that my insurance company (direct Line) paid in full for my loss £750 - £200 excess.
    Go-pro has been replaced arrived yesterday, all I need now is a replacement drone, working on it now as I speak
    Anybody out there in the UK got an FC40 spare, due to them upgrading ? if so I would be interested in buying it
    When I am flying again, it wont be near the water for a while LOL
     
  13. richmix

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2014
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sorry to hear about this, I'm just Googling "metal" and "Phantom". Yesterday I took off from an old steel road bridge crossing a fast river. The copter had 7 satellites, all checks were as normal. I lifted it up about three feet then all of sudden I lost all control. It darted off diagonally down and to my right. Narrowly missing the bridge railings and as it flew towards the river it hit a tree then fell onto the rocks smashing my H3-3D. Does this sound familiar or do you think the metal/steel bridge made this happen? Here is the video, would welcome any thoughts? Cheers
     
  14. kcmusa

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2016
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Virginia
    wow, good to hear. I was flying close to the big tall water towers getting a shot of the county name painted on it.
    I was a bit away, now I know to stay far away.