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Had a CLOSE CALL today!!!

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision Discussion' started by ZonComGMZ, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. ZonComGMZ

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    http://youtu.be/x6C_dZ7LMW4

    Today I experienced my 1st and hopefully last CLOSE CALL. The good news is I was able to retrieve the P2V without any damage to people, property or itself. I fault myself for most of these events. Hopefully someone else may learn from this event.

    I have the P2V in Naza-M mode. I have IOC enabled and the 3rd position on the S1 switch set to "FailSafe". Failsafe is set to "Go-Home and Landing". I also have the repeater modified with a TP-LINK TL-ANT2414A to get more range from the FPV.

    It was a little windy at surface level (15 mph) but I didn't think it was too much to overwhelm the P2V. I did some tests on a previous flight about 10 minutes prior experimenting with IOC, FailSafe and setting a new Home Point etc... and everything seemed OK.

    I took off from my backyard and went up about 400'. I flew the P2V downwind at 400' until I got a warning on the iPhone saying "Phantom 2 Vision Connection Broken" which means I lost the link to the FPV. Right before I lost contact the P2V was pointing away from me and the camera was facing forward. My 1st instinct was to pull back on the right stick and try to get the P2V closer. I did this for about a minute and I still didn't get the connection restored like I have in the past. So the last time I saw it on FPV it was about 1/3 mile away. After about a minute and not seeing the P2V connection restored or at least trying to get restored I get a little nervous and I flip on IOC Home Lock. At that point I start pulling back on the right stick to get it to come back to it's home position in case it yawed while it was out of sight. I'm still listening to see if I can hear the P2V and checking the FPV all the while pointing the antennae to it's last know position hoping I still have a control link and only lost the FPV. After about 2 or 3 minutes of pulling back on IOS Home Lock and not seeing or hearing the P2V I begin to panic. Where the heck is this thing? So I then do the last thing I could think of which is turning of the controller to trigger a "Return to Home". Still waiting for FPV or hearing the whirring of the motors. Nothing. Try for about 5 minutes. Nothing. Now I'm getting sick in my stomach knowing I might not see my P2V again.

    Recovery
    My next step was to try to find the P2V. I don't really care now about getting it to come home but I want to know where it is exactly before the battery dies completely. It is about 15 minutes in so I know I have to act fast as I may only have 10 minutes at most to try to find this with assistance from the DJI app. I hop in my car and roll down the window with the transmitter pointed out the window toward it's last know location and towards downwind thinking maybe it can't make it back home because of wind overwhelming it up at 400". So I drive to the end of my subdivision to the main street which is about where I lost contact with it. I get out of the car to try to find it and establish a connection. Nothing. So I go to a cornfield where I think I might get a better line of sight if it indeed did fly downwind and can't make it back. I then remembered there was a compass and position range overlay in the DJI app. I turn that on and I'm seeing my little RED mark of the P2V outside of the range of the furthest range marks. Now at this point I don't know if this was the last known location or if I am getting a live feed of it. I then run closer in the direction of where it is pointing me too and try to get FPV. I then wanted to see if I was indeed getting telemetry data so I turned off the WiFi on the iPhone and turned it on after about 15 seconds. I was able to see the Phantom WiFi signal but still wasn't getting any FPV or seeing or hearing the P2V. Then I point the Antennae in the direction of where it shows it on the Range Marker map and get a little bit of a connection enough so that I can see a photo of where it is at. It looked like it was about 50 ft up on the FPV and I see some houses. I then take a screenshot on the iPhone in case I need to go looking in backyards etc.. so at least I might be able to match up a house color or something to what the frame of FPV saw. I then run back to my car. I am now thinking since the WiFi was showing I was connected to the P2V and I am seeing the Phantom on the Range markers I might be able to use this like a location beacon. I started driving around again with the controller out the window and start driving. I then start seeing the P2V icon on the Range markers getting closer. I had to drive into a different subdivision. I drove for about a minute until I had the P2V icon in the center and start looking around. I am still not hearing the whirring motors but I assumed it autolanded since the last frame I saw was it at about 50 ft and it has been close to 25 minutes into this. So I am now thinking I may be close to this thing or at least close to where it was when I got the second of FPV showing it about 50' up. Then as I'm driving looking left and right at peoples house to see if it on a roof I see my P2V sitting in the center of the street. The last bar on the battery was flashing and it looks like it landed perfectly with no damage. I'm thinking I got there within a minute of it landing. Nobody was around so I picked it up, hopped in my car, Thanked God repeatedly and went home.

    So what I learned is that even though winds on the surface may not overwhelm the P2V, winds aloft may. I usually fly upwind, so on the return trip when the battery is at a lower state, I get a tailwind to get me home faster. Today I didn't do that as the wind shifted and I won't do that again. I also will remain vigilant in making sure I can see it at all times and not rely on the Failsafe mechanisms built into the P2V. I thought I had a good home lock before I took off but now I don't know for sure because of all the confusion about what was going on in the moment. Luckily I was recording video the entire time and I will watch it to try to figure out if what I was thinking was happening at the time was indeed happening. BTW it showed Distance as 3073ft.

    I welcome comments and discussion about what you would do or what I should have done differently as we are all learning and the more information that is shared the better it will be for all of us.

    I now need to go change my shorts from this ordeal :)
     
  2. gpauk

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    Re: Had a FLYAWAY today!!!

    Glad you got it back in one piece! Phew!

    One factor here that you may have experienced is that with an antenna like the tplink you are using, you have to point fairly accurately to the Phantom. So if you fly out of visual range (never a good idea imho) then pointing the antenna will get tricky!

    Secondly, when your phone says it's connected to phantom, it's connected to the repeater. That doesn't imply that the repeater can see the P2V....
     
  3. ZonComGMZ

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    Re: Had a FLYAWAY today!!!

    Yep. I was just pointing in the direction I thought it was going with the wind to try to get anything.

    You are correct. I just tested it out with my P2V turned off and the repeater on. I am still able to connect to the repeater. I must have just been VERY luck with pointing it at the right direction at the right time then to get just a snippet of FPV.
     
  4. ZonComGMZ

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    Re: Had a FLYAWAY today!!!

    I just watched the video from this Flyaway and now I am more baffled. It seems like it went up to 400' and when I let go of the sticks after losing FPV it is noticed in the video as stopping at its GPS location at the same altitude. Then the video shows it just yawing and spinning in circles. 1st one way then the other way. That is really all that is shown. Then the yawing just stops and it hovers. Funny thing is that it shows me pulling up in my car at that altitude looking for it, like it is playing hide and seek. It then goes further out and hovers over a pond spying on me looking for it. I couldn't have gotten a better shot if I tried. I didn't hear it because of the traffic from the street but I was so close to it. I am pretty sure it went further out when I applied IOC Home Lock and pulled down on the right stick. It must think home was at a different location that what I thought it marked. Flew in the general direction as China :) I now think that it had more to do with it not knowing it's Home location than anything else. It almost descended into the pond then I think it had second thoughts about committing suicide at the last minute and landed in the street right after the prop guard bumped off of a car. 4 minutes later I see my car pulling up to the P2V and it automatically shuts off as I'm pulling up. I was even luckier than I originally thought.
     
  5. amrflyingdude

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    Re: Had a FLYAWAY today!!!

    Can you posted? I would love to see this video.

    On your backyard. Is it surrounded by trees or buildings/houses or is it an open field?
     
  6. DrestonF1

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    Re: Had a FLYAWAY today!!!

    Fascinating story!

    I was very impressed with your quick-thinking to take a screenshot of the image you gained. Great idea. I'll keep that in mind for similar situations.

    Thanks for sharing =)
     
  7. ZonComGMZ

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    Re: Had a FLYAWAY today!!!

    House in in subdivision surrounded by Houses & Trees. Cornfields on side of subdivision. I will edit the video, render it out and upload it tonight for all to see.
     
  8. ted35

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    Re: Had a FLYAWAY today!!!

    Holy crap! Your narrative was had more suspence than anything on TV. I'm glad you recovered your bird.
     
    Jockp likes this.
  9. ZonComGMZ

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    Re: Had a FLYAWAY today!!!

    ......and then everyone died :)
     
  10. bellumgessi

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    Re: Had a FLYAWAY today!!!

    Wow - had a similar situation myself TODAY. I've been flying Phantoms since June. I fly at least 3x a week. Today was a bit windy (15mph) had just reflashed the board, camera and gimbal. It had been flying FINE, but I thought that with the latest message there was something new.. evidently not yet. So I took off and almost immediately saw that it was struggling even with 6 sat links. OK, take it up to 30M where it can get 8+ which it did and then... it literally veered left at high speed and totally out of control - left. I mean gone.. disconnect from the iPhone everything.. Crap. I had lost one before over water and let me tell you, loosing a second one, feels just as crappy.

    Now here's the truly impressive part:

    As I stood there looking at the iPhone screen calculating how screwed I was (yup..I was thinking "I HOPE I bought this on my American Express Card.." ) when quietly in the background I hear the whine of the motors ....and guess who is cruising over the top of my trees on a GPS return home?? WOW.. I am astounded. I dropped it out of GPS into ATTI (I live in a forrest) so I could finish the landing. WOW. OK, DJI I am a believer. Even under duress, this little puppy did a real "fail safe" and returned home. I actually had the video running so I have the whole video to prove this - Let me just tell you, this thing shot our like a bat out of hell and was actually banked so high it was dropping as many feet as it was moving forward... It punched through the link and you can sort of see how the OS, stops the flyaway, attempts to take control (hover) and then against the wind flys home. Saved me $1100.00 to day.
     
  11. BManCan

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    Re: Had a FLYAWAY today!!!

    Any plans to post the video for others to view. Have you been able to figure out why it took off?
     
  12. iDrone

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    Re: Had a FLYAWAY today!!!

    :lol: Two things... 1) as Pull_Up & I have repeatedly said in this forum, -essentially- : Radar Is Your Best Friend! It's one of the most "forgotten about" utilities built into the Vision app, yet powerful, concise, & extremely useful in a crisis. 2) When you lose FPV, the streaming video requires more buffering & retransmission before it can be restored than the telemetry does, so you'll often still have telemetry and... Radar! Same thing when reacquiring PV WiFi... telemetry will come up before picture. You can back out of the Camera screen to the Menu and confirm the dot & Phantom_1xxxxx or Phantom_6xxxxx are good, then go back into Camera; you may not get picture right away, but you just might have telemetry & Radar.

    Your PV seems to have a dark sense of humor (as does ZomComGMZ), you might consider naming it "Fargo". I'm glad it landed itself safely and you were able to remain calm and execute a nicely done Search & Rescue. Congratulations, and yes, I think your video & back-story would be of tremendous value to all us PV'ers.

    Respectfully,
    iDrone
     
  13. garygid

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    Re: Had a FLYAWAY today!!!

    ZonComGMZ
    I am a beginner, with a lot to learn. Many thanks for sharing your story. :D
    I just read it to my wife, and she almost damped herself with the suspense. :eek:

    A miracle that your P2V did not take a swim, I wonder why it did not. :p
    Perhaps hovering for 15 seconds at 66 feet, in the process of auto-landing,
    it got blown away from the pond?

    Seeing the video would be great.
     
  14. ZonComGMZ

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  15. Pull_Up

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    Re: Had a FLYAWAY today!!!

    Thanks for posting that.

    Some observations: at around 4:12 on when it yaws around to crosswind you can see how steep an angle it's got on jut to hold station in that wind. I wonder if it's getting confused by trying to move in the home direction but not getting anywhere due to that wind and therefore yawing around to have a go again each time?

    It's less a flyaway, more a can't fly anywhere, isn't it?! It just keeps yawing pathetically round, bless it. :) You have to say, though, it does a fantastic job of holding station!

    At about 7:58 it suddenly goes the other way for a revolution, before back into the anticlockwise stuff. Did that correspond to any input from you, do you think?

    9:15 - you can almost feel it fighting there, or is it just me? Looks like it's really leaning in but not getting anywhere. About 9:40 it seems to start getting a tiny bit of headway.

    Interesting that its autoland is not straight down, it's a sloping profile - I wonder if it had it lost sufficient satellite lock to autoland in GPS and therefore was autolanding in atti mode which would allow it to be blown by the wind creating the sloping profile.

    Bottom line, though - glad you got her back!
     
  16. gpauk

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    Re: Had a FLYAWAY today!!!

    Yes.. Fascinating....

    Now, if only the flight controller logged some info, we might be able to figure out what it was thinking!

    Amazing that it all ended ok though.

    Whereabouts is it that we are looking at?
     
  17. shortyuk

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    Re: Had a FLYAWAY today!!!

    looks like winds over 25mph at height, which means phantom ground speed = 0, you have to be carefull with winds at height, even on a flat calm day, it can be blowing 30mph at a 1000 ft, glad you got it back though bud, one thing though off topic, dji need to release a 2 axis gimbal for the vision, the current setup is severley hampering its video quality
     
  18. BenDronePilot

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    Re: Had a FLYAWAY today!!!

    Great job in relocating and recovering your Phantom quickly while you still had battery and the ability to find it with the aid WiFi.

    On another note your thread title is not correct as you technically didn't have a fly away but more like it accidentally got away from you.

    Also you may not have had a gps home position parked from the sounds of it. The heavy wind could also have been a factor.
     
  19. iDrone

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    Re: Had a FLYAWAY today!!!

    It's interesting at 3:49 when you initiated the RTH, it starts yawing like its looking for a compass bearing it can't find -your bearing- if I'm not mistaken (it wouldn't happen to be due N or S from the PV would it?) It turns to head back but can't find the vector (compass cal? compass sensor-to-GPS sensor orientation misalignment?)

    In my tests with many different antennas I learned that the Vision "bucks" when reacquiring control from the TX/Controller: at 9:10 (just before you come into frame at the top left) it bucks... I suspect you flipped S1 or S2, or turned the TX back on just a few seconds prior to that. You probably didn't know it, but it looks like you reacquired control at 9:10 and cancelled RTH (and its search for the compass bearing). Because you didn't give it any stick, it maintained station awaiting instructions.

    Later at 10:26 you pulled the stick down in IOC and actually piloted it a distance for 16sec until 10:42. Not sure if you let off or lost Control Signal again.

    At 13:46 there's another kick, either reacquiring Control Signal or possibly you cycling S1 or S2, or the auto-pilot initiating an auto-landing as at this point you have approx 7-10mins of power remaining which probably triggered the 15% low battery/auto-land sequence.

    It made a beautiful landing, and the prop guards actually helped it in this case. Pretty amazing! Back to the problem, my guess is its compass related - unable to find the bearing it was searching for, then possibly unable to find North. But not sure why.

    iDrone
     
  20. ZonComGMZ

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    Re: Had a FLYAWAY today!!!

    Thanks everyone for the posts. I have gained knowledge from them all and this event.

    Compass was calibrated before test flight from same location about 10 minutes before this flight.

    Even though winds were about 15mph at surface I think they were much higher at altitude. Later in the evening the winds picked upped at the surface and we had gusts over 40mph.

    When it was hovering and yawing above the cornfield it was directly above Hi-Tension Power Lines. This may have had something to do with the compass calibration and/or GPS during flight. I do think that I did cause it to go further away even when it was in IOC when I was pulling back on the right stick instead of it flying toward me. If the compass/GPS was off that would explain it. I still don't know why RTH failed and the only thing I can think of is that it didn't know where Home was. Maybe the GPS was interfered with above the High Tension lines as well. Looks like Autoland was in GPS mode at some point and then switched to ATTI mode. Thank goodness because it was coming down over a pond. Prop guards saved it in the end.

    I have grounded my P2V due to bad behavior for a week :D