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Happy Ending, or how I nearly lost my "Drone"

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ym42, Aug 26, 2013.

  1. ym42

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    Before I tell the story I should probably mention that I have had my quad since around May this year, have been practicing on and off for white awhile, and considering myself somewhat a rookie as a pilot:) Here is the story:

    Yesterday I found a nice place to fly not too far from where I live, and decided to bring the Phantom up for a bit of high altitude reconnaissance with GoPro on-board. This is not the first time I have done this, and I did have the timer set for 8 minutes, and binoculars ( just in case, not much use usually ) and felt focused well enough to do it.

    When I reached the desired altitude, I started turning the bird around to take a panoramic video, when a small cloud drifted above the bird, while I was maneuvering, and I lost sight of it. This is not the first time it happened, so I decided to minimize the throttle and wait as it was set in GPS mode with home location saved, and should be GPS stabilized in flight, landing not too far from where I was standing.

    I was waiting for a while, searching for it, but could not see it at all. After a minute or so I started to panic, the time seemed to fly much faster than it actually was. I was hoping to hear the bird, searching with my eyes and ears around the open sky but all I could see two very distance jets leaving trails high altitude and this dreadful calm.

    I panicked because fast moving clouds made it look like it was windy higher above and I was afraid that the bird was landing somewhere far away, and I knew chances of finding it were very slim. I had no note, no address and no phone number saved inside, and my blood was turning cold.

    I waited for a while with throttle in hover mode, searching for any signs of the drone, and looked at the timer, there was about one and a half minutes left of available battery flight time. As my timer started to beep, and after I lost hope and was ready to accept defeat and careless attitude towards flying on that day, I suddenly saw my drone approaching me from completely unexpected direction, flying on autopilot and landing right where I launched it, some minute after the timer ran out.

    After coming home, I reviewed the video, and still have some questions regarding how it really happened. While I am still working on complete analysis of what went wrong ( beyond taking it so high ), I can relay what I saw on the video.

    After I lost the phantom and chopped the throttle, it started to drop altitude just as I expected and about where I expected it, and was little behind me, and that's probably why I did not see it. However, at some point, despite switching to homelock mode and pulling the stick towards myself, it continued to drift farther and farther from me, behind me, flew lower and lower, about 300 yards, above and behind the office park buildings, to far and empty parking low where it was flying at the height of the lighting poles, where it started to lose signal, waited, and autopiloted itself home, perfect timing.

    The way it seems, despite me switching to Homelock more, it seems that the bird was actually flying in courselock, which I do not understand. I might have made a mistake and will review and check this next time, but I certainly do a little writeup every time something like this happens with analysis and conclusions how to avoid it next time...

    I have a video of entire story and will probably publish it a little later...
     
  2. edunwody

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    Happy Ending, or how I nearly lost my "Drone"

    Glad she came home.
    Did you switch the TX off or have Failsafe engaged? May have missed that.
    E


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  3. ym42

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    Perhaps I should have, but no, I did not. When she drifted far and got low behind the buildings ( and it was very far indeed ), the signal was lost, so she went up and came home...
     
  4. edunwody

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    Sounds like Failsafe worked. Congrats!!

    E