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Lesson Learned - Know where you are flying, and never rush

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision + Discussion' started by dbfletcher, Dec 17, 2014.

  1. dbfletcher

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    Let me start off by saying, "I blame flytrex!". This isnt really the case, but if they hadn't started that Winter Distance Challenge, (http://www.flytrex.com/challenges/lumenier-qav250-distance-challenge-winter-2014/)I probably would have never got in this situation. In any case, as of Sunday, Dec. 14th, I was in Second place. I was definitely pushing MY comfort zone with these flights, but I knew others had flown much much farther than I was attempting. Rather than flying in the more populated areas in my neighborhood, I thought it was best if I was going to push my limits to make sure it was in unpopulated farm lands. It had rained all day Sunday, so I had to scrap any missions plans until Monday.

    Monday morning the area was covered with dense fog, so again I scrapped any plans for flying. Late in the afternoon... with about 1.5 hours of sunlight left, the fog had finally dissipated and it looked like I would be able to get one flight in. I loaded up the quad and hopped in the vehicle to head to the unpopulated area I had planned to fly. I used the andriod app "maps measure" to check the elavation differences from my launch point to my destination. It showed my destination was 27ft below my launch point. That was good news. I figured it I set my way points at 350ft I should have no trouble clearing anything on this flight. Typically I would have surveyed the google maps (satilite and topographical) much more rigorously... but daylight was fading fast so I just plotted my course on the DJI app and hit go.

    I had just installed my Flytrex Live 3G the previous week. Prior to that I had been using a Flytrex Core (Which I also loved). After my quad dropped out of WiFi range, i flipped over to my tablet so I could watch the progress on the Flytrex Live mission view. Everything was going according to plan.. and then all of a sudden, I noticed my Satilites has dropped from 10 to 6, and was fluctuating from 6-4 satilite. My heart sank as I thought I had just dropped in the atti mode. Then I also noticed my speed went from 27 mph to .6. That when I realized I must have hit something. I jumped in my car and use the Flytrex Live mission view to head to it's location. As I walked threw the field, my wifi video returned on my note 4.. and I could see branches. I wasnt able to hear the quad yet, but I knew I was getting closer now that wifi had returned. I walked to where the Flytrex showed where my quad should be. At this point, I could hear it now... but I scanned the trees but was unable to see it. Then on the ground about 10ft away from a tree I saw a broken prop guard. I looked all the way up at the top of the tree and could just barely make out the X shape of something at the very tippy top of a 100ft white oak tree.



    I contacted the land owner and explained what had happened. He was kind enough to give me permission to go on his land and try to recover my quad. The land owner gave me permission to try and recover my quad, but not to cut any trees. I made a few calls to local tree service companies and found one that was willing to come out and take a look at it. It takes a special kind of crazy to want to do that kind of work.



    So in summary... Flytrex was invaluable in the recovery of my Vision +. I need to have better control over my competitive instinct... and while pushings one's boundaries is typically a good thing.. it is more important to make sure you have a good plan and NEVER rush. Make sure you check the topographical maps carefully for any hills, mountains, etc that may be between your launch point and waypoints. All in all I was pretty lucky. My gimbal and camera are perfectly fine and intact. I broke two prop guards and three props. (The prop guards where going to be coming off soon anyways.. so they wont be replaced).

    Here is the url to the flytrex mission

    http://www.flytrex.com/mission/quadcopter-phantom-2-vision--doug-fletcher-96470/

    Doug Fletcher
     

    Attached Files:

  2. dbfletcher

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    Re: Lesson Learned - Know where you are flying, and never ru

    Forgot to include the pic of the recoved quad.



    Doug Fletcher
     

    Attached Files:

  3. MapMaker53

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    Re: Lesson Learned - Know where you are flying, and never ru

    ;) To really impress us, you should have told us you just climbed up the tree to get it while a friend took the pictures.
     
  4. EMCSQUAR

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    Re: Lesson Learned - Know where you are flying, and never ru

    Thank you for honestly sharing and not blaming it as a "flyaway"
     
  5. Wldwsel

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    Re: Lesson Learned - Know where you are flying, and never ru

    You are one fortunate dude! Glad ya got it back. I lost my first one on the second day of flying (5th flight) got cocky and didn't realize that trees are genetically "Quad Magnets".

    Fly Safe

    WW
     
  6. HeliGuy

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    Re: Lesson Learned - Know where you are flying, and never ru

    Wow, it's very interesting to hear your chain of events. In real aviation you described the exact scenario about real accidents, where they begin and the final result. Thankfully no one lost their life, but the parallel is amazing. The weather factor, fading sunlight. The gotta get there, lack of planning. Very, very interesting. What I take note of is how you 'blame' flytrex. In the real world a pilot would blame their autopilot, or the controller but in reality it is their mistakes and/or a lack of understand of their environment and/or equipment. No disrespect in anyway, thank you for the report.
     
  7. erikgraham

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    Re: Lesson Learned - Know where you are flying, and never ru

    A landscaper's throw line comes in pretty handy.

    Got my Vision+ stuck about 60 feet up in a tree. Managed to shake it free with a throw line (like this one: http://www.amazon.com/Weaver-Throw-Weig ... G618517DXH)

    I couldn't actually reach the Vision+, but I was able to get the line around the same branch lower down the tree. Then I shook that until the Vision+ came free. (lost gimbal and all 4 props)
     
  8. dbfletcher

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    Re: Lesson Learned - Know where you are flying, and never ru

    Just to be clear, I accept 100% responsibility. I "blame flytrex" was an attempt at humorously showing how outside factors can sometimes make us do stupid things. I let the winter challenge cloud my better judgement. Had I not had the Flytrex Live 3G, I doubt I would have managed to find it at all. Standing right next to the tree I wasn't able to see the quad with out some telephoto help.

    Doug Fletcher
     
  9. HeliGuy

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    Re: Lesson Learned - Know where you are flying, and never ru

    No problem, btw outside factors don't 'make' us do stupid things. We 'make' ourselves do stupid things.