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Lost my P3A and I'm devastated.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by strgazr27, Aug 15, 2016.

  1. strgazr27

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    Quick back story. I had owned the P3A for about 2 weeks prior to taking it with me on vacation to the White Mountains in NH. I had flown my P3S on several Litchi missions before this and purchased the A as an upgrade for the trip. I upgraded the firmware on the AC, Controller as well as all 3 batteries. I am running the latest IOS software as well as the latest Litchi. I flew several manual missions out to about 1500' and 2-300 feet altitude with no issues. The day before I flew the mission I noticed I had one episode where it kept saying disconnected randomly even though the controller was next to the P3A on the ground. I powered everything down. Powered it back up, did an IMU cal on a perfectly level surface and a compass cal and everything seemed fine after that.
    I built a Litchi mission that was approx 2 miles in total length with the AC being 2300' away at its farthest point and 300' AGL. I loaded the mission with no issues. Initiated a takeoff, started the mission and all was going well till the AC was about 2100' out. At this point I instantly lost both video feed as well as it saying AC disconnected, even though it showed the radio at 47% signal strength. Video feed was zero. I lost all data from the AC. Although the AC was OOS just beyond the pines I quicklly flipped the controller on and off hoping to connect again. Nothing. It was a 10 minute mission so I waited, hoping it would return in about the 6 minutes it had left. After 30 minutes of waiting and my wife cursing at me I gave up hope. I spent the next 9 hours driving and hiking hoping for any sign of it. I hoped it had gone down where someone might find it and call me as it has a sticker with my FAA Number as well as my cell number. So far nothing. I am devastated.

    ANY idea what may have caused this? Any way to find out or retrieve the logs? After I returned home this past saturday I have been consumed with reading to see if I could figure out what happened. Being honest I am concerned about ordering another as the fly away issue seems fairly prevalent with the DJi's. Perhaps I should make the move to an Autel and sell off the extra Phantom equipment I have.
     
  2. alokbhargava

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    It's always risky to fly in mountains unless you carefully study and plan elevations. I'm not saying you didn't do it but there are always chances of making mistakes.

    Go to the place where you lost the last connection, that might give you clues.


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots
     
  3. mikesmiley

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    I'm very sorry for your loss. If I had to guess, I would say it's probably up in a pine tree.

    The wonderful, and dangerous, thing about Litchi, is that when you start a mission, the aircraft is going to go *exactly* where it was programmed to go. You have to be very, very careful of your elevation setting for each waypoint.

    I learned this the hard way.
     
  4. strgazr27

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    Thanks for the replies guys. It was not a terrain issue. I have spent over 8 years at the same cabin and know the land like the back of my hand. Although it is mountainous the area I planned the mission in had nothing taller than 125' so I should have been more than safe with my 200-300' altitude depending on the waypoint. The hardest part is not knowing exactly what happened. I'd rather of crashed it myself than lose it this way.
     
  5. kcmusa

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    I am wondering if when you flipped the controller on and off it took that as a signal to cancel the mission and hover.
     
  6. kiteboy

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    Hi strgazr27,

    Sorry about your lost.

    Are 100% sure about the terrain elevation? When you fix the height to let's say 100' the AC will be at 100' above take off point not AGL




    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots
     
    cfd701 likes this.
  7. strgazr27

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    Kite,
    Yeah I'm positive. There's no point anywhere near my height settings in the waypoints. Like I said I k ow the area and also have topo maps of the property as we do a lot of hiking in the area. I know what you're saying as to the take off height vs flying height at the waypoints. I had at least a 100' buffer built in to all the waypoints.


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  8. kiteboy

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    Well then you should upload your flight logs to speed things up and let's wait for someone here that can help you to read these and find out what happened

    I'll help you my self but don't really know how just is what people usually ask to find out what happened


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots
     
  9. theTastyCat

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    Heartbreaking! So sorry. Definitely upload the flight logs ASAP - people here may well be able to figure out where it is.
     
  10. Mark The Droner

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    Lots of possibilities. Battery went dead. Battery popped out. Hawk attack. Bad solder. Cracked prop. But I think the most likely scenario is you hit a tree. It's a known fact that if you run a Litchi Mission, your aircraft will zero in on the tallest tree within miles and then try to hit it. Mine did. I had my mission set at 200' height last February which accounted for trees and elevation and I hit the tallest tree within miles - right next to a huge corn field. When it hit the ground I barely missed a huge pile of rocks where the farmer thought he would be smart and put all his rocks he dug up in his field for the past century and place them under the tallest tree in sight in case he needed them some day.

    What I did wrong -

    1) I didn't take into account that just because my height of my mission was at 200', the stupid aircraft might fly at only 170'.

    2) I should have allowed for errors in my judgment on changing elevation.

    3) I should have figured my AC would try its best to fly into the tallest tree within miles

    What I did right -

    1) Installed a GPS tracker on my AC

    We'll have to wait for your logs to see what actually happened...

    Hope you find it.
     
    mikesmiley likes this.
  11. strgazr27

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  12. strgazr27

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  13. strgazr27

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    Looking at the CSV and all the pages it's like it just dissapeared. Or was shot out of the sky nut I would have heard that. WTF?
     
  14. Vadar

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    Doubt it got shot down. Your drone was moving at a pretty good clip at ~200' altitude, that's not an easy shot to make. Shotgun maybe, but not easy at that range. What's odd is the Healthy Drone data shows ~200' altitude while the Flight Relay shows an altitude of ~1677' (511m). Based on how there were no warning signals and everything just dropped it feels like you had some catastrophic failure in the equipment or with an object. If it was still operational and lost signal (which switching the controller off/on should have insured) it should have gone into RTH mode. What I don't know is if that behavior is modified when on a mission using the Litchi app. Does it override RTH once it senses a restoration of signal. It's all speculation unless you can find the unit.
     
  15. matti

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    It seems that the point where HealthyDrones path ends is 42m above home point (at 500m distance) according to Litchi Mission Hub. Nearby there are 76m elevations. Does this sound right?
     
    #15 matti, Aug 19, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2016
  16. coullit

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    I'd stick with the go app and trust what dji have developed, the litchi app sounds good but isn't dji....I have the 3 p now for more range, the half the price standard looks exactly the same but the 233 ghz on light ridge is much more powerful than the 533 the standard and 4K use
    Simon
     
  17. strgazr27

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    I have owned the property where I was flying for 2 years now and I know it pretty well. The area where the mission ends is still below the flight altitude even taking into account any trees. I searched the area at the point the mission just ends and the drone was nowhere to be found.
     
  18. strgazr27

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    Exactly why I sold my P3S and made the move to the P3A. I've used Litchi for 15 missions with my standard and 9 w the advanced w zero issues prior to this flight. Even with a loss of Comm litchi should have completed the mission and RTH and Hover which is what I had set in the app. I don't feel it was a litchi issue or pilot error. The more I look at the CSV and Litchi the more I agree this was a failure of the Phantom electronics that resulted in a mindless drone that is now in the woods.
     
  19. tribar

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    A link of the original mission on the litchi-hub could be helpfull as well.
     
  20. coullit

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    range difference, good reply from horizon antennas...
    yes your better of with the light bridge , forget anything that has 5.8 GHz in the mix.
    the P3 Pro is good but the P4 required a power mod to get the ranges , this can only be done to the UAV itself as the mod id actually a difficult one on the P4
    So the P3 pro would be your best bet even the P3 advanced as its still Lightbridge.
    the antennas are all stock as we are he developers and manufactures of these . I can tell you what you’d to do to mod the UAV , or you could buy it from the UK ,like quadcopter.co.uk and have it sent to us , we can then do the full mods for you and send it over .
    the P3 pro need a power mod and the Rc controller mod , we do these here in the workshop and have done hundreds of these as we decided the mod .
    if you look at the videos on our channel there are some insane ranges you can get .
    The P4 is nice but you must have th UAV modded to fly long range , I can tell you how to do it , but its not an easy one .