Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

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

My first (huge) panic story and mistake plus app crashing phone mid flight.

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by Gforce98, Jan 19, 2016.

  1. Gforce98

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    7
    So yesterday it happened for the first time as I'm doing a range test from a mountain top over looking a plain field, I make a terrible mistake...
    I fly out to 18k feet and still have full RC and video feed signal. I see the battery meter for rth is getting close. So I decide to turn back home, here's the mistake... Forgot to take into account tail wind on the way out. Now my rth requires more battery than I have left and I'm in controlled panic mode... To make things worse now my phone turns off at 80% battery life. Now I'm in full panic mode. I try to restart it and every time I open the DJI go app it crashes my phone again. After a few tries it works and I have visual feed again (by the way it only turns on while plugged into a charger as if something is tricking it into thinking its out of battery but it's not, not even close). I try a few things in hopes of saving some battery vs flight time, from flying at 50% throttle to Atti mode hoping the extra speed can make up the time gap vs battery life to get home but nothing. Thinking that I might not make it home and still about 4000 feet out and nearing critical battery levels, I decide to search for a safe place to land. I see a nice flat place and screen shot my map so I know where to go find my phantom after. I cancel rth and start descending... Well as I'm about 100 ft from landing my phone crashes again. Now I'm in huge panic mode and really pissed off. Thinking I can't do a blind landing I initiate rth again from the RC, there goes some more battery while it ascends to the 200 ft I have it set to. Again the phone restarts but crashes everytime I open the app. The longest 2 min of my life go by but now I can hear it somewhere in the distance... Finally I spot it as it flies over me and starts descending to its home point, and in huge relief I take back control and bring it down as fast as it will let me. As soon as it lands I power down, and once I'm able to reboot the phone and successfully open the app I check the flight log recording on the app and see its landed with 4% battery. I'm hoping the battery hasn't suffered terminal damage here. I've recharged and checked it volatage and capacity and it all seems ok...

    So what I've learned on this flight and experience is, #1 fantastic range! #2 never do that again, #3 leave plenty on margin on battery level when flying out with a tail wind. #4 what the heck is causing my phone to crash mid flight!!?

    Anyone have the same issue of phone/tablet crashing mid flight?
     
    Dirty Bird, Larebel, Reed L and 2 others like this.
  2. happydays

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    Messages:
    1,858
    Likes Received:
    663
    Location:
    Warrenpoint, Ireland
    If it's cold, the phone could crash - what type of device is it?
     
    IFRrated and Gforce98 like this.
  3. CactusJackSlade

    Joined:
    May 29, 2014
    Messages:
    602
    Likes Received:
    114
    Yes, always need to account for the wind more than you would think. When possible, I fly into the wind first, then get an EZ trip back home.... same rule goes in SCUBA diving - go against the current first, then easy on the way back.

    Sounds like you managed to escape fairly intact :)

    Can't help with your app crashing though...
     
    Gforce98 likes this.
  4. Gforce98

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    7
    I didn't think the temp could crash the phone but that could be the culprit as it was about 25 degrees. I'm using an IPhone 6s Plus. I was using app version 2.5.0 and now updated to latest update hoping that would fix the issue, but haven't tried since.


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
    richardtomcat likes this.
  5. happydays

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    Messages:
    1,858
    Likes Received:
    663
    Location:
    Warrenpoint, Ireland
    Fahrenheit or Celsius?
     
  6. Gforce98

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    7
    Sorry didn't say... Fahrenheit


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  7. happydays

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    Messages:
    1,858
    Likes Received:
    663
    Location:
    Warrenpoint, Ireland
    That's about 4 Celsius - bloody cold. Yes the iPhone could well turn off in those conditions. Try taking a photo when it's cold. Mine almost always switches off - even if the battery is 3/4 full. PITA.
     
    mmee1992 likes this.
  8. Gforce98

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    7
    Thanks for the insight I didn't think about that.


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  9. rmfa

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2015
    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    61
    You need to use the UAV Weather website (they also have an app) and set it to 400ft. This will tell you the winds at that altitude. The Hover app tells the wind at ground speeds and can tell you to fly when its very much not safe to do so. Also, be careful with that battery, I'm not sure I would trust it anymore. If it fails, you are done.
     
    Gforce98 likes this.
  10. zitrojj

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2016
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    Queens NYC
    I am a new-b and got my P3P only a month ago. In my first handful of flights I was using my Galaxy Edge 6+ and the app crashed on my as well. Luckily I still had visual on it and I could land it but after I started flying it with my son's iPad and it worked well. I recently bought an Nvidida Shield K1 and leave it only for flying as one of the tips is to close all other apps. It works really well and it's 10x faster than an iPad, seems to be the inspire tablet of choice. The only thing that sucks its that you have to use a hood for a a normal size iPad because the 8 inch won't fit it.

    btw. I felt like I was reading a thriller. Glad you were able to get your aircraft back safely.
     
  11. RZR_Jim

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2016
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    37
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    Great description of events and a happy ending to boot. Thanks for sharing.
     
    Gforce98 likes this.
  12. Gforce98

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    7
    Thanks! I'll look into that tablet. I usually use my phone since I sometimes film launching from boats or moving objects and have to reset home point which I can't do from my IPad 2 mini.The iPad mini seems like a really nice fit on the controller but sucks not to have gps on it. I wonder if I tether the iPad to my phone if I'm able to have gps location available to reset home point on the go.


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  13. kandelin16

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2015
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    47
    Nice quick thinking taking a screenshot on the map. I'll have to remember that.


    Sent from my iPod touch using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
    Silvaplana and Gforce98 like this.
  14. zitrojj

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2016
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    Queens NYC
    The Nvidia is like $200 dollars cheaper and also has GPS and GLONASS. You still have to cache the maps on your tablet by connecting it to wifi or your phone as a hotspot (make sure you turn off wifi before you fly). Below are the specs of the tablet. I also like that the speakers are facing front so you can hear the DJI Go App loud.

    Operating System Android 5.1.1 Lollipop
    Display 8-inch 1920x1200 LCD
    Processor Tegra K1 quad-core at 2.2 GHz 192-core Kepler GPU
    Storage 16GB MicroSD card expandable
    RAM 2GB
    Rear Camera 5MP, autofocus, HDR
    Front Camera 5MP, HDR
    Speakers Front-facing stereo speakers
    Network 802.11n Wifi, 2x2 MIMO, 2.4 and 5 GHz
    Connectivity Bluetooth 4.0 LE, GPS, GLONASS
    Charging Micro USB
    Battery 19.75 Watt hour Lithium ion
    Dimensions 221 x 126 x 9.2 mmWeight390 g
     
    Gforce98 likes this.
  15. LuvMyTJ

    LuvMyTJ ADMINISTRATOR
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2014
    Messages:
    6,811
    Likes Received:
    4,376
    Location:
    Live! From New York!
    It is a pleasure to welcome you to the Phantom Pilots forum. I hope that you will take advantage of the benefits that come with membership and that you will be able to use the forum for the exchange of innovative ideas and as a resource for current developments in Phantom quadcopter’s.

    Wow, glad you got it back safely. That qualifies as a high pucker level flight for sure! :D Like the guys here said, and you now know, account for wind & fly into it on the way out whenever possible. Lesson learned eh? There are sites like UAV Weather Forecast that allow you to see wind speeds at the height you set it for. Maybe not perfect but it gives you a good idea.

    As far as cold weather flying be aware your battery will also be cold and that will shorten the flight times. The chemistry of a lipo hates the cold (If you are unfamiliar with lipo batteries please learn about their special care and fire hazards. They are not like your average household alkaline your used to).

    I use one of these to keep my hands, the TX and iPad warm. You can even put some hand warmer packs in there if you like. :)

    IMG_1925.jpg

     
    Mark The Droner and Gforce98 like this.
  16. Traveler

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2015
    Messages:
    375
    Likes Received:
    105
    Wow, I was on the edge of my seat with your story. I kept expecting this to end with the bird landing in the water or in presence of a hungry drone eating animal.
    Glad you had a happy ending.


    Sent from my iPad using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
    Gforce98 likes this.
  17. RadRich

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2015
    Messages:
    341
    Likes Received:
    82
    Not quite, but I lost signal and almost crashed into a nuclear power plant cooling tower, lol. It did the RTH and by the time I could see the display, it was only 20 ft or so above the tower!
    It's a decommissioned power plant, but still. My heart still races when I view the video. I know better next time, which I won't be doing, and thankfully I went above the 400' limit. I was flying at about 426'.
     

    Attached Files:

    zitrojj likes this.
  18. Gforce98

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    7
    Haha! That would have sucked! Those things are massive.
    Here's a screenshot for the moment right before things turned bitter on my flight [​IMG]


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  19. rulppa

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2015
    Messages:
    130
    Likes Received:
    40
    Location:
    Kepler 186f
    Best way to see the wind is - go up, switch to atti mode and let it hover for while to see exact wind direction and pretty accurate guess of the wind speed too.
     
    #19 rulppa, Jan 19, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2016
    skyeboysteve, Jsun and Gforce98 like this.
  20. RadRich

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2015
    Messages:
    341
    Likes Received:
    82
    Good luck to you. I use a dedicated tablet (Nvidia Shield K1). It's nice and fast, no real issues except the screen isn't very bright. But the HDMI out is awesome as I can mirror exactly what the Shield is showing, unlike the add-on HDMI module which gives a live feed plus other overlay telemetry.
     
    Gforce98 likes this.