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Practicing for Emergencies

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by DennyA, Aug 9, 2016.

  1. DennyA

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    When real pilots spend time in simulators or flight training, they spend a lot of their time practicing for emergencies.

    With 2 years of drone piloting behind me, I ran into a situation July 4 where my battery level suddenly dropped significantly, RTH wasn't an option (literally X'd out on the UI) because the P3P decided to land right away. I tried to keep it up and bring it closer but it wasn't having any part of it. It came down hard and inverted and is on its way back to me from a significant repair from DJI now with a pilot who learned a valuable lesson.

    I'd thought a little about what to do in an emergency, but when it hit, in the dark, with the drone a few blocks from home, panic set in. In retrospect given the situation it was in, I should have pointed the camera down and tried to find a streetlight-lit sidewalk or grass spot to aim it at as it was descending.

    So the first thing I'm going to do with the repaired drone is actually spend some time practicing emergency procedures -- RTH, finding a landing spot quickly, remembering I can flip it to the relative mode where pulling the stick towards me makes the drone fly towards me, etc.

    Which brings me to the question: What emergency procedures have you guys either (1) practiced, or (2) put into good use to save your drone? Would love to hear what y'all think is important.

    (Also, i'd written off the simulator when I first got my P3P because it required an actual connection to the drone. But maybe the simulator is a good place to practice some procedures?)
     
  2. RedHotPoker

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    Although the onboard @dji flight SIM is very basic, it's still more than adequate to practice flying a Phantom 3. Yes, unfortunately the drone must be activated for the SIM to work. And the drone can and does heat up, while sitting there running, without cooling props spinning.
    I can easily prevent this occurrence by placing my drone atop an upward facing fan. I charge my 4 intelligent flight battery packs on this double fan as well. With two 100w chargers going on it, simultaneously.
    Buy a real SIM like www.realflight.com/drone for a more realistic approach to flight practice. Haha

    For every thing in life that has short comings, there are higher quality products to take their place. Just as @dji have awesome drones and other fine products, their CS 'was' sadly lagging...
    With all the other new manufacturers fine drones coming to fruition, @dji have vastly improved customer service of late. ;-)

    RedHotPoker
     
  3. Mixon

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    Currently practicing distance orientation/ direction and getting it back to me without the aid of the screen, so at >200 m away. Close eyes give it load of yaw, so you don't know which way it's facing, then get it back to you , hint.. Give it a little left stick to test which direction it goes in.
    The other day my phone battery died mid flight so I was blind, luckily I was not too far away, but it made me think, " I need to practice to ensure I can get this thing back on my own without the cover electronics" after all things do fail!
     
  4. Pharm

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    That would make ME think, "I should never fly when my phone/tablet battery is low."
     
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  5. Vertigo

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    What you describe makes the case for monitoring battery voltages more than for practicing emergency landings.

    On some other drones Id recommend learning to fly without altitude hold and even without attitude hold (true manual/acro mode). But these things dont exist with DJI drones and so its not often that you can do anything if something on the phantom fails (I take being able to fly in attitude mode and line of sight as a given). Of course what you can and should do, is fly knowing that there is a chance things will go wrong, and chose your flying location accordingly.
     
  6. Mixon

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    Absolutely, I now always make sure my iPhone is 100% before leaving home
     
  7. Mixon

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    Agreed, so I cut my teeth on a small cheap drone that does not have GPS or RTH etc so am used to totally manual before spending loads of money on something expensive.
     
  8. Mark The Droner

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    I tend to usually fly over the same areas so I already have spots picked out if I need to land.
     
  9. Pharm

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    What????? :)
     
  10. Pharm

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    Amen!
     
  11. Vertigo

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    In acro/manual your throttle stick controls motor speed, not a change in altitude and the other controls dont control the orientation of the quad, but a change in orientation, or angular velocity. Centering the sticks doesnt return the quad to level, it just makes the quad maintain whatever position its in. This video may explain, if you look at the control stick positions:



    Being able to fly like that, is possibly useful on some flight controllers that have acro mode, because it lets you fly even if your accelerometer and barometer would fail. On a phantom, being able to fly like that, is of little use. If the accelerometer would fail, you'll crash anyhow.
     
  12. Deimos

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    I am misunderstanding something here. The relative mode just inverts the controller ie if bird is facing you ie forward brings it close and you hit invert then pulling stick down it will fly away from you. So for this function to be of use you have to know the orientation to ensure it is is facing away from you.

    Just so as not to confuse newb's like me relative mode will not just fly the bird back in your direction. As when I first read that I had to check if I had misinterpreted that.
     
  13. Pharm

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    Haha. Vertigo, I was referring to the fact that you said the same thing twice in the same sentence. ("without altitude hold" and even "without altitude hold"). Yes, I'm being a snot. Sorry.
     
  14. Monte55

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    I have 3 P1s. I have the S1 bottom position set to manual where most may have selected Failsafe. My reason was....I can still have RTH/FAILSAFE by turning off the Tx. I had to pick one. I figure if my gyros, gps, or something else goes nuts, I may be able have a chance of getting the bird back with minimal or no damage. I don't believe manual is an option on later PHANTOMS. I have flown in manual a few times close to me in calm wind and it's tricky. I would rather have a little control than none at all. Even if I can't bring it down without a crash at least I may be able to stop it from crashing into people or property.
    oh, and another thing. If I take off with full throttle in gps or atti...the take off is sluggish . Props slow to spin up. If at takeoff and throttle in mid position and I flip S1 down to manual..the props spool up very fast and have a nice clean lift off and that really helps if there is wind or carrying extra weight. After it lifts up to about 6-10 feet, I immediately go back to gps or atti. Works great.
     
    #14 Monte55, Aug 10, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2016
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  15. Mark The Droner

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    I've never heard of this. Thanks for posting
     
  16. Monte55

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    All three of my P1s react this way so it's not a fluke with just just one. I have mentioned this a few times here but since most are flying later model Phantoms it won't apply.
     
  17. Vertigo

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    Not a snot, just a bad reader :). Unless I made a typo, I certainly meant to write aLtitude hold and aTTitude mode. Two very different things.

    edit, no typo, but I did use mode twice. Altitude is usually referred to as altitude hold, not altitude mode. Half a point for you :)
     
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  18. Pharm

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    **** it! The font on this phone is too small! You're right. You didn't make a typo, I made a reado. Only half a point though? Really? Not a whole point? C'mon! I've got a family to feed here!
     
  19. ucla996

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    My first crash on a cheap drone was due to flying too far and not being able to determine orientation. Heck, looking back "panic" was the cause of the crash. When you panic, all common sense went out the window.
    With that said, almost all of the reported crashes and fly-aways were due to common pilot errors. When the bird is over 1000 feet away, who cares about orientation when you can barely see it or not at all. For me, I just make sure my batteries are healthy before flight and make sure my Home Point is correct. The most important is knowing 100% how RTH works in every situation. I practice RTH all the time in different situations. Plus, plan your flight and fly your plan. Don't do anything not planned. Just like scuba diving.
     
  20. DennyA

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    No, this was a sudden failure. As in, went from 70% charge, all normal to "not enough battery to RTH, landing now" in a matter of seconds. And even there, it cut out before it could descend 200 feet.

    Hardware issue, not operator error. Verified by telemetry as DJI covered the repair.

    (Maybe there could have been a sign of impending failure if I'd flown with the detailed voltage display active, but all read well on the battery pre-flight and who flies from the voltage display?)



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