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Scary moment

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by cdabel, Jun 4, 2016.

  1. cdabel

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    I'm more of a reader than a poster, but I thought I'd share a scary episode that turned out OK in the end. I recently upgraded from an FC40 to a P3A. We had great weather, so I took it out to try the Follow Me function with the boat. First attempt went pretty well, but as you can see there were some exposure issues with the footage:



    I had plenty of battery left, so decided to try another run for better results. I lifted off, got my intended altitude and engaged Follow Me. The bird instantly took off in the opposite direction at full speed! I freaked. "Chase the drone", I shouted to my son. He hits the throttle and we go full James Bond/action scene mode in hot pursuit. We got a bit closer but I had no control over the drone. At some point (after about 1km it turns out) I gathered my wits and flipped the flight mode switch to P mode and it stopped in its tracks. I was able to fly it back for the hand catch breathing heavy. I wish I had hit record, but it happened so fast I didn't. The flight log is pretty entertaining to look at though.

    Any Ideas on what I may have done wrong? I'll give the P3 the benefit of the doubt, but it sure seemed like it thought I was somewhere else and took off after this "phantom" location. Is there some technical log file that I can look at that may offer a clue?
     
    #1 cdabel, Jun 4, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2016
  2. Reed L

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    Looks like you uploaded from the screen capture on the tablet instead of loading directly from the sd card where the full size file is stored. The extreme pixelation comes from using just the screen capture feature on some tablets.

    So you actually had an operator caused fly-away :) Lucky there wasn't a tidal wave caused by all your shaking, hehe. There's nothing quite as good as that feeling..... when it's all over :)
     
  3. captainmilehigh

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    I wonder if the second run home point didn't get 'set' correctly, and it did a RTH on the original home point position when follow-me was triggered? Crazy stuff, especially over water. Glad you got it back.


    Sent from my iPad using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  4. cdabel

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    Well, in the flight log it shows a new RH point where the boat was when i launched the second time, and it flew towards an area I had never been. From my dock to where I launched was essentially a straight line, on the way out of the fjord. It took off backwards at about a 45 degree angle from the line I had driven.
     
    Reed L likes this.
  5. msinger

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    Your mobile device was most likely not reporting an accurate current location -- which caused your Phantom to rush back to where it thought it was located. This is a common problem when using the Follow Me feature.
     
    #5 msinger, Jun 4, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2016
  6. Mark The Droner

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    Yep - we've seen this quite a few times in the forums. While the GPS in the Phantom is very accurate, the one in your mobile device is likely not nearly as good - which you might have noticed from time to time. So your Phantom thinks you're a quarter mile away and races off to that spot...

    Also - your comment "I had plenty of battery left..." is worrisome. To guard from drop from the sky, you should always launch with a freshly fully charged battery regardless of how much charge you have in a battery.
     
  7. msinger

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    Phantoms don't typically drop from the sky on low battery.
     
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  8. Mark The Droner

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    I didn't say they did.

    Do you think it's wise to fly on a battery that's not fully charged?
     
  9. cdabel

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    I think you are right about the gps of the tablet being the problem. I also understand the point about the fresh battery, but I had 70% left and was just going to refilm the catch, which was very over exposed. This illustrates though that you never know what can happen.
     
  10. Mark The Droner

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    I agree - 70% is a lot - and you would most likely be fine, especially since it was the same day. Still - being over water, I would not fly. I have read too many sad stories on here and I have personally experienced whacky behavior from a partially discharged battery. So I wouldn't do it.
     
  11. P3A_Demon

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    I have to ask about the battery comments. So if I fly and then land for any reason with battery remaining, I should not take off again?
     
  12. msinger

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    It's perfectly fine to take off again. Just be sure to watch the battery voltage so you know when to land.
     
  13. P3A_Demon

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    Thanks for that.
     
  14. Mark The Droner

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    We've learned that batteries behave in unexpected ways when they are not fully charged on launch. There have been many many threads, some of them long and passionate, discussing this problem. It would be appropriate to bump one of those threads if you want to discuss it further since it's not on topic here.

    Here's one thread of many:

    Disaster averted - Phantom dropped from the sky....
     
  15. cdabel

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    By the way. I offloaded the footage from the SD card and reedited in iMovie. It's too large for my free Vimeo account, but it's a vastly better result, though I'm sure that must be obvious for you guys.
     
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  16. captainmilehigh

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    Ok, thanks for the follow up. It was just a thought.


    Sent from my iPad using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  17. MikeyOnline

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    When I see an area of interest in my shot that looks overexposed, I've gotten used to just tapping on that area to have it re-expose for that area. Aerial photography is a challenging environment sometimes when you can have bright sky and relatively dark ground in the same shot. The camera doesn't really know which part you are interested in so you end up with clipped highlights sometimes. Tapping the screen on the clipped or blown out areas will bring those into range and if that throws your shadows off (too dark), that can usually be corrected in post with some fill light in your video editor. You have to practice a little because if you tap on a really bright area in the sky, the ground can become so dark that you end up with noise when you add fill light.

    Mike