Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

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

Thoughts of flight #1

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

  1. Cralis

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2016
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Well, my first flight has ended with success.
    Definition of success in this case: Quad is in one piece, in the same condition as when it started.

    I have flown quads before. I built my own a few years back, so have some experience.

    Took my P3A to a field and my kids and wife went off to the park while I did my flight. More or less uneventful, but a few things got to me.

    1. It;s small!
    I got to 38m (Around 110 ft), and a distance of 164m away (530 ft). I flew out watching the screen, but when I turned back, the sun was setting, and the screen went dark, except for the sky... so I couldn't make out the ground. So looked at the quad. It was like a little speck! Back to screen.. all dark, rotated until I had acceptable vision, and then flew back on screen. But even when I got closer, and then hovered, and looked at it, I could not make out which way it was pointing, unless I moved the sticks. That was a bit scarey, but something I will get used to. But it is really small up there. even close in and high, I battle to see which way it's facing.

    2. GPS loss.
    I noted a few times, I saw my green 'Safe to Fly' go orange, with 'No GPS' or something. And then it came back. It seems it loses GPS signal intermittently. Normal? Issue?

    3. Brake system.
    Well, I'm not used to that, but when flying back to myself, and I release the elevator/forward stick to slow down, it brakes with a lot of 'wizzzz' sound. To, props spin faster and it tilts back to slow down. This was disconcerting. Sounded like it was having an issue briefly. Is this OK? I was scared to stop incase it lost control of it's self.

    4. Scared.
    I'll be honest, my nerves were buizzing while I flew. I was too scared to go over 40M. I would get up, and then my head would be, 'What if I lose power! What if it's flys away now!', and I'd chicken out. Is that normal for day one??

    Anyway, here it is... 18 minutes of flight down to 2 minutes. Most of the flight was hovering and slow flight.

     
  2. Wibble

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2015
    Messages:
    1,313
    Likes Received:
    478
    Location:
    Brecon Beacons Wales UK
    Any intact landing is a good flight well done!
    I gave up trying to see the P3 - just look at the screen. They ARE hard to see - some better than others. Make sure auto brightness is up full - there are some apps that will increase brightness a little. Get a sun shield as well.
    Also angling the camera down a little helps as it then meters off the ground not the sky which makes for a brighter image.
    Learn to use the little aircraft symbol - it shows which way you are pointing. If you lose where you are use RTH and cancel again when it is overhead.
     
  3. Cralis

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2016
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Thanks Wibble. I was tempted to press the RTH, but for that moment when you suddenly can't see as much as you would like, then realise the quad is too far for visual... a bit of a brain freeze. Additionally, that little 'NO GPS' thing worried me. My head was thinking, if I hit RTH, would it come home? Today, I'll do my first RTH attempt, just to set my confidence up. If I am sure RTH would work, I'll be more relaxed and enjoy it more.
     
  4. Mark The Droner

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2015
    Messages:
    3,961
    Likes Received:
    1,157
    Location:
    Brookeville, MD, USA
    1) It'll be easier once you learn to know and trust the "radar" on the FPV screen. You can see which way it's pointing that way.

    2) Today might have been a poor day for satellites. Looking at today's uavforecast.com, it's showing 8 visible satellites right now for my location. That's less than usual.

    3) You can always go ATTI if you want. Watch out for winds.

    4) I'm always terrified. Fear is good, I think. But I wonder if I would get a better signal if my hands weren't shaking?

    Welcome to the site!
     
    Cralis likes this.
  5. DroneDestination

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2016
    Messages:
    698
    Likes Received:
    126
    Perfectly normal! Just try to ease up gradually on the sticks for smoother camera shots, unless fast braking is necessary (i.e. about to hit a tree).
     
    Cralis likes this.
  6. fastsmiles

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2014
    Messages:
    844
    Likes Received:
    130
    Location:
    Fort Worth, Tx
    Nervous on the first flight? You bet it's normal. The more you practice the more relaxed and comfortable you will become and the less likely you will be to panic. Practice, RTH from an easily visible distance, then further. Practice flying ATTI until you become comfortable with that also. Keep your bird close and in a wide open area while you're learning.
    And most important of all: HAVE FUN!
     
    Dirty Bird and Cralis like this.
  7. Stealth Tours

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2015
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    20
    Location:
    Santa Clarita, California
    First, you went further than I did the first 2 flights. The braking, along with yaw, gimbal roll can be tweaked as to gains. You didn't mention what device you are using, my guess is an older phone or device which struggles on processing strength...might be the cause of black outs. Prior to launching, look at the direction you aim the quad and match the red arrow in lower left so you won't get messed up with orientation...but if you do, hover, switch from "P" to "F", select home lock and pull the right stick back at you...or next time after launch and just hovering...aiming the direction you want to go, switch to "F", select "course lock" which will allow you to fly, yaw any direction, take photos/videos...but you flight grid is as if the bird is always facing away from you...so right stick forward goes away, pull back comes to you, right is right, left is left.

    Forgot the most important thing that you might not have done: set fail safe RTH, smart RTH...where the bird will go up (only listed in meters) vertically, come back to home...if you don't set this, it flies direct line of sight through all of those nice big trees.
     
  8. Cralis

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2016
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Thanks Stealth! I forgot about the setup of the RTH. I'll make sure that's all set for today's flights.
     
  9. shorttimer

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2016
    Messages:
    364
    Likes Received:
    120
    Location:
    Rocky Mountains
    Congratulations - very nice. But it's January, where is the snow? LOL I'm envious...
     
  10. Cralis

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2016
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    haha... Snow.. in Brisbane. :) We're looking at mid 30's (Celcius) ... maybe 95dF in your talk, and 90% humidity. But it gets freezing in winter though. Sometimes it drops to 12 degrees. (53 dF in your speak) :) I sometimes need to put on a jersey. How I cope? I have no idea. ;)
     
  11. snerd

    Joined:
    May 5, 2015
    Messages:
    2,633
    Likes Received:
    1,585
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    "........................ But even when I got closer, and then hovered, and looked at it, I could not make out which way it was pointing, unless I moved the sticks............."

    The red lights are the front of the aircraft, green lights the rear. You can also turn off the red lights for photography purposes.
     
  12. dixter

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2015
    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    61
    just wait till you give the controls over to a waypoint app and watch how aggressive the app flys your bird...
    the first time you'll be in awe.... and the second time... and the third time... and.. so on..
     
  13. Neary Aerial

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2015
    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    Florence, KY
    Awesome! Everyone is nervous on their first flight. It all sounds normal. If you'd like a little peace of mind while you fly, get your P3 covered for crash damage. DJI Phantom 3 Advanced Service Contract (Gold) - Drone Service & Warranty Repairs
     
  14. beeline

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Messages:
    309
    Likes Received:
    53
    Location:
    North Alabama
    Hello @Cralis! Very anecdotal evidence on my part but others have shared the same fix: Calibrating the compass (again) solved my GPS/non-GPS flip-flop. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.