Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

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

TWO Holy Crap moments today. Wow. Adrenaline rushes...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by adam12hicks, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. adam12hicks

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2014
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    0
    So I was out flying over a river near Fort Worth... beautiful morning. out there flying with my BRAND NEW Zenmuse and Hero 3+. Everything going great. Wind starts to pick up, craft is about 150 yards away on the other side of a bridge. I see it drift towards a tree and move to correct. Clip the tree. See lights flash (I have a super bright LED disk array on the front - best $9 I've ever spent) and notice I've hit the tree. CRAP. It's a long ways away.

    I run over to retrieve. It's not in the tree? The tree was 3 feet from the river, so it's probably in the river. Do they float? Do they sink? I don't know. I walk around for 15 minutes trying to find it and find a scary piece - the gimbal and gopro were yanked off by the rubber mounts and was in the dirt 30 feet from the tree. Dirt on them and the gopro is a little nicked / banged up. I pick it up and the GoPro works, but the MicroSD card is 'unclicked' and almost out. I keep looking for the craft in the area. NOWHERE to be found.

    I go back to the car to try and retrieve the video from the GoPro, but nothing there. I guess the jarring / etc failed to complete the video write to the card.

    I am about to leave, saddened by my Phantom somewhere in the river, and look to my left... down the jogging path 100 yards the other way. My Phantom. Sitting on the path, less than 1ft from where it took off, between two trees, recovery light flashing.

    HOLY FRIGGIN WHAT? I don't know. I saw it hit the tree. It hit so hard it threw the gimbal and camera 30 ft. I walked / ran towards it, it flew away from the tree, down the river at least 200 yards, back over to the path, and auto landed exactly where I took off. It doesn't have a scratch on it. Not one scratch or mark. I figured it was time to either go to church or the casino. Or both. I can't explain how it did this. I understand the GPS return to home, and have tested it many times, but there were SO many obstacles, and it hit MAYBE 15 ft. from the ground, so how could it have recovered? If it landed and was already on the ground, would it take off AGAIN and fly back home? I don't know. But it was so stupid lucky.

    PART 2 (same day. holy crap.) - I'm at my folks demo'ing everything to the neighbors. Having a great time. Get the craft in and tell them we can enable WiFi to watch video on my iPhone. Can't connect and the GoPro display is off. GoPro is locked up. Well crap. Since that isn't working I'll show them how the GPS return to home works in a safe, controlled environment.

    I go to fly it 20-30 yards down the street and guess what? The camera was locked up, but WIFI was on. Cya later Phantom. No control. No hover with all sticks to center. It took off and away from me faster than I've seen it fly. I IMMEDIATELY switch my remote to FAILSAFE mode, wait a minute, then turn the remote off. The phantom is far out of site and low. I know it hit a house at full speed, full bank.

    About 15 seconds later... here it comes. Up in the air, and then FULL SPEED ahead back towards us. Lands itself. Perfect.

    That's TOOOO d@mned much luck for one day. I'm packing it in and will fly once the adrenaline levels subside!

    I should add that I've flown this thing quite a bit, and am very comfortable with it. I've learned and understand all modes, and try to fly away from people, in safe environments. I understand my risks when flying around water, trees, etc and accept that. It's part of what you gotta do to get great video :)

    Anyways, two lessons - GPS return home is the greatest thing since sliced bread, and GoPro WiFI WILL CAUSE FLY AWAYS! I can't believe mine isn't in pieces.

    Have a good night!
     
  2. ladykate

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    Messages:
    994
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Bellevue, NE
    Awesome. When I have a near miss I hope it comes out like yours.
     
  3. ElGuano

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    Messages:
    2,219
    Likes Received:
    4
    Sounds like you've got seven lives left!

    If the Phantom slams into the ground and bounces back into the air, it'll stay aloft as long as it's not damaged. It could easily have landed flush hard, flexed the landing gear and sheared off the gimbal, then bounced back and kept flying like nothing happened.

    You're also not the first person I've heard of who chased down their Phantom, lost sight of it, and was surprised to find it successfully returned home. The thing is so weed-whacker loud I have no idea how it's possible, but it definitely is :)
     
  4. CouesWhitetail

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Globe, AZ
    WOW!! those are unbelievable stories! that's just crazy! You must be joking??
     
  5. ZonComGMZ

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2013
    Messages:
    189
    Likes Received:
    1
    Very luck indeed. Now go home and change your shorts :lol:
     
  6. EMCSQUAR

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2013
    Messages:
    1,692
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    N 44.895 W 93.354 Minnesota
    Lucky - yes - still can't stop laughing "hit a house full speed"
     
  7. adam12hicks

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2014
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    0
    Those are the honest to God stories from today. Way too much excitement for one day.

    I'm still sitting here scratching my head. The WORST part of it all? The video didn't save on the GoPro :( I tried Data Doctor and other recovery tools but could never get a usable file off of the card.

    But the fact that I escaped this with EVERYTHING in-tact is a miracle. The second time when it flew off due to WiFi interference, I couldn't believe how fast it banked and went sideways. Totally out of control. And about 5 people were watching my 'demo.' Needless to say, their jaws (and mine) dropped when the thing came home.
     
  8. Pull_Up

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,684
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    South Oxfordshire, UK
    Go out and immediately put everything on red. Or black.

    Actually don't - unless your money's got a RTH feature as well! Glad the aircraft was ok.
     
  9. gbshovel

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2013
    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Conneaut Ohio
    You SUCK!!

    LOL just kidding good for you!
    Had to use RTH the other day when I lost sight and orientation over the woods was all fine but landed about 5 feet from take off site and clipped power lines to the house on the way down. Nothing major.

    Question:
    you lost control because of GOPRO wifi was on, yet it still returned to home? Im shocked!
     
  10. adam12hicks

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2014
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am too - but remember once it goes into RTH / Failsafe mode it's using internal GPS / altimeter / etc to guide it home. It's ignoring the RF interference from the GoPro.

    That's my understanding anyways.

    I'm just lucky it picked up my FailSafe switch SOS!
     
  11. vrso2

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2013
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ocean county-NJ-USA
    It never happened to me and I always flying with WiFi ON.
     
  12. adam12hicks

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2014
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    0
    It's happened to many. Including myself. Up to you if you want to press your luck!
     
  13. FASTFJR

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2013
    Messages:
    1,201
    Likes Received:
    169
    Location:
    South East PA
    You have a link for your LED's?
     
  14. Roadkilt

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2013
    Messages:
    454
    Likes Received:
    4
    The gopro has a cache, 30 seconds I think, that it dumps to before recording to the SD card. That's why you rarely get the last video after an impact. I flew my phantom with exposed go pro on a gimbal FULL SPEED into a huge pole sticking out of the shore that I couldn't see. I was even recording the flight on my iPhone, although the point of impact was out of view the sound was sickening. Anyway, it plunged in the ocean. The water was shallow enough I waded in, clothes and all, picked off the seaweed, washed the whole rig off in the shower and let it dry out for a couple of days. Everything except the GPS in the phantom, and wifi in the gopro worked. Cool! When I downloaded the saltwater soaked, washed and dried SD card it saved everything except the flight into the impact. Dang! Well, I guess I should be happy. Anyway, numerous crashes and wet landings later everything g still works. Robust little bugger.
     
  15. adam12hicks

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2014
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    0
    http://www.amazon.com/Phantom-Quadcopte ... hantom+LED

    If you don't have this, ORDER IT RIGHT NOW! Has a connector already there to simply plug into your battery's balanced white plug, but I prefer hardwiring / soldering it to the mainboard power. It sticks on the battery door with included Velcro. It's crazy bright, and you'll never (never say never.. but just about never) wonder which way your craft is facing again. So much easier to return to you without relying on CL or HL modes.

    Adam
     
  16. adam12hicks

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2014
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    0
    I do wish they made one in red though. I'd put a second on the back. That would help me orient the craft when recording video. I'd love to have both.
     
  17. OI Photography

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2013
    Messages:
    5,542
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Clarksville, TN
  18. adam12hicks

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2014
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    0
    Good thoughts! Given your sleuth skills, the OTHER thing I'd like to add (also super low power draw) would be a piezo or other type of loud beeper that emits a beep every 5-10-15 seconds or whatever. I can find the devices themselves, but they'll need a small circuit I assume to make them sound on interval. This would have made my scare yesterday MUCH better, and I never use the audio from the GoPro anyways, so I wouldn't care that the beep was recorded.

    I'm going to continue my search...
     
  19. adam12hicks

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2014
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    0
  20. OI Photography

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2013
    Messages:
    5,542
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Clarksville, TN
    Cool, that's the exact one I was going to recommend :)