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Video of how I lost and then found my Phantom

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Dizzy Lizzard, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. Dizzy Lizzard

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    Here's the recovered footage of how I lost and then found my DJI Phantom Quadcopter.

    The onboard GoPro Hero3 kept recording throughout the flight, the landing and then shows the mischievous visitors my Phantom had all while I was endlessly searching the surrounding fields.

    This was 100% pilot error! Although at the time it was happening it sure felt like the dreaded "Phantom Fly Away" If I had not seen the recovered footage I might have been making a totally different post today.

    Between the panic, the inexperience, the mistakes and just flying too far away I learned a great set of lessons.

    https://vimeo.com/73000201
     
  2. FrankB

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    This is hilarious! I loved it!

    I hate to say it, but Pilot Error is an understatement- just establishing a GPS Home location and then engaging Go Home would have prevented all this.

    But then we wouldn't have had such a great video to enjoy!!
     
  3. Roadkilt

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    Great story, well edited and happy ending!
     
  4. PJA

    PJA

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    Some incredible footage... Superb Editing and Captions... I enjoyed watching it... Thanks for posting...

    RTH might have helped you in this situation... Looks like you would have had enough time to engage it and get the Phantom HOME... Did you ever find out EXACTLY what the 'pilot error' was? Looks like to me, every time you pulled back on the stick you were flying in reverse because the Phantom was more or less facing you...

    Anyway, glad you got it back!
     
  5. MKheng

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    That's a great video. Well done for finding your Phantom.
     
  6. Audaciter

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    This was the best Phantom video I've seen. Very well narrated, and edited. Keep up the good work.
     
  7. edunwody

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    Absolutely EPIC!

    Great way to start the morning. Was laughing so hard I cried.

    Remember. What goes around comes around. The horse you chase may be the horse that eats you.

    Thanks for sharing.

    E


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  8. Dizzy Lizzard

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    Thanks everyone for the comments!

    This story was almost too embarrassing to post but I've learned so much from forums like this I felt it was a chance to give back and have others learn from my boneheaded mistakes.

    I also wanted to show that if I had not found my Phantom and been able to view the flight video I might be thinking this was a "Fly Away" situation but this was clearly not a "Fly Away" I just didn't know it until I watched the video.


    So what exactly were my mistakes and what am I doing different now?

    It's a long list, but let's start with the pilot errors first.

    Not necessarily in order of importance.

    1) Flying too far away. I was unable to see the orientation of the Phantom, I got over confident and did not keep it in sight.

    2) I mixed up the "Home Lock" and "Course Lock" position switch. I had switched to "Course Lock" but though I was in "Home Lock"

    3) Didn't engage GPS mode. I had been flying in Atti mode and forgot to switch back to GPS Mode.

    4) Didn't engage the fail-safe Return to Home feature.

    5) Kept doing the same thing but expected some different results (isn't that a definition for insanity?) :shock:

    6) I panicked, which didn't allow me to keep a clear head.

    7) Flew far beyond my abilities, I was trying to film a cinematic master piece when I really needed much more practice.

    I'm sure there are several more mistakes I missed so post away, I won't be insulted. ;)



    Since the "Horse Play" flight I have taken several steps to prevent this from happing again.

    Not necessarily in order of importance, but sort of.

    1) Practice, practice practice.... lots!

    2) I've started to prep my flights more like you would for a real airplane or helicopter. I have pre- flight check lists (written out) as well as an emergency check list that I have memorized.

    3) Installed the Predator FPV system. No more orientation problems but you can still get you into trouble other ways. I sure love being able to see what I'm filming. Very impressed with the Predator system and their customer support (shameless plug)

    4) Attached the Loc8tor tracking device to my Phantom. Not very long range but could help point out which tree you're in or behind. Loc8tor does not rely on cell networks and is very light weight. I use the Loc8tor Lite which was only about $70
    http://www.loc8tor.com/

    5) Added some highly reflective white tape to various places on the Phantom. While searching at night with a high intensity flash light I must have found every piece of trash in that **** field. With highly reflective tape on the quadcopter you are more likely to see it from a great distance. I used the same stuff you see on the back of semi tractor trailers, very reflective and would stand out in an open field or in some trees when hit with a flash light. Try it sometime it's quite amazing stuff. I bought the Blazer Automotive red and white stickers from Walmart and just used the white parts of the sticker. Honestly this might make it easier to search for in the dark than in the daylight.
    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Blazer-2-x-18-Reflective-Tape-4pk/16880523

    6) Put your phone number along with a "Reward If Found" message on your Phantom somewhere. Hey as a last resort you might just get it back.


    There's got to be some other great ideas out there so please share them.
     
  9. edunwody

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    I would suggest that if you fly in the field again to cover your phantom with salt. If you can't find it at least you will give the horses a salt lick for nourishment.

    :)

    E


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  10. martcerv

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    Love it, surprised you got a mile without losing range and going into rth mode on its own. Are you using the stock radio or another?

    Also lucky it wasnt out in polar bear country as the phantom would have needed much more then a clean and prop change. :lol:

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvduCPXO_FE[/youtube]
     
  11. Flyboy

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    Cool story and well done. Thanks for sharing it!
     
  12. rampage42

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    What a great story and video. Glad you got it back.
    I have thinking of a GPS tracker as well.
     
  13. marcus_canada

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    Great post, great video and great ending. Thumbs UP :)
     
  14. Birdman953

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    Hi Dizzy,
    I've had my Phantom since Saturday when it arrived in the post here in Durban South Africa. Definitely the first on the block to have one! Having the you tube instructions are great. I also wrote out all the points, especially the light signals. I haven't flown it in atti mode yet and keep it in GPS (for now). Practice and more practice to get as good as some of the guys flying on you tube. Just seen the one where the guy is flying in the amazon - just awesome!

    Definitely going to put a reward sticker on my 'copter. Definitely going to do a pre-flight check.

    I hovered the Phantom in my garden until the red light/green light started flashing to indicate low battery. I timed this on my iPhone, and will now set the timer to go off when there is 90 seconds to the red/green so that I can prepare to land in good time.

    I'm enjoying the hell out of it right now, and at 60, I'm the oldest teenager in town with a new Phantom!! :lol:
     
  15. flasharps

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    Awesome Horseplay Video!!!!!

    Great Job!
     
  16. Siddy

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    Just talking with the other half about your video etc and your comment
    " I bought the Blazer Automotive red and white stickers from Walmart and just used the white parts of the sticker. Honestly this might make it easier to search for in the dark than in the daylight"
    Great idea I said reply was `it's no good to you your not flying at night as you can't avoid trees 30 foot away in daylight lol`

    Where do I go from that comment. Once I master video editing I will post the video as another Phantom film my crash so have it from both sides.
     
  17. Skylane765

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    That was GREAT!!
     
  18. Skylane765

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    yes I have a tracker for my dog, I may buy one for the Phantom. See dog tracker made by Qualcomm. It was $100 and you see where it is at on iPhone.

    http://pettracker.com/Microchip-gps-com ... Qgod4TIAzQ. Tagg