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Vision Plus lost

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision + Help' started by proximo, May 13, 2014.

  1. proximo

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    So it happened - my less than 2 week old Vision Plus flew the coop and is gone.

    Here's exactly what happened. The night before I upgraded firmware to 3.0.2. The next day took the Vision out for a flight near my home - which is in a rural, wooded area. There had been a storm earlier in the day but now the air was perfectly calm. There were low clouds (~1500 ft). After getting a satellite lock and green flashing lights I took her up. Flew around at around 600 ft and triggered return-to-home feature. As she had done on every other flight (probably logged 40 flights so far) she dutifully flew back and landed. I decided to go back up with about 70% battery left. I turned the Phantom off at the battery and back on.

    Again, I got green flashing lights with 7 satellites (had 11 once I got off the ground). Flew up a short distance and hovered - all was great. Decided to fly up and film some of the low clouds - started video recording. Flew up slowly directly above me - not moving it in any direction. A friend was there looking on and we were stunned by the beautiful clouds. Got up to around 1800 ft and hovered there. About 3 minutes past when I noticed to my horror the distance indicator at 3000ft!!! (I had previously only made it about 2000ft distance away) I was completely shocked and suddenly felt sick. I knew the battery level was draining - currently at 38%. I initiated RTH by switching the controller off. It started coming back but then lost connection. It regained wifi connection briefly and lost it again. That was the last I saw of it.

    I checked the Find my Phantom feature and raced to the location it gave. There was nothing there. The Phantom still had a wifi connection but could not give me camera or SD card access. We searched the heavily wooded area for hours with no luck. We returned that night hoping to see the lights but again nothing. Went out the next day and walked the entire 3000+ feet between launch area and that location - nothing.

    I understand what I did wrong - I should not have flow up with less than 100% battery. I should have been watching the distance indicator (but I was so used the the rock-solid hover function and GPS stabilized flight). I should have bought a separate GPS tracker (I trusted the Find my Phantom feature would be accurate). Given the distance and battery level I should have tried to land it - gone straight down instead of letting it auto-pilot back.

    I keep wondering though what the real cause of this was. I don't understand how it travelled away so stinking fast! It's possible that even though the air was perfectly still there were very swift winds at higher altitudes. If that were the case the winds would have to be very powerful to push the Phantom that far that fast - 3000 feet in 3-4 minutes. OR the Phantom had a GPS problem and flew north as fast as it could.

    I've thought about buying another Phantom to go out and fly the same course the lost one was flying. Thought there could be a small possibility of seeing it from the air this way. Can you buy a Phantom without controller and battery anywhere? Should I contact DJI and report this? Would they do anything? Any other advice would be welcome.
     
  2. doug86

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    Wow, very sorry for your loss. Just one question: did you say you were at 1800' altitude when things started to go awry, or was that just 1800' away from you? I'm not saying that was the problem, I just want to be sure I understand the story.

    I hope you find it.
     
  3. proximo

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    I was at 1800 ft altitude. I had been flying STRAIGHT up! I then found it was 3000ft away from me too! I had never reached a distance that great (nor would have wanted to!).
     
  4. Madwak

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    Those clouds you were admiring did you notice if they were stationary or moving as this would give you a clue to the high altitude wind speed?
     
  5. jdvmi00

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    Did you go into the clouds? 5.8Ghz does will dropout in the clouds.
     
  6. proximo

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    The ground air was absolutely still. In the FPV the clouds were slowly moving/parting. Above was a thicker cloud ceiling. For some reason I recall the range finder icon showing something odd - like it was fully titled - meaning it was flying very fast one direction. It all happened so fast ... and was so unusual! I had so many successful flights and was so shocked.


    One thing - does anyone know if the Find my Phantom just record the last known position while it had a connection to the Phantom? Or does it show a live updated view of where it is. Like I said it was still connected to wifi for a few hours after it was lost and I hoped it was correct. It's possible it's in the top of a very tall tree that we cannot see at that very spot.
     
  7. RobFallen

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    Really sorry to hear :( I really hope you find it too

    I have just fitted a GPS tracker to mine as after reading some stories I thought it could happen to me so wanted to take some precautions, I am going out to night time test it and the GPS tracker in an hour or so, keep us updated on if you find yours and again good luck
     
  8. proximo

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    It went slightly into the clouds - I could still the ground though. And I triggered RTH before it went further.

    My guess is if there were strong winds the Phantom could not fight them and got blown far away before descending.
     
  9. UrAwFuL

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    Really sorry for your loss. :(

    That's another one added to the list (I swear I'm seeing like at least 1-2 a week).

    Did you leave any contact info on the Phantom? I'd watch over eBay and/or Craigslist (or whatever public selling place there is) to see if any Phantom only bodies are being sold that might be yours.

    TBH, I wouldn't trust the built-in Wi-Fi GPS because so far 3:4 times I've read about flyaways seem to fail.

    I would keep looking if I were you. Keep your hopes up!
     
  10. Doono

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    Location:
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    This is our RC nightmare come true. Buy another one if you can afford it. :|
     
  11. proximo

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    Thanks for the kind words. I, of course, did NOT leave my contact info (stupid me). However, I doubt anyone would ever find it. The area where it went down is a huge 1200 acre tree farm! I spent hours hacking through vines and underbrush searching for it. I also walked up and down service roads. If I get another one I will get a separate GPS tracker and write my contact info.
     
  12. Madwak

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    Isn't there a preset distance limit that's set in the latest software? If you didn't change it then the phantom would have reached that limit and maybe landed itself,Just a thought.
     
  13. SilentAV8R

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    The Phantom was 1,800 feet directly overhead? Which way was the antenna on your transmitter pointing?

    I'll also go on record that flying up that high to cloud base was perhaps not the best decision you could have made. It is also important to know how your failsafe is set and did you see anything on the screen indicating a loss of control (not loss of WiFi)?

    If your failsafe is set to land or the battery went south on you and it just landed itself it could have easily floated away on winds aloft, even if it was dead calm at the surface.

    I've been flying in a Cessna 172 at 2,500 feet and watched cars on the freeway below pass me with an indicated airspeed of 125 mph. So I have no problem believing you flew out of sight and into higher winds than the Phantom can handle with a less than full battery. Proves the old adage that every accident starts at least three mistake before.

    If you get a new one, please don't fly that high and near clouds. Even full scale planes flying VFR are required to be at least 500 feet below cloud base.
     
  14. proximo

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    The antenna was pointing straight up toward the Phantom.

    I understand that flying that high in clouds can be foolish. However, I always have listened carefully for any nearby plane activity. Anytime I hear one I just don't fly or land immediately. We rarely hear aircraft where we are and are not near any airports. You're absolutely correct that flying into clouds that high wasn't smart and I would never do it again. I appreciate your perspective and warning as a real pilot.

    Yes I think the RTH feature kicked in, it fought tough winds and probably made no headway - or was pushed further away north and at 12% descended right where it was. The thing that burns me up is the Find my Phantom feature on the app was not correct. I guess I was too trusting.
     
  15. midwestjeff

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    Yep this story is almost 100% the same flyaway that happened to me. Exact battery level too!

    Crazy!
     
  16. mtpisgah

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    proximo,

    try to remember the wind direction at that time (n,e,w,s,ne,etc.) then start form 3000+/- ft and calc. the vel. x remaining time(minutes)...(review your physics formula)... you can back track it if you get all the info. so that you can narrow down your search and rescue. use a drawing/map to expedite the areas. i hope you find you p2v+ !
     
  17. Great Pumpkin

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    I know that sick feeling of crashing or losing your Phantom. My sympathies.
    Perchance, was your Phantom equipped with the Zenmuse gimbel and GoPro camera?
     
  18. KG4MXV

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    Sorry for your loss,

    when you do replace it keep in mind that the best position for your control antenna is not pointed straight at the craft.

    single element radial omni directional antennas do not radiate their energy from the tip of the antenna.

    it radiates it from the sides. So keep the antenna in a 45% angle to the aircraft and you will have better signal to the craft.

    Now it if was a spiral antenna that would be a different story, those antennas are directional and the radiation pattern is from the tip of the antenna.

    Just something to keep in mind for the future.

    Again sorry for your loss.
    My self I never go above 400 to 500F and I watched the video of my P2V (non plus)
    it was slanted. Because it was going full tilt boogie just to keep its position.
    The wind speed at ground level was badly 10mph but I sure it was close to 20 or higher. at 400f
     
  19. quadcopter

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    I ran my Phantom into a tree branch and broke off about 1/4 inch of one prop. It took off, like a fly away. I was able to save it. The bad prop really messed with the control and it was a real struggle to get it back.

    I wonder if some of the fly aways is prop failure. I wonder how many flights they are good for? You mention 40 flights, Maybe we need to feel the props and see if they tend to bend easier after a certain number of flights. They seem to be pretty cheap plastic and there has to be a lot of pressure and torque on them. Maybe carbon fiber is bad for crash landing and motors but which is worse.? Just saying...
     
  20. XL-Studios

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    These are really good advices!

    Very very sorry for your loss! So so sad!
    It almost happened to me: http://youtu.be/01mznpa339w
    Did you have telemetry?
    Did you notice how many satellites it hade when flying away? (I have a strong feeling it is related to this!)
    Try to search down wind. You local weather center might be able to supply you with exact wind parameters for the altitude that day. Then you can calculate how far it have drifted with your battery level.

    Again very sorry for you!