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Went into the water in circles after Connection Lost

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision + Discussion' started by LarasLTU, Jun 29, 2014.

  1. LarasLTU

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    That was my 4th flight with new Phantom Vision plus when after ~10 minutes of flight connection dropped at ~400 meters distance and it started going down in circles and after 20-30 seconds it disappeared in the middle of the river (I was not able to recover it). I don't remember much from my phone: it had 398m distance, 9 satellites, 60% phantom battery and few seconds after that some error that connection lost.

    I was really in shock, although I don't feel myself a novice pilot: had more than 100 flights with Phantom 1st, reading this forum for 1 year. Of course I want to understand the possible root cause for such behavior, but I will never be so confident anymore about DJI products, although was quite skeptical about flyaways before my crash.

    I'm trying to find the answer to 2 questions:
    A. Why connection was dropped at 400m, although I have switched controlled to FFC mode (and controller beeped twice when turned on)?
    B. Why after connection lost it didn't return home, but started immediately landing in circles down? I'm sure I had GPS lock, home point registered and 9 satellites before take off, both S1 and S2 sticks in the top position.

    Looking back I can find/point some areas where I could do better, but I still don't believe the below actions would prevent me from losing my bird some time later:

    1. I didn't connect Phantom Vision plus to the PC after purchase and I wanted to check how it flies before making any updates/customization. I do believe Return to Home when connection is lost is enabled by default, isn't it? This means I was flying with "stock" parameters and it was OK for the first 3 flights.

    2. I didn't calibrate the Compass before the 4th flight (I did it during the very first flight when Phantom arrived). I don't have excuse for this and fought would calibrate in case I would see any deviation when lift off. I'm always monitoring the first 30 seconds and keeping bird close before making a distance. I didn't see any issues and it was very stable.

    3. I didn't want to go so far, especially over the water, but friend of mine asked to show me the view over the constructions on the other side of the river and I couldn't withstand. I didn't expect RTH would activate in 400m.

    4. I had screen recording application installed on my phone, but didn't enable it before the flight - this could bring much more info/background about the situation and parameters.

    5. I had too much confidence and couldn't believe something wrong could happen - I personally do believe it was the biggest mistake of mine and you should never come to this mode/attitude when flying DJI products.

    What is your view / analysis on this situation? Are you sure after implementing the 5 points above I would avoid the crash? What is the safest way to test RTH functionality for Vision plus? At least for Phantom v1 I had a string attached and activated RTH manually by switching the controller off when having phantom few meters away...

    Let it be another lesson to all of us...

    Thank you all for the comments.

    LarasLTU
     
  2. JWarren

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    I didn't calibrate the Compass before the 4th flight

    I do believe you have your answer there. The circling is a sure sign of a compass calibration problem. Did it say anything at all on the screen after "Connection Lost"? Sorry for your loss, that really is a tough one!

    Regards,
    J.
     
  3. plasmo

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    Can u clarify, when you say you didn't do a compass calibration before the 4th flight, I am assuming you are talking about the "compass dance" right? (Not imu calibration I am assuming). If that's the case, I agree with above poster.
     
  4. LarasLTU

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    Yes, I mean i didn't do "compass dance". I still can't believe this would cause the issue, because I was very rarely doing it with Phantom v1 and it was OK (I mean I was doing it only when location changed, i.e. driving to other city). In addition, I do believe if there were issues with compass I wouldn't have first stable 10 minutes - don't you?
     
  5. phantomguy

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    Just FYI. If you had previously done a successfull compass calibration anywhere even remotely near where this last flight was? YOu should not have needed a recalibration unless something had altered the calibration.
     
  6. andrew

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    Sorry to hear about this, I'm sure it really sucks. Each time I fly I'm concerned I'm going to lose it, sort of takes some of the fun away from it. I do ensure I go through a checklist, do everything I can to prevent problems. If something does happen, at least I'm somewhat confident it was a malfunction I likely could not have avoided.
     
  7. syotr

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    Sorry you lost it. I understand your frustration. The only error I see is flying over water with no floats or means of recovery.
    You don't need to recalibrate the compass every flight. The Phantom should warn you if it needs calibration.
    My Phantom 1 went nuts today, flew off and crashed, ruining a new gimbal. Damage to the bird was minor and it flies after recalibration. Fortunately, I was not over water.
     
  8. flyNfrank

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    I lost one a couple months ago similar to what you experienced. I know there is very little that will cheer you up short of a tracking number of a new one in shipping to your house. One thing I noticed in reading your explanation, you never mentioned what you were doing while watching the copter descend? I would find it hard to believe if someone said they just stood and stared at it. At this point I'm guessing what you were doing at this time, has to do with why your copter reacted as it did, as well as failing to enter RTH.

    You should pull some resources together and get another one. I think about what I would be doing if I didn't have my vPlus to mess with, and I'm sure whatever it would be, it would cost me more then what I have been spending on this hobby.
     
  9. BlackTracer

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    I am very sorry about what happened to you. It is not your fault as it sounds as if you did everything right. Although you did mention you never tested RTH. I am fairly sure it defaults to come home and land not just land. Not 100% on that one. One thing I always do every flight is test my home point. I fly in naza. I test my home point with HL from about 100' away just as an extra precaution. I have never had it not fly to where I thought home was when doing this. So I can't really say the precaution has paid off. I have also never had a bird initiated RTH. Again sorry about the loss.
     
  10. mikeve

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    Sorry for your loss.

    Not sure about P2V+, but my P1 out of the box did NOT have RTH activated, it was just land. I had to change it over.

    Is it possible the circling was TBE as it was descending to "land".
     
  11. LarasLTU

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    > Thanks bro, your words are right to the point and that is exactly how I feel.
     
  12. LarasLTU

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    > Thanks mate - I think it's a good point you mentioned to test Home point with HL in Naza mode. It should come back to the same point if RTH is activated (which doesn't seem the case in my example).
     
  13. Mori55

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    I don't understand why you wouldn't hook it up on the pc and check it before flying ? First thing I do is run the assistant and check everything , calibrate sticks , check and make sure failsafe is working , I even do an advanced imu calibration.
    Never assume anything.
    How do you know it wasn't in auto land instead of RTH ?
    If you didn't activate naza mode you don't have home lock or course lock activated. The + comes in phantom mode , you have to switch off the transmitter if you want to manually activate RTH.
     
  14. Phantom_Menace66

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    Sorry to hear that your Phantom decided it would go swimming. I believe you asked why the connection may have been broken/lost at 400m range? This may or may not have anything to do with your unfortunate incident and I don't know how much truth there is to it, but I have read reports of some anomaly occurring when flying over water. In particular, over calm water that is reflective like a mirror. The GPS signal is said to 'bounce' off the surface of the water, so the Phantom is receiving conflicting GPS signals from above and below.
    However, I have seen many videos filmed flying over water and have done it myself, albeit not over calm water.

    Just a thought....
     
  15. LarasLTU

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    > I have no excuse for that, however I do believe RTH should come from stock, as this was advertised from the very first Phantom and therefore asked other owners what was their setting - otherwise DJI should take responsibility. Basically I wanted to have few tries with stock settings, as I was not sure I want to update firmware due to many discussions. I can agree that you can connect it to the PC for check IMU and do GPS calibration every time before the flight, but I don't believe that not doing this should have the consequences I had.

    I encourage new pilots to avoid 5 mistakes I identified by myself, but as somebody mentioned most of us don't hear it and on the other hand sort of paranoia is increasing and we are loosing the pleasure while flying our toy.
     
  16. Mori55

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    I know a couple of times I've hooked up to assitant and went in to the failsafe page and notice it wasn't checked. Now I don't know if this happens when I plugged in or not.
    So I double check that everytime.
    I agree that it seems everytime we fly it seems like a crap shoot. Seems as if DJI gets off easy with this.
     
  17. LarasLTU

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    Can the owners of Vision plus share their original/stock setup - was RTH activated by default or this is varying?

    BTW, case was opened at DJI for possible flyaway/HW issue and so far the support from where I purchased Vision plus (electronicarc.com) is very good. I have very little hope however about the possible outcome.... at least some hope.

    Will share the outcome anyway.