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Yet another lost Phantom

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by bonerfortuna, Apr 12, 2013.

  1. bonerfortuna

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    Lost my Phantom the other night due to some stupid mistakes I made. First I did a compass recalibration before takeoff and unfortunately didn't return switch to GPS like I thought. Second the weather was dodgy but I was getting good and wanted practice in the wind. Third I went up too high looking to film and it got away fast when a huge gust came thru. It took off over the local woods and almost immediately went out of sight. I turned off the transmitter and waited instead of heading towards the area it went thinking RTH would kick in. It rained that entire night and my GoPRO was not in the waterproof case. I think I'm doomed but holding out hope as my number and REWARD is marked on it. My question is what happens when you power down the transmitter and the Phantom is in attitude mode, does power stay on till the battery dies or do the motors power down after the unit loses connection ? This thing could be lots farther away than I was looking . Thanks Peter
     
  2. Eik

    Eik

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    The mode you are flying in doesn't matter. You got 4 modes, GPS, Atti, Manual and Fail-Safe, whatever mode you are in, if you turn off the tx, it should fall back to Fail-Safe, whos default option is RTH.

    Did you verify that home position was set before flying?
     
  3. bonerfortuna

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    I thought that I did, I had a flashing green and waited probably 30 seconds before sending it up. Once in the wind gust it seems unresponsive but I couldn't tell if it was just fighting the wind or out of control. It happened quick so battery life should not have been an issue. If it really fought off the wind and didn't fly off into the sunset I will have a fighting chance of finding it, even if its waterlogged and shot.
     
  4. Sac D

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    I hope you can find it, or that someone who does calls you.

    By now, DJI should be advising people to put their contact info on Phantoms. That would be a responsible thing for them to do, without having to admit they have a problem with their product.
     
  5. Gizmo3000

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    They should include multiple address labels in the package and such.

    hope this Phantom turns up, please keep us posted!
     
  6. RDTague

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    You have to keep in mind current voltage in the battery. Your phantom may very well have been Returning To Home, but just didn't have enough battery to get "back home."
     
  7. lyricon

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    I can see this happening more than people think.
    I had an experience a couple of days ago. It was pretty windy, gusty. Just got the Hero 3 and wanted to see what I could get.
    I knew if the quad was trying to hover it would be very rough video so I started up wind with the quad aimed to the side and let the wind carry it down the field a bit in ATTi mode. Worked well for a while but as is always the case the wind is faster at altitude.
    The Phantom started moving away fast so I had to climb to miss trees at the end of the field. Switched to GPS. It seemed to still be moving away so I switched to home lock and pull the stick toward me.
    It took a while to respond. It did but was fighting a pretty strong wind. Once clear if the trees I reduced altitude a bit. It came back fine.
    I thin its very easy to lose orientation at distance and in wind. I also think its easy to misjudge winds aloft. Some of these list phantoms could just be because the upper level winds were just too much. The video I got showed the phantom at a steep angle and buffeting. It was working quite hard. The wind at ground level was much less, deceivingly so.
    I think my max altitude might have been 100'. Max distance from me was 500'. Didn't take long to get there.

    I wonder how much power is applied when in RTH. I had to hit max to get it back while fighting the wind. I likely didn't need max but to get visual conformation it was moving toward me it seemed needed.
    Anyway thought I would share that. The wind is your friend but it can turn on you.

    Cheers.
     
  8. FangsCPO

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    What I don't understand is why fly if the wind is so strong? I have an APP on my phone that tells me the wind's mph, if it's above 15mph, all flights are grounded.
     
  9. lyricon

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    Very true about flying in strong wind. Quite often though the ground wind seems mild but the winds @ 100' are quite different. I knew I was pushing it on the day I discribed. I don't feel I was out if control at any point. I can just see how things could go bad fast if the quad got into some wind that wasn't being experienced on the ground. Add to that a mistake with orientation and the quad could go further. All the videos I've seen of the RTH function the quad is approaching slowly. I wonder how much it can compensate for wind when returning home? Could this explain some of the lost quads? Certainly this doesn't apply to the ones that flay away at full throttle.
     
  10. jdawson

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    15 MPH is pushing it ... I think I wouldn't fly much above 10 MPH.

    And as someone pointed out 15 MPH at ground level ... it could easily be twice that at 100 feet.

    Joe
     
  11. Gizmo3000

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    what app is that? (or is it just a weather app showing local wind-speed?).

    it's very tough to guage windspeed, especially if you're taking off from a wind protected area, gusts can be much more extreme just a few dozen feet above ground.
    (and easily get out of control if you mistakenly get out of GPS mode or if the Phantom loses GPS signal somehow).

    I was flying in what I thought was a modest breeze last weekend,. but only 20ft up my Phantom didn't seem to want to respond. blew over a fence and landed on a neighbors roof!@#) (thought I put her down in the street).
     
  12. DomKane

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    I use "WindFinder" on iOS. It's pretty handy!

    <10mph is fine, >15<20mph and I'm alright at low levels in a park surrounded by trees, >20mph and its a big gamble.
     
  13. FangsCPO

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    The one is use is called WindAlert - The Google Play Store - Free. It shows you quickly the winds mph and direction. Can't go wrong.
     
  14. GeneL

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    I've been thinking about making a post about winds and possible Phantom trouble because of them for some time. I don't be any means think that winds are the sole cause of flyaways, but I would like to relate this and let you decide.

    I put in about 350 hours flying scale gliders back in the 90's, and have had some first hand experiences with winds near the surface that most folks don't get to study, even as a power pilots. To support exactly what lyricon said, the wind on the ground may be quite different than they are not too far over your head.

    So, I used to fly at Calistoga, CA, and in the wintertime after a front moved through a dandy mountain wave often built near the field. The wave above about 4,000' was sometimes very strong, with 200-300 ft./min. lift, and I was once at 14,000', still climbing when I had to quite because we didn't have oxygen. That's how good the wave was there at times. For grins, you may want to google "mountain wave" and "wave rotor" if you aren't familiar with those terms.

    Below 3,000', though, the "rotor" could be vicious. The fast moving tumbling air made the tow up through the rotor to get to the laminar flow air of the wave "Mr. Frog's Wild Ride" for sure. On such days I can remember it could be completely calm at the surface, and then the rotor would dip down and toss garbage cans around like sandwich wrappers. Then, the rotor would recede and leave placid air underneath for awhile.

    So, my point is that a person could have come there on such a day and launched a Phantom into fine, sunny weather in complete confidence, and then had it utterly clobbered 100' over their head seemingly out of nowhere. I can pretty much guarantee those conditions would have been big trouble for something as light as a quad.

    Of course, mountain waves don't exist just anywhere, and they don't regularly toss garbage cans if they are present. However, my point is that winds aloft are very variable, especially around terrain - and the terrain doesn't have to be in close proximity. What's to do about that? I don't know. To determine what's up there, you pretty much have to go there, which is the problem. Just be aware of the potential for trouble, and try to be ready to react if you bird starts acting strangely. That's my plan anyway.

    Sorry for the long post.

    P.S. Another tip about winds - don't fly straight at objects (like a house, or even a tall wall) from downwind. The downward component of the airflow will likely drive you right into it before you can veer away. As one instructor described the situation, "you'll be looking right at the spot you're going to die!" Since he put it so nicely, I have never forgotten it.
     
  15. GearLoose

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    All I know about wind is that it tends to blow my hat off, so I really appreciate your post and will take it to heart when I fly.
     
  16. Sac D

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    I encountered some crazy wind patterns last month near our place in Hawaii. On the west coast of the Big Island, you have the effect of the ocean and offshore currents, which naturally impact the localized areas along the coast, but the wind created is also impacted crossing over black lava fields which heat up dramatically as the sun beats down through the day. Add the effect of the swirling patterns created on an island formed by 5 volcanoes (two of which tower over 13,000 feet), and it's a recipe for insanity for pilots. Some of the safest flying I did there was up between 500' and 1,500' in the coffee country, which is perpetually overcast due to all the moisture being released as the clouds are pushed up the mountain, which tends to eliminate the gusting and swirling found down below. Of course, you do get drizzled on and often rained on... but the wind is much more predictable up there.
    By the time I left, I still had respect for wind, but wasn't as fearful as I had previously been. I also lost most of my fear of flying over water, but that is a story for another post some time.
     
  17. Kelso Kubat

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    Todat i let my over confidence get the best of me and tried to fly in the wind. it 10-20 with 40+ gusts. got to see it do some funky things in the air trying to compensate i won't ever be trying a stupid stunt like that again... anybody know why the phantom does that side to side death drop crash??? :shock:
     
  18. Hawkeye 1

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    Yes it's called Vortex Ring State, VRS, and it happens when you try to descend too fast straight down. You get caught in the rotor wash(dirty air) below the aircraft and lose lift. You always need to descend with some other movement, forward, back or sideways, so this doesn't happen. Google it and you'll get a better explanation but you'll find it's the cause of many Phantom crashes.
     
  19. Garysam

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  20. FangsCPO

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    I don't see why DJI needs to provide address labels. I believe that's on us as pilots to be smart enough to figure that one out. Espeically after reading on hear about all those fly-aways. Come on people, quit blaming DJI for stuff or saying DJI should.... It's an expensive toy that we bought and let's be honest...some of us tend to fly in somewhat risky situations....including me.

    I recently took my F550 for a swim. I won't post in this thread since this is the wrong thread for that DJI product. Just look for it in the "Other DJI Multi Rotors". It was sad but a pretty cool video. :lol: Enjoy!!

    Suprisingly the HERO3 still works but the lens is cloudy.