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5 Ways to Prevent Flyaways
33505 22 2017-3-2 02:04:54
DJI Support
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Everyone fears their drone may unexpectedly fly away and never be seen again. DJI drones are designed to automatically Return to Home (RTH) if you lose RC signal. However, some pilots have experienced what is often called a "flyway." According to users' flight data, the vast majority of flyaways are caused by several common pilot errors. Here are five simple steps you can take to prevent your drone from flying away.

1. Make Sure a Home Point has been Set

If you want your aircraft to automatically return home, make sure a home point is set before you take off! You'll need at least 4 GPS signal bars. Once a Home Point is set, you'll see a prompt in the app, and a green Home Point icon will appear on your map.

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2. Watch Out for Compass Interference

GPS signal is necessary but not sufficient for your drone to return to home safely. Your drone’s compass also needs to be relatively free from interference. GPS only determines the drone’s location; the compass determines its orientation. If you initiate RTH, your aircraft will turn its head and fly back to the Home Point. But if it doesn’t know which way to turn, it may end up flying somewhere else.
The DJI GO app will warn you if compass interference is too great. You can also see the amount of interference in your area in MC Settings – General – Compass. The Mavic and newer DJI drones have redundant compasses, but if one or both of them are in the red, it’s a good idea to recalibrate, or move to an area with less interference.

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3. Keep Your Drone Within Line of Sight

Your drone is much less likely to crash or get lost if you can see it with your own eyes. There are good reasons why flying within line of sight is included in the FAA’s UAV operation rules. Monitoring your drone solely through your live video feed is never a good idea. If you do this, you won’t be able to see what’s behind or to either side of your drone. Sometimes “flyways” are just accidents resulting from the drone not being visible. Fly within line of sight and stay safe!  

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4. Reset Your Home Point if You’re Moving

As long as you have sufficient GPS signal, your Home Point will be set automatically when you take off. However, it won’t reset automatically if you move around. If you’re driving in a car or moving in a boat, you’ll need to reset your Home Point periodically. This gif shows you one way to reset your Home Point:

04.gif


5. Set an Appropriate RTH Altitude

Even though DJI’s newer drones have vision systems that allow the drones to fly over or around obstacles during RTH, it’s still a good idea to set an RTH Altitude. For one, the obstacle sensors won’t work in low-light situations, and pure glass surfaces and water may not be detected. Also, the obstacle avoidance sensors may not detect thin objects like tree branches or power lines.

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2017-3-2 02:04:54
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fans6916e6f9
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Canada
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One of the most useful tips not mentioned is. Learn how to fly line of sight without the need of GPS.  So if something goes wrong you can manually take over and control the drone and not just blindly depend on autopilot and return to home to save you. The truth is no computer system made by any company in the world works 100% of the time so you having the skills to save your drone when technology fails is important.
2017-3-4 08:01:26
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fansf8cb6503
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fans6916e6f9 Posted at 2017-3-4 08:01
One of the most useful tips not mentioned is. Learn how to fly line of sight without the need of GPS.  So if something goes wrong you can manually take over and control the drone and not just blindly depend on autopilot and return to home to save you. The truth is no computer system made by any company in the world works 100% of the time so you having the skills to save your drone when technology fails is important.

Agree - Nothing worse than hearing the words "ATTI Mode" and not knowing what to do!
2017-3-4 12:14:28
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Omega1DX
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fansf8cb6503 Posted at 2017-3-4 12:14
Agree - Nothing worse than hearing the words "ATTI Mode" and not knowing what to do!

Truthfully this; I didn't think much of it until I pieced together a FPV racer. Learning to fly that (no GPS, GLONASS, or avoidance options) has made me much more confident flying my Mavic. It pays to learn "manual" flying.
2017-3-5 12:54:38
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fans4c127145
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Too bad ATTI is not available for the Mavic.
2017-3-5 20:09:40
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QuantX
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Thank you for this!  Always helpful to get more tips to NOT crash.  :-P
2017-3-11 06:38:21
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ProQuad
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Omega1DX Posted at 2017-3-5 12:54
Truthfully this; I didn't think much of it until I pieced together a FPV racer. Learning to fly that (no GPS, GLONASS, or avoidance options) has made me much more confident flying my Mavic. It pays to learn "manual" flying.

Omega,

TOTALLY and 1000% agree with you.  I started off flying a small quad with NO GPS and then I built 3 of them just to help educate myself.  Crashing one of those is a lot less painful and inexpensive enough to help learn the ins and outs of a quad so when I hear "atti mode" I don't freak out.
2017-3-11 17:29:11
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ProQuad
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Omega1DX Posted at 2017-3-5 12:54
Truthfully this; I didn't think much of it until I pieced together a FPV racer. Learning to fly that (no GPS, GLONASS, or avoidance options) has made me much more confident flying my Mavic. It pays to learn "manual" flying.

Omega,

TOTALLY and 1000% agree with you.  I started off flying a small quad with NO GPS and then I built 3 of them just to help educate myself.  Crashing one of those is a lot less painful and inexpensive enough to help learn the ins and outs of a quad so when I hear "atti mode" I don't freak out.
2017-3-11 17:29:39
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Dmitry495
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ProQuad Posted at 2017-3-11 17:29
Omega,

TOTALLY and 1000% agree with you.  I started off flying a small quad with NO GPS and then I built 3 of them just to help educate myself.  Crashing one of those is a lot less painful and inexpensive enough to help learn the ins and outs of a quad so when I hear "atti mode" I don't freak out.

ProQuad,

Which drones would you advice to build to practice basic flying skills? I have a small Syma 5XC that is nice to fly indoors - never does any damage or/and crushes itself. But it is too light to fly outdoors.
2017-3-14 08:48:02
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RichJ53
First Officer
United States
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Good information and nicely done.

Thanks for sharing
Rich
2017-3-14 09:08:14
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fans22667133
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I have never used RTH. I think I feed much better being in control.
Still, great tips.
2017-3-14 10:59:51
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ProQuad
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Dmitry495 Posted at 2017-3-14 08:48
ProQuad,

Which drones would you advice to build to practice basic flying skills? I have a small Syma 5XC that is nice to fly indoors - never does any damage or/and crushes itself. But it is too light to fly outdoors.

Dmitry,

I have had that same one, flew it outdoors in light wind to help myself learn how to control it.  I also had the Dromada (SP?) and then I bought a kit from Amazon (Arris 250) and put that together from scratch.  I think any one of those would work.
2017-3-14 15:11:11
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seeker_ktf_
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Dmitry495 Posted at 2017-3-14 08:48
ProQuad,

Which drones would you advice to build to practice basic flying skills? I have a small Syma 5XC that is nice to fly indoors - never does any damage or/and crushes itself. But it is too light to fly outdoors.

I fly an X5C outdoors all the time.  That was the copter that got me into more expensive ones.

If you replace the antenna on the transmitter (Youtube has good instructions) you can get a good range on them... several hundred feet LOS.  It's plenety of distance to practice.

The nice thing about them is you can buy the copter only directly from China for around $40, so even if it flies away, you're only out $40.  Not that I'm <cough> speaking from experience <ahem> or anything.
2017-3-14 18:28:56
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Dmitry495
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ProQuad Posted at 2017-3-14 15:11
Dmitry,

I have had that same one, flew it outdoors in light wind to help myself learn how to control it.  I also had the Dromada (SP?) and then I bought a kit from Amazon (Arris 250) and put that together from scratch.  I think any one of those would work.

ProQuad,

Thanks. I will try this also.
2017-3-15 00:36:20
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Dmitry495
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seeker_ktf_ Posted at 2017-3-14 18:28
I fly an X5C outdoors all the time.  That was the copter that got me into more expensive ones.

If you replace the antenna on the transmitter (Youtube has good instructions) you can get a good range on them... several hundred feet LOS.  It's plenety of distance to practice.

Seeker_ktf_,

Replacing antenna sounds like a very good idea and easy to do. Do you remember search wording for youtube? Something like "replacing RC antenna for Syma 5XC"? Thanks
2017-3-15 00:44:31
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NovW
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"This gif shows you one way to reset your Home Point: "
combined with
"Your user group can not download or view attachments"

yup. Nice!
2017-3-15 02:19:40
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seeker_ktf_
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Dmitry495 Posted at 2017-3-15 00:44
Seeker_ktf_,

Replacing antenna sounds like a very good idea and easy to do. Do you remember search wording for youtube? Something like "replacing RC antenna for Syma 5XC"? Thanks

There are a number videos that you can use depending on your skill with a soldng iron.  The simpler methods use an antenna salvaged from an old wifi router.  Look for "Syma wifi antenna."  It was all the rage two years ago.  There are other methods that just replace the wire that acts as the antenna, but they are actually me complicated becase you have to measure the wire length exactly or it dosn't work right.
2017-3-16 18:03:34
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robd0gg
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Dmitry495 Posted at 2017-3-14 08:48
ProQuad,

Which drones would you advice to build to practice basic flying skills? I have a small Syma 5XC that is nice to fly indoors - never does any damage or/and crushes itself. But it is too light to fly outdoors.

I bought the Syma 8XG specifically because it was the same size/form factor as the Phantom that I intended to purchase later (which I did).  The 8G also comes with an ok-ish GoPro type box camera that for nothing else, at least is useful for confirming some of your flight training
2017-3-17 07:59:32
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Michael Miami S
Student Pilot
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A feature making the home point update regularly would be a great thing to have as a choice. The phone has a gps built in so it feels like it would be easy to do. maybe Im missing something. But it feels like something I would like to be able to turn on. Automatic Home point update.
2017-3-17 10:15:08
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FrequentFlyer
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Michael Miami S Posted at 2017-3-17 10:15
A feature making the home point update regularly would be a great thing to have as a choice. The phone has a gps built in so it feels like it would be easy to do. maybe Im missing something. But it feels like something I would like to be able to turn on. Automatic Home point update.

you can have the aircraft return to the location of the controller, if thats what you mean.
3 days ago
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Michael Miami S
Student Pilot
United States
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Sure. But I wouldn't like to think about updating my homepoint when Im out driving my boat for instance. Since the boat hopefully moves forward. The homepoint needs to be updated. It would be neat if you had the option to do that automatically.
2 days ago
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LICENSED PILOT
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United States
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Bet these account for 99.99% of the mysterious fly away. Once I hit RTH on my I1P and freaked out when it did a 180 and began to "fffffly away". I got my  wits about me, flicked over to ATTI and flew home. (don't know what caused it but I can't be sure I always wait for the "the home point has been located, please check it on the map." message.....Fortunately, another "mysterious fly away" chapter to the legend was avoided.
1 day ago
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LICENSED PILOT
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fans6916e6f9 Posted at 2017-3-4 08:01
One of the most useful tips not mentioned is. Learn how to fly line of sight without the need of GPS.  So if something goes wrong you can manually take over and control the drone and not just blindly depend on autopilot and return to home to save you. The truth is no computer system made by any company in the world works 100% of the time so you having the skills to save your drone when technology fails is important.

Flying BLOS will bite you in the butt eventually...
1 day ago
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