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Urgent - Phantom 3 standard flew away!
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1688 101 2017-7-31 06:25:44
Hans Sanchez
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Hello all, please bare with me as I am having a very difficult time and I'm also new to this Forum.

I will try my best to keep this as short as possible. I have had a severe Drone incident and I am quite frankly devastated.

I was flying my DJI Phantom 3 Standard out in the woods and decided to manually land it once the battery reached 30%. I manually landed it to within touching distance
of my hand. Then, all of a sudden, when I pressed "land" on my DJI Go App. the aircract went up and flew away from me at a speed I have never seen it go before.
It disappeared out of my eyesight view. Gone. Haven't seen it since. On the flight path video I can clearly see the aircract turning around to face me - that was me
trying to control it with the controller and bring it back but to no avail. It faced me, but still was moving away from me very fast. Anyway, I lost visual on the app as well.
I found out via the flight path that it crash landed in the woods at 10% battery, 55m height. Therefore I believe it crash landed in a tree. Rgeardless, I've spent 2 days looking
for it in the muddy woods but it's not there. Possibilities: wind blew it out of the tree and into the river, a passerby spotted it and took it, or it didn't crash where it says it did.
The co-ordinates took me to the exact spot it was supposed to be but nope, nothing.

On the flight path video, it can be seen that I tried to press "set remote controller as home point" but even after I did that; the aircraft continued to fly away from me.

Anyway, I've filed a report with DJI and sent them all the information requested, they just got back to me today telling me they've received it and it will take some time to analyse.

What I want to know is - what is DJI's resolution for something like this? I cannot be the only person this has happened to. Apparently it is to be deteremined whether it was a system malfunction or pilot error but it was clearly NOT pilot error! I know they have to analyse the data so it's not a case of whether I can "convince" them that it wasn't my fault, but they will see on the data that it wasn't. I shouldn't be worried, but I still am. I'll spare you the sob story of how long it took me to accquire this aircraft. If it does come back as system malfunction - then what? I can't have lost this very expensive aircraft, through no fault of my own, and just accept the fact it's gone just like that.

Apologies if the post sounds hostile but if you've dealt with car insurance companies then I'm sure you'll relate the the belief that companies will try their very best to NOT help the consumer.

Any responses with help or past experience would be greatly appreciated. Do not mind answering any questions if any user needs a bit more clarity on the situation. Thanks in advance.
2017-7-31 06:25:44
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timnwcove
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sorry for the loss of your phantom.    toggling s1 into atti for a few seconds might have saved the bird. i do hope things go well with your dji case.
2017-7-31 06:37:04
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ALABAMA
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Sure you didn't press RTH by mistake?
2017-7-31 06:56:17
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JackA
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Post your flight data, there are many forum members who can then give you recommendations.  
2017-7-31 07:05:12
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Hans Sanchez
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ALABAMA Posted at 2017-7-31 06:56
Sure you didn't press RTH by mistake?

What the DJI customer service agent (very friendly may I add) seems to suggest is that I did this. However, in the flight data it can be seen that I set "remote controller as home location", therefore assuming it would return to where I was holding the controller, but it didn't. Nevertheless it crash landed very very very far away from the "H" on the map which it seemed to be trying to return to.
2017-7-31 07:55:24
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Mark The Droner
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Sorry for your troubles.

Upload your log here and post the link:

http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/Upload/

site credit:  msinger
2017-7-31 08:28:52
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G_Sig
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Did your phone have full GPS in the wood? If the phone don't have good GPS signal that will not work. It will use the home point it took of from.
2017-7-31 12:17:20
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Geebax
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While waiting for the log, may I ask why you did not continue to manually land the aircraft, rather than get it partly there and then press 'Land'?
2017-7-31 15:18:53
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Labroides
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Your app has a "black box" data recorder that can often explain what happened and may even point to the crash location.
If you want help, people will need to see actual flight data.

Go to http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/Upload/
Follow the instructions to upload your flight record.
Come back and post a link to the report it provides.

2017-7-31 16:36:35
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DJI Susan
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Sorry to hear the accident. That must have been frustrating for you. Could you PM me your case number?  I will check the exact status.
2017-7-31 20:26:22
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Mark The Droner
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I guess it wasn't that urgent after all
2017-8-1 02:08:17
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Hans Sanchez
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DJI Susan Posted at 2017-7-31 20:26
Sorry to hear the accident. That must have been frustrating for you. Could you PM me your case number?  I will check the exact status.

Just PM'd you
2017-8-1 02:13:45
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Hans Sanchez
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Mark The Droner Posted at 2017-8-1 02:08
I guess it wasn't that urgent after all

Sorry - Just uploaded it. Was having trouble downloading itunes on my laptop, have never had itunes before.  Plus I didn't think many people would even check my forum post so I haven't checked it since yesterday.
2017-8-1 02:15:11
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Hans Sanchez
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Hello - for all those asking, this is the log I've uploaded of the incident:

http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/F1WRCU4CBCQGBKP3W9DV/
2017-8-1 02:18:51
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ALABAMA
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Why didn't you charge battery before taking off ? 36 percent is kind of risky for a mission start
2017-8-1 04:18:18
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Labroides
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Hans Sanchez Posted at 2017-8-1 02:18
Hello - for all those asking, this is the log I've uploaded of the incident:

http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/F1WRCU4CBCQGBKP3W9DV/

That flight looks quite risky right from the start when you launched at 36% battery.
When you were bringing the Phantom back at 4:24.8 it was 40 ft above the home point and the home point was reset to a point 2454 feet away.
This must have been when you say you pushed the Land button.
Because you had a Max Distance set, the Phantom now thinks it's outside the max distance from it's new home point and goes to return to home.
It looks like you cancelled the RTH but not the Max Distance limit at 4:44.2.
You messed around with the altitude a bit and RTH began again at 4:59.1
By now the battery is at 18% and you are 2072 feet away from the new "home" with lots of water in the area.
You cancel RTH again at 5:08.9 and take it up to 300 feet !! (not a good move with a very low battery)
RTH starts again at 5:44.6 ... perhaps you initiated it not ealising the Phantom is trying to go to a distant "home".
You cancel again at 5:59 and take it up to 376 feet but still don't try to bring it back.
At 6:12.3 withh a critically low battery alarm 13%, the Phantom starts autolanding.
There are a few messages indicating that you tried to change flight modes but you did not have Multiple Flight Modes enabled in the app.
It's not clear what you were trying to do but it's too late anyway.
The Phantom is just about out of power and is only going to autoland.
The flight record ends with the Phantom 183 feet up in the air and 1007 ft from the new "home"

It is landing at 51.46694  -0.546680 at a point only about 11 metres from the water's edge.
This is about 1500 ft NNE of where you launched.

Somehow you managed to reset the home point when you thought you were telling it to land.
You would have had a chance to regain control if you had then reset the homepoint again to where you were or even where the Phantom was and brought it back.
Launching with the battery at 36% is also a huge mistake.  You should only ever fly with a fully charged battery.
2017-8-1 04:33:20
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Hans Sanchez
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Labroides Posted at 2017-8-1 04:33
That flight looks quite risky right from the start when you launched at 36% battery.
When you were bringing the Phantom back at 4:24.8 it was 40 ft above the home point and the home point was reset to a point 2454 feet away.
This must have been when you say you pushed the Land button.

Not that it makes much difference now but when I launched it at 36% the aim was only to keep it above me where I was  - I wanted to take a photo of an abandoned train track from above.

I of course would never have flown it on such low battery at such distances! The thought of it disappearing so far so quickly did not cross my mind.

I still don't understand how and why it's reset to a home point so far away if I am pressing "set home as remote controller location".

From the report; can you ( or anyone reading this ) speculate as to what may have happened to it? The woods are abandoned so I doubt someone has taken it, it looks to have crash landed just far enough away from the water to have landed in it....at this point it looks like the only option left is to go back and look for it again. Is the final registered point where it should be? Or could it be somewhere else? And if it could be somewhere else - it can't be that far away from the registered final point.
2017-8-1 05:13:45
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Hans Sanchez
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Labroides Posted at 2017-8-1 04:33
That flight looks quite risky right from the start when you launched at 36% battery.
When you were bringing the Phantom back at 4:24.8 it was 40 ft above the home point and the home point was reset to a point 2454 feet away.
This must have been when you say you pushed the Land button.

and with regards to messing around with the controller - that was a state of sheer panic. My drone had gone from being above my head, to disappearing rapidly in the space of seconds, I did not know what else to do. I mean, if canceling the landing didn't work, I was out of logical ideas and just tried to bring it back to me and regain control of it manually
2017-8-1 05:15:05
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Labroides
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Hans Sanchez Posted at 2017-8-1 05:13
Not that it makes much difference now but when I launched it at 36% the aim was only to keep it above me where I was  - I wanted to take a photo of an abandoned train track from above.

I of course would never have flown it on such low battery at such distances! The thought of it disappearing so far so quickly did not cross my mind.

That point I gave is where the Phantom was descending but it may have hit branches and bounced around a bit on the way down.
Put the position in a GPS and walk to it and start walking in circles around the area and loooking upwards.
How tall are the trees there?
2017-8-1 05:26:52
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ALABAMA
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Labroides is spot on as usual.  Might as well chalk up this unfortunate episode to experience and buy another. Clearly user error.  Don't feel bad, we've all
been there.
2017-8-1 05:43:16
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darren3005
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That area looks pretty near to heathrow aiprport, infact it looks directly inline with the south runway.

BTW sorry to hear about your drone
2017-8-1 06:00:36
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Porktree
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Weren't there some major issues with the Android app randomly resetting the homepoint to someplace other than where the AC took off? Or was that fixed?
2017-8-1 06:16:06
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kndll
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Porktree Posted at 2017-8-1 06:16
Weren't there some major issues with the Android app randomly resetting the homepoint to someplace other than where the AC took off? Or was that fixed?

That was version 3.1.2 , fixed with 3.1.3 , current version 3.1.8
2017-8-1 07:00:11
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fans7b66e855
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timnwcove Posted at 2017-7-31 06:37
sorry for the loss of your phantom.    toggling s1 into atti for a few seconds might have saved the bird. i do hope things go well with your dji case.

Good advice, I'll try to remember that if anything goes nuts like that for me.
2017-8-1 07:38:55
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DWWLife
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Thanks for sharing that story. I'll try to follow. I just hope it doesn't happen to me. I have 6 flights less than 30 minutes total. Just testing and phone setup.
2017-8-1 13:29:12
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Geebax
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Hans Sanchez Posted at 2017-8-1 05:13
Not that it makes much difference now but when I launched it at 36% the aim was only to keep it above me where I was  - I wanted to take a photo of an abandoned train track from above.

I of course would never have flown it on such low battery at such distances! The thought of it disappearing so far so quickly did not cross my mind.

'I  still don't understand how and why it's reset to a home point so far away if I am pressing "set home as remote controller location".'

Because to set the position of the home point to that of the RC controller, it has to get a co-ordinate from the GPS function of your phone, and the accuracy of phone GPS receivers can be woefully poor.
2017-8-1 17:18:32
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bricooper
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Just so I know, at least on Android, there are settings for "GPS only" and also the supposedly more accurate "WiFi/Towers/GPS" tracking setting for the phone.  
Could his GPS been weak on his phone, so it was trying to locate using the nearest cellular tower, and so the drone took off that direction, thinking that was the new home point?

Sorry if it's totally off base, but it popped in my head at work today, and I do not have enough knowledge with these to know how they "think" at all.
2017-8-1 19:22:38
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Geebax
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bricooper Posted at 2017-8-1 19:22
Just so I know, at least on Android, there are settings for "GPS only" and also the supposedly more accurate "WiFi/Towers/GPS" tracking setting for the phone.  
Could his GPS been weak on his phone, so it was trying to locate using the nearest cellular tower, and so the drone took off that direction, thinking that was the new home point?

Yes, that is quite possible. On my Samsung S6, I have often noticed when using Google Maps, that it indicates the location is a fair way away from where I actually am located, but most times it eventually gets a closer fix.
2017-8-1 19:56:12
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WayOutWoodPond
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As someone else has already pointed out it looks like you were in a no fly zone near Heathrow airport. If you were, then I am glad you lost your AC, please do not buy another one.
2017-8-2 00:42:10
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Labroides
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bricooper Posted at 2017-8-1 19:22
Just so I know, at least on Android, there are settings for "GPS only" and also the supposedly more accurate "WiFi/Towers/GPS" tracking setting for the phone.  
Could his GPS been weak on his phone, so it was trying to locate using the nearest cellular tower, and so the drone took off that direction, thinking that was the new home point?

there are settings for "GPS only" and also the supposedly more accurate "WiFi/Towers/GPS" tracking setting for the phone

Using wifi/cell towers may be faster but it's NOT more accurate.
2017-8-2 00:50:48
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Hans Sanchez
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darren3005 Posted at 2017-8-1 06:00
That area looks pretty near to heathrow aiprport, infact it looks directly inline with the south runway.

BTW sorry to hear about your drone

Nah man, the flightpath planes take from that runway on that day meant that planes were flying up and away from us. We were nowhere near hitting a descending plane.

Anyway, when my aircraft flew away from me with me having no control (which people seem to think I did so are questioning why I did certain things), the aircraft shot up to 300ft on it's own. Then and only then was it a potential hazard. I kept it very low, as you can see on my flightpath posted.
2017-8-2 01:35:41
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Hans Sanchez
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Labroides Posted at 2017-8-1 05:26
That point I gave is where the Phantom was descending but it may have hit branches and bounced around a bit on the way down.
Put the position in a GPS and walk to it and start walking in circles around the area and loooking upwards.
How tall are the trees there?

I have no idea about stuff like measuring height but my friend seems to believe the trees are 30m tops, yet the aircraft's last known height was 55m.

Update: I am going back there today with my friend to look around for it. We have the co-ordinates of the last registered location. Are you suggesting that the aircraft is not at the last known co-ordinates because they are inaccurate? I mean; the aircfraft is not at the last known co-ordinates - that we already know.  However, what I'm trying to ask is where would you suggest me to look, where do you believe it could be from the last known point. Why would there be a reason for it to not be at the last registered co-ordinates.

Do you think it's in the river? You mentioned it's only 11m (roughly) from the riverbed. Surely a crash landed  Drone couldn't be blown into the river from there?

2017-8-2 01:38:36
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Hans Sanchez
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WayOutWoodPond Posted at 2017-8-2 00:42
As someone else has already pointed out it looks like you were in a no fly zone near Heathrow airport. If you were, then I am glad you lost your AC, please do not buy another one.

I was not, thanks for the incredible advice, support and opinion you've given me with regards to this accident. Please PM me for more of it, I'd love to hear how happy you are that I've lost my aircraft.
2017-8-2 01:39:25
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Hans Sanchez
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Update: Seeing as though it looks like this will go down as my fault ( I will forever argue that it was not! ), it looks like the only thing to do now is go back and look for it, it can't do any harm I imagine.

I looked for it at the last registered co-ordinates but it was not there. However, if anybody could give me a reason as to why the last known co-ordinates may be innacurate (it crash landed at 55m in the sky) - where else could it be?! It looks far enough from the water and it hasn't crashed  IN the water, so God knows why it would be there. I will upload my log again, if anyone could please give me any useful advice on where to look.The area is an abandoned-woods style area with only one small pathway to walk along, therefore getting to the co-ordinates was extremely difficult the first time anyway. But, like I said, I've got nothing to lose now so may as well go back and search around some more

Log - http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/F1WRCU4CBCQGBKP3W9DV/
2017-8-2 01:41:07
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G_Sig
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Hans Sanchez Posted at 2017-8-2 01:41
Update: Seeing as though it looks like this will go down as my fault ( I will forever argue that it was not! ), it looks like the only thing to do now is go back and look for it, it can't do any harm I imagine.

I looked for it at the last registered co-ordinates but it was not there. However, if anybody could give me a reason as to why the last known co-ordinates may be innacurate (it crash landed at 55m in the sky) - where else could it be?! It looks far enough from the water and it hasn't crashed  IN the water, so God knows why it would be there. I will upload my log again, if anyone could please give me any useful advice on where to look.The area is an abandoned-woods style area with only one small pathway to walk along, therefore getting to the co-ordinates was extremely difficult the first time anyway. But, like I said, I've got nothing to lose now so may as well go back and search around some more

If you know some others drone owners ask someone to fly over the place where it landed. Your bird can bee in the trees where you don't see it from ground.
2017-8-2 02:16:07
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WayOutWoodPond
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Hans Sanchez Posted at 2017-8-2 01:39
I was not, thanks for the incredible advice, support and opinion you've given me with regards to this accident. Please PM me for more of it, I'd love to hear how happy you are that I've lost my aircraft.

If you were not then I apologise, but your flight data says that you were. If your flight data is incorrect then it is pointless looking for it where the data says it is.
2017-8-2 02:58:14
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Labroides
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WayOutWoodPond Posted at 2017-8-2 02:58
If you were not then I apologise, but your flight data says that you were. If your flight data is incorrect then it is pointless looking for it where the data says it is.

Why would the flight data be inaccurate?
There 's no reason to suspect it would be.
2017-8-2 03:29:01
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WayOutWoodPond
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Labroides Posted at 2017-8-2 03:29
Why would the flight data be inaccurate?
There 's no reason to suspect it would be.

Exactly. Flying in a restricted area.
2017-8-2 03:46:29
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Labroides
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Hans Sanchez Posted at 2017-8-2 01:38
I have no idea about stuff like measuring height but my friend seems to believe the trees are 30m tops, yet the aircraft's last known height was 55m.

Update: I am going back there today with my friend to look around for it. We have the co-ordinates of the last registered location. Are you suggesting that the aircraft is not at the last known co-ordinates because they are inaccurate? I mean; the aircfraft is not at the last known co-ordinates - that we already know.  However, what I'm trying to ask is where would you suggest me to look, where do you believe it could be from the last known point. Why would there be a reason for it to not be at the last registered co-ordinates.

We have the co-ordinates of the last registered location. Are you suggesting that the aircraft is not at the last known co-ordinates because they are inaccurate?

I don't know what co-ordinates you have.
I gave you the coordinates of the last position in the flight record which was:
51.466940
-0.546680
Lost H_1.jpg
Lost H2.jpg
2017-8-2 03:54:15
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Labroides
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WayOutWoodPond Posted at 2017-8-2 03:46
Exactly. Flying in a restricted area.

????
The flight data comes from GPS.
Why do you think it might be inaccurate?
Restricted area or not has nothing to do with GPS data accuracy.
2017-8-2 04:09:31
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