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Lost P3 :-(
5958 39 2015-5-31
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KeepinitCriss
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United Kingdom
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Hey guys,

I recently bought a Phantom 3 a week ago.

Im not sure how to explain my emotions at the moment after spending retail price for this quadcopter, believe me its amazing and i have been flying everyday with ease for weeks until today.

I took the aircraft to where i usually fly which is a very large open field which is free of electrical power lines, roads, antennas, airports etc etc, i calibrated the aircraft, remote and camera gimbal, set the home point which was confirmed, battery when i took off was at 97%, I then flew the aircraft for about 3minutes within 40m in hight and distance from myself, then i look it to about 100m above ground and began to move it forward at around 300m in distance away from myself, then all of a sudden ’NO SIGNAL’ appeared on my handset and i lost video connection as well, at this point i didn’t worry to much as i was confident it would return to home as its programmed to do after 3 seconds of loosing connection. At this point, after looking back up from my handset i had lost sight of the aircraft, so i put the height joystick up so i could at least see it, nothing happening. So i waited for it to 'return home’ which it didnt.. I searched the area it disappeared on the map and it was not there, i continued to search the direction it was going and still could not find the aircraft. I kept my phone connected to the remote and searched all possible areas it disappeared just incase it would reconnect and i would find it, but i had no luck. I figured it would have at least 15minutes left in the battery for me to find it or even see some flashing lights but as it got dark i had to give up. Iv now searched for a whole day in mud and even ventured in to a near by forest just incase it carried on going or made a turn and still i have not found it.

Im thinking when it lost connection it kept on going with its own brain. I have recently updated the firmware to both the aircraft and remote and did 2-3 complete flights with no problem at all.

I am a grown man and although this machine is great and its bought me lots of joy in the past week or so, I’m trying hard to mask my emotions and swallow the amount of money iv spent to just see it fly away.

Im not happy DJI, this was at no fault of my own, Im not hoping someone can help.

2015-5-31
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john.lambert4
lvl.3

Australia
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What does the pilot logs say in the app?  Any indication of it moving, etc. after you lost connection or does it just simply stop at this point?  That certainly does suck mate eh!!  I'd be ropable!!!  I wonder if it's landed somewhere and someone has picked it up?  It's another reason why I get SOOOOO nervous when I lose physical sight of mine, even though it's less than 1km away from me.
2015-5-31
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KeepinitCriss
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United Kingdom
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john.lambert4@o Posted at 2015-6-1 06:04
What does the pilot logs say in the app?  Any indication of it moving, etc. after you lost connectio ...

It just stops at the point, when i go to open the log in my app, the app crashes and exits. Im going to have another look tomorrow and put up some posters to see if someone does spot it.
2015-5-31
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chrisclaydon
lvl.3

Australia
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Bummer... cant even send your logs to DJI... MIA drone!
2015-5-31
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fhagan02
lvl.4
Flight distance : 1854908 ft
United States
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Man oh man can't say how sorry I am for this. I can imaging the feeling as I just got mine Friday and so far if fly's and reacts "normal".  I've seen a few posts like this... flew a few times.... everything completely normal and by the books....then flaked out and crashed. Scary as hell to say the least as there seems to be, and I'm assuming the same with you, no warning. No "weird activity" pre-crash to let you know something isn't right. Obviously contact DJI and keep us updated with ANY news. Supposedly there is 24 hours support for the P3.
2015-5-31
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feliperabanal
lvl.2
Flight distance : 932228 ft
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Chile
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I'm really nervous about this things I have seen in some post. I have signal lost frequently now, with the aircraft very close, not far than 10 or 20 m from me. This is freaking me out a lot, and I can't fly as comfortable as I want. And this started when I did the upgrade firmware from 1.1.8 to 1.1.9, never before. I'm almost sure this is a bug of the firmware...I hope this gonna be fixed soon for DJI.
I'm really really sorry for your bird. I don't know what to say, I would be devastated if I were you. I hope you can find some arguments to say to dji it wasn't a human problem...
Best wishes!!!

2015-5-31
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droneflyers.com
lvl.4
Flight distance : 60709 ft
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United States
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Lots of questions....

Were you using a cellular device to operate it so that you had the maps loading and knew that your home point was exactly where you started? Or had you cached maps of the area?

Is this your first quadcopter/drone R/C flying craft?

Does your device show the flight path of the unit on the map?

Was the aircraft always in your LOS (line of sight)?

Did you physically press the RTH button on your Remote?
2015-5-31
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sinbad_uk
lvl.3
Flight distance : 117343 ft
United Kingdom
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That really is awful I hope you manage to get it back.
If I was you and you still have visibility of the flight path on your app I would continue to follow the path it was taking and allowing at least 20 minutes flight time in that direction and have a really good search.

Best of luck in finding it, what part of the UK are in? if near me I will even try and help
2015-5-31
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mike
First Officer
Flight distance : 228255 ft
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United States
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Sorry to hear about your loss

As a backup plan, it's a good idea to install a GPS tracker on the Phantom. That way it can be tracked down if the Phantom ever does something unpredictable like this. Here is a complete list of GPS trackers commonly used with Phantoms:

http://www.PhantomHelp.com/#TrackersP3





www.PhantomHelp.com
Find the latest must-haves, fixes, mods, how-tos, guides, and accessories for your Phantom.
Phantoms in stock and ready to ship worldwide! (see availability)
2015-5-31
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Oliver
lvl.3

United Kingdom
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Ouch, sorry to hear, that's just bad luck. Quoting someone else from these forums, fortunately this is one aspect of life where money can solve everything. It won't be the last quadcopter you ever have the chance to fly!

My theory on what happened:
Given that you were flying at a reasonable distance and that the signal just suddenly dropped, 2 things could have happened:

1. A fault with the quadcopter itself caused it to fail and drop out of the sky instantly. That might explain why you were unable to see it. Reasons could include an incorrectly seated battery or some firmware/hardware problem.
2. A fault with the app caused it to report that it was out of range when it wasn't and therefore it didn't RTH automatically AND you failed to correctly engage RTH (remember, you have to press and hold it for it to activate). Was the controller beeping at you to indicate that it was coming home? Did the app say anything to suggest that it was coming home? Did the app indicate any movement on the minimap?

Best of luck finding it.
2015-5-31
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briangrounsell
lvl.2

New Zealand
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This is a very sad story but a reminder once again to put at least a sticker on it that has a phone number and says "Reward if found"
2015-5-31
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Robharris07
lvl.2

United States
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You android or IOS?
2015-5-31
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Inspector_Tim
lvl.2
Flight distance : 35899 ft
United States
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Wow, so sorry to hear! It was calibrated, home point set... not too far away. What the heck? As pilots, we can do all sorts of adverse/incorrect things resulting in a crash, or worse... but at minimum, I've found comfort in the fact that if it can't talk to remote or at some point battery gets really low, it comes home. Wonder what happened?
2015-5-31
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iSkyShots
lvl.2
Flight distance : 232566 ft
United States
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Based on what I've been reading in the forums and my instict, I just ordered a GPS tracker for my P3 Pro. I feel better already.
2015-5-31
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Mark97564
lvl.4
Flight distance : 2067749 ft
United States
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I had the app tell me I lost signal when it was right above me before and I had no video but the sticks worked fine still. I moved my antennas horizontal and picture came right back...  My issue was I was 200 meters high right above me and the antenna tips were pointing at the p3 which we All know the tips are the weakest spot for signal so putting them horizontal put the flat side facing the p3 and signal came right back..

I'm explaining 2 things, 1 if the antennas are pointing to the p3 you will lose signal in 200 meters and 2nd just because video was gone don't mean control was too.. So if you played with the sticks at all you could have unknowingly flew it far away..  Your first reaction to loosing video and not seeing it should have been the return to home button and activated it..  Even if it was coming home cuz of low battery stick movement will over ride it, so if you moved a stick the p3 would have moved the way the stick was moving and not made it home..

You said you put the height joystick up? 5 seconds of that it would have went another 100 meters up...  You should have hit the home button and then not touched anything on the controller and it prolly would have came back to you...  

If you sat there moving sticks when you had no video you prolly flew it God only knows where or how high..

Everyone should activate return to home and play with the sticks so they can learn how it works..  With the p3 in sight unplug the tablets usb cable to simulate a app crash or video loss issue and see you still have control just fine..  Let low battery return to home kick in and play with the sticks then and you will see you still have control...  If the p3 loses video and not control signal return to home wouldn't automatically engage, it would have to be manually engaged with the button on the controller

I think u experienced a app crash lost video and moved all the sticks panicking which flew your p3 away from you, when you should have engaged return to home and set the controller down and waited for it to come back..
If the controller disconnects from the p3 Also, the green led that is on when your controller is connected to the p3 will turn red if the control signal breaks..  So even if you lose video or the app crashes if that light is green you still have stick control over the p3... If the light is green, return to home will not automatically initiate, it will only automatically initiate on signal loss if that led turns red..  So if it's green return to home would have most likely saved the day..  Turn the p3 off and you will see the led go red, turn the p3 on send you will see it go green...  Unplug the sub cord to the tablet with everything on and you will see it stay green
If the app crashes or you lose video then it will not log on the tablet, the log will stop, but you still have control with a green light

Hope I helped you some what

2015-5-31
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Mark97564
lvl.4
Flight distance : 2067749 ft
United States
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I do think dji is partly to blame because the manual on the p3 does not do too good of a job of explaining its operation, most of what I've learned was from me playing with it which most people don't do..  They only know what the manual tells them which is real basic information...
2015-5-31
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Tahoe_Ed
lvl.4
Flight distance : 2605 ft
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Mark97564 Posted at 2015-6-1 12:49
I do think dji is partly to blame because the manual on the p3 does not do too good of a job of expl ...

How many users actually read the manual.  Like it or not, if you don't read it it is your fault if you miss an important item, not DJI's.  
2015-5-31
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Tahoe_Ed
lvl.4
Flight distance : 2605 ft
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Mark97564 Posted at 2015-6-1 12:49
I do think dji is partly to blame because the manual on the p3 does not do too good of a job of expl ...

How many users actually read the manual.  Like it or not, if you don't read it it is your fault if you miss an important item, not DJI's.  
2015-5-31
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mswall
lvl.4
Flight distance : 39695 ft
United States
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One theory could be:   you say you were (I'm using imperial here) 300 feet altitude and 1000 feet away from you.  I truly doubt that you could see your P3 at that time - and I see you even state that.  What was in the direction you were flying 1000 feet away?  Still field?  Or wood?  The nature of the loss is at least indicative of a collision.  What you describe is exactly what would happen if it hit another object.  Think of it in those terms and search again.  I do hope you solve this and I am sorry for you.   It is not completely improbably that it experienced a bird strike - there are several incidences of birds touching drones on the net.  I've even had a starling dive straight for my P2 and turn away at the last second.
2015-5-31
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jon.jongodfrey
lvl.3

United Kingdom
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I completely sympathise but I am amazed at how many people fly SO far away and clearly way out of line of sight.  I think the maximum range is truly limited sight as you cannot see what is around your aircraft.  The further away you are disconnections and interface are more probable. I think sometimes the live feed is a comfort blanket for control.
2015-5-31
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KeepinitCriss
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United Kingdom
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Thanks for all your replies guys,

I did the have aircraft in sight as it was a open field, I waited for the auto-return to home to kick in as it said it would after loosing contact for more than 3seconds, thats why i raised the altitude to just incase to be safe, after about a minute and not hearing or seeing anything I engaged the 'return to home' myself button by pressing and holding until the button flashed and made noise (this was the first manover I learnt when I got this aircraft) . The only thing that is left on my app is the exact spot I last saw it with my eyes and its no where to be seen on or around that spot.

Edited for content.  TE
2015-6-1
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memelivorno
lvl.4
Flight distance : 287474 ft
Italy
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"Hey guys,

I recently bought a Phantom 3 a week ago.

Im not sure how to explain my emotions at the moment after spending retail price for this quadcopter, believe me its amazing and i have been flying everyday with ease for weeks until today. "

Don't donate. It's clearly a huge FAKE. And not only for what i've marked. This guy have never seen a P3 neither a P3 controller.
2015-6-1
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KeepinitCriss
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United Kingdom
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As i said, i don't expect you to donate, i also don't expect you to troll the internet for people who share a similar interest, shame on you.
2015-6-1
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KeepinitCriss
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United Kingdom
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memelivorno@gma Posted at 2015-6-1 17:37
"Hey guys,

I recently bought a Phantom 3 a week ago.

2015-6-1
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skydrive1924
lvl.1

United Kingdom
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Man im thinking about buying a Phantom 3 Professional and this just made me shiver listening to it, Crazy i hope nothing like this happens to me and i hope DJI sorts the issue bud! Best to you my friend
2015-6-1
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Ulysse
lvl.4
Flight distance : 1389931 ft
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Belgium
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On your first post you wrote :
"At this point, after looking back up from my handset i had lost sight of the aircraft, so i put the height joystick up so i could at least see it, nothing happening. So i waited for it to 'return home’ "

And later you wrote :
"after about a minute and not hearing or seeing anything I engaged the 'return to home' myself button by pressing and holding until the button flashed and made noise"

So finally what did you do ???

Your first mistake was to misinterpret the lost signal ON THE APP with a disconnection between the RC and the Quad. And these are 2 different things !
The first thing to do with this message is to check the RC LED status : if red, the quad is supposed to start a RTH by itself. If green YOU have to start RTH if you think you are not able to bring it back by yourself.

LOS distance is very short and depends on the sky condition, hour of day, ...
Fo me, with "normal" eyes, 200 meters @ 60 meters height is the limit in the afternoon. Going further and you have to rely on video signal and... RTH (and pray it will work) !
2015-6-1
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Mark97564
lvl.4
Flight distance : 2067749 ft
United States
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People need to read the manual or not cry when things go bad...  The first response should have been look at the controllers led.. Green means every thing good, red means complete loss of signal and alternating green to yellow to red means no video signal but there is still control signal..  After seeing the status of the light you would know more about the issue and then activated return to home by holding the button down until the led started flashing white..  If the controller light is green or alternating green to yellow to red return to home will not automatically engage, you will have to manually engage it on the controller, if the led was solid red then return to home should automatically engage...  I've been flying my F550 with lightbridge out of sight for about a year now without any issues or even a hiccup thank god..  A typical flight is 1000 to 1400 meters away and every time video got weird I been able to get her back by hitting return to home.  People don't understand a loss of video will not automatically engage return to home, only loss of rc signal will...  Also my F450 I've got immersionrc ez-uhf receiver and immersionrc 2.4ghz 700mw vtx on it and a normal flight is 3000 to 6000 meters away. I run naza-m v2 in both and it has always performed like they should..  I've got allot of trust in my flame wheels..  You just gotta understand how they work..  Return to home limits speed and pitch so in a 15 mph wind it might not get the copter home cuz 20 degree pitch is all I've ever seen my f450 give me on my iosd screen when in return to home mode.  I would like to see that change to 35 degrees so it can fight the wind better to get back if need be..  

I've got 18 flights on my p3 now with no issues except a crooked Gimble I hope gets corrected soon, so I'm getting to trust my p3 too now...  I'm not trying to brag just show that all my dji products have been dependable and my only issues were from their poorly documented manuals but this forum has helped with that quite a bit...

Birds can be a scary thing too, I've had some close calls with them but usually once you chase them they bug off quick, lol. I am hoping though if a bird does hit one of my copters that they don't shut down and fall out of the sky..  And if they detect they are higher than 6 meters that they keep power to the motors or at least allow them to be restarted with the start command on the sticks..  

I hope you find your toy I would be sick if I lost mine too.  I would at least start looking where the bread trail ends to make sure it didn't fall out of the sky and into a tree at the last known coordinates..

Post your log file from your last flight in this thread so we can all look at it and see if we can notice something your not..  It will be located in the dji folder on a android device and if iOS device you will need to connect to iTunes to access the dji folder and save it to your of..  Then upload it in this thread and then we can all see what happened..  Hopefully you were using a iOS device because that log will have allot more details in it than if you were using the android pilot app

I look forward to seeing your log file so I can try and assist you in locating your toy
2015-6-1
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FlyGirl
lvl.3

United States
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KeepinitCriss Posted at 2015-6-1 17:04
Thanks for all your replies guys,

I did the have aircraft in sight as it was a open field, I waite ...

Can't access the Gofundme link. 'Notice 404'

2015-6-1
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edbighi
lvl.4
Flight distance : 47455053 ft
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Austria
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My previous experiences with return to home is that it worked every time the quad worked perfectly and GPS was solid. The two times GPS acted up, one time return worked. The other gave someone else a fairly new p2v+ minus controller. I have yet to receive my p3 but when I do I will fly it extremely conservatively. Maybe they still aren't fit for far and high on the current firmware.  Hopefully DJI sends us a new firmware version for us to beta test. So for now I'll stop the far and high and do the 50 meter away tree/roof crashing thing that others like to do and start hitting the prop guard/gimbal guard threads like those folks :-)
2015-6-1
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Skyborne
lvl.1
Flight distance : 456299 ft
Greece
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I am sorry for your loss but I too strongly believe it is a pilot error. You panicked and didn't know what to do. You should fiddle around with settings when the quad is at a close distance to learn exactly how it reacts.

Moreover DJI itself has a set of "training" steps to get you familiar with your quad which you can find right here: DJI's Pilot Training Guide
No piece of software is flawless you should know that for the rest of your life in anything computer related you may purchase so when you use something you do so at your own risk. Especially when you break all guidelines. No human eye can see a tiny quad over a kilometer away nor above 400' (120 meters) up in the sky. Even in clear day 400' is pushing it.

I am interested to see your flight logs and help you. I find it really weird that you can't pull that specific flight log so until you find a way to prove that you did everything according to the manual/"guidelines" I will choose to believe that it was pilot error.

Let me remind you that just because the manual states that the quad has a 2 kilometer ranger and a 500 meter altitude limit doesn't mean that it is safe to take it at those limits, for the quad it self nor for anything/anyone you may crash into.
2015-6-1
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foreseason
lvl.2

United States
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This is very unfortunate and I'm sorry for your loss.  

That being said,   It's a reality we have to accept.  These things do and will crash.  The first question I had to ask myself before I bought my phantom was if I was ok with the possibility of flushing $1300 down the toilet.  I grew up flying model airplanes so it's a reality I'm familiar with.  

Obviously if the crash was a result of faulty equipment then dji is responsible and should make it right.  Unfortunately, this is not always an easy thing to prove.

Good luck.  I hope everything works out.
2015-6-1
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Mark97564
lvl.4
Flight distance : 2067749 ft
United States
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2km is modest.. I've had mine to almost 6km and 180 meters high with full signal bars and perfect video. So the p3 is capable of extreme distance in my eyes..  2nd I've never had gps issues with my F450 and F550 running naza-M V2, maybe it's where I'm located to the fact the gps puck is 24in high off the frame and away from all interference..  I've always gotten 8 to 9 connected Satalites on the ground before take off within 30 seconds of connecting the battery and 14 and rarely 15 Satalites once it's in the air at my regular 110 meter altitude and it's been that way ever since I bought them and now my p3 connects to 12 Satalites on the ground and 18 to rarely 19 Satalites once up to 110 meters..  And so far it's been pretty dependable like that..  

Now I had 2 blade 350qx2's that couldn't keep a gps lock if their life depended on it..  My p3 twice though started flashing compass error for some reason but it still flew fine, I don't know how a compass error would affect the p3 and I would love someone to tell me...  The twice it happened was only a couple seconds so I didn't notice anything..  I think it drifted a little bit but she still responded to stick commands correctly..  The manual says flight is still safe with a compass error but I would really like to know more details...
2015-6-1
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tntfarmservice
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United States
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The other day I went out to fly and as I was flying in line of sight no more than 200 feet away I thought I would use the return home but instead of it returning home it wanted to land straight down from where it was hovering. I double checked to see if my return home position was set and it was as well as having a good signal. Since then each time I fly I do a return home check by flying out a few hundred feet and initiating the return home feature to see if it knows where home is and to see if it actually comes home.
2015-6-1
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mswall
lvl.4
Flight distance : 39695 ft
United States
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tntfarmservice Posted at 2015-6-2 04:31
The other day I went out to fly and as I was flying in line of sight no more than 200 feet away I th ...

If it was less than 65 feet from the home point when RTH mode began, it would NOT move to the home point but land right where it was.  
2015-6-1
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Randy55
lvl.1

United States
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So sorry for your loss.

My P3A is suppose to arrive tomorrow and stories like this one concerns me greatly. I'm going to be in beginner mode and limit it's distance of travel away from me until I'm very comfortable with the controller. I'll also take it to a vast open fields for my flights. I've read and will re-read the manuals and watched so many how to videos, but I'm just not sure if there is any sure way to prevent these fly offs.
2015-6-1
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mswall
lvl.4
Flight distance : 39695 ft
United States
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Randy55 Posted at 2015-6-2 09:35
So sorry for your loss.

My P3A is suppose to arrive tomorrow and stories like this one concerns me  ...

Wait a minute...  Unless someone finds his P3 and extracts the .DAT flight log files NO ONE KNOWS IF IT WAS A "FLY OFF".  It's all kind of speculation at the moment, right?
2015-6-1
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challenger451
lvl.2

United States
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Randy55 Posted at 2015-6-2 09:35
So sorry for your loss.

My P3A is suppose to arrive tomorrow and stories like this one concerns me  ...

The best tutorial that helped me was the one listed below.  He goes over the DJI Pilot app. and what it does.  The rest is just to practice in an open area with the flight tutorials.  Take the phantom through all the fundamental steps including bringing it home auto.  Yes, the Phantom 3 is ready to fly out of the box, but this does not make you a pilot anymore that buying a Cesnna makes you a Cessana pilot.
I really have two things to learn.  How to fly the drone and how to be a videographer.

2015-6-2
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Skyborne
lvl.1
Flight distance : 456299 ft
United Kingdom
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tntfarmservice Posted at 2015-6-2 04:31
The other day I went out to fly and as I was flying in line of sight no more than 200 feet away I th ...

That's another "pilot error".

You can't assume that it wanted to land just because it was decreasing altitude.

Let me give you an example... Let's say we are both flying I am at 30ft and you are at 50ft. We both hit out RTH button. Most people assume that the quad will fly straight home but that is wrong. There is an option for the RTH altitude that many people don't even know of cause they don't read the documentation and I will assume that you're one of them.

So back to the example, I don't remember the default but let's assume that the RTH altitude is set at 40ft. When we hit the RTH button my quad will climb and yours will decent (I am at 30ft and you are at 50ft) so it gets at the altitude of 40ft so it comes back to home.

What was your altitude on the flight that you presume that the quad wanted to land instead of RTH?
2015-6-5
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jbrazda
lvl.1
Flight distance : 1781102 ft
United States
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Skyborne Posted at 2015-6-5 22:40
That's another "pilot error".

You can't assume that it wanted to land just because it was decreas ...

Maybe you haven't read the manual?  It does not descend if it is above the RTH height.  It will stay at the height it is at until it gets above home location, then drop.  
2015-6-5
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clkilljoy1
lvl.3
Flight distance : 15207 ft
United States
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Suggest a Trakimo GPS taracker. Cheap insurance for that "just in case". Works very well. only $5 a month after first year. Sorry have not had that experience yet hope I never do.
2015-6-5
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