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Safety Considerations with Smart Controller
383 4 2019-12-8
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M Stuart K
First Officer
Flight distance : 1267717 ft
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United States
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Due to a recent in-flight malfunction while flying my MP2 with the smart remote, I am debating selling the smart controller and going back to the original controller.  Why?  Follow the link below to an earlier post with flight logs and a video of the incident.  If I would not have had access to a screen to aid me in bringing my aircraft back to line of sight (wind blew it out of line of sight after control malfunction) and managed to spot my landing area I would have lost my drone for sure.  Simply saying: the stock remote has a second redundant screen that could be a great aid with viewing Telemetry data in case of a disconnect from the attached device.  IMO, and in my flight history with the smart remote I have had my share of disconnections.  On a wing and a prayer this did not happen during my malfunctioning flight last week, and as you can clearly see by the flight logs, it was not due to GPS signal loss as initially suspected.  To be clear, this malfunction was a wake up call in several ways, but in terms of prevention measures, 2 screens are better than one!

Link to forum posting of incident: https://forum.dji.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=203546&extra=page%3D1%26filter%3Dtypeid%26typeid%3D567%26typeid%3D567
2019-12-8
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ff22
Captain
United States
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I have little doubt that you are correct.  TWO screens or sources of information are better than only the one provided by the Smart Controller.

And while not being too dismissive of your problems, clearly keeping real visual contact is one of the main criteria for flying these things.  I know many ignore that advice and would find flying drones clearly in view pretty limiting and even boring.  

I was surprised the other day when I fired up the drone and smart controller but trying to grab some video of my garage reconstruction, I managed to engage the engines and take off before I had the DJI app actually running.  It was at the opening screen (no Go Fly prompt) and up it went.  Then I realized that the controller does allow flight without the app actually running.  So luckily, the SC can control the drone when the app crashes (or in my case, not even started) but it not necessarily a satisfactory situation.

Glad you made it back.
2019-12-9
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raven swe
Captain
Flight distance : 517936 ft
Sweden
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I always have my std remote running when out flying just incase the sc takes a dump, sometimes with an iPad attached to it, or just for the telemetry on the std screen. std remote is small enough to just pop in your pocket and take along if there is no space in your drone bag, I just like the piece of mind.
2019-12-9
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M Stuart K
First Officer
Flight distance : 1267717 ft
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United States
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ff22 Posted at 12-9 08:03
I have little doubt that you are correct.  TWO screens or sources of information are better than only the one provided by the Smart Controller.

And while not being too dismissive of your problems, clearly keeping real visual contact is one of the main criteria for flying these things.  I know many ignore that advice and would find flying drones clearly in view pretty limiting and even boring.  

Yes indeed; it is very easy to fly out of line of sight with the MP2 and I am guilty of it on many occasions.  Yet, I must say that the recent incident has made me pose my shots better for close in viewing of the drone.  After all, it is a flying camera.  I too was aware that the smart controller allowed you to still fly the aircraft because it has been disconnected from my aircraft so many times.  
2019-12-9
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M Stuart K
First Officer
Flight distance : 1267717 ft
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United States
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raven swe Posted at 12-9 09:07
I always have my std remote running when out flying just incase the sc takes a dump, sometimes with an iPad attached to it, or just for the telemetry on the std screen. std remote is small enough to just pop in your pocket and take along if there is no space in your drone bag, I just like the piece of mind.

I have mine in my bag but not exactly running.  I think that from now on, I will have it much handier.  Another thing; I pity the amount of drone pilots that totally rely on automated flight controls.  Glad I had a P4 for a while and learned atti mode.  
2019-12-9
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