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Flight Path / RTH
1174 18 2016-1-28
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MSGNitro
lvl.4

United States
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I'm a noob to this... but have been watching videos and reading as much as I can before I get the P3A tomorrow.

I read a few posts in regards to lost drones based on the possibility that they hit an obstacle due to lack of preparation of the pilot or poor settings. One option that was brought up that I thought interesting was the "option" to allow the pilot the ability to set the RTH feature to return on the path taken. There were some pro's and con's

Pro
If the drone flies behind a building, and the RTH height is below the building height (error on pilot setting)... the drone would crash. A flight path would help in the return.
(Opinion)   I think if the user set a RTH path to be the flight path taken, the drone should go to the RTH height (as long as flight was completely open) and then fly on the path back. Also, the battery consumption should be monitored during this setting as to give the drone enough time to RTH.

Con
See Pro re: battery life. If the battery is not monitored during flight, there may not be enough to RTH.
It's possible that the flight path was compromised since takeoff. Direct path to home might work better.

Anyone else want to add some Pro's / Con's?


2016-1-28
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DJI-Ken
DJI team
Flight distance : 1515312 ft
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United States
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Best solution is don't fly behind buildings and if you do, set the RTH altitude above the building.
2016-1-28
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Geebax
Captain
Australia
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I never intentionally invoke RTH, I always fly my aircraft manually. But if for some reason the aircraft went into RTH mode, I would want it to fly the most direct route back to me.
2016-1-28
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nigelw
First Officer
Flight distance : 518084 ft
United Kingdom
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Cons:

It encourages people to fly out of sight, which isn't the cleverest idea.

It encourages people to fly behind buildings, which is even less clever.

It encourages people to stop thinking about what they're doing...
2016-1-28
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MSGNitro
lvl.4

United States
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Thanks guys. I'm more inclined to think that it could be an option more than a basic feature. 2 ways to RTH. Direct, or by path. I agree that some may use it as a "break the rules" method, but I also think it would be a good option.... especially if they set waypoints and the RTH is initiated for some reason or another. But again, the appropriate settings should be made prior to take off to avoid issues.
2016-1-29
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davidlwoodall
lvl.3

United States
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But in theory, that would mean almost ANY RTH that was activated after the battery charge had reached 49% would not make it back to the home point.  The only ones that would make it home are those where the aircraft was fighting the wind prior to RTH, then flying with it once RTH is activated.
2016-1-29
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MSGNitro
lvl.4

United States
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True. I do believe that if RTH is activated due to lack of signal with the pilot control (whether from bad antenna position "operator error", or unforeseen obstacle), that once the aircraft gets somewhere within range, the pilot could at least make a controlled landing and know where to find it. Again, this is only an option that the pilot sets prior to takeoff. Just my opinion. It's always nice to have options.
2016-1-29
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nigelw
First Officer
Flight distance : 518084 ft
United Kingdom
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MSGNitro Posted at 2016-1-29 13:04
Thanks guys. I'm more inclined to think that it could be an option more than a basic feature. 2 ways ...

Yes, it might be very useful to some, especially if flying through tunnels for example.  I would say it should be used only with waypoint missions & the question asked when the mission is run.  My main reason for saying that is, if you lose the signal halfway through a mission, the Phantom will carry on to the end anyway.  Also, you'll have planned the mission so will know exactly where it's going to go, rather than just flying around not taking much notice...crossing roads for example, when there's no traffic would be a problem.
2016-1-29
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MSGNitro
lvl.4

United States
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nigelw Posted at 2016-1-29 09:25
Yes, it might be very useful to some, especially if flying through tunnels for example.  I would s ...

Are you saying that the flight path back could be through traffic? I was thinking more like setting a RTH altitude but using the positioning to follow the path back.... not the same altitude. This would at least get it up and above everything if the pilot set it correctly.
2016-1-29
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nigelw
First Officer
Flight distance : 518084 ft
United Kingdom
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MSGNitro Posted at 2016-1-29 16:57
Are you saying that the flight path back could be through traffic? I was thinking more like settin ...

Then you may as well come straight back, as it is now, which works fine.  Where's the advantage otherwise?
2016-1-29
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MSGNitro
lvl.4

United States
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nigelw Posted at 2016-1-29 16:14
Then you may as well come straight back, as it is now, which works fine.  Where's the advantage ot ...

The chance.. and I say slim chance..... that un-skilled operator goes behind a building that is higher than the RTH altitude setting.  If / When the RTH activates, it'll crash into the building. If the "option" for follow the safe path back is set, it will avoid the building. That's the biggest advantage. Alternatively, if flying near an obstacle... and a big gust of wind carries it behind the obstacle, this will save a direct hit. I'm throwing hypotheticals at this, but I just thought it would be a neat option that the pilot could at least have in his bag of tricks prior to flying.  
2016-1-29
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nigelw
First Officer
Flight distance : 518084 ft
United Kingdom
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MSGNitro Posted at 2016-1-29 21:26
The chance.. and I say slim chance..... that un-skilled operator goes behind a building that is hi ...

If the operator forgets to set an appropriate RTH altitude, why would they remember to set RTH along route and set RTH height along route?  That's two things to remember instead of one.
Also, setting RTH to return along a route is potentially useful, maybe for flying between trees for example, where at the same height, you know it can make it back (theoretically), but if you then have to set a different height it becomes much more complicated as you may just crash into the overhanging branches on the way up.  Your unskilled operator has even less chance of getting the aircraft home.

2016-1-29
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MSGNitro
lvl.4

United States
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nigelw Posted at 2016-1-29 16:53
If the operator forgets to set an appropriate RTH altitude, why would they remember to set RTH alo ...

I was thinking that this setting had to be done prior to takeoff. But again, options. Checkbox to go to RTH Altitude and return on path..... Return path without Altitude adjustment... etc... just thoughts going through my head.
2016-1-29
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nigelw
First Officer
Flight distance : 518084 ft
United Kingdom
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MSGNitro Posted at 2016-1-29 22:00
I was thinking that this setting had to be done prior to takeoff. But again, options. Checkbox to  ...

Nothing wrong with thoughts...as I said, I think it could be useful, just not as a way to prevent accidents.  

There are plenty of people who rely on the drone's technology to get them out of trouble, but unfortunately it often ends in disaster because they don't take proper responsibility & do proper checks. I don't think it's their fault either, as these machines are marketed as easy to fly.  I'm often reading posts where people are using RTH as an easy way to fly back & land.  It's meant to be an emergency measure.
2016-1-29
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labroides
Captain
Flight distance : 9991457 ft
Australia
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1.  It's not going to be helpful at all to take the long way home with a low battery.
2.  To make this an option to be selected is just too complicated and confusing.
3.  The current system is as simple as it could be and works just fine.

Too many users have trouble with the basics like firmware  updates, compass or RTH.
Add yet another complication and the confusion that would add will be just another cause for crashes.
Keeping a simple system is necessary.
2016-1-29
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johnsr
Captain
Flight distance : 1554928 ft
France
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I would agree with Labroides, keep the RTH simple. I never use it, but know what it will do if there's a problem. If I wanted to film both sides of a building, I would simply land after the first shoot on the side facing me, move around to a new site with good VLOS and shoot the second clip. Edit both together later and bingo, no need for a complicated RTH.
2016-1-30
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MSGNitro
lvl.4

United States
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Thanks for all the input guys! It's good to get all opinions of the educated pilots. This is what makes the community so awesome!
2016-2-1
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LordNeo
lvl.4
Flight distance : 548212 ft
Chile
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Instead of doing that (wich would lessen the burden on the operator and put more blame on DJI and ergo more stupid people flying) I would suggest a change in the "Lost signal", instead of the options "Instant RTH", "Hover" and "Land" I would like "Instant RTH", "Land" and "Move back throught the route".

If I lose signal, I would like it to go back throught the path until I can get signal back and keep manouvering from there. Not Full RTH, just 30 seconds back.
2016-2-1
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LordNeo
lvl.4
Flight distance : 548212 ft
Chile
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johnsr Posted at 2016-1-30 10:10
I would agree with Labroides, keep the RTH simple. I never use it, but know what it will do if there ...

You can also check the perimeter and set POI around the building, it will continue even if you lose signal.
2016-2-1
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