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Drone Lost
1403 29 2016-4-3
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t.lynch7
lvl.2
Flight distance : 479951 ft
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Hello. My P4 went out of range of my remote and I inadvertently pushed to cancel the return to home. I went to the last known location, but I was not able to locate the drone. Should the drone have landed once the battery was critically low? Is there a chance it started to head back to the home point?

Thanks
2016-4-3
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classic2003
lvl.3
Flight distance : 632769 ft
Canada
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The drone is supposed to come back home once it looses signal or battery is very low, you shouldn't have cancelled the return home procedure
2016-4-3
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nigelw
First Officer
Flight distance : 518084 ft
United Kingdom
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If it was still out of range you wouldn't have been able to cancel RTH because the aircraft wouldn't have received the signal.  If the signal returned & you pressed it you should have a record of the last known location where it would have landed or crashed.
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labroides
Captain
Flight distance : 9991457 ft
Australia
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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 and some of the experienced people here will probably be able to analyse it and give you an understanding of the cause of the incident and perhaps point you to a likely area to search for the Phantom.
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t.lynch7
lvl.2
Flight distance : 479951 ft
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Healthy Drone Flight Log

Good news, the drone was found. It looks it did try to return to home based on the area I found it in. Which brings me to the question, why does the device even prompt you to be able to accept or cancel the RTH? As I said, I incidentally hit the cancel button, yet the drone continued to head home because it was out of range and never received my signal.

It looks like the drone hit a tree on the way back. My RTH altitude was set to 30M (100 feet). I will have to go back, but I am willing to say the trees I believe it hit were not 100 feet tall.

When I found the drone, it was in a thick area of brush and the battery was out of the body about 3 feet away. 3 of the propellors were also broken. Is anyone surprised to see the battery out of the body? I would have expected an extremely violent crash on a hard surface for this to have happen. The camera and gimbal appear to be ok and the body of the drone looks like it needs to be tightened a bit where the body around the gimbal meets the white part of the drone. I did a test flight and all seems normal. I will post pictures shortly.

Thanks.
2016-4-3
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t.lynch7
lvl.2
Flight distance : 479951 ft
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Pictures

Trying to post a few more...
P4B.jpg
P4B.jpg
P4C.jpg
P4A.jpg
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jstjohnz
lvl.2
Flight distance : 1146388 ft
United States
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Battery ejection is very common.  You may want to cancel the RTH if it was initiated by a loss of control signal and you then regain the signal, or if the drone comes back to the home point but you want to land manually.

At a given altitude, if you run the gimbal out to horizontal, it's easy to do a 360 to scan the nearby trees to see if they are taller than your present altitude.  In my area there are a few trees near 125 feet, so i have my RTH altitude set at 50 meters.

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labroides
Captain
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Australia
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t.lynch7@Yahoo. Posted at 2016-4-4 09:32
Healthy Drone Flight Log

Good news, the drone was found. It looks it did try to return to home base ...

That Healthydrones report gives no detail.
It just shows a flight and crash with no information to work on.
If you upload your flight record at: http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/Upload/
That will show a lot more data and allow for proper analysis if you want to know what happened.
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t.lynch7
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Flight distance : 479951 ft
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Sorry, your link included a how to video to upload to Healthy Drones....

Phantom Help Flight Log
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Morph1
Banned

Canada
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Tip: the author has been banned or deleted automatically shield
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Donnie
Captain
Flight distance : 3636782 ft
United States
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     t.lynch, The aircraft more than likely was loosing power even with the RTH of 100 feet , Be sure to check the RTH height it is usually in Meters.  Make sure the height is enough to clear obstacles the rest of the altitude is not necessary and could be detrimental when you may need that power .   When you cancelled it why did you not just activate the RTH again ?   I realize you got shook up at the moment. In the future please get a trackimo, they cost about 130 dollars and come with a 1 year subscription,  after that it is 5 dollars a  month . they cause nointerference as well, a simple charge last about 10 days and the device will send a text if it is low on charge.  It can also emit a "Tone " to help find it in tall grass etc.   
good luck - donnie


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t.lynch7
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Morph1 Posted at 2016-4-4 08:11
when RTH is initiated isn't the OCA automatically engaged ? to avoid trees or anything in way,
it  ...

I would think so...I know the system isn't perfect and does have some trouble detecting thin limbs, so its possible this is what happened. I would be surprised if a thin limb that went undetected was enough to bring the entire aircraft down, but I suppose anything is possible. I only say that because I have had some close calls with tree branches much thicker than the area where it crashed and have never had it crash.
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grumpysrb
lvl.4
Flight distance : 11004 ft
United States
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Is it possible you P4 made it that far back toward home prior to receiving your cancel signal, and once it did simply hovered until the battery died?
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labroides
Captain
Flight distance : 9991457 ft
Australia
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There's no sign of any RTH in the flight log, cancelled or otherwise.
Right up till the end of the flight record it appears to have been under your control with no lost signal.
Your Phantom maintained altitude at 250 feet until 6:05 when it began descending.
At 6:26 it leveled out at 175ft but only for 6 seconds, resuming descent until the record stops at 106 ft and 36% battery.
There's no indication that the Phantom was out of contact up to that point.
How tall were the trees where you found it?
Did you find it where the flight record ends?
The ground level is about 20 ft higher than the home point so the Phantom would have been about 85 feet above ground level where the record stops.

RTH is very important and there's a lot to learn about it.
Practising with RTH to see how it works and understand how to use it is essential.
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t.lynch7
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labroides@yahoo Posted at 2016-4-4 08:29
There's no sign of any RTH in the flight log, cancelled or otherwise.
Right up till the end of the f ...

There was 100% a RTH notification and I hit cancel. The flight log ends at 6:41, but the location of the drone at 6:41 and where it crashed are about 100+ feet away from each other. I also have a video captured from the drone showing it activating RTH and going beyond where the flight log ends, but the video cut out just before the crash would have occurred.
Also, 106 feet is just about 30 meters, which is what my RTH is set at.

I will try to upload the video for you to see.
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t.lynch7
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labroides@yahoo Posted at 2016-4-4 08:29
There's no sign of any RTH in the flight log, cancelled or otherwise.
Right up till the end of the f ...

One more thing. The video recording stopped AFTER the RTH was activated. I remember hitting the stop record button on my RC after I lost signal while I was driving to the location where the drone crashed. Is it possible for the RC to continue controlling the drone even when it indicates the connection has been lost?
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labroides
Captain
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t.lynch7@Yahoo. Posted at 2016-4-4 10:39
There 100% a RTH notification and I hit cancel. The flight log ends at 6:41, but the location of th ...

You had signal the whole time and if you can celled RTH before it activated, that explains why the log doesn't show the Phantom entering RTH.
How high were the trees where it crashed?
At 106 ft (above home point) your Phantom would have only been about 85 feet above ground level at the crash site.
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labroides
Captain
Flight distance : 9991457 ft
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t.lynch7@Yahoo. Posted at 2016-4-4 10:44
One more thing. The video recording stopped AFTER the RTH was activated. I remember hitting the st ...

What direction was the Phantom from the point where the record ended?

ps .. gotta go ,,, back in a few hours to see if there's any more info
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t.lynch7
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Flight distance : 479951 ft
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I don't understand how the log indicates I had signal the entire time. I lost signal on my RC and it said aircraft disconnected. I am uploading the videos now and something odd I came across. The video I pulled from the video cache through the app shows the flight ending about 28 seconds before the video I pulled from the onboard SD Card.

The video from the video cache does not show the Phantom RTH and ends right about when I lost signal. The video from the SD card ends after I lost signal and shows the Phantom changing direction as part of the RTH mode. The video from the SD is in 4K and is 5 minutes long so its going to take some time to upload. Should have them both up in a couple of hours.

Thanks.
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t.lynch7
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Flight distance : 479951 ft
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Here are videos.

Downloaded from the Video Cache in DJI Go App
https://www.dropbox.com/s/efllgz ... 3_16_50_13.mp4?dl=0

Ends before RTH and shows the Phantom hovering

Uploaded from Micro SD
https://www.dropbox.com/s/50wqqavx38akvui/DJI_0002.MOV?dl=0

Shows RTH initiated at ~5:10
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Geebax
Captain
Australia
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t.lynch7@Yahoo. Posted at 2016-4-4 11:07
I don't understand how the log indicates I had signal the entire time. I lost signal on my RC and it ...

'I don't understand how the log indicates I had signal the entire time. I lost signal on my RC and it said aircraft disconnected. '

There are two signal channels, one for control of the aircraft and one sending back the video signal, the RC unit will always reports loss of the video signal, but that does not mean the aircraft is out of control range. The DJI Go App does not make a good job of differentiating between the two channels.

'The video I pulled from the video cache through the app shows the flight ending about 28 seconds before the video I pulled from the onboard SD Card. '

That is quite consistent too. It means the return video channel lost signal first, which is why the version on your device is shorter.

'The video from the SD card ends after I lost signal and shows the Phantom changing direction as part of the RTH mode. '

Again quite consistent. It would appear that you stopped recording at that time, as you would have had to have control over the aircraft to stop the recording. The recording does not stop when the aircraft entersw RTH mode, only when you choose to stop it.
With respect to the Obstacle Avoidance System, in most case it will not see trees until too late.

As grumpysrb said:

Is it possible you P4 made it that far back toward home prior to receiving your cancel signal, and once it did simply hovered until the battery died?

This is actually quite a likely scenario.


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labroides
Captain
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t.lynch7@Yahoo. Posted at 2016-4-4 12:34
Here are videos.

Downloaded from the Video Cache in DJI Go App

To solve the final part of the puzzle, I need a little more information.
How high were the trees where it crashed?
At 106 ft (above home point) your Phantom would have only been about 85 feet above ground level at the crash site.
What direction was the Phantom from the point where the record ended?
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FatedFilmsNC
Second Officer

United States
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t.lynch7@Yahoo. Posted at 2016-4-3 20:39
There was 100% a RTH notification and I hit cancel. The flight log ends at 6:41, but the location o ...

yea that video is gone. I had a minor crash yesterday, battery popped out as well. I checked the footage, and it literally goes all the way up to the second of the crash, so does my flight log. so if your looking for crash footage, if the battery popped out, it's gone. You should have the footage leading up to the crash though (if you were recording when this happened i believe)
2016-4-4
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parkgt
First Officer
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Considering the shape and size of the P4 where and how would one attach a tracking device?
2016-4-4
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Donnie
Captain
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parkgt Posted at 2016-4-4 07:36
Considering the shape and size of the P4 where and how would one attach a tracking device?

I would need to look into that, On the Inspire there is a perfect spot for it. ( My post shows the spot )  On the previous Phantoms some of the Pilots with access to a 3D printer would make one that mounted cleanly to the Landing Gear.  E bay has one for the P4 as well. picture posted  on very bottom .  A gps Tracker ..... This is a must have in my opinion.
-donnie


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t.lynch7
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labroides@yahoo Posted at 2016-4-4 03:20
To solve the final part of the puzzle, I need a little more information.
How high were the trees w ...

I will go back today and try to determine how high the trees were.

The Phantom was directly in the flight path it would have taken for the RTH. My assumption is if I drew a straight line through the point where the video ended, the crash site and the home point, this would be the exact path the Phantom would have taken.

Let me know if this helps.
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t.lynch7
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Flight distance : 479951 ft
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Geebax Posted at 2016-4-3 23:08
'I don't understand how the log indicates I had signal the entire time. I lost signal on my RC and  ...

All of your explanations make sense. I do remember hitting the record button to stop recording even when I didn't have a feed.

However, I am sure the Phantom did not hover until the battery died as there was still 36% battery when I recovered the craft.

Thanks for your input
2016-4-4
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labroides
Captain
Flight distance : 9991457 ft
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t.lynch7@Yahoo. Posted at 2016-4-4 23:18
I will go back today and try to determine how high the trees were.

The Phantom was directly in t ...

OK ... If it's hit a tree at 100 ft above home point, you probably lost signal due to trees blocking the line of sight between you and the Phantom.
WIth signal blocked, there will be no record of this in the app.
After three seconds the Phantom gives up and enters failsafe RTH.
It rises to RTH height (if it's below that) and comes home at 10 metres/sec ..... possibly right  into the top of a tree where one or two thin branches don't register on the obstacle avoidance?

This would fit with the flight record and the way a Phantom behaves.
The branches below the Phantom at the end of the video look pretty close .... and because the lens is a very wideangle lens, objects are closer than they appear.
If you see a tree or two about 85+ feet high just west-southwest of the pool, that should be pretty good confirmation.
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t.lynch7
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labroides@yahoo Posted at 2016-4-4 09:33
OK ... If it's hit a tree at 100 ft above home point, you probably lost signal due to trees blockin ...

I can agree with this theory as it makes sense. Thanks for all your help!

As another point, I understand the effect interference can have on the signal, especially in a highly populated, developed area such as where I live, but I was only about 1800 feet or so from the home point. The range of the Phantom 4 has been rated at 3.1 miles. I wasn't even at half a mile distance.

For me 3.1 miles is more than necessary and I cant really imagine anyone needing to be more than 2 miles away at most. Even with a high amount of interference, 1.5 miles, half of the rating, would be sufficient for me, but I am no where near that distance. I have seen the test video DJI has performed and it seems believable in the area they were in. I don't want to spark a debate similar to some others on here, but I am curious of people's thoughts about the range.

Thanks again for everyone's help.
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labroides
Captain
Flight distance : 9991457 ft
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t.lynch7@Yahoo. Posted at 2016-4-5 00:12
I can agree with this theory as it makes sense. Thanks for all your help!

As another point, I und ...

The local environment has a big influence on interference.
Fly over the ocean and it's  easy to go miles out.
Try it in the city and sometimes 1500 feet is all you can make.

But wherever you are, if your line of sight is blocked by trees, mountains, buildings etc .... that's it.
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