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No GPS + crash = pilot error?
2192 24 2016-4-20
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John Hansey
lvl.3
Flight distance : 2026903 ft
United States
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Sad thing on my 65th flight of month old P3S it flew into a tree and crashed!
I took of in my normal spot clear sky no wind or interferance.
Flew straight up to 120 feet was hovering when it said no GPS "Atti mode"
I was able to decend to 80" when it drifted into tree. Crash and damaged.
My confidence is now also damaged.
Was this pilot error?
Can I repair it myself?
Will I ever flyagain?

2016-4-20
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scottybm
lvl.2
Flight distance : 1141201 ft
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United States
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In my experience of flying remote helicopters I would learn to fly in atti mode in the event you so loose gps signal. Gps mode is great but it's always good to learn with out it to avoid this. I think you can use the simulator to do this as well to help practice. Sorry you crashed your drone. Hopefully there is not too much damage.
2016-4-20
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johnsr
Second Officer
Flight distance : 1579022 ft
France
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Sorry about your crash. Don't panic (I had a moment of doubt last summer when my P3P crashed in an oak forest). The difficulty to repair it depends upon the damage level. You can easily swap in a new camera & gimbal assembly; the body shells can be replaced with some care. However, you should weigh the parts cost and your skills against sending it to DJI.
As for pilot error? Well, I agree with the previous poster's remark, all Phantom operators need to have some A-mode experience. Losing GPS can occur, and adding Murphy's law into the game, it somehow always happens when there are wind gusts. So, once you're repaired and flying again, think about practicing A-mode flying in a open space  (increasing windy conditions as your skill improves). You'll also be surprised to learn that there are advantages to filming that way.
Have fun & good flying!
2016-4-20
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JustGoThere
lvl.4
Flight distance : 41778 ft
United States
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I totally agree with scottybm (being a heli guy for several years myself), and would like to add that you should probably purchase a less costly quad in order to practice actually flying, instead of simply relying on the aircraft GPS. That would have made your issue a "non-issue" and you probably would not have crashed...  Something like a Blade 200QX will get you the practice and "feel" that you need...it flies very similar to the Phantom ATTI mode with no GPS

We all live and learn, and crash, and repair, and crash, and repair... it's part of the hobby
2016-4-20
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gtokarsk
Second Officer
Flight distance : 14869882 ft
United States
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Yes, definitely do not give up on older equipment and practice.. What I find unique about DJI, with prop guards I have greater orientation awareness than with any other aircraft! So because of that, and also ability to use fpv to check my orientation, I can recover way nicer than with other aircraft - but certainly flying other stuff to be more and more proficient is a very good point!
2016-4-20
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John Hansey
lvl.3
Flight distance : 2026903 ft
United States
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Learning and practicing Atti mode is a really good lesson. I have been flying helicopters  for the last two years.
Where do you buy parts or not buy parts.
Is there a way to analyze flight log to see why I lost gps, when I replay log it says ten satellites.
2016-4-20
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John Hansey
lvl.3
Flight distance : 2026903 ft
United States
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Learning and practicing Atti mode is a really good lesson. I have been flying helicopters  for the last two years.
Where do you buy parts or not buy parts.
Is there a way to analyze flight log to see why I lost gps, when I replay log it says ten satellites.
2016-4-20
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labroides
Core User of DJI
Flight distance : 9991457 ft
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John Hansey Posted at 2016-4-21 11:08
Learning and practicing Atti mode is a really good lesson. I have been flying helicopters  for the l ...

If you want to check your flight data, the best way is to go to http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/Upload/
Follow the instructions to upload your flight record.
It will display all the notifications and how many sats were connected for the whole flight.
2016-4-20
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Geebax
Captain
Australia
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John Hansey Posted at 2016-4-21 11:08
Learning and practicing Atti mode is a really good lesson. I have been flying helicopters  for the l ...

You can buy some parets on the DJI site directly: http://www.dji.com/ They are not the easiest thing to find, but they are there.
2016-4-20
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rayrokni
Second Officer
Flight distance : 8139875 ft
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i always suggest everyone PRACTICE often in atti mode and land in atti mode specifically for the problem you encountered. i would say reason for crash was initiated by a malfunction (not necessarily P3 fault) and pilot inexperience in atti mode. Hope you get it up and running, wish you the best. good luck
2016-4-20
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labroides
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rayrokni Posted at 2016-4-21 13:53
i always suggest everyone fly in atti mode and land in atti mode specifically for the problem you en ...

Flying in atti mode and landing in atti mode  ... for what?
That seems pretty pointless
2016-4-20
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rayrokni
Second Officer
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labroides@yahoo Posted at 2016-4-21 12:00
Flying in atti mode and landing in atti mode  ... for what?
That seems pretty pointless

so when you get a gps or compass malfunction you can switch to atti mode and fly without any tech help, solely on your own piloting skills
2016-4-20
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labroides
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rayrokni Posted at 2016-4-21 14:04
so when you get a gps or compass malfunction you can switch to atti mode and fly without any tech  ...

That's like pushing your car in case the engine stops one day.
2016-4-20
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labroides
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rayrokni Posted at 2016-4-21 14:04
so when you get a gps or compass malfunction you can switch to atti mode and fly without any tech  ...

That's like pushing your car everywhere in case the engine stops one day.
2016-4-20
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rayrokni
Second Officer
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labroides@yahoo Posted at 2016-4-21 12:07
That's like pushing your car everywhere in case the engine stops one day.

well dont take the advice and move on
2016-4-20
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labroides
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rayrokni Posted at 2016-4-21 14:08
well dont take the advice and move on

It's not good advice.
If you lose GPS, the Phantom defaults to atti mode.
If there is a clash between compass data and GPS, the Phantom defaults to atti mode.
Losing GPS is extremely rare if you are flying in the ipen.
Avoiding using GPS because you are scared of something that won't happen and wouldn't necessarily be a problem anyway doesn't make sense.
2016-4-20
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rayrokni
Second Officer
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labroides@yahoo Posted at 2016-4-21 12:16
It's not good advice.
If you lose GPS, the Phantom defaults to atti mode.
If there is a clash betw ...

your advice not to practice atti mode is definitely bad advice.
practicing anything cant be bad advice,
2016-4-20
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labroides
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rayrokni Posted at 2016-4-21 14:23
your advice not to practice atti mode is definitely bad advice.
practicing anything cant be bad a ...

I made no comment on practising atti mode flying.

I only commented on you suggesting "i always suggest everyone fly in atti mode and land in atti mode specifically for the problem you encountered"

2016-4-20
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OrlyP
lvl.4
Flight distance : 36916 ft
Philippines
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I'm all for practising in Atti mode. GPS and compass issues, though relatively rare, still happens to the best of equipment for various reasons. And when it does, some of the built-in fail-safe or assisted flight features like Home Lock, Course Lock, and RTH stops working..

Flying in Atti will train you to fly against a breeze or a crosswind, for example, to prevent the aircraft from drifting. At the end of the day, barring catastrophic propulsion or control systems failure, the ultimate fail safe is right between the pilot's ears.
2016-4-20
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rayrokni
Second Officer
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labroides@yahoo Posted at 2016-4-21 12:38
I made no comment on practising atti mode flying.

I only commented on you suggesting "i always su ...

Oh got you, I must have forgotten to say practice often in atti  mode!
Will correct it shortly
Thanks for the catch as the original sentence did imply to fly only in atti mode!!! One wrong word and the whole meaning changes!
2016-4-20
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John Hansey
lvl.3
Flight distance : 2026903 ft
United States
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I found parts cable set, props, antennae's and props at sureRc shipped for $49.
Should I open the case before ordering?
I really want to fly great and learn to fix.
Any help on things to be aware of would really be appreciated.
Thanks
2016-4-20
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rodger
First Officer
Flight distance : 20145135 ft
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Well, ATTI mode is full manual flying. You have to make all of the moves. To bad that you had a crash. It is best to practice ATTI mode when you can. Practice enough and you will become proficient on your own and you will gain cionfidence in handling the Phantom on your own. When you have a situation such as the one that occurred it will become second nature in a situation such as the one that you experienced. Most likely you accidentlly hit the toggle switch and knocked it out of P mode. Kudos to you for not blaming DJI for the error.
2016-4-21
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rene.vandermeer
lvl.3
Flight distance : 236781 ft
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A friend of mine had a similar crash with a P3P.  He sent the log to DJI. It turned out to be a firmware error. They will repair the P3P for free.
2016-4-21
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G_MEZ_G
lvl.3

United States
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For my first week or two, I only flew GPS. Last couple of days, I began experimenting with the A-Mode and I now have taken it out of GPS and into A-Mode with confidence when at a safe altitude. The video is much more smooth an I am now very confident about switching back and forth. The only thing to watch out for is making sure you switch back to P-Mode before landing, as A-Mode only maintains altitude but it will not maintain location. So if a gust of wind comes in while landing in A-Mode, it will drift. Anyone correct me if I am wrong.  
2016-4-21
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John Hansey
lvl.3
Flight distance : 2026903 ft
United States
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Thank you all for your thoughts and comments!
I sent P3S to repair center and so far they have been great!
1 they sent label for shipment with in two hours of first contact.
2 they evaluated and cost repair in less than 3 days.
3 they received payment and repaired in another 3 business days.
4 they sent shipment notice today of repaired P3S.
5 they shipped both ways repaired unit including new body for nearly the same price the parts would have cost me!
6 Is a question mark because I will post as to the quality of repair, hoping it will fly like new

By the way I will be an avid "atti mode" flyer as soon as possible, practice makes confidence
2016-5-3
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