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Lost GPS Lock at 100 meters AGL
417 0 2016-7-30
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Second Officer
Flight distance : 36916 ft
United States

There was a bit of cloud cover this afternoon and I admit that it wasn't ideal for GPS. During the 3+ minutes I hovered below 30 meters, I can only get 8 satellites. But since I was comfortable flying in Atti mode, I wasn't worried... not too much, anyway.

So I let her rip and throttled up for a vertical climb. When I reached 90 meters, the number of satellites went down to 7 then 6, and as I got close to the 100m mark, it switched to P-Atti and the satellite count went further down to 5 and then to 3. At this point, the P3S has lost position lock and started to drift at almost fly-away speed. I arrested the drift and proceeded to take it down to a lower altitude.

Only when I got down to about 80 meters did the mode changed back to P-GPS with 8 satellites.

As an engineer, this phenomenon seems to go against normal logic. It should be the other way around.... better GPS reception as you gain altitude. Can anyone explain why this happened?

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