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P2+ flyaways
2207 26 2015-2-23
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chipscarpenter
lvl.1

United Kingdom
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Last week I also suffered a flyaway in a P2+. I won't waste time by recounting full details, save to say that I was at that time flying in Nazza Ground Station mode, having as always pre-flighted the quad thoroughly and taken off with the rear green lights slowly flashing. I was flying visually about 300 ft. distant when the quad veered dramatically from the set track and was lost. I was unable to recover control either by toggling the S1 switch or setting it to failsafe, which had been pre-selected in Vision Assistance for the S1 failsafe position. I have previously practiced this procedure without problem. I was flying in open country with no visible power lines or aerials. Whilst checking for the last position recorded by the Base Station position, I was able to recover the wreckage, but it was beyond repair.

I have been flying model helis and fixed wing for 40 years and have only once experienced a complete communications failure and that was when I was 'shot' down by another flyer on the same 35 mgs frequency - something that should now have been impossible. I am a BMFA member and hold an active PPL.

I have checked out other forums and found that as there are so many reports of similar events and accepting some may have been caused by pilot error, there does seem to be a real problem with the P2+ communication protocols. Apart from checking that the GPS plug is properly secured, nobody has suggested a relevant cause. I am not after any financial compensation and accept that it is still early days for this technology to be full proof, however I do expect DJI to accept that there is a real flyaway issue and resolve it before there is a fatality or serious injury. So far, they do not seem to have accepted that there is a problem.

I have replaced the P2+ which may be good business for the vendors in the short term, but in the long term unless this issue is resolved by DJI, the CAA here in the UK and FAA in the US will not permit the status quo to continue.
  
My message is don’t be too complacent. You can fly the P2+ many times without experiencing a flyaway, but unless the issue is resolved, one day it could bite you as well! In the meantime, I will not be flying my replacement P2+ in Ground Station mode.
2015-2-23
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Swerve
lvl.4

United Kingdom
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Sorry to hear about your flyaway.

What exactly is Naza Base Station Mode?
2015-2-23
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chipscarpenter
lvl.1

United Kingdom
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Swerve Posted at 2015-2-24 02:03
Sorry to hear about your flyaway.

What exactly is Naza Base Station Mode?

The default mode in the DJI Phantom Assistant is  'Phantom'. By clicking on 'Phantom' you get the option of changing to Nazza mode. Nazza gives you many more options to fly than the default mode, but only if you are an experienced  pilot. Suggest you check out

It is far easier to see the video than trying to explain in writing!
2015-2-23
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chipscarpenter
lvl.1

United Kingdom
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Sorry Swerve, I should have referred to 'Ground station' and not ''base station'. again you might like to check out:



the video again explains very well how Ground Station works.
2015-2-23
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cayers13
lvl.3

United States
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I'm a relatively new pilot. As I gain more experience is there any reason NOT to switch to Naza mode at some point?
2015-2-23
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gnixon2015
First Officer

United States
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cayers, you are better off in naza than phantom becasue in phantom the only way to initiate RTH is to turn off the controller and frankly, that is never a good thing to do because to regain control quickly you are relying on the reconnection.  with naza you can stop RTH just by putting s1 back in middle of top position.  so i would say naza is best.

as for ground station, it is software.  software is capable of errors.  i dont trust software to fly my phantom any more than i trust software to drive my car.  sure software plays a ROLE in allowing ME to fly it (or drive my car even) but i still want to be part of the equation.  ive seen lots of ground station flyaway stories and while ill never truly know if it was software or some other factor as the root cause, i choose not to risk that.  i fly with sticks only.  

again, NOT saying nobody should ever fly in ground station mode, but if you do, undertsand that you have to decide how you feel about it, you cant base it off of what others tell you.
2015-2-23
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grangerfx
First Officer
Flight distance : 817713 ft
United States
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Another user had a problem with the ground station feature causing a fly away. He had put several waypoints within 30 feet of each other. I think that may have caused the Ground Station waypoint following software to crash on the drone causing the fly away. I ran into something a bit odd the one time I used Ground Station. When my P2V+ reached the first waypoint, it stopped and turned towards the second waypoint but then turned back to the first waypoint again before continuing to the second waypoint. I get the feeling that it decided it was out of range of the first waypoint after the turn so it went back to it before starting the second leg. The reason this could be related is that it implies that the Ground Station feature may not be fully reliable on the P2V+. Not many people are using it due to its rediculous 500 meter range, iPhone only app and really poor map caching features. My plan is to avoid Ground Station in the future since it seems to be a common issue among flyaways recently. Ground Station mode also takes full control of the drone and you cannot regain control by putting the controller into RTH mode since that simply disconnects the controller while the drone continues to fly its route. You may be able to regain control by switching down one click and back up again.
2015-2-23
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culpritkirk
New

United States
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I have also had this issue. The first day I flew my new P2V+ I was out in the country, no power lines, did all the necessary preflight actions and had no issues flying. Few days later I was back at the exact same location. I went through all the preflight drills. This time all hell broke loose. I was within a clear line-of-sight with the drone which was about 50-60 yds away and roughly 50-60ft in the air. Everything was fully charged at takeoff. All of a sudden I lost WiFi connection. I didn't panic. I turned off the controller to trigger the "fly home" safety feature and saw that it was starting to come home. Then it suddenly lost all GPS lock. That's when it took a hard right turn and when down into the lake I was flying over. This was the second day of flying the drone which you can imagine would be especially heart-breaking. It was a helpless feeling watching it fly blindly into the lake. It left me very confused and angry as to how/why this happened. My first thought as I went to re-read the manual to see if there was something I missed was how the wording is misleading. It says not to fly unless you have at lease 6 GPS satellites "locked". To me "locked" means that once you have a locked signal there is no worry of it possibly unlocking, which is apparently not the case since the number of satellite "locks" can seemingly change at the drop of a dime.
2015-2-23
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teedo757
lvl.4
Flight distance : 1870 ft
United States
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Here is mine taking a dump this last Saturday. Was is gps mode and it just flipped. I just watched it, didn't even try to recover. Hit soft snow so no damage. I kinda laughed and shook my head.


2015-2-23
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rustysilverwing
lvl.4
Flight distance : 7962966 ft
United States
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Had my first flyaway. Did the compass dance in clear area w/o phone or controller,  had 12 sats, clear sky, no power lines,, previously flown same spot perfectly with another Phantom, and flew this AM in a different spot just perfectly. This last one, however, was nuts.

It took off, shook a bit, ascended under control and then did the jitterbug all over the sky, crashing down 2 minutes later. Ideas?

https://drive.google.com/file/d/ ... XM/view?usp=sharing
2015-2-23
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cfisher
lvl.1

United States
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I had the same thing happen this past Saturday (Feb 21). Fully charged battery, locked on to 9 Sats. I snapped a few still pics of a property at about 200 feet and it was flying great and holding positions well. I then initiated a GPS route with 3 waypoints. As it took off for the first waypoint in disappeared over the back of the house and I lost the video link. I stepped away from the house to obtain a visual as I flipped over to failsafe and It was gone. This area has many pines trees but it was well over the trees. The last view in the app showed it over a horse arena in level flight above the trees. The "Find My Phantom" point in the app was close to the last view in the app. Looked for 4-5 hours in the area and no phantom. I've flown this Phantom 2 Vision + over 20hours of flight time with no issues. I did get a new iPhone 6 and was forced to download the new DJI App upon launching.  Thats the only thing that has changed.

When will something be done about this?
2015-2-23
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droneflyers.com
First Officer
Flight distance : 60709 ft
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United States
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I know people are not going to listen - but I will say it again for those who might.

Ground station is a bragging feature and is not ready in any way for prime time. I would not suggest using autonomous flight in any hobby quadcopter.

It's an immature app and I wouldn't trust any quad without at least 2 GPS modules and other sensors to fly that way.

IMHO, of course!
2015-2-23
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Observer
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Australia
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cfisher@longhor Posted at 2015-2-24 10:25
I had the same thing happen this past Saturday (Feb 21). Fully charged battery, locked on to 9 Sats. ...

Many will tell you it was your fault and there is nothing wrong with the Phantom. While that thinking is present there will never be anything done about it. Until the majority accept that it can happen to them at some point and challenge DJI to find the problem and fix it, it will keep happening. Up until this point I don't see DJI even admitting it's anything but human error.
2015-2-23
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cfisher
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United States
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Has any else noticed this?
DJIknownIssues.jpg
2015-2-23
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Observer 2
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droneflyers.com Posted at 2015-2-24 10:28
I know people are not going to listen - but I will say it again for those who might.

Ground station ...

It does seem that most of the fly always have happened recently when they were flying ground station.  DJI flashes a shiny piece of programming and the fishes strike and buy a new one, only to lose it a week later.
2015-2-23
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chipscarpenter
lvl.1

United Kingdom
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Thanks Fisher - as a matter of interest, I was running IOS Version 1.0.48(1677) and Phantom firmware Version 3.08 at the time of my flyaway. I think Observer2 is correct by saying not to use Ground Station. It will certainly lessen the risk. GS is a fun idea, but I now feel much safer on the sticks.
2015-2-24
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cayers13
lvl.3

United States
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is it better to have full manual set in Naza mode just in case of flyaway? I was reading on another forum where people say they lost control in Naza mode and going between GPS and Atti didn't help and the drone just flew off. I don't see ever using manual but if that's your only option to regain control in that situation maybe it's better to have it enabled than the failsafe option. Also, does failsafe still work in Naza mode if the controller is shut off?
2015-2-24
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chipscarpenter
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I doubt it, but unless you know of people who have succeeded or you can engineer a flyaway to confirm, you won't know! I have not seen any posts on this or other forums supporting this as a remedy. However, if you can direct me to one, I would be grateful. I can confirm that toggling the S1 between GPS and Atti had no effect for my flyaway, neither then switching to failsafe.
2015-2-24
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gnixon2015
First Officer

United States
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cayers, RTH still works in naza mode when the controller is turned off... but dont do that, use s1bottom instead.  i dont think full manual should ever be set for anything but the most experienced flyers, also should be used for folks that fly far enough away to risk needing a fast RTH.  as far as ppl not being able to 'stop a flyaway' in naza mode, the problem is that if the drone is at a large distance, the connection could break before you switch modes ot something you want to control it in.  any one would wonder, then why didnt it come home?  maybe the homeloc was set far away and they didnt know it and the drone was, in fact, TRYING to come home.  this is why i not only LOOK at my homeposition every flight but also TEST it once before i head off far away.
2015-2-24
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cayers13
lvl.3

United States
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what do you mean by look at/test your home position? so manual isn't really a viable option to correct a flyaway if it happens?
2015-2-24
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gnixon2015
First Officer

United States
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good ? cayers, here is what i do to ensure 100% certainty with homeloc:

1.  i always look for BOTH fast green flashes before launch (since one is heading lock and the other is hompoint lock)
2.  when i take off, i fly my bird about 100ft away from me but only about 15ft off the ground.  then i flip s1bottom.  it begins flashing yellow and starts upward.  as soon as it hits RTH altitude, i watch and see if it is moving in the proper home direction.  if it does, i watch it move to the homepoint where i am and start descending.  as SOON as it starts coming down, i stop it with moving back to s1top.  at this point i KNOW that it knows where home is.  IF however it either didnt start moving towards home OR it didnt stop and start descending at the right spot, it is VERY CLOSE TO ME so i have reaction options.  instead of it flying away in those cases, i could simply go back into atti or gps mode and 'recover it' before it got away or worst case if it was truly ignoring me, i could just CSC since it is very close by (i'd rather have a pile of plastic than a flown away drone).

but since doing this, i feel much safer while flyin gthat IF it goes into RTH mode that it WILL fly back to where i think it is.  is it foolproof?  no.  but it is much better than just hoping every time that it is working.
2015-2-24
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grangerfx
First Officer
Flight distance : 817713 ft
United States
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How about using the NAZA home lock mode to test where it thinks the home point is rather than RTH? RTH disconnects communication with the controller which seems more risky than a command to fly towards home but under control.
2015-2-24
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gnixon2015
First Officer

United States
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grangerfx@gmail Posted at 2015-2-25 07:58
How about using the NAZA home lock mode to test where it thinks the home point is rather than RTH? R ...

you can do either, just make sure that you get more than 30m away or else you cant test homelock only courselock.

as for s1bottom, i thought (and please prove otherwise as i could be mistaken) that i had read turning it off actually killed the connection where s1bottom only told it to act that way versus actually disconnecting.  my deduction then was that if you turn the power off, it has to reconnect when you power back on (which given CERTAIN circumstances during a flight might be too late like it leaving quickly out of range if you were at the edge already, or if it flew behind an object etc).  so i thought that s1bottom mitigated the 'reconnecting' risk making it a better option than actually turning off.  if i am wrong then certainly the HL test would be beneficial.  however, i like knowing the ACTUAL SPOT and HL test would only get you back to 30m, my method actually starts to land so you can see exactly where it would go.  again, not saying my way is perfect, just informing you why i decided what i did.
2015-2-24
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grangerfx
First Officer
Flight distance : 817713 ft
United States
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One bug I know of that is 100% repeatable causes the home lock to not work. Here are the steps if you want to reproduce it:
1. Put your controller into NAZA mode (via computer and USB connection).
2. Fly your P2V+ drone (I have a 3.0 but other types of P2s are likely affected) more than 30 meters away.
3. Put the controller into home lock mode (S2 bottom) and pull back on the right stick. Note that the drone starts to fly back towards its home position.
4. Put the controller into Return To Home mode (S1 bottom) and wait for the drone to start flying back to the home postion again.
5. Wait for the drone to start to fly back to its home point
6. Put S1 back to its top position to go back to GPS mode hover.
7. Now pull back again on the right stick.
Expected results: The drone should fly towards its home position because S2 is still in home lock mode.
Actual results: The drone flies backwards because the state of S2 was not sent to the drone when it reconnected.
.
2015-2-25
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JATO
Second Officer

United States
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grangerfx@gmail Posted at 2015-2-26 02:49
One bug I know of that is 100% repeatable causes the home lock to not work. Here are the steps if yo ...

I have my Phantom configured for NAZA mode. One of the things I never do anymore is to put S1 into RTH mode unless S2 is in the up position. The reason is on the bench i noticed when S2 is in either the home lock or course lock position and I put S1 into RTH and then return to it to the GPS position sometimes  I get red and green flashing lights on the rear of the Phantom. The only way to clear the red light is the move the left stick downward. It happens more often when S2 is in the Home Lock position. It never happens with S2 up or if I initiate RTH by turning the transmitter off. Does it affect the flight? Don't know, it doesn't seem to affect the motors when I move the sticks. But the fact that it sometimes triggers a red tells me something is got screwy.
2015-2-25
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yorlik
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United States
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grangerfx@gmail Posted at 2015-2-24 03:02
Another user had a problem with the ground station feature causing a fly away. He had put several wa ...

I am a newbie here but I believe a this post is wrong and needs to be questioned?

starting at the top:

stopping at each waypoint and then turning around is  known defect in dji program- it does this if next waypoint is more than 90 degrees away. the app by ilove cofee fixes this known defect.  so this is NOT an indication of possible flyaway about to happen.

ditto the 500m limit is eliminated by that ilove coffee version.

it is NOT an ipone only app;  I had it on my android until I replaced it with ilove coffee modified version.

not sure what 'really poor mapping means but expect it is also a non issue?

saying GS takes full control and you cannot regain control seems wrong based on lots of info I have seen - seems you CAN regain control if in range with S1 sw change.  I am fairly certain I have read lots of threads where it i said you CAN do a RTH function while in GS if still in range to send it.

I think we should be very careful writing nonsense that is not true?
2015-2-27
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jonathan.statt
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United Kingdom
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rustysilverwing Posted at 2015-2-24 10:14
Had my first flyaway. Did the compass dance in clear area w/o phone or controller,  had 12 sats, cle ...

This one looks like an ESC failure. When ESCs start to fail they tend to be intermittent for a short time which is why it was fighting itself trying to correct. But once it totally fails, the drone cannot run on 3 motors...it will crash.

Quite often you get some seconds warning for ESC failures. While it isn't always possible to land straight away, if possible when you see behaviour like that, you should land ASAP. You may just avoid a crash or have a very minor one. Then without props connected, you can start the motors and figure out which one has failed.
2015-2-28
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