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P3 LOST - P3 FOUND! (Video tells the tale) Important RTH Lesson
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DroneX4
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Don't even know what to say about this. Anyone have any info about what happened here. I will be submitting a claim to dji about this. I looked everywhere for it and no signal, no luck.


DJIFlightRecord_2017-05-13_[14-04-44].zip

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2017-5-13
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PaulSouthport
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you need to upload the log file to http://www.phantomhelp.com/logviewer/upload/
2017-5-13
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DroneX4
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PaulSouthport Posted at 2017-5-13 12:31
you need to upload the log file to http://www.phantomhelp.com/logviewer/upload/

Log has been uploaded
2017-5-13
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PaulSouthport
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That appears to show very low altitude flight a long way out, then a sudden RTH. It's hard to tell but it looks like you hit a tree in RTH.
2017-5-13
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Mark The Droner
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Looks like a two min flight.  Looks like you went screamin' out for the first min and 23 secs until you lost FPV and telemetry.  Then you tried to bring it back in the blind but instead it went south because you had no FPV/telemetry to steer it in the right direction.  You also went up in altitude which was smart.  You might not have known it but it looks like you still had control of the AC.  Just as you got the FPV/telemetry back, it finally went behind a hill and you lost the control signal.  So then it RTH'd but the hill was too high so it crashed into the trees or the hill or whatever.  Elevation there is around 200 feet and you were at 130 ft.  Yes, your RTH elevation is adequate to clear that hill but it looks like you were already on the hill at that point.  So it probably hit some trees as it RTH'd to the RTH height.  That's how I read it.  

It's probably sitting there right now.  You can go get it.  You're lucky it didn't end up in the water.  
2017-5-13
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djordan2
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I think there is a good chance that it did hit that hill, or tree, and is sitting out there wondering why you abandoned it.  It looks like it would be hard to get out there though.  I didn't see any roads or trails.  Get the GPS coordinates from Google Earth and head out.  I believe they are : 48 13.528 N - 53 43.337 W.  Start at about the  100 foot level at those coordinates.  I'll bet you dollars to donuts it's in that hillside.  It doesn't look to be more than about a half mile, but you do have to climb a hill.  I agree that the flight was way too low for that distance.

Boy, sure are a lot of lakes up there in that country.  But I don't think it's in the water.
2017-5-13
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DroneX4
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Thanks everyone for the analysis. I will see if I can get out there to look. My cabin is in the area so I can take my boat out and hike through the woods.

My concern is this though: How did the aircraft get from signal loss to where it reported RTH without my input telling it to do so? That doesn't sit well with me and I am thinking that something else happened besides temp loss of signal. Thoughts?

Screen shot of the woods I need to search:


search.jpg
2017-5-13
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Mark The Droner
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There are two signals.  The FPV telemetery is one and control is the other.  Looks to me like you never lost control until it RTH'd and then crashed a split sec later.   As I said, it looks like you flew it blind after you lost FPV - trying to bring it home.  That's how it got up from 32 feet to 130 feet right?  And that's how it moved south.  
2017-5-13
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tkflyfisher7
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Sure looks to me like you ran into the hillside....it's probably sitting out there in the woods.
2017-5-13
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DroneX4
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Mark The Droner Posted at 2017-5-13 17:36
There are two signals.  The FPV telemetery is one and control is the other.  Looks to me like you never lost control until it RTH'd and then crashed a split sec later.   As I said, it looks like you flew it blind after you lost FPV - trying to bring it home.  That's how it got up from 32 feet to 130 feet right?  And that's how it moved south.

I hit the control to raise it up, but did not move it south. When video was lost  I did not try to fly it back home, only to increase altitude when the signal was lost. I certainly did not "fly it blind". Video signal was lost for 39 secs, in that time it should have been well above 130 feet as I was pushing up on the stick the whole time. It seems to me that the bird was not responding to the RC and when RTH finally kicked in it  briefly regained consciousness to tell me it was returning home but by that time it was too late.

I appreciate your help and time.
2017-5-13
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DroneX4
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tkflyfisher7 Posted at 2017-5-13 18:31
Sure looks to me like you ran into the hillside....it's probably sitting out there in the woods.

I think we have established where it is, the issue I am having is that I did not fly it into the hill, I just tried to increase altitude after signal was lost. I am going to look for it tomorrow and if I find it I guess that will tell the tale of what really happened here. This is not my first time flying and I am well aware of what to do when signal is lost (i.e stop moving in any direction and increase altitude)
2017-5-13
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blackcrusader
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Mark The Droner Posted at 2017-5-13 15:07
Looks like a two min flight.  Looks like you went screamin' out for the first min and 23 secs until you lost FPV and telemetry.  Then you tried to bring it back in the blind but instead it went south because you had no FPV/telemetry to steer it in the right direction.  You also went up in altitude which was smart.  You might not have known it but it looks like you still had control of the AC.  Just as you got the FPV/telemetry back, it finally went behind a hill and you lost the control signal.  So then it RTH'd but the hill was too high so it crashed into the trees or the hill or whatever.  Elevation there is around 200 feet and you were at 130 ft.  Yes, your RTH elevation is adequate to clear that hill but it looks like you were already on the hill at that point.  So it probably hit some trees as it RTH'd to the RTH height.  That's how I read it.  

It's probably sitting there right now.  You can go get it.  You're lucky it didn't end up in the water.

I tend to agree.   He was coming back with not enough height and most likely hit a tree.

IRFAN FILE.jpg
2017-5-13
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DroneX4
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blackcrusader Posted at 2017-5-13 18:43
I tend to agree.   He was coming back with not enough height and most likely hit a tree.

I was not flying back. Just trying to increase altitude.
2017-5-13
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blackcrusader
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PaulSouthport Posted at 2017-5-13 14:42
That appears to show very low altitude flight a long way out, then a sudden RTH. It's hard to tell but it looks like you hit a tree in RTH.

It was an interesting flight path.  Best thing is to fly over hills and not behind them.

IRFAN FILE.jpg
2017-5-13
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blackcrusader
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DroneX4 Posted at 2017-5-13 18:54
I was not flying back. Just trying to increase altitude.

Yes I understand.  You may have been ascending and hit a tree branch. Or even spooked  a bird.

The log there shows your flight path so may help you with a search. Your drones last speed was 22mph in Go Home mode.

Last known location from telemetry.   North   48.22624745     West    -53.72203432  at 127.6 feet height

If you have another drone handy maybe you could fly over and see first if you can spot your drone with known latitude and longitude. Basically 640 feet in a straight line from your home point N 48.22688 W -53.7306 to


122.8
2m 2.8s
48.22625
-53.722
Go Home
127.6
38.9
22
9.8
2,099.00
639.8

2017-5-13
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DroneX4
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blackcrusader Posted at 2017-5-13 18:56
Yes I understand.  You may have been ascending and hit a tree branch. Or even spooked  a bird.

The log there shows your flight path so may help you with a search. Your drones last speed was 22mph in Go Home mode.

Thanks, going to go back tomorrow and have a look with those coords and my gps. Hopefully I find it. I have a mavic pro on the way (will be here next week) but I think it's best I just go bushwhack this and look, it's not too deep in the woods from the beach, and I can use my boat to get to the beach. Really appreciate the help, thanks again.
2017-5-13
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Labroides
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DroneX4 Posted at 2017-5-13 18:43
I think we have established where it is, the issue I am having is that I did not fly it into the hill, I just tried to increase altitude after signal was lost. I am going to look for it tomorrow and if I find it I guess that will tell the tale of what really happened here. This is not my first time flying and I am well aware of what to do when signal is lost (i.e stop moving in any direction and increase altitude)

This is a puzzling case as so much of the action happens out of sight behind the hill you flew around.
We only have a half second of data after your Phantom re-appears on the flight record after 39 seconds.
You had your RTH height (150m) set to more than clear the obstacle but it was already returning and had ascended 95 ft when it reappeared.
I'm confused about how much was downlink lost and what was lost signal.
The log says that you were in downlink lost for 39 seconds which would have allowed you to control the Phantom (but there is no record of your control inut or the Phantom's response for this time).
When it appears, the log says Signal Lost and it is in RTH.
You wouldn't expect RTH to happen until 3 seconds after signal was lost.
If your Phantom entered RTH down low behind the obstacle, you would expect it to still be climbing when it appeared but it has already flown 250 ft closer than when it disappeared.

My best guess is that for some of that 39 secs, you did have control signal and you interrupted RTH so it stopped climbing and started coming home.
See p15 of the manual to understand how this works:
if  you  move  the  throttle  stick  after  the  aircraft  rises  above  65  feet (20m) but below the pre-set Failsafe RTH altitude, the aircraft will stop ascending and immediately return to the Home Point.

The big question is:  How high are the trees on that hill?
When the flight record ends, the Phantom is about 50 ft higher than the hill it has to fly over to RTH.
But the elevation shown in Google Earth does not include tree heights.
Were there any trees on the track home that would have been >50 feet high?

Often a crash gets recorded but this flight record just ends with no clues as to what happened after the last record.
Perhaps the Phantom hit a tree.
Or maybe a bird or even a hardware fault that cut power immediately.
We don't have enough data to tell.

ps ... if the Phantom drifted any distance to the south, the terrain would have been much higher.

Lost NF.jpg
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DroneX4
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Labroides Posted at 2017-5-13 20:19
This is a puzzling case as so much of the action happens out of sight behind the hill you flew around.
We only have a half second of data after your Phantom re-appears on the flight record after 39 seconds.
You had your RTH height (150m) set to more than clear the obstacle but it was already returning and had ascended 95 ft when it reappeared.

Very interesting, indeed it could have been the case that I was pushing up on the RC when signal was lost and as it appeared, it broadcast it was in RTH mode, but picked up my RC input at the same time, and started coming directly home. If it did try to return home at that low altitude there is a chance it hit a tree, I'm sure there are a few 50 footers up there in spots maybe I got "lucky" and it hit one of them. The drift south during the 39 seconds of darkness is very puzzling though.

Either way, thank you for bringing this to my attention. If I don't find it in the last location it broadcast from I will plot a straight line from there to my home point and start walking in that direction and see if it is in that path. Thank you very much for taking the time to look at this, really appreciate it.
2017-5-13
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blackcrusader
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"If your Phantom entered RTH down low behind the obstacle, you would expect it to still be climbing when it appeared but it has already flown 250 ft closer than when it disappeared.
My best guess is that for some of that 39 secs, you did have control signal and you interrupted RTH so it stopped climbing and started coming home."


Labroides again nails the thing that most likely occurred. For the drone to have traveled 250 foot closer to home must mean that some RC input was there.  This is also shown on the picture I posted you can see the drone has actually changed direction and was heading back but perhaps not at enough height to avoid the trees.  I hope with the GPS the drone can be located.

Hopefully it's not stuck 100 feet up in a tree.  
2017-5-13
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DroneX4
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blackcrusader Posted at 2017-5-13 21:29
"If your Phantom entered RTH down low behind the obstacle, you would expect it to still be climbing when it appeared but it has already flown 250 ft closer than when it disappeared.
My best guess is that for some of that 39 secs, you did have control signal and you interrupted RTH so it stopped climbing and started coming home."

I will take my axe just in case
2017-5-13
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djordan2
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DroneX4 Posted at 2017-5-13 18:54
I was not flying back. Just trying to increase altitude.

Was there any  strong winds that day?
2017-5-14
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Mark The Droner
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I checked the winds when he posted and they were  calm.  I don't know what day he flew though.  

Yes, that does make sense that the pilot interrupted RTH so that it stopped rising but continued RTH at an inadequate altitude.
2017-5-14
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DroneX4
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Great news everyone, I found it! Best of all, no damage to anything, even all props survived the crash. It all appears to be working fine. Amazing. Thanks all for helping, and special thank you to   Labroides for pointing out the potential RTH cancelation, and near pinpointing the actual position of the wreckage. You are amazing. I still have some questions (like can that behaviour be disabled?) as you will see in the video (Around 1:42), I was increasing the altitude of the craft when RTH cut in out of nowhere. The craft then re-stablishes signal and cancels the RTH height. This all happens in about 10 seconds. Definitely not desired behaviour in this instance, I think this should be optional, enable or disable, because as you can see in this video it is the root cause of the crash and failure to RTH.

Also, the DJI Go Log was missing quite a bit of information, and the RTH point reported was completely off (SL - RTH?) in the google earth image. Just goes to show that you cannot completely trust what it is being reported when a crash occurs. If it weren't for 0.5 secs of feedback at the very end of the log, The craft most likely would never have been found. The kml shows an incorrect RTH point.

Some pics of the crash site:

20170514_131131.jpg




20170514_131150.jpg
20170514_131349.jpg
flight analysis.jpg
2017-5-14
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SimonH78
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Excellent news - well done - plus it looks pretty harmed - but its a big reminder to keep in line "radio site" of the tx - it failed to penetrate the trees and the hill ! - Also don't interrupt the RTH . It might have made it back ok it didnt go up the 150m when it activated RTH on the video.
2017-5-14
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Labroides
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DroneX4 Posted at 2017-5-14 17:09
Great news everyone, I found it! Best of all, no damage to anything, even all props survived the crash. It all appears to be working fine. Amazing. Thanks all for helping, and special thank you to   Labroides for pointing out the potential RTH cancelation, and near pinpointing the actual position of the wreckage. You are amazing. I still have some questions (like can that behaviour be disabled?) as you will see in the video (Around 1:42), I was increasing the altitude of the craft when RTH cut in out of nowhere. The craft then re-stablishes signal and cancels the RTH height. This all happens in about 10 seconds. Definitely not desired behaviour in this instance, I think this should be optional, enable or disable, because as you can see in this video it is the root cause of the crash and failure to RTH.

Also, the DJI Go Log was missing quite a bit of information, and the RTH point reported was completely off (SL - RTH?) in the google earth image. Just goes to show that you cannot completely trust what it is being reported when a crash occurs. If it weren't for 0.5 secs of feedback at the very end of the log, The craft most likely would never have been found. The kml shows an incorrect RTH point.

That's a great result.
All crashes should be educational but it much better when you get to fly again.

"the RTH point reported was completely off (SL - RTH?)"
The straight line shown in Google Earth is just the app joining the dots for the period where it had no signal.
2017-5-15
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blackcrusader
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OK.  So it is clear you flew your drone around the hill and lost RC contact with the drone.  It then stopped, then went to RTH mode and started ascending.

From here we can see that you actually lost signal but as the drone gained altitude enough signal from the RC to keep the RTH but stop the gaining of height.  So really you flew your drone behind an object and it did as it was supposed to do.  However if you keep trying to use the RC you can send commands which stops the drone ascending.  If you had waited you would have seen your drone gain enough height to clear the trees,

Why did you not simply fly over the hill instead of around it? This is a simple case of a pilot flying the drone to a point it cannot maintain signal with the RC due to object blocking the signal.  Glad you got it back and those branches saved your drone from damage. KML at least gave us an idea what path your drone took so by following that you were able to find the drone.  All in all great news, you got some more exercise, the drone is undamaged, and now you know a bit more about RTH and also not to fly your drone behind object which mean you lose signal.

Maybe you should change the title of thread to Drone lost, then drone found.
2017-5-15
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SimonH78
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The drone worked flawlessly - you should really change the title of the post "P3 Dissapeared - but found - Pilot error !"
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SimonH78
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Perfect - many will learn a lesson from this video - well done
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DroneX4
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So a couple of lessons learned here:

1. Don't fly behind hills, fly over them. (I didn't realize how far behind the hill I had gone until video signal cut out)
2. If you do end up behind a hill, press RTH on the controller (don't try to increase the altitude) and wait for good signal before trying to resume flight or head home. Trust the craft to do it's thing.

The issue was I was trying to increase the altitude of the craft when RC signal was lost, the craft entered RTH as expected, but when it got high enough to regain RC signal it detected my throttle commands and canceled it's RTH height. It never regained video signal, just enough RC signal to cancel RTH height. Very interesting flight to say the least and I definitely learned more about the craft and log analysis.
2017-5-15
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djordan2
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How something didn't break in that fall is amazing!
2017-5-15
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KM5RG-Robert
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As you can see in the video, you began increasing the altitude, then lost signal and RTH took over. RTH first turns the aircraft toward home before it starts ascending. In the video you started ascending, then the aircraft turned toward home. That's when RTH actually started. So yeah, you interfered with the RTH function as can be expected since you were trying to regain control.
2017-5-15
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DroneX4 Posted at 2017-5-15 05:31
So a couple of lessons learned here:

1. Don't fly behind hills, fly over them. (I didn't realize how far behind the hill I had gone until video signal cut out)

"2. If you do end up behind a hill, press RTH on the controller (don't try to increase the altitude) and wait for good signal before trying to resume flight or head home. Trust the craft to do it's thing."

If you lose control signal then do nothing ("Trust the craft to do it's thing"). If you push RTH on controller then there is a small chance that it will cancel any RTH that may have been initiated by the aircraft IF it has managed to establish a control signal for a few seconds. And it would hover waiting for control input until the battery runs out and forces it to land where it is.
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DroneX4
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KM5RG-Robert Posted at 2017-5-15 06:02
As you can see in the video, you began increasing the altitude, then lost signal and RTH took over. RTH first turns the aircraft toward home before it starts ascending. In the video you started ascending, then the aircraft turned toward home. That's when RTH actually started. So yeah, you interfered with the RTH function as can be expected since you were trying to regain control.

Yes I understand what happened here. However I had no indication that RC signal was lost as video signal was already gone. My instinct was to increase my altitude and was working fine, but the craft briefly lost RC signal during my ascension and went into RTH briefly and was canceled again when signal was regained. Again I had no idea RC signal was lost as it was only lost for 7 or 8 seconds. I was looking out for signs of the craft rising above the hill, not at the little red/green light on the controller during those 7 seconds. I didn't interfere with RTH (intentionally) as I had no indication RTH was even happening until it regained RC and video signal for 0.5 seconds. Basically it let me know it was in RTH mode at the same time it canceled the return to home height.
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Aardvark Posted at 2017-5-15 08:00
"2. If you do end up behind a hill, press RTH on the controller (don't try to increase the altitude) and wait for good signal before trying to resume flight or head home. Trust the craft to do it's thing."

If you lose control signal then do nothing ("Trust the craft to do it's thing"). If you push RTH on controller then there is a small chance that it will cancel any RTH that may have been initiated by the aircraft IF it has managed to establish a control signal for a few seconds. And it would hover waiting for control input until the battery runs out and forces it to land where it is.

The issue here wasn't control signal lost so much as it was me trying to increase altitude when video was lost. If I had just hit RTH instead of trying to increase altitude, it would have been fine.
2017-5-15
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Capo
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never mind.
2017-5-15
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DroneX4 Posted at 2017-5-15 08:19
The issue here wasn't control signal lost so much as it was me trying to increase altitude when video was lost. If I had just hit RTH instead of trying to increase altitude, it would have been fine.

" went into RTH briefly and was canceled again when signal was regained. "

The RTH will not cancel when signal regained unless you cancel it. As you say above, in this case the left stick operation appeared to stop the aircraft climbing to its pre-set RTH height (it did not stop RTH), at which point it flew straight into the hill while attempting to returning to home.

I made the above comment because pushing the RTH button whilst the aircraft was already in RTH mode would have cancelled the operation. The aircraft will always enter RTH mode if control signal lost for 3 seconds or more.

Good news that you got it back with little or no damage, positive Karma in action

2017-5-15
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ArtistFirst
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DroneX4 Posted at 2017-5-14 17:09
Great news everyone, I found it! Best of all, no damage to anything, even all props survived the crash. It all appears to be working fine. Amazing. Thanks all for helping, and special thank you to   Labroides for pointing out the potential RTH cancelation, and near pinpointing the actual position of the wreckage. You are amazing. I still have some questions (like can that behaviour be disabled?) as you will see in the video (Around 1:42), I was increasing the altitude of the craft when RTH cut in out of nowhere. The craft then re-stablishes signal and cancels the RTH height. This all happens in about 10 seconds. Definitely not desired behaviour in this instance, I think this should be optional, enable or disable, because as you can see in this video it is the root cause of the crash and failure to RTH.

Also, the DJI Go Log was missing quite a bit of information, and the RTH point reported was completely off (SL - RTH?) in the google earth image. Just goes to show that you cannot completely trust what it is being reported when a crash occurs. If it weren't for 0.5 secs of feedback at the very end of the log, The craft most likely would never have been found. The kml shows an incorrect RTH point.

AWESOME!  So glad you found it.

Good stuff.  Way to use the info you had to find it.  Yeah, these things are pretty durable.  A lot more than people give them credit for sometimes.

Pilot error or not, some people around here are really stuck on that because there is a lot of people that wrongfully blame DJI (who is sometimes to blame to be fair).

Nobody is perfect so pilot error is definitely a thing.  If you are in the US, to lose LOS usually means you also went VLOS (LOS actually means Loss of RADIO sight) while VLOS is what you see vs. what the radio sees and as everyone here has said, flying behind an object (be it a hill or a wall, building, whatever) will often make you lose your LOS and obvisouly your VLOS.

All in all, you did well to get it back and learned a lesson about flying so it was a good day.  You weren't flying near anyone so as far as I personally am concerned, who cares that you were a little out of LOS.  It was avoidable but sometimes we need to learn thiings the hard way.  Good stuff though. Glad you found it!


2017-5-15
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Mark The Droner
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I need to amend my post #5.  I said after the loss of FPV,  "You also went up in altitude which was smart."  I need to take that sentence out.  In a P2 it makes sense because the sticks are dead if in RTH, but in a P3 or P4, touching the sticks can cause problems.  This is also why I love my flytrex live 3G - I always know what my AC is doing, regardless of the RC connection.  
2017-5-15
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ArtistFirst Posted at 2017-5-15 10:42
AWESOME!  So glad you found it.

Good stuff.  Way to use the info you had to find it.  Yeah, these things are pretty durable.  A lot more than people give them credit for sometimes.

Thanks, you seem to get it. I understand it was my error in the end. The craft performed exactly as it was designed. It was just unexpected behavior that I had never experienced before. Now that I fully understand what happened I don't mind admitting that I did something wrong. I love my P3 so much so that I just bought a mavic pro and pre-ordered the goggles.

This is how we learn, I got lucky, very lucky. I certainly appreciate all of help that was offered. It allowed me to recover the craft and learn something new. This thread is a good example of the differences in how things appear, and what really happened. It was actually never my intention to fly behind that hill, It all happened so fast. When video signal was lost I let off on the sticks and it drifted quite a bit further (the length of the purple line in my google earth diagram) than I had expected after letting off on the sticks.
2017-5-15
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DroneX4
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Flight distance : 180584 ft
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Mark The Droner Posted at 2017-5-15 14:01
I need to amend my post #5.  I said after the loss of FPV,  "You also went up in altitude which was smart."  I need to take that sentence out.  In a P2 it makes sense because the sticks are dead if in RTH, but in a P3 or P4, touching the sticks can cause problems.  This is also why I love my flytrex live 3G - I always know what my AC is doing, regardless of the RC connection.

I'm confused as to what you think I should have done after loss of video? Just don't touch the sticks and let it hover until it lands itself in the water? Press RTH? I let off on the sticks as soon as video was lost. You can see in my google earth diagram how far the craft went after I let off on the sticks (the purple line). I still had radio signal. It was only as I was ascending that I lost RC signal and it went in to RTH, but I only had 0.5 seconds to respond (let off on the throttle).
2017-5-15
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