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Flying in Fog
2432 21 2017-9-26
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JCStorbeck
lvl.3
Flight distance : 5211066 ft
United States
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Had some fairly interesting Fog banks banging around  Port Susan today.  Took a flight from my deck straight up into the fog to see if I could get to the top of it for some cool dramatic video.  Was able to get to max altitude and was able to get Spark back to the ground but did find out that the fog must be causing the downward sensors to think it is about to land.  Didn't really see or hear anything to get excited during the upward flight except  for the altitude kept flipping from what I figured was actual altitude then showing just a couple of feet and then back as I climbed through the fog.  When I started coming back down the RC started beeping and telling me I was landing.  Started a really slow descent, finally switched over to sport mode and was able to get Spark to start moving at a pace I was hoping would get me on the ground before the battery ran out!   


I had thought GPS might be a big part of the altitude calculation, but the fog surely wasn't blocking my GPS signals, if it was fog then I would guess the altitude is calculated by the sensors on the bottom of Spark?  If so does that 400 ft altitude FCC Max in the US means above the ground the Spark is over not the ground it launced from?  

Anyway, don't fly in fog, it was a bad idea in 1904 and continues to be quite exciting!


2017-9-26
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larrymull
lvl.4
Flight distance : 468668 ft
Australia
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I have had a play too in the fog and it is the only time I really felt vulnerable with the spark.
2017-9-26
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LouisP
Captain
Flight distance : 41952 ft
United States
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There are many stories of people flying in fog or cloud that are similar to yours.. The only difference being, you got back down fairly easily. Others have had terrible trouble.
2017-9-26
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JCStorbeck
lvl.3
Flight distance : 5211066 ft
United States
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I figured if I went straight up I might be okay.  I could hear Spark the entire time.  Was able to see it's location on the map as well as what direction it was pointed so I was able to move it toward the water in case it was drifting toward the hillside and trees.  A little confused on how it calculates altitude.   
2017-9-26
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daveddo
lvl.2
Flight distance : 158009 ft
United States
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There was one guy who had flown into clouds or into fog and was unable to land his Spark before the battery ran out, resulting in the drone falling out of the sky.
2017-9-26
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Lucas775
Captain
Flight distance : 12642854 ft
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United States
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Is there anyway to turn off all the sensors and be able to fly normal in the fog?
2017-9-26
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KSBV
Second Officer
Flight distance : 766234 ft
United States
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There currently isn't an option to disable the bottom sensors on the Spark.
2017-9-26
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Tom39
lvl.1
United States
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Being new to this hobby, I found this to be a very informative and educational thread. I would never have considered that fog would have the ability to disrupt the sensors ability to calculate distance correctly.

Thank you,
Tom   
2017-9-26
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JCStorbeck
lvl.3
Flight distance : 5211066 ft
United States
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When I look at the flight logs I am showing a vertical speed of 4.5mph going up 0mph horizontal in normal mode.  When I started coming down the vertical speed was showing between 0.4 and 0.7 mph coming down, while Spark thought it was going to land on that white thing.  When I put Spark in Sport mode it changed from Landing to GPS and  I was able to get it to come down at up at speeds up to 6.9mph.  So Sports mode gets you out of control from that landing but of course you have no forward collision avoidance.   Fog is a bit of an adventure!
2017-9-26
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DJI Elektra
Administrator
Hong Kong
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JCStorbeck Posted at 2017-9-26 18:56
When I look at the flight logs I am showing a vertical speed of 4.5mph going up 0mph horizontal in normal mode.  When I started coming down the vertical speed was showing between 0.4 and 0.7 mph coming down, while Spark thought it was going to land on that white thing.  When I put Spark in Sport mode it changed from Landing to GPS and  I was able to get it to come down at up at speeds up to 6.9mph.  So Sports mode gets you out of control from that landing but of course you have no forward collision avoidance.   Fog is a bit of an adventure!

I would not recommend you fly in fog with your spark. It is dangerous and you can check the manual that it is considered as bad weather. Thanks for support.
fog.png
2017-9-26
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JCStorbeck
lvl.3
Flight distance : 5211066 ft
United States
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Good Point and lesson learned....and shared so others know why...
2017-9-26
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djiuser_Kf4iPA3
First Officer
Flight distance : 276293 ft
Israel
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What happened when you switched to sport mode? were you able to descend more rapidly, like at the speed you were aiming for?
And how did you perform the actual landing - did you switch back to P-mode?
2017-9-26
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JCStorbeck
lvl.3
Flight distance : 5211066 ft
United States
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What I found when I tried to descend was the Spark was coming down thinking it was landing, you've seen the landing, very slow on the order of 0.4 MPH.  My concern was that at the rate it was moving it might not make 400 feet before it got low on battery.  When I went into Sport mode I was able to descend at up to 6.9 MPH.  I fly in sport mode a lot and often land and maneuver before hand to practice handling the Spark.  I live on a beach where almost all the houses are weekend / summer places so I am out quite often running laps around flagpoles tracks I've made up running at speeds up to 30MPH.   I often will come in for a landing by flying low through openings in the fence and around furniture.  I even have a little glass hanger I land in at times to see the affect of moving into a closed space and how ground effect might change the flight.   My big plan is to be able to catch the spring visits from Gray Whales in the spring.  They feed on a sandbar about 3000 ft NW of me and then exit the area by swimming along the beach towards my house.  So targeting getting over them at a good height for videos and tracking and being able to follow them without the video looking like a total mess.  Trying to figure if the automatic modes like circle will be able to track a whale as it travels under water.  Depending on the day the water can be quite clear so it might work.  If it doesn't then I will have to fly the tracks myself and that takes a lot of practice.  Need to get to the target area fast so Sport mode it is!

2017-9-27
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Charles Adams
Second Officer
Flight distance : 294528 ft
United States
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Fog and Spark is a bad combination.  As stated already, the lesson was learned.  There are a number of regulatory reasons as well as mechanical reasons why this should be avoided.  My wife wanted me to get a picture above cloud cover, and I politely refused (which is a brave action of any husband).
2017-9-27
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Sparky_17
Captain
Flight distance : 62349 ft
Canada
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risky business flying spark in fog.

were you able to capture images?  if so, please share
2017-9-27
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JCStorbeck
lvl.3
Flight distance : 5211066 ft
United States
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I knew I would be flying blind from the camera view point but had the map and was just going straight up over my property, unless the fog somehow shorted things out, did not anticipate that it would be too risky going vertical since I have nothing to fly into above my house.  I was not able to get above the fog bank like I expected, to get a shot of the mountains over the fog.  All I got was on take off and recovery the last 100 or so feet.  I am new here so to share  a video I have to post it on YouTube or something?
2017-9-27
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vasi
lvl.2
Flight distance : 16099 ft

United Kingdom
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As per the manual, in sport mode only the 3d sensing system (front sensor) is not working.
The visual system (bottom sensors) should still work.
I am wondering how does it still make the spark to get out from the slow landing mode.
2017-9-28
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hallmark007
Captain
Flight distance : 5992858 ft
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Ireland
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Fog clouds are basically water precipitation, water and electronics just don’t mix well.
2017-9-28
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JCStorbeck
lvl.3
Flight distance : 5211066 ft
United States
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As soon as the Fog started clearing the descent limitations I was seeing in Non-Sport Mode disappeared.  I don't think it was an issue of moisture and the electronics not working correctly but of fog presenting an object under Spark.  In sport mode the sensors may be active but they sure didn't seem to have any input overriding my stick input.  
2017-9-28
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V3yiRoN
lvl.1
Flight distance : 3560 ft
Sweden
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My third flight was in fog, I wasn't aware of this and from now on I will read the manual more carefully, here's an example if you're interested;
2018-1-7
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CoreyB10
Captain
Flight distance : 204803 ft
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United Kingdom
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daveddo Posted at 2017-9-26 17:30
There was one guy who had flown into clouds or into fog and was unable to land his Spark before the battery ran out, resulting in the drone falling out of the sky.

That's Karma for being a stupid ass and not reading the screen and battery life. Love the fog as had some excellent images captured.
2018-1-7
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Flighty
Captain
Flight distance : 1977175 ft
Austria
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I flew in fog just, deciding to fly straight up to see how high the fog extended. And during the ascent I received the following warning " "Ultrasonic Sensor Error . Land Immediately", which I promptly did, but it was very uncontrolled, resulting in a very hard landing ,, Lesson learnt,, no flying in fog, mist or any bad weather.
2018-1-7
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