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Original Phantom 2 Green Zone Trouble
365 4 2018-5-2
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fans4db89420
lvl.1

United States
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I was pulling my hair out trying to figure out what was wrong with my trusty old Phantom 2.  Took off, flew for about 20 seconds, flashed red all of a sudden and almost ended up in the bottom of a shallow creek.  Crashed landed into the bank thankfully with no major injuries to the P2 (thank you soft mud).  I thought my P2 was dying, but it flew fine the next time I tried it.  I've been flying it for 3 years now and had never had this happen.  But I recently upgraded the firmware.  I knew about no fly zones, but I had checked and was only in a green zone, and not high off the ground, so I didn't think that would be an issue.  When I first started it up, It flashed full green for me, I took off to about 15 feet and headed out over the creek and then it flashed red and fought me to the ground.

I'm 8 miles from the airport it's reading (Eugene, OR) which is just barely in an "Enhanced Warning Zone" and it won't fly.

So I started researching how to fly in these green areas (not even talking red or yellow) and the only answer seems to be the app, to which my trusty old P2 doesn't have the capabilities for.  No response to my email after 5 days...

How does one fly the Phantom 2 anymore?

2018-5-2
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Mark The Droner
Captain
Flight distance : 2917 ft
United States
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I fly P2s all the time.  

I am kind of shocked you recently "upgraded the firmware" because we haven't had an P2 FW update since 2015.  Is it possible you've been flying all this time with FW from 2014 which means you've been flying without NFZ restrictions?  

What FW did you have before?  

What FW do you have now?  

Forget about the current DJI geo maps because they don't apply to P2s.  P2s don't have green zones and yellow zones.  P2s have only red zones.  P2 NFZs have to do with large airports and obvious TFRs like the DC FRZ.  There are lots of small and intermediate airports for which there is no NFZ for P2s.  For some reason which I don't fully understand, DJI did away with all the P2 NFZ maps, so they are no longer available for us to view.  The restrictions are still intact within the FW of the P2s, but the maps aren't online anywhere.  That means we have to go by memory to know where the NFZs might be, or we can fly by trial and error.  But your description doesn't sound like an NFZ situation.  In an NFZ, if you tried to start up your P2, you would see the 20 green flashes indicating the home point is marked, and that would immediately follow with 20 red flashes, indicating you're trying to launch in an NFZ.  And then the motors would not start.  It seems unlikely you flew within "about 20 seconds" of an NFZ and then flew into one.  Especially if you were eight miles from the airport.

Your description sounds a lot like a bad battery.  Are you sure your battery is okay?  Was it fully charged?  
2018-5-2
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DJI Susan
Administrator

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Agree with Mark. Could you upload a short issue video for better assistance?
2018-5-6
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RedTailMedia
lvl.1

United States
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DJI Susan Posted at 2018-5-6 23:30
Agree with Mark. Could you upload a short issue video for better assistance?

Hi, I would like to apologize as I blamed this on DJI, and it turned out to be a weird coincidence of errors.  It is true that I purposefully did not update my firmware from ver. 2 because I didn't want to deal with NFZs.  I am a media producer and also a private pilot and I like to do videos for airports (often in exchange for free fuel/maintenance etc.)  .

I always fly with permission and in coordination with the airport operators/managers/FBO and have someone on the radios making calls (and filed NOTAMs at busier airports.)  I never fly in any way harzardous towards aircraft.  I put all this because it is assumed that if someone avoids the NFZs, they are doing illegal/dumb things.


The more thurough backstory is that I wasn't the one who actually updated the firmware.  I lent the drone to another producer and told him not to update the firmware.  He handed it off to an assistant who promptly updated the firmware.  The next time I went to fly was over this creek.  It was a slightly chilly day in the mid 40s, and my P2 had been sitting in my car overnight waiting to go out.  I took it up to fly and the creek incident happened.

My battery is less than a year old, so I figured it couldn't be that.  I took it up for several more flights.  By coincidence it worked fine two times when I was out in the wide open, on Sunny days in which I took the P2 from inside to outside to fly, and didn't work another time in the City where I live where we hiked for a while in the cold to where I flew.

Now it seems more obvious that the temperature was actually the deciding factor, but it was a new battery, or so I thought.

When I heard that the firmware had been updated and it wouldn't fly I understandably jumped to the conclusion that my worst fears were realized.  That the P2 had been grounded by the NFZs.

It turns out that the wrong battery was also sent to me.  I had put a piece of tape with my name on it on the battery, but thye told me it came off (which was true) but they were pretty sure that this was my battery.  So I had actually gotten a battery a couple years old that was on the edge of its lifespan.  Thanks to some helpful tips on what to look for in another forum, I was able to deduce this.

So, to sum it all up, don't jump to conclusions, even if the evidence is pointing one way.  Test some more and think of other possibilies.  I'm still not sure what future flights will hold without the ability to override the NFZs on the P2, and I love being able to use a GoPro with all its ProTune features (I still feel like it's a better quality camera to my eyes) but if this is the price of keep people who don't take precautions from flyign around airports, I'm ok with it.

It was the inability to fly places not in the vacinity of an airport that was getting me upset.

Thank you for your helpful tips here as well.



2018-5-7
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DJI Susan
Administrator

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RedTailMedia Posted at 2018-5-7 16:55
Hi, I would like to apologize as I blamed this on DJI, and it turned out to be a weird coincidence of errors.  It is true that I purposefully did not update my firmware from ver. 2 because I didn't want to deal with NFZs.  I am a media producer and also a private pilot and I like to do videos for airports (often in exchange for free fuel/maintenance etc.)  My most recent. I always fly with permission and in coordination with the airport operators/managers/FBO and have someone on the radios making calls (and filed NOTAMs at busier airports.)  I never fly in any way harzardous towards aircraft.  I put all this because it is assumed that if someone avoids the NFZs, they are doing illegal/dumb things.
The more thurough backstory is that I wasn't the one who actually updated the firmware.  I lent the drone to another producer and told him not to update the firmware.  He handed it off to an assistant who promptly updated the firmware.  The next time I went to fly was over this creek.  It was a slightly chilly day in the mid 40s, and my P2 had been sitting in my car overnight waiting to go out.  I took it up to fly and the creek incident happened. My battery is less than a year old, so I figured it couldn't be that.  I took it up for several more flights.  By coincidence it worked fine two times when I was out in the wide open, on Sunny days in which I took the P2 from inside to outside to fly, and didn't work another time in the City where I live where we hiked for a while in the cold to where I flew. Now it seems more obvious that the temperature was actually the deciding factor, but it was a new battery, or so I thought. When I heard that the firmware had been updated and it wouldn't fly I understandably jumped to the conclusion that my worst fears were realized.  That the P2 had been grounded by the NFZs. It turns out that the wrong battery was also sent to me.  I had put a piece of tape with my name on it on the battery, but thye told me it came off (which was true) but they were pretty sure that this was my battery.  So I had actually gotten a battery a couple years old that was on the edge of its lifespan.  Thanks to some helpful tips on what to look for in another forum, I was able to deduce this. So, to sum it all up, don't jump to conclusions, even if the evidence is pointing one way.  Test some more and think of other possibilies.  I'm still not sure what future flights will hold without the ability to override the NFZs on the P2, and I love being able to use a GoPro with all its ProTune features (I still feel like it's a better quality camera to my eyes) but if this is the price of keep people who don't take precautions from flyign around airports, I'm ok with it. It was the inability to fly places not in the vacinity of an airport that was getting me upset. Thank you for your helpful tips here as well.

That's all right. I'm glad that you have found the reason. Also, we'll release on our website if there are any changes. Thanks for your attention.
2018-5-13
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