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CrystalSky Ultra Locking Up and Damned Geofencing!
299 14 8-2 11:06
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Mark Weiss
First Officer
United States
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I was on vacation on Block Island a few days ago and my daughter and I rode rented bikes around the small island. I carried my P4P v2 in a backpack, as we searched out scenic places to fly.
  
We stopped at one location near a lighthouse and flew the drone. It was windy, so I had to be careful to go out into the wind and return with the wind. The lighthouse was relatively cross-wind from our location on the road, across the pond. When the drone arrived at the lighthouse, the video feed stopped updating. Not disconnected, just couldn’t tell which way the drone was looking. The app had stopped responding, but it took a full minute before the notification popped up that “Go4 stopped responding” and then I realized what had happened. The wind was kicking 35-40mph, so I was concerned when I lost the video feed. I shut down the tablet and rebooted, realizing that in five minutes of flying the CrystalSky Ultra had become very hot to the touch. I was able to reconnect to the aircraft and bring it back to the launch location, but the software crash, coupled with the high winds, ruined the shoot.
  
We packed up and biked back down toward town. Found a much more interesting spot, a bay, with sailboats in it and houses along the coast, and unpacked the drone, walked down the wooden dock and started up the controller and then the drone. Immediately, the controller made a loud beep-beep-beep sound that I’d never heard before and Go4 would not connect to the air craft. I rebooted both the controller and the drone and finally got a normal startup.
  
I waited for GPS to go green and then I took off. As soon as the drone got airborne, I heard “the home point has been updated” and then the drone started moving out over water by itself. My hands were not touching the sticks. I looked down at the display to see what was going on, and there was a message about being at the edge of a restricted zone. So I decided not to fly there and tried to bring the drone back, but it would not respond to stick movements. It was out over water, and now I’m thinking, “of of the many places I’ve flown, this could be the first time I lose a drone.”
  
I discovered that the drone would fly only in the direction AWAY from me, further out over the bay, so I began to scout locations on the other side of the bay where I could fly to and catch it on foot without having to take a swim. To make a long story short, I left my daughter on the dock looking after my camera and the drone backpack and I went back onto the road and looked for a place where I could go around the bay on land and catch the drone. I succeeded, but this was not a good situation. If this was the edge of a restricted zone, the drone altitude should have been limited, but control not taken away from the pilot. This was like starting your car and having it go into reverse uncommanded and start driving backwards!
  
So I lost a great opportunity to get some beautiful footage of this bay and nearly lost my drone as a result of DJI’s ...ty Geofencing firmware.

8-2 11:06
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Bashy
Captain
Flight distance : 549140 ft
United States
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With regards to the 1st location 40mph was pushing it big time, it can only do a max of 45mph in sports mode.
Second location was simple to overcome, check your countries NFZ apps, the problem wasnt in fact the geo software but your lack for pre-flight planning
8-2 18:31
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Anokadrone
First Officer
Flight distance : 39980 ft

United States
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I agree, lets start with putting  a drone in the air in 35 to 40 mph.  Not recommended, not smart, I would not do it.  Pretty much asking for trouble.  I could go on, but Bashy made the point pretty well.  You do write a good story however, could have had a really bad ending.  
8-3 02:34
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Mark Weiss
First Officer
United States
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The minimum wind speed on the island is about 30mph. There's no way to fly in still weather. The island is in the ocean. And we only had a few hours on the island, were traveling by bicylcles and backpacks. It was a bit of a spur of the moment trip. We almost didn't go, because of the ferry cost. I knew it was going to be windy on the island, because the ferry was heading into the wind and the captain announced that the trip would be an hour and five minutes due to the headwinds. Coming back to Rhode Island took about 30 minutes. The prevailing wind, plus the ship's speed resulted in headwind that  was so strong that we had to hold onto the railings because if we didn't we'd be blown over!

I was flying cross-wind and knew that I would be returning cross-wind. That was not a problem. In fact, much of this spring in my area at home, we had nearly continuous strong winds. It was causing our motion sensing alarms to constantly sound and very annoying. I've had to fly a couple of times in winds strong enough to blow the hat off my head, but the aircraft was fine.

On the way back from that lighthouse excursion on bikes, we found this beautiful bay and the perfect launch spot on a dock there. If it wasn't for the geofencing, we'd have a perfect flight just 10-15' above the water.

Sure glad I didn't have happen what happened to this guy!  
8-5 13:24
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1Eagle
Second Officer
Flight distance : 290348 ft
United States
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Mark Weiss Posted at 8-5 13:24
The minimum wind speed on the island is about 30mph. There's no way to fly in still weather. The island is in the ocean. And we only had a few hours on the island, were traveling by bicylcles and backpacks. It was a bit of a spur of the moment trip. We almost didn't go, because of the ferry cost. I knew it was going to be windy on the island, because the ferry was heading into the wind and the captain announced that the trip would be an hour and five minutes due to the headwinds. Coming back to Rhode Island took about 30 minutes. The prevailing wind, plus the ship's speed resulted in headwind that  was so strong that we had to hold onto the railings because if we didn't we'd be blown over!

I was flying cross-wind and knew that I would be returning cross-wind. That was not a problem. In fact, much of this spring in my area at home, we had nearly continuous strong winds. It was causing our motion sensing alarms to constantly sound and very annoying. I've had to fly a couple of times in winds strong enough to blow the hat off my head, but the aircraft was fine.

Well, I have to say....... that really s_cks.
However, it is the PILOTS responsibility to ensure that they are flying in a safe manner. Which includes checking for no fly zones, temporary flight restrictions, weather conditions and anything else that my limit or prohibit flight. Most part 107 pilots know this.

I have also experienced the auto landing feature built into DJI drones geofencing. Fortunately, I did not lose my bird. Once you have experienced that wonderful feeling of not having control of your bird, you make sure it never happens again. May we all learn from this. It could have been a lot worse. It could have happened over people or vehicles.

DJI is only trying to comply with FAA ruling to keep drones from flying where they ought not. It seems to be getting to be less of a problem in some areas and a bit easier to get unlocks. Maybe if a drone is caught in a TFR, instead of auto land it should just go into RTH with no option to cancel. That might be a safer option.

As this technology grows we have to learn to fly safe and fly safe together.
8-5 14:48
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Mark The Droner
Captain
Flight distance : 2917 ft
United States
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I wish I had a nickel for every thread I've read about the OP losing his drone after flying in high wind...
8-5 15:32
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1Eagle
Second Officer
Flight distance : 290348 ft
United States
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Mark The Droner Posted at 8-5 15:32
I wish I had a nickel for every thread I've read about the OP losing his drone after flying in high wind...

And a nickel for every time I've heard somebody blame DJI for their oversight.
We'd both be rich....


8-6 07:14
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Mark Weiss
First Officer
United States
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Well here's a new angle that puts DJI in violation of FAA and CASA laws: No autonomous flight. When a DJI aircraft seizes control from the pilot, it becomes in violation of FAA regulations asa it is now flying autonomously.

"If control once in-flight is taken over by a program it becomes autonomous. Not automated this violates FAA RULES and casa rules . It's the same as a hijacker takes control and forces a plane in the ground."

So DJI, in its overbearing Communist mindset of 'control every citizen' inadvertently finds itself afoul of the laws of other major nations.
8-8 07:15
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Geebax
Captain
Australia
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Mark Weiss Posted at 8-8 07:15
Well here's a new angle that puts DJI in violation of FAA and CASA laws: No autonomous flight. When a DJI aircraft seizes control from the pilot, it becomes in violation of FAA regulations asa it is now flying autonomously.

"If control once in-flight is taken over by a program it becomes autonomous. Not automated this violates FAA RULES and casa rules . It's the same as a hijacker takes control and forces a plane in the ground."

Bullsh*t, nicely concocted as usual by your twisted head. It does not 'sieze' control of anything, all it does is stop the aircraft from entering an prohibited area or makes it land, and you can bet that the FAA approves of both situations.

8-8 14:44
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Bashy
Captain
Flight distance : 549140 ft
Netherlands
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its more autonomous  landing than autonomous flight
8-8 18:20
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Geebax
Captain
Australia
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Bashy Posted at 8-8 18:20
its more autonomous  landing than autonomous flight

Mark is nibbling his way around the edges of the biscuit of his own credibility, not long now and he will have nibbled it down to a nub..... Then Poof, all credibility gone in a shower of tiny peanut fragments.
8-8 22:03
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Bashy
Captain
Flight distance : 549140 ft
United Kingdom
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You have a way with words lol
8-9 18:51
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Edward Smith's Replacement
lvl.4
Flight distance : 1205633 ft
United States
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RTH is still a better answer then auto landing.
8-9 19:51
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Bashy
Captain
Flight distance : 549140 ft
United Kingdom
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Edward Smith's Replacement Posted at 8-9 19:51
RTH is still a better answer then auto landing.

I would agree but only if it was forced Smart RTH
8-9 20:29
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Cetacean
Captain
Flight distance : 2271506 ft
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Mark Weiss Posted at 8-8 07:15
Well here's a new angle that puts DJI in violation of FAA and CASA laws: No autonomous flight. When a DJI aircraft seizes control from the pilot, it becomes in violation of FAA regulations asa it is now flying autonomously.

"If control once in-flight is taken over by a program it becomes autonomous. Not automated this violates FAA RULES and casa rules . It's the same as a hijacker takes control and forces a plane in the ground."

Aloha Mark,

     Actually, if you read the current rules for the FAA Part 107 Regulations, Autonomous flight is authorized on a contingency basis.  But you have to read the actual regulations to learn what those contingencies are.

     Hope this helps!

Aloha and Drone On!
8-12 02:39
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