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Compass errors in flight
561 3 2015-11-14
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Farnk666
Captain
Flight distance : 1711394 ft
Australia
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Hi folks,
The subject of compass susceptibility to external interference has been much discussed and many accurate and inaccurate statements put out there as gospel.
As always, we fly conservatively in all circumstances to ensure that any sensor or systems issues we encounter are able to be managed through our risk planning, situational awareness and skills as pilots.

In 9 months of operating the Inspire, I have had two instances of verified compass interference that I thought I'd share.
One of these involved the Inspire being used as a tethered remote camera (not flying, but strung up on cables) and located within a couple of feet of an approximately 20 tonne cast iron impeller housing. Needless to say the Inspire's compass had no hope in that situation!

The last occurrence was in flight while capturing some footage of the ridges and valleys at Bogong. (I posted a quick edit in another thread)
The local geology features extensive formations of Basalt, with significant deposits of magnetic material here and there. There are a number of identified spots in the area where hikers are advised to be wary of compass interference. What was interesting to find was the degree to which the Inspire was affected when navigating 50-80 agl over these areas.

In short, while there was a lot of interference, there was no real issue with flight operations. The app warned of compass issues from time to time as I encountered the magnetic anomalies but continued to operate as normal. Having the UAV in LOS and the occasional glance to the camera view kept me on the intended course and maintained safety as planned.




2015-11-14
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RichJ53
Captain
Flight distance : 1626135 ft
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United States
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Thanks for sharing Farnk

This makes a lot of sense

Rich
2015-11-15
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mfa
lvl.2

New Zealand
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I was in New Zealand at the end of November and encountered numerous compass errors in flight.  I calibrated the compass as usual and went through all of my pre-flight checklist.  During flight I would have intermittent compass errors in which the aircraft became uncontrollable.  On the last occasion RTH landed 20 meters from me in a grassy field.  I am curious if New Zealand has areas of magnetic interference.  I was not flying around any volcanos nor any mines.  After 3 flights I got nervous and called it the day.  Really disappointed since I lugged the Inspire half way around world.
2015-11-27
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Farnk666
Captain
Flight distance : 1711394 ft
Australia
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I'd say something else was happening to you mfa.
There were no control issues when my compass was upset - it just flew as if I was in ATTI mode.
2015-11-28
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