Above all, Do not panic!!!! cut myself yesterday due to panicking!

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Hopefully others can benefit from this hard learned lesson. Yesterday, I took off in the backyard and at 6 feet there was some drifting and the bird drifted towards an object. I tried to stop it but I panicked and grabbed the bird, instead of not grabbing it lol. needless to say I cut my finger pretty badly. For those new to this, try not to panic no matter what.
 

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Meta4

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1st rule for new pilots is to fly in a large, clear open area, well away from trees, buildings and other obstacles.
Flying close to obstacles is by far, the largest killer of Phantoms.
Obstacles are your enemy - fly in the open.
 
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Hopefully others can benefit from this hard learned lesson. Yesterday, I took off in the backyard and at 6 feet there was some drifting and the bird drifted towards an object. I tried to stop it but I panicked and grabbed the bird, instead of not grabbing it lol. needless to say I cut my finger pretty badly. For those new to this, try not to panic no matter what.
You need to get one of these:

http://www.amazon.com/Hubsan-Quadcopter-Helicopter-Airplane-Blueskysea/dp/B00UEM3EBQ/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1431851481&sr=8-2&keywords=hubsan+nano

...and fly it in your living room :)

It'll hone your reactions, as It's a tricky little thing to fly, but the control system is near enough identical.

Panic sets in when you're confronted with a situation beyond your skill level; Like Meta4 suggests, don't practice flying with your phantom near obstacles until you can be 100% confident that you'll make the right input when things get a little bit interesting!
 
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Panic "gathers" we feel its onset instantly, you have to have an instant "out" .
My first and only reaction is to look at the controller (it is hard to break away from the drone) and turn it off, this hasn't let me down at any time and believe me there have been lots of times.
It gives time to gather your head again and actually correct it if needed.

"Panic sets in when you're confronted with a situation beyond your skill level", this is exactly right bar to say that it sets in to quickly for us to control, it's like shock it just gets you.
 
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In close quarters I wouldn't turn off the controller though, especially if I'm in a situation where I don't have GPS as backup - I had this exact scenario yesterday, taking pictures of our holiday chalet in a very narrow gorge, about 40 metres wide. The trees & roofs were having a strange effect on the breeze, causing a slight chop. I took off without GPS (this was just messing about in a fairly confined space), and there was a little bit of buffet, but nothing too serious.

Then the breeze picked up & my phantom started to drift towards a massive tree. The instincts from flying the nano around the living room kicked in; I applied yaw until the phantom was facing me & gently applied forward pitch. No drama. This is the easiest method if the phantom is near enough for you to see the orientation, because if it's pointing towards you, forward = return. Plus, I couldn't really outwardly panic as I was demonstrating the phantom to the site owner!

If you do find yourself in a panic (and you still have wriggle room) it's best to 'test' an input with small movements, gauge the reaction, and if it works, keep using it. Intercept the situation early so you have time to deal with it.

I've seen a lot of threads on here where people recommend buying a cheaper quad to practice with - this is the best advice of all.
 

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