Professional Drone lost after signal lost... What can i do ?

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Hello to everyone,
I have been reading a lot of threads but apparently no one has encountered my problem so here we go...
It has been three days since my brand new phantom 3 arrived and after 5 flights, decided to go to this nice lake in the south of France where i live. Before taking off, as usual calibrated, had 100% battery, a lot of gps, high signal, everything to ensure a wonderful flight like i had during the past three days. After following a group of rowers and about to turn around at end of lake, signal lost, everything lost, connection between remote and aircraft, just after 3 minuts flight, nothing responding, tryed to iniate the return to home on controller but with red light on i assume this didn't even affect the drone, so after waiting ten minuts, and trying to move back torwards me never saw the drone, so i thought it might be idle in the air and since i was over water took my car and rushed to a spot just 200 meters away from where it was last and still no signal and nothing. Rushed back to the " home not sweet home" point where i waited for another 20 minuts just in case drone would have came back, and at this point was almost in tears and shaky. My girlfriend crying, we decided to take car and go in the woods to the last seen position, and until the sun went down, looked threw every bush every tree and didn't find it :'( . I had saved up for two years to get a drone and this was y late christmas present, i feel terrible and don't understand what happened. I contacted DJI and still no answer, i sendt them the flight log and screenshots i am desperate, can you guys tell me if i have chance to get refund ? I also checked i was authorized to fly in that precise location... Thanks a lot
 

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Hello to everyone,
I have been reading a lot of threads but apparently no one has encountered my problem so here we go...
It has been three days since my brand new phantom 3 arrived and after 5 flights, decided to go to this nice lake in the south of France where i live. Before taking off, as usual calibrated, had 100% battery, a lot of gps, high signal, everything to ensure a wonderful flight like i had during the past three days. After following a group of rowers and about to turn around at end of lake, signal lost, everything lost, connection between remote and aircraft, just after 3 minuts flight, nothing responding, tryed to iniate the return to home on controller but with red light on i assume this didn't even affect the drone, so after waiting ten minuts, and trying to move back torwards me never saw the drone, so i thought it might be idle in the air and since i was over water took my car and rushed to a spot just 200 meters away from where it was last and still no signal and nothing. Rushed back to the " home not sweet home" point where i waited for another 20 minuts just in case drone would have came back, and at this point was almost in tears and shaky. My girlfriend crying, we decided to take car and go in the woods to the last seen position, and until the sun went down, looked threw every bush every tree and didn't find it :'( . I had saved up for two years to get a drone and this was y late christmas present, i feel terrible and don't understand what happened. I contacted DJI and still no answer, i sendt them the flight log and screenshots i am desperate, can you guys tell me if i have chance to get refund ? I also checked i was authorized to fly in that precise location... Thanks a lot
Ran your flight log through healthy drones, and everything seems perfect. No compass or GPS/signal issues, nothing. Very odd.
 
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Did you look in the app and try the find my Phantom which shows it last know position. With the controller signal lost it should have initiated the RTH function. Did you verify the home position befor take off. After just 3 minutes and only 200 meters away you couldn't spot it in the air? Did you look at the radar to see which way it was pointed when you lost signal. Very odd losing signal that close unless you few behind something!
 

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The problem was that you went out of sight behind terrain.
Flying behind a mountain will blocking your signal.
After a few seconds without signal, your Phantom would have entered RTH and attempted to fly straight back towards you.
It was at about 120 metres altitude.
But, the ridge you flew behind is 200-230 metres high + the height of the trees (if Google Earth is accurate).
How high were the trees on the ridge over the dam?
Given your takeoff altitude of about 150m, it should have cleared the ridge by about 40 metres (not counting the trees)
If those trees are tall enough or Google Earth heights aren't accurate, your Phantom could be in or under a tree on that ridge WSW of the dam wall.

It's too late now but for any other new flyers, flying more than a mile away with only the experience of 5 flights isn't a good idea.
There are plenty of things that can go wrong and you need experience to know what they are and how to make sure they don't happen to you.
On top of that flying behind terrain is never a good idea.
Did you look in the app and try the find my Phantom which shows it last know position.
After just 3 minutes and only 200 meters away you couldn't spot it in the air?
1. Find my Phantom is a P2V+ feature - not present on the P3
2. We know from the log he was 7000+ feet away and behind terrain.
He drove there and would have arrived there some time after the Phantom was lost.
 
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The problem was that you went out of sight behind terrain.
Flying behind a mountain will blocking your signal.
After a few seconds without signal, your Phantom would have entered RTH and attempted to fly straight back towards you.
It was at about 120 metres altitude.
But, the ridge you flew behind is 200-230 metres high + the height of the trees (if Google Earth is accurate).
How high were the trees on the ridge over the dam?
Given your takeoff altitude of about 150m, it should have cleared the ridge by about 40 metres (not counting the trees)
If those trees are tall enough or Google Earth heights aren't accurate, your Phantom could be in or under a tree on that ridge WSW of the dam wall.

It's too late now but for any other new flyers, flying more than a mile away with only the experience of 5 flights isn't a good idea.
There are plenty of things that can go wrong and you need experience to know what they are and how to make sure they don't happen to you.
On top of that flying behind terrain is never a good idea.

1. Find my Phantom is a P2V+ feature - not present on the P3
2. We know from the log he was 7000+ feet away and behind terrain.
He drove there and would have arrived there some time after the Phantom was lost.
Hello and thanks for your reply, i don't think the mountain ( more like a hill ) was higher then my altitude flight but if it's the case you advise me to go look in that area ? Could you send me just a screenshot with circled area of where i could have a chance to find it if it did crash into the trees coming straight back. Thanks a lot
 
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For future drones or if you find yours invest in a tracker like Marco Polo drone tracker has a two mile range


Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots mobile app
 
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Good luck with the hunt rember to look up in the trees as they have been known to get stuck in high branches


Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots mobile app
 
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Meta4

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Hello and thanks for your reply, i don't think the mountain ( more like a hill ) was higher then my altitude flight but if it's the case you advise me to go look in that area ? Could you send me just a screenshot with circled area of where i could have a chance to find it if it did crash into the trees coming straight back. Thanks a lot
Here's a very rough diagram.
I've put the RTH path in white with a circle around the highest part of the ridge which is right on the line.
If by some chance, the P3 was set to hover on losing signal rather than RTH, it might have autolanded under the end of the yellow line when the battery ran low.
 

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Here's a very rough diagram.
I've put the RTH path in white with a circle around the highest part of the ridge which is right on the line.
I have already searched around the last seen spot, and with water beside i assumed it had maybe went down in it :/
Thank you so much i'll go look in that area tommorow morning since it's already dark, they announce a bit of rain during the night i guess that will ruin it ? Or would it still work after drying it and all ? I guess if i'm lucky enough to find it it will cost less to repair then to buy new one...

And is the phantom 3 set by default to return home when connection lost ? Cause i didn't change that for sure !
 
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Here's a very rough diagram.
I've put the RTH path in white with a circle around the highest part of the ridge which is right on the line.
If by some chance, the P3 was set to hover on losing signal rather than RTH, it might have autolanded under the end of the yellow line when the battery ran low.
If that's very rough, whats very accurate. :)
 

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Thank you so much i'll go look tommorow morning since it's already dark, they announce a bit of rain during the night i guess that will ruin it ? Or would it still work after drying it and all ? I guess if i'm lucky enough to find it it will cost less to repair then to buy new one...
Find it man, the water damage comes from it getting wet, then drying out, over and over. Me and friends have 40 man hrs looking for my lost P2V+. Takes 50 mins to drive to the searching point. If the image of your flight is correct, I think you had to much confidence versus experience. It Sucks.
 
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Find it man, the water damage comes from it getting wet, then drying out, over and over. Me and friends have 40 man hrs looking for my lost P2V+. Takes 50 mins to drive to the searching point. If the image of your flight is correct, I think you had to much confidence versus experience. It Sucks.
The image is perfect until that actual spot where i lost it just suddenly,
And same for me the searching point is 40 mins away from my place and it's like complete woods so it's looking for a needle in 100 meters of sand...
 

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Yep, People say it's like looking for a needle in a haystack. It's not the same, you could actually filter through the haystack. My last search was Oct 25th. Snowmobile is the only way in there now. Not worth the fuel and time to look anymore. We had a really dry summer, Oct 25th is when the rains hit.

Added: I do have a Marco Polo now.
Not going to help if you go in the drink.
 
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Based on what Ive read (way too much), I would say that it would definitely be worth a try searching the area Meta4 circled. I would bet that is exactly what happened.

edit: I have looked at like two of the healthy drones logs so im probably wrong, was a home point even set? Could have sworn it told you in the notifications section (which im not seeing, just the rth altitude set). If not it should have just auto landed right where you lost signal I think (dont even own one yet,). Guessing you looked there? Looks like its maybe over land...maybe
 
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I would check what actions you made on the controller because when you freaked out you might have shut it down. Doesn't really help but would give you time and area to look. I rarely flight out of site to avoid this and certainly not behind large structures. Good luck, hey one thing be happy you live near France and have a caring girlfriend lol
 
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A couple things regarding this post number one tracker does help even if it goes in the drink you can tell through the flight log of the tracker that it actually is in the water and not Overland so that's helpful number two you should always put your phone number and name on the drone somewhere. One of the few drones I've lost that didn't have a tracker on it and I wasn't able to recover did have a phone number on it and somebody called me they had found it in the woods seven months later after it had been through summer rains and a couple snowfalls remarkably it barely even need dried out and work perfectly very dirty though.
 
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And another tip if you go searching I had a P2 with a tracker on it go down and it was 200 feet in the air when the power cut off so even though the tracker showed it in one spot obviously had some trajectory I looked all around and could not find it and I stumbled upon a Deerstandthat a hunter left out climbed up 8 feet on it and noticed it immediately so you might want to try in an area you think it's in climbing up a tree 10 feet and looking around from that vantage point seems to make a huge differencehttps://www.dropbox.com/s/9q1tgv8ry3rp4tp/10video-5270.mov?dl=0
 
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A believe mine is in old growth timber about 200' up. A lost FPV and still had a visual. I was recording video and was continuing to make my planed circle. But it seem to kept getting farther away. Upper winds maybe. Find my phantom was no help to me. The mistake was spending 2 hours searching at the find my phantom location. Realizing the next day looking at maps I understood what was wrong.
I did carry the remote with me hoping it still had power and if I got close enough I could get a link again. But I am sure I was in the wrong area. I thought that it could be still powered up because after I lost sight of it I could hear the motors / props ramping up full speed. By the time I drove to the main area I couldn't hear it anymore.

P2V+

Here is the launch point.
45°34'20.79N, 121°47'41.05"W

Here is one last areas I looked.
45°34'15.71"N, 121°46'34.94"W

It looks like you can drive right to that location but it is a skidder trail. I very good motorcycle rider could do it.
 
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You didn't mention what device you were using. I had a similar lost signal error a few months ago. Apple had an iOS update and that seemed to be the problem. I had to wait until the next update of iOS and DJI Go before I could use my iPad mini. I was lucky that time because RTH worked.

NEW PILOTS ATTN
I highly recommend the following safety items:
Snap on prop guards, a gimbal guard and genuine DJI Carbon fiber props.

Save yourself some heartache as these items are inexpensive and available on eBay.
 

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