First flight - RIP

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Hey guys, drone_crasher is in the house...

I flew near a cruise port yesterday evening, hoping to take some great videos of leaving ships but suddenly my screen blacked out - 'aircraft disconnected' - all 18 satellites were gone and my reception as well.

I was waiting for the drone to return home but after several minutes I went to the last know location without success. The RTH setting was at 90ft, too high to hit palm trees. I will upload the log for you to get a better understanding. PS: I was talking to my brother via speaker on the phone who I was filming when the screen blacked out. I told him ' dude, i lost control of this bird' while he was confirming that the LED's of the drone changed to a blinking white color and disappeared towards my direction. Home distance was about 1300ft.

I still have not found the drone btw. That happened last night.
My conclusion :

Due to the busy port and the leaving cruise which I saw from distance, it must have interfered with my connection. The drone was on his way to me but lost signal and GPS location so from my research I gathered that it would hover somewhere until it runs out of battery? After around 10minutes I was connected to the drone again. It said 'motor obstructed' and the battery life was decreasing from 29% to around 15%. I wasn't able to find the drone, it got dark and this morning I didn't see it either. Also, why does it not show me on the app map where it's location is (while the battery lasted) ? .

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Thank you,
drone_crasher
 

msinger

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Please upload your TXT flight log here and post a link back here. Healthy Drones does not show enough information.
 

msinger

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After uploading your log, just copy the URL from your web browser here.
 
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msinger

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Here's what your flight log tells me:
  • When you took the photo at the end of your flight, you can see your Phantom was well above the palm trees at 96 feet.

  • The connection was lost shortly after taking that final photo.

  • Since the RTH altitude was set to 98 feet, your Phantom ascended from 95 feet to 98 feet and started returning home.

  • At that time, the battery was at 49% and had about 9.2 minutes of flight time remaining. The RTH time was estimated to take 53 seconds. So, your Phantom had plenty of time to make it back to the home point.

  • On the way back, your Phantom had to fly over at least two tall buildings. Those buildings and or the structures on top of the roofs could have been 98+ feet over the takeoff point.

  • I'm guessing your Phantom either crashed into the side of one of the buildings and fell to the ground, crashed onto one of the balconies, or hit one of the structures on top of one of the buildings and crashed on the roof.
Note: It's not uncommon for the altitude reported by your Phantom to be up to 20 feet off.

Note: The red line in the image below shows the path your Phantom would have taken when it returned back to the home point. The blue circles are the locations where I believe it crashed.

CrashSite.jpg
 
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Here's what your flight log tells me:
  • When you took the photo at the end of your flight, you can see your Phantom was well above the palm trees at 96 feet.

  • The connection was lost shortly after taking that final photo.

  • Since the RTH altitude was set to 98 feet, your Phantom ascended from 95 feet to 98 feet and started returning home.

  • At that time, the battery was at 49% and had about 9.2 minutes of flight time remaining. The RTH time was estimated to take 53 seconds. So, your Phantom had plenty of time to make it back to the home point.

  • On the way back, your Phantom had to fly over at least two tall buildings. Those buildings and or the structures on top of the roofs could have been 98+ feet over the takeoff point.

  • I'm guessing your Phantom either crashed into the side of one of the buildings and fell to the ground, crashed onto one of the balconies, or hit one of the structures on top of one of the buildings and crashed on the roof.
Note: It's not uncommon for the altitude reported by your Phantom to be up to 20 feet off.

Note: The red line in the image below shows the path your Phantom would have taken when it returned back to the home point. The blue circles are the locations where I believe it crashed.

View attachment 68593
I appreciate your detailed response. The first circle is no option since this is an empty construction site. I assume it might have hit the building inbetween. I was hoping it would fly back the same or similar way I flew it (over the water).

Also, if there is absolute NO signal / reception - the drone would still remember where the RTH location was? I'm thinking of the cruise port which might have used jammers or so
 

msinger

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I was hoping it would fly back the same or similar way I flew it (over the water).
It always takes the most direct route back to the home point.

Also, if there is absolute NO signal / reception - the drone would still remember where the RTH location was?
The Phantom has a GPS receiver inside of it. That's how it knows how to find the home point.
 

msinger

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MapMaker53, what are you trying to show us?
 
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I posted the same photo but you beat me to the response with a full explanation. So I deleted my post.
 
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2 questions:

Can I blame DJI for this? How can I suddenly lose complete control, even on it's way 'home' I didn't have any control over it nor did I see anything on my screen and the drone was close by then. the distance from the building to me is close.

GPS tracker for the future? recommended? what brand/model

once i found it, i will update you. thanks again
 

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I appreciate your detailed response. The first circle is no option since this is an empty construction site. I assume it might have hit the building inbetween. I was hoping it would fly back the same or similar way I flew it (over the water).
Also, if there is absolute NO signal / reception - the drone would still remember where the RTH location was? I'm thinking of the cruise port which might have used jammers or so
First .. the port does not use jammers.
The reason you lost connection was that you flew the Phantom to a position where signal reception was blocked by two tall buildings.
This is what interfered with your connection, just like flying behind a mountain would interfere with your connection.

My conclusion :
Due to the busy port and the leaving cruise which I saw from distance, it must have interfered with my connection. The drone was on his way to me but lost signal and GPS location so from my research I gathered that it would hover somewhere until it runs out of battery?
Your Phantom never lost GPS, you just lost the connection between the controller and the Phantom when you flew behind tall buildings.
Three seconds after control signal was lost your Phantom would have initiated RTH and since the RTH path was through a tall building, that's where the flight ended..

The manual has three pages on the topic because RTH is one of the most important things for a Phantom owner to understand.
Can I blame DJI for this? How can I suddenly lose complete control, even on it's way 'home' I didn't have any control over it nor did I see anything on my screen and the drone was close by then. the distance from the building to me is close.
What caused you to "suddenly lose complete control" was that you flew behind two 12 storey buildings that blocked your signal.
What caused the crash was the pilot not understanding how signal is blocked by large obstacles, not understanding how RTH works and not setting an appropriate RTH height.
The Phantom performed exactly as it was programmed to and would have returned safely if proper piloting was exercised.
Can you blame DJI?
You might want to rethink that question.
 
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First .. the port does not use jammers.
The reason you lost connection was that you flew the Phantom to a position where signal reception was blocked by three tall buildings.
This is what interfered with your connection, just like flying behind a mountain would interfere with your connection.


Your Phantom never lost GPS, you just lost the connection between the controller and the Phantom when you flew behind tall buildings.
Three seconds after control signal was lost your Phantom would have initiated RTH and since the RTH path was through a tall building, that's where the flight ended..

The manual has three pages on the topic because RTH is one of the most important things for a Phantom owner to understand.

Can you blame DJI because you flew behind an obstacle and had RTH set lower than the obstacle ....?????
Was that DJI's fault that you lost control and signal because you flew behind two 12 storey buildings that blocked your signal?

This has to be at least the 5 or 6 th lost phantom in exactly same scenario

flying at dock/port
take a route out and over the water all- LOS.

for some reason they then run the phantom behind very tall condo/office blds. along waters edge.

Lose site (LOS), lose Video contact,
and wonder why! what happened?

after sitting 3 seconds without RC signal it begins RTH.
Phantom then rth's into building taller than RTH setting.

Then blame DJI.

Side note to OP :
were you talking on the same device you were using for the GO APP?

Good luck!
 

msinger

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Can I blame DJI for this? How can I suddenly lose complete control, even on it's way 'home' I didn't have any control over it nor did I see anything on my screen and the drone was close by then.
Most definitely not. It looks like one or more of the buildings blocked the signal when you descended too low. Your Phantom likely crashed into one of the buildings before there was a clear line of sight between you and it.

GPS tracker for the future? recommended? what brand/model
I recommend you set the RTH altitude to the proper altitude prior to each flight. 30 meters is the default setting and it was way too low for the area where you were flying. To keep it safe, I'd recommend you set it to at least 50 feet higher than the tallest estimated obstacle.

As for trackers, you can find a list of commonly used trackers here.
 
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If the building under construction doesn't work weekends then there's a chance it's sitting at the bottom of the wall... But 98' would also put it into the 10th story and it may have flown through a window and into a wall inside. Either way, if you want to find it, then the construction site is the starting point. If you set your return height to 300' then as it goes up and rises above the buildings, you can regain control before it even starts coming home. Just having it start the return by going up high enough to clear anything between you makes a big difference. Depending on where I am flying I will set it at 400' or whatever I need to clear the mountains between.

All you can do right now and smile and take it :) We all crash sooner or later because - what goes up... will eventually come crashing to the ground...
 
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Looks like there may be battery cell issues as well on that flight.
 
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If the building is under construction it could have flown inside, seen a wall in front of it, and tried to rise above the obstacle, crashing into the roof. The interesting thing to me is that if you were getting a notification that the motor was obstructed, then it had already crashed, but your controller had a connection. Therefore, the last GPS position obtained should be very close to where it is. By looking at the flight log, you should be able to see that location, or by loading Litchi, the Where's my drone function should give you the coordinates to put into your phone.
 

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msinger

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I don't know how that Litchi feature works, but I can tell you flight data is not stored on the remote controller.
 

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