How to hand catch a Phantom 4 Pro?

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I fly in windy areas, such as the port of San Francisco in the Summer, or the Northern California Bay Area Sacramento Delta. These are work related flights, often after driving for hours. Just launching is difficult, a steady 20 mph wind will almost blow over a phantom before the rotors start up! I launch from the leeward side of my truck which is usually OK if I do a full power lift off, though I have had a few tip-over-auto-power-down's. The app controlled flights, such as DJI's GSP, are almost impossible in high wind because they power up too slowly and tip over on launch, and may easily tip over on landing in high wind. I have the most trouble landing in high wind. I think hand catching may be the best way to save a set of $30 propellers. I would like some advice on hand catching a Phantom 4 Pro in 20 mph wind while in full control using DJI's GO app. Here are some pic's taken during my high wind (20 mph +) flying ...

WINDMILLS TURNING 2.jpg


DJI_0020.JPG
 
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For the first, do not try to hand catch it by yourself in that wind. Have another person there with you to do the catching while you control the AC. Bring the AC toward your helper backwards with the battery facing the helper and into the wind, so that if a gust comes up or you lose control, it will fly away your helper and not into him or her. And do retain enough battery after completing the job to bring the AC into the wind for a hand catch. You may have to try several times before a successful catch, and you want and need sufficient power to do so.
I've hand caught the AC many times just as the video below shows, but I sure wouldn't do it in a stiff wind.
 
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Meta4

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I would like some advice on hand catching a Phantom 4 Pro in 20 mph wind while in full control using DJI's GO app.
There are lots of tutorial videos on Youtube.
This one covers the basics:

His illustration is a little higher than I like but you should keep the drone above eye height and reach up to get the landing gear.
Turning the drone so that the battery is facing you makes it easier to reverse the drone toward you without making mistakes. Left if left etc.
It's a good, safe idea to stop the drone a metre away and step towards it rather than flying it all the way towards you.
 
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I hand catch mine all the time. I have all my sensors off, reverse in close to me, then I step and grab the left leg with my right hand and then use my left hand to lower left stick all the way until props stop. Do not try and move the drone until the props stop.
I wear a neck strap which supports the controller while I do this.
 
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The video in post 3 is one of the best I've seen. It's got some good tips. The only things I would add is:

During the hover, right before the step in to grab, take your fingers of the sticks. Re-engage with the left stick AFTER you have a firm grip of the landing gear, while holding the drone in place just above your head.

Picking a helpful landing area has its virtues. If possible, try to land downwind of anything that can reduce the wind. If you're on a hill, maybe walk down the leeward side of the hill where there is less wind. Or, land on the leeward side of a building, or trees. Anything that can reduce the velocity of the wind will help.

Step in to grab the craft from the windward side of the hovering craft, so the wind blows it away from you if a sudden gust occurs.

I find that orienting the craft to grab the Phantom landing gear from the side is the easiest and safest, not from the rear as described in the video.

I don't recommend asking a friend to catch your drone in sketchy high winds. You could be held liable if something happened, like a prop in the eye. I wouldn't put my friend in that situation, nor would any of my friends put themselves at risk by catching a drone anyway, because their smart!

Another tip for take off:

Depending on your P4P firmware, if it's is old enough (1.3.509) you can modify the flight parameters. This is only possible with P4P V1. You can remove the REV REV of motor startups. You can also reduce the RPM of the motor idle when sitting on land to 50% of normal. This will mitigate tip-overs in wind, because the the props are spinning slow. After those adjustments, just start the motors, then take off fast and deliberate. The wind won't tip over the craft.
 
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Capt KO

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Thanks y’all for stressing the importance of Reverse for hand landing. So much easier to control and safer. Common error and only way possible from a boat, especially in motion. 👍
Fly safe
 

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Just to minimise the chances of hand injury wear gloves and something to protect your forearm.
Sounds like talking from experience. I don’t use gloves now but did at times in the beginning. Easy with proper technique. Prefer it, even with Mavic.
 
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We hand catch almost every single flight and especially with the Phantom series because they have factory installed HANDLES lol.
 
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I grab the rear right strut of my Phantom 4 as it hovers in front of me (facing away) above my head level. I hold the left stick down which turns off the motors in 3 seconds, and then I use my right thumb to turn off the Phantom's battery. I rarely ever land it on the ground.
 

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We hand catch almost every single flight and especially with the Phantom series because they have factory installed HANDLES lol.
Looks like most every phantom pilot has figered a way. What wit all dem legins hangin down. Don't hand launch much though. Except in the boat. Just let go!
 
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I grab the rear right strut of my Phantom 4 as it hovers in front of me (facing away) above my head level. I hold the left stick down which turns off the motors in 3 seconds, and then I use my right thumb to turn off the Phantom's battery. I rarely ever land it on the ground.
Exactly how we do it time and time again :)

Looks like most every phantom pilot has figered a way. What wit all dem legins hangin down. Don't hand launch much though. Except in the boat. Just let go!
Ditto :)
 
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Sounds like talking from experience. I don’t use gloves now but did at times in the beginning. Easy with proper technique. Prefer it, even with Mavic.
You're right. Still have scars on my right hand - forarm. Didn't hold the Phantom firmly enough while shutting down motors and it turned around directly on my hand. It was pretty good lession. Now I never push the left stick down until not holding good enough the landing gear.
 
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ianzone

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:) just a shout out @BigAl07 good to see you around ,thought that virus got ya,few around have dropped off planet for some reason but good to see your return
Welcome back 👍
 
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BigAl07

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:) just a shout out @BigAl07 good to see you around ,thought that virus got ya,few around have dropped off planet for some reason but good to see your return
Welcome back 👍
Thanks Ian. The Virus didn't get me directly but our Emergency Services Unit was activated and we were working some crazy long shifts and forum time was less priority than a couple hours of sleep LOL! We are finding a new "normal" now and as such I'm able to find some "online time" again.
 
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I never land my Phantom without catching it, I just bring it in close, little above head high let it hover walk over and grab the landing leg and pull down down on my left stick, lower to the ground the wind should not be too much. grab it tight, there is alot of prop wash
 
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I have a Mavic 2 and a Spark. If I grab them from below during a hover and turn turn quickly to their side, they turn off without messing with the throttle. I think this is default behavior.
 

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I have a Mavic 2 and a Spark. If I grab them from below during a hover and turn turn quickly to their side, they turn off without messing with the throttle. I think this is default behavior.
Not recommended on Phantoms. Dangerous when holding the legs, which is all we have to grab. A covered kill switch would have been nice.
 
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Not recommended on Phantoms. Dangerous when holding the legs, which is all we have to grab. A covered kill switch would have been nice.
Yes! My experience shows that.
According to exclusive hand catchers - it is nice to land on the ground sometimes. Training the minimal movements. It is also necessary if you don't want to shut off motors after landing and take off again. (one flight record).
 
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