So that's what the fly away feeling feels like!

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I was flying my P3Standard out over a grass field (no people nearby) and was going to the other end of the field. Even though it was only 300-400 meters away the video briefly disconnected due to nearby interference (a building with lots of Wi-Fi). I still had visual and could still control it. I increased altitude and saw the little white dot rise against the blue sky. All good I thought.
Then I took a quick look at the screen to see if I had regained video link knowingly that when you take your eye of the little dot in the sky it may be difficult to get a visual again.
And that's when that dreaded feeling sank to my stomach. As I moved my eyes back towards the sky I saw it right away, in the exact same spot but moving full speed directly away from me! Into the horison.
I looked at the controller, and no connection, both video was gone and the green button on the remote now was red. Full loss.
I was thinking, no way I can get it back now. I had no car with me. It was headed across the valley and straight for the hillside on the other side, which is populated. I wasn't thinking so much of my loss anymore but where/whom it would fly into when it reached the populated area on the hillside... It has no avoidance system and as it closes the hillside it's relative altitude drops, still flying full speed.
So this is what a fly away feels like. Not a good feeling. I was wondering what went wrong, since I confirmed the Home point was correct.
A minute or two later (probably just one, felt like ten!) I wonder why I still have visual contact with the drone. It should have reached the hillside by now, but instead it seemed to continue way above it. Then another white dot follows the same path. I realize I was looking at airplanes that were on a heading directly where my drone was (only much higher of course and much further away making it look like my drone). I was tricked by size and distance. And that same moment I heard my drone making the decent exactly where it was supposed to. The reason it took some time returning is that I probably had control signal longer than I thought or something. Maybe some head wind on the way back, I don't remember.
Happy ending, having learned what the fly away feeling feels like, followed by still having confidence in the equipment.

Happy flying everyone!
 
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I am just glad for your story has a happy ending, a similar situation happened to me last year and seconds quickly become minutes that feel like hours.:)
 
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wow great ending.my heart rate was raised quite a bit towards the end.i kind of know what the feeling is like now thanks to you lol.
 
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That's why it's important before taking off to record the home point first or will not see your bird anymore!
 

AWD

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Great description of what happened.

I've had that type of thing happen where I looked away and then reacquired what I think is the drone when it is really an aircraft much farther away and moving similar to my own bird. Almost flew into the ground wondering why "my" drone wasn't descending until I realized it was an airplane I was trying to control!!!

Luckily I recovered the video feed and was REALLY spooked by what I saw. The middle of a very crowded parking lot, about 75 feet high.

Thanks for your report. We all get a lesson from that.

AD
 
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OK ... now that the Heart stopping incident has occurred ... what lesson needs to be learnt ?

The OP's case is a Lost control connection evident by the RED LED on controller. That means whatever action has been set by user in APP on loss of control will activate. It would seen from the post RTH default was set.
Unless user has de-activated Home Point recording - the RTH reference point should be automatically recorded on take-off.

Lets move on and assume a pilot loses sight or video of the aircraft .... maybe tablet shuts down ... WiFi fails .... plenty of reasons ... but Controller still has connection ... the GREEN LED ...

S2 switch !!

Regardless of whatever .... LEARN what S2 switch does .... as soon as you have any idea that you may have lost orientation / location of the aircraft ... TOGGLE S2 and get it back.

Forget all the hocum about restarting app's ... trying to fly this way / that way to determine where and what it is ......... HIT S2.

Page 23 of the Manual.

99% of the time you have NOT lost control of the aircraft - you have lost VIDEO.
Second RED light on controller indicates Controller to Aircraft lost connection and as long as you have set default to RTH - the aircraft will RTH.

I think we all have gone the through the heart stopping fright and then learnt something. I'm sure the OP is happy that RTH kicked in and saved the day ...

Nigel
 
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I was flying my P3Standard out over a grass field (no people nearby) and was going to the other end of the field. Even though it was only 300-400 meters away the video briefly disconnected due to nearby interference (a building with lots of Wi-Fi). I still had visual and could still control it. I increased altitude and saw the little white dot rise against the blue sky. All good I thought.
Then I took a quick look at the screen to see if I had regained video link knowingly that when you take your eye of the little dot in the sky it may be difficult to get a visual again.
And that's when that dreaded feeling sank to my stomach. As I moved my eyes back towards the sky I saw it right away, in the exact same spot but moving full speed directly away from me! Into the horison.
I looked at the controller, and no connection, both video was gone and the green button on the remote now was red. Full loss.
I was thinking, no way I can get it back now. I had no car with me. It was headed across the valley and straight for the hillside on the other side, which is populated. I wasn't thinking so much of my loss anymore but where/whom it would fly into when it reached the populated area on the hillside... It has no avoidance system and as it closes the hillside it's relative altitude drops, still flying full speed.
So this is what a fly away feels like. Not a good feeling. I was wondering what went wrong, since I confirmed the Home point was correct.
A minute or two later (probably just one, felt like ten!) I wonder why I still have visual contact with the drone. It should have reached the hillside by now, but instead it seemed to continue way above it. Then another white dot follows the same path. I realize I was looking at airplanes that were on a heading directly where my drone was (only much higher of course and much further away making it look like my drone). I was tricked by size and distance. And that same moment I heard my drone making the decent exactly where it was supposed to. The reason it took some time returning is that I probably had control signal longer than I thought or something. Maybe some head wind on the way back, I don't remember.
Happy ending, having learned what the fly away feeling feels like, followed by still having confidence in the equipment.

Happy flying everyone!
I had this happen to me whilst using the DJI goggles without a tablet attached (which is supposed to be ok). It felt like an eternity not knowing of the rth would work without the tablet/phone connected but it did thank goodness.
I lost faith in goggles and won't use them again.
 
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Second RED light on controller indicates Controller to Aircraft lost connection and as long as you have set default to RTH - the aircraft will RTH.

I think we all have gone the through the heart stopping fright and then learnt something. I'm sure the OP is happy that RTH kicked in and saved the day ...

Nigel
When I first added DBS mod to my (one) controller I would get at least 1 mile without any loss. A week or so after I decided to test the new CSC (3 sec delay before shutoff) and my bird flipped. No apparent damage, props didnt even have one nick. So, I just forgot about it. Then.......

Flying with Litchi app I would be lucky to get 500m before RTH kicked in. Dji-Go app was a bit better (by about 200m) because RTH event seemed slower to activate allowing me to attempt to correct the lost signal. The thing is, that regardless of the app, when I get the "Lost signal" and RTH kicks in my controller led is still GREEN. So far I have been afraid to regain control when this happens until the app says my signal is restored.

I tested a Litchi mission that took the bird 1780m from my H point and the controller LED stayed green all the way. The subsequent log file however showed loss of my uplink started at 500m with a permanent loss at 700-800m.

I tried another (unmodified) controller and while my distrances were not as great, same results. I get RTH initiated and my controller LED is green :( No idea what is going on.
 
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I still have to use it, but I have clear in my mind to turn off the RC as my last resort in situations like this, where video feed is lost and control signal is on/off.
It seems to me the most reliable way to trigger the RTH.
 
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I also have a quad that is the exact opposite of easy flight of the P3S ... a WL959 ...... small, light, with camera. It has Gyro stabiliser and will do flips .... but nothing else, no GPS, no auto hover etc. ... once you master that - the P3 is a walk in the park.

I charge it up occasionally to keep the 'manual flight' hands in ...

I'm sure there will be more than a few who will read this post and chuckle .... Fancy mentioning such a Toy here ... but honest - it takes more to fly the 959 than it does to fly the P3 ....

Nigel
 

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