Mavic Pro Fly Away Procedures

Discussion in 'Mavic Pro Discussions' started by MGrosvold, Oct 30, 2016.

  1. MGrosvold

    MGrosvold Member

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    I'm a pretty novice drone pilot and soon (well, hopefully soon) to be Mavic owner. Never having owned a DJI aircraft, I was wondering if there is a guide or procedure to follow in case of a fly away. What procedure should a pilot perform to A) attempt to regain control of the aircraft, B) locate and recover the aircraft and C) determine the cause of the occurrence. What information can the logs provide and does DJI offer any assistance with B or C??

    I'm not planning for a fly away but would like to be prepared for one just in case. After it happens is not the time to scramble figuring out what to do next.

    Thanks for any guidance you can provide.
     
  2. msinger

    msinger Well-Known Member
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    Assuming the Mavic is going to be as reliable as the Phantom 3/4, we're going to see very few legit fly aways. Pilots normally mention "fly away" when they have no idea why the aircraft didn't obey their commands. I've researched many P3/P4 fly away cases. 99% of them were caused by pilot error. With that in mind, the Mavic manual is the best guide. Read it. Understand it. And, keep reading it until you fully understand it.

    It depends on the situation. I realize that's not helpful, but no fly away situation is the same.

    If the downlink (video) was connected for the entire flight (or at least the end of the flight), the map in DJI GO will show you exactly where the Mavic is located. If the downlink disconnects, all you'll have is the last recorded location in the Mavic flight log. Considering what the Mavic was doing at that time, it's often pretty easy to figure out about where it landed/crashed.

    The cause can often be determined by examining the TXT flight log (created by DJI GO on the mobile device) and the pilot's account of what happened.

    The TXT flight log records data only while the downlink is connected. The DAT flight log (stored on the Mavic's internal memory card) stores data for the entire flight. The only issue with the DAT flight log is that there are no known tools that can read it and you'll only be able to retireve it if you can find the Mavic.
     
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  3. kmaluo

    kmaluo Well-Known Member

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    Msinger, curious, what are some common user-error fly aways examples?
     
  4. msinger

    msinger Well-Known Member
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    Here are some that I commonly see:
    • RTH initiates and the pilot is not aware it occurred
    • The compass is calibrated near magnetic metallic objects and/or takes off near those objects
    • The pilot flies the aircraft behind an obstacle and the signal disconnects
    • The aircraft auto switches to ATTI mode and it drifts away with the wind
     
    #4 msinger, Oct 30, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2016
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  5. MGrosvold

    MGrosvold Member

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    msinger, thanks for your input. I'll certainly take your advice regarding learning the manual.

    Can you elaborate a bit please? How does the pilot not being aware of a RTH situation case a fly away and shouldn't loss of signal trigger a RTH rather than result in a fly away??
     
  6. Robert Mitchell

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    With some of the other DJI controllers, switching to full manual and then back to ATTI would completely disengage any GPS influence and give control back to the pilot. It has saved me. Now, since the Mavic has no way to disengage GPS, no manual, or even ATTI mode this could be problematic. With increased reliability and redundancy built into the Mavic, this may no longer be an issue. That is what I am hoping for.
     
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  7. msinger

    msinger Well-Known Member
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    When RTH is initiated, the Mavic will fly away without any stick input. That could be quite the confusing situation if you don't know what's going on.

    Yes. But, there are many situations that could prevent the Mavic from returning back to the home point. For example, the Mavic is not connected to enough satellites, the home point was not set, there is not enough battery power, or the Mavic crashes into an obstacle on the way back to the home point.
     
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  8. msinger

    msinger Well-Known Member
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    This should be a non-issue since the Mavic is designed to auto switch to ATTI when there are compass-related errors that could cause a fatal outcome if the Mavic were to continue using the GPS data.
     
  9. MGrosvold

    MGrosvold Member

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    That would be good.
     
  10. m0j0

    m0j0 Well-Known Member

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    My definition of a "fly-away" is one in which the operator can't control the AC. In a true fly-away situation there is nothing you can do to regain control. I am fairly new as well but I have flown the Phantom series exclusively for about 300 flights. That said I have never had a fly-away or even close. I have had now two flights where there was interference that caused my AC to switch to ATTITUDE MODE. With that said when it switches to ATTI mode it will drift. That is not uncontrolled flight that is flight where you have lost GPS. That said here are some tips that will help you.

    1) Make certain the audio is turned on for your tablet. When it swaps because of interference you will get an audio prompt from the lady that lives in the DJI GO APP, "ATTI MODE!" You will also observe that the GREEN band turns yellow and the panel will show ATTI mode. If it is windy like it was when I was flying you will notice that your AC will drift. My advice is to turn into the wind and gain altitude until you are able to get a feel for just how windy it is..

    NOTE: The manual states the AC will come down in alltitude when GPS is lost. This seems counter intuitive as it could descend into trouble. Usually my first reaction to issues is to get the bird above the obstacles.

    2) If you can see it and are comfortable flying without GPS bring it in and put it down. If you have lost sight of it or you are fairly new to flying without GPS my advice is to use the map.... It is much easier to maintain orientation when you use the map because you can see exactly which way the AC is facing in relation to the amount of drift. It happened to me with 15 MPH winds and started drifting toward a large tower. I am pretty comfortable flying though and it was pretty easy to recover. New operators may have had an issue.

    3) This will sound preachy - While you wait for your Mavic. - Get a cheap trainer and fly it.. fly it.... fly it... I did that before I received my first Phantom and could fly figure 8's inside, outside, in the wind etc... without problems. Then when I received my Phantom I flew it hours and hours in attitude mode so that I would not have any issues if I lost GPS. My first 20 flights with my Phantom were all within about 100 feet. I recommend the same for all new operators.
     
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  11. MGrosvold

    MGrosvold Member

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    Great reply with some good info and sound advice. Thanks a bunch.
     
  12. Butterpuff 6

    Butterpuff 6 Well-Known Member

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    Too bad we can't switch to atti on the Mavic. Hopefully they will give us that through the app some day, but I'd rather have a hard controlled switch on the remote.


    Sent from my iPhone using MavicPilots
     
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