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A “Just get it back home!” training flight today

Marko9219

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#1
Routine “training” for what to do in case the app crashes and won’t restart for whatever reason or your phone or tablet dies. I launched without the device attached, in a place with no trees or any other obstacle for MILES and one single building within MILES (You may not have access to such a luxurious place to fly)
Confirm RTH altitude and GPS mode. Climb to 30 feet for a few seconds, then fly away in any direction, climbing to a couple hundred feet. Once it’s out quite a bit, stop moving, take your eyes off of it, and don’t look for it again! Eyes off it! Yaw it around a few times, so you have NO idea which way it’s pointed. Start moving forward slowly watching your distance. If the distance is increasing, you obviously aren’t flying towards yourself. Stop, yaw a bit, then try again. Keep this up until distance decreases, then keep moving forward until the moment the distance quits decreasing and starts to increase again, then stop immediately and repeat. You will zigzag your drone right back to you. It’ll take more time obviously than a direct line home. More battery used. So, practice this often, get fast at it to conserve battery, and then you simply won’t panic when the day comes you lose your app/device for whatever reason. During tonight’s drills I had it back over my head within just a few minutes. Sports mode moves it quick, even against a stiff wind. Or, for a lot less challenge and fun you can just press The RTH cheat button.
 

Anthony

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#3
The issue with just using RTH is if your Mavic is fighting a fast headwind and being pushed back it won't make it home so one thing to consider is if you have lost video feed and map data then just hit RTH and count to twenty, this will allow your mavic to turn towards your home point and climb if it is below your RTH hight then just push full forward and switch into sports mode and it will be heading back towards your homepoint without needing to see what it is doing.
 

Logger

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#4
Routine “training” for what to do in case the app crashes and won’t restart for whatever reason or your phone or tablet dies...
<snip>..
Start moving forward slowly watching your distance. If the distance is increasing, you obviously aren’t flying towards yourself. Stop, yaw a bit, then try again. Keep this up until distance decreases, then keep moving forward until the moment the distance quits decreasing and starts to increase again, then stop immediately and repeat. You will zigzag your drone right back to you. ...
Yeah thats one way to do it. But IMO there is a simpler method. As you say, Fly forward by pushing on the RH stick. But If distance increases, dont yaw, simply reverse the RH stick input and pull it back toward you. Wind effects aside the distance has to, by definition reduce. Once distance is reducing add some left /right input to the RH stick to maximise the rate of closure . Simple.

You might want to also experiment with bringing it home 100% visually when it is but a speck in the distance with no app and not looking at the RC distance. This is another challenge which is also super simple when you know how, but equally easy to stuff up if you do not.
 

Anthony

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#5
Also remember when we are talking about head winds hight is also a factor with wind so reduce high to as low as safe to do so and if all else fails just point your camera to the ground and find a safe landing spot then go get your mavic rather than it landing in a location not of your choosing.
 
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Top Hat

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#6
You should also practice flying it VLOS or BVLOS (if needed) and turning off the RC to test Fail Safe RTH (RC Power Loss Simulation).
 

freeman

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#7
I read this post before going out to fly/shoot yesterday and sure enough, my iPhone battery couldn't handle the cold (i'm in Rochester NY it was bitter cold yesterday) and the phone completely shut down without warning. Thankfully I was flying within visual line of sight and brought the drone back in. Also had a scary moment getting ready to launch off of a bridge where I must have encountered some interference because the mavic flew itself straight into the bridge railing while hovering under no input of mine. I got very lucky it crashed ***-first and stuck itself into a snowbank as this was a very tall bridge we were on. Drone is fine, checked everything when we were in an open lot. Pays to be prepared, these little drones are so good its easy to forget things go wrong and accidents happen.
 

Youser

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#8
Was giving this lesson to a friend of mine just the other day. I ended up needing it as my app crashed twice.

After experiencing this, I have a question, this is probably in the manual already but haven't got that to hand at the mo. What happens if the RC dies or disconnects when in sports mode? does the drone automatically switch to GPS mode and follow your set RTH instructions?
 

Howcroft22

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#9
I’ve done this. Just watching the distance and the controller. It takes patience. Also. You can just hit RTH and let it got a min then full forward as it should be aimed right for you already.
 

Logger

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#10
..What happens if the RC dies or disconnects when in sports mode? does the drone automatically switch to GPS mode and follow your set RTH instructions?
No it does not automatically switch to GPS mode, because it has no reason to. It remains in Sports mode, a sub mode of GPS NAVI with increased performance. So if a RTH occurs in Sport mode, it will gain the benefit of being able to fly home faster, which may save you pushing into a headwind, but you run the risk of hitting any obstacles along the way (OA disabled in Sport Mode). So always make sure you have an adequate RTH height set..
Remember there are 3 main RTH triggers;
a) RTH button,
b) Low Battery RTH,
c) Signal Loss RTH >3 sec
Your scenario is the last one.
 
Last edited:

Youser

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#11
No it does not automatically switch to GPS mode, because it has no reason to. It remains in Sports mode, a sub mode allows of GPS NAVI with increased performance. So if a RTH occurs in Sport mode, it will gain the benefit of being able to fly home faster, which may save you pushing into a headwind, but you run the risk of hitting any obstacles along the way (OA disabled in Sport Mode). So always make sure you have an adequate RTH height set..
Remember there are 3 main RTH triggers;
a) RTH button,
b) Low Battery RTH,
c) Signal Loss RTH >3 sec
Your scenario is the last one.
Didn't know RTH worked with sport mode. Learn something new everyday!
 
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Mossiback

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#12
Routine “training” for what to do in case the app crashes ...
... Or, for a lot less challenge and fun you can just press The RTH cheat button.
It is good to practice your method and not rely on the "RTH cheat button" because you will be relying on yourself instead of technology to get your Mavic back. That being said, if you are sure your RTH has been set to return to a correctly set home point at the proper height, I would let it start the process to get it pointed home and then cancel and take over control, watching the distance reduce as you instructed to verify it is coming back. If it works properly, it would save some battery power by pointing home at the start.
 

wytnyt

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#14
It is good to practice your method and not rely on the "RTH cheat button" because you will be relying on yourself instead of technology to get your Mavic back. That being said, if you are sure your RTH has been set to return to a correctly set home point at the proper height, I would let it start the process to get it pointed home and then cancel and take over control, watching the distance reduce as you instructed to verify it is coming back. If it works properly, it would save some battery power by pointing home at the start.
instead of using battery power yawing and trying to decrease distance,theres 4 directions just try front rear left right till it shows its coming home
no shame bringing it home sideways.
 
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#17
I find this thread very helpful for dealing with one of my main concerns as a newbie. I will definitely test the procedures as suggested above. But in my paranoia of loosing/crashing this lovely bird I wonder if anyone have other emergency procedures worth practicing before they actually happens? Being unprepared is the last thing I wish to happens, - when the panic mode paralyze my brain. I have tried to abort RTH procedures, - and feel a lot more comfortable in that kind of situation.
 

Mossiback

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#18
... I wonder if anyone have other emergency procedures worth practicing before they actually happens? Being unprepared is the last thing I wish to happens, - when the panic mode paralyze my brain. I have tried to abort RTH procedures, - and feel a lot more comfortable in that kind of situation.
You can easily test the three most likely emergency events; app/device failure (app crash, dead battery), RC disconnect (distance, dead battery), and low Mavic battery.
• For an app/device failure just unplug your device and practice flying with the RC alone.
• For a RC disconnect, power down the RC.
• For the Mavic low-battery scenario, just fly until the low battery RTH takes over and see how it goes.

For these tests I suggest a calm day with the Mavic out 50 yards and at a lower height than your RTH setting. This way you can easily see whats going on and cancel if necessary. Check your RTH settings and test in an open space with plenty of visibility where it can safely land if it needs to.
 
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