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A Close Call and a Warning

FlyBuddy

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Here's what happened........
I launch my Mavic Pro on a table that's underneath my covered patio. This gives me a chance to carefully lift off and maneuver out into the open and around landscaping and obstacles. It good for fine tuning my skills on the sticks. I got into the open and flew around my rural neighborhood. I was about 1,000 feet away when I got the 30% low battery warning. No problem. I'll take my time and bring it back in and land on the table, just like I always do. Well, I took more time than normal. I was about 4 feet from going under the patio cover, when the Mavic shot up in the air. It had hit the 15% critical battery and was going to automatically RTH. I had no problem cancelling RTH and quickly brought it down on a nearby open spot.
If I had been under the patio cover, the Mavic would have shot up into the roof. This is something that I'd never considered because it's such a small outdoor area. Now I'm smarter. I'll still land on the table, but my critical battery is now set to 10% and I will be watching this percentage as I bring in the Mavic.
WARNING: Don't try this at home, or anywhere else!
 

7thstring

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So the morale is: never takeoff where you don't have a clear vertical access to the sky? Just to see if I got what went wrong.

Seems sensible regardless of battery levels, the drone might still lose the signal due to interrerences, especially if flying without the remote controller.
 

tcope

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Another error (there were many) is that you set your home point on the patio roof... at best. As long as it did not miss or slide off, perhaps it would be okay.
 

choo choo

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Here's what happened........
I launch my Mavic Pro on a table that's underneath my covered patio. This gives me a chance to carefully lift off and maneuver out into the open and around landscaping and obstacles. It good for fine tuning my skills on the sticks. I got into the open and flew around my rural neighborhood. I was about 1,000 feet away when I got the 30% low battery warning. No problem. I'll take my time and bring it back in and land on the table, just like I always do. Well, I took more time than normal. I was about 4 feet from going under the patio cover, when the Mavic shot up in the air. It had hit the 15% critical battery and was going to automatically RTH. I had no problem cancelling RTH and quickly brought it down on a nearby open spot.
If I had been under the patio cover, the Mavic would have shot up into the roof. This is something that I'd never considered because it's such a small outdoor area. Now I'm smarter. I'll still land on the table, but my critical battery is now set to 10% and I will be watching this percentage as I bring in the Mavic.
WARNING: Don't try this at home, or anywhere else!

Thanks for sharing this advice. Thankfully you realised what was happening and was proficient and fast enough to take the correct action, it’s a great lesson you have shared and I appreciate this.
 
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Lake_Flyer

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You can also set a new homepoint, where you CAN land, after take off.
 
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Koelkop

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Sort of the same thing happened to me but with Smart Rth. Battery was at 25ish % and I brought it in to land inside a big barn on the concrete floor, this wasn't the original home point. So as low battery warning was beeping while almost starting to land and me watching the drone, smart rth kicked in as I wasnt looking at the phone... anyway I jammed the stick forward out the door before it got to the roof:D
 
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Taylor1430

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I had something similar occur. My drone was fairly new and I was getting to learn the controls a bit. I was flying at an old former mental hospital and it's a good spot to learn and get a feel for things. Being new, I missed the RTH altitude. I was receiving a battery warning but was not concerned as I was within feet of the drone and thought I would just land when the battery went low. When it went low enough, RTH kicked in...unfortunately, this caused the drone to pause, then shoot up into the tree canopy.

 

Koelkop

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I had something similar occur. My drone was fairly new and I was getting to learn the controls a bit. I was flying at an old former mental hospital and it's a good spot to learn and get a feel for things. Being new, I missed the RTH altitude. I was receiving a battery warning but was not concerned as I was within feet of the drone and thought I would just land when the battery went low. When it went low enough, RTH kicked in...unfortunately, this caused the drone to pause, then shoot up into the tree canopy.


Ouch, that is painfull to watch! I disabled Smart Rth right after that happened to me. A popup message is enough.
 

z28lt1

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A couple of interesting things here.

First, the 2 posts about a big ascent close to the home point surprised me and I had to check the manuals because it seems the Pro and Air operate differently in this aspect. If between 5 and 20 meters from the home point, the Air will only change altitude if you are below 2.5 meters in height and will ascend to 2.5 meters. However, it appears the Pro ascends to 10 meters, so it definitely is at greater risk of ascending into a tree canopy (or patio roof) but a lower risk of hitting and obstacle between the home point and 20 meters away with the Pro.

Second, according to the manual the low battery RTH is not a configurable event and will happen automatically based upon the distance to home point and existing battery level, have you experienced anything different (I know the battery warning beeps are configurable by the user, but not the RTH in my experience).

Finally, you should get a 10 second countdown to cancel a low battery RTH before it actually starts returning. Are you guys not seeing that? I'm surprised it would just shoot up in the air and not give you the 10 second warning with a chance to cancel.

On the other hand, I don't think the super-low-battery going to land now offers you any countdown and ability to cancel so that's the one that will require some quick thinking and stick work to get it somewhere safely.

EDIT: I should add that I know these options are changeable in debug mode with DJI Assitant, I was assuming that wasn't the case here.
 

ScubaBob

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Here's what happened........
I launch my Mavic Pro on a table that's underneath my covered patio. This gives me a chance to carefully lift off and maneuver out into the open and around landscaping and obstacles. It good for fine tuning my skills on the sticks. I got into the open and flew around my rural neighborhood. I was about 1,000 feet away when I got the 30% low battery warning. No problem. I'll take my time and bring it back in and land on the table, just like I always do. Well, I took more time than normal. I was about 4 feet from going under the patio cover, when the Mavic shot up in the air. It had hit the 15% critical battery and was going to automatically RTH. I had no problem cancelling RTH and quickly brought it down on a nearby open spot.
If I had been under the patio cover, the Mavic would have shot up into the roof. This is something that I'd never considered because it's such a small outdoor area. Now I'm smarter. I'll still land on the table, but my critical battery is now set to 10% and I will be watching this percentage as I bring in the Mavic.
WARNING: Don't try this at home, or anywhere else!
Last year I was shooting videos of a beach / ocean clean-up project on Isla Mujeres near Cancun. We were on the beach with plenty of palm trees around. I launched from a nice open area and spent about 15 minutes shooting the videos and snapshots I needed. I then received my first low battery warning so I started to bring my baby back home. By this time I had moved to the shade under some palm trees so I could better see the images on the my phone. My drone was always in sight and I have it about 25 feet in the air almost directly over my head getting ready to bring it down for a nice landing when it hits the RTH threshold and immediately starts ascending to the pre-set altitude of 30 meters. Before I can hit CANCEL it has hit the lower branches of the palm tree and comes tumbling down to the beach and actually crash lands on the towel I used for take-off and landings (so as to keep the sand from getting into the camera, etc.). Luckily ZERO damage but a major lesson learned. Avoid overhead environments and learn to think like a drone's computer
 

Myha

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Is it possible with the newer drones like Mavic Pro and P4 with VPS enabled to take off from a balcony where there could be magnetic interference?
If the VPS is enabled does this override any magnetic interference received by the compass whilst flying within 10 metres of the ground?

I know with my old P2 I had major problems after flying from my balcony due to the Compass being screwed up after calibrating it in a magnetic environment and there not being any VPS sensors available for it to orient itself.
In those days (4 years ago) I did the compass calibration prior to all take offs - BIG mistake!
I never re-calibrate the compass on drones now unless I change locations by more than 50 miles.
 

Dave A

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Is it possible with the newer drones like Mavic Pro and P4 with VPS enabled to take off from a balcony where there could be magnetic interference?
If the VPS is enabled does this override any magnetic interference received by the compass whilst flying within 10 metres of the ground?

I know with my old P2 I had major problems after flying from my balcony due to the Compass being screwed up after calibrating it in a magnetic environment and there not being any VPS sensors available for it to orient itself.
In those days (4 years ago) I did the compass calibration prior to all take offs - BIG mistake!
I never re-calibrate the compass on drones now unless I change locations by more than 50 miles.


Taking off from a balcony almost never ends well.
 
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FlyBuddy

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Thanks for all the feedback from my original post. For some reason, I only received notice about the first reply to my post. I didn't realize that there were more comments until I got my "Last Week's Most Popular" email. It seems there's always something to learn or be more proficient with my MP. That's why I like it.
 

Wipster

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Here's what happened........
I launch my Mavic Pro on a table that's underneath my covered patio. This gives me a chance to carefully lift off and maneuver out into the open and around landscaping and obstacles. It good for fine tuning my skills on the sticks. I got into the open and flew around my rural neighborhood. I was about 1,000 feet away when I got the 30% low battery warning. No problem. I'll take my time and bring it back in and land on the table, just like I always do. Well, I took more time than normal. I was about 4 feet from going under the patio cover, when the Mavic shot up in the air. It had hit the 15% critical battery and was going to automatically RTH. I had no problem cancelling RTH and quickly brought it down on a nearby open spot.
If I had been under the patio cover, the Mavic would have shot up into the roof. This is something that I'd never considered because it's such a small outdoor area. Now I'm smarter. I'll still land on the table, but my critical battery is now set to 10% and I will be watching this percentage as I bring in the Mavic.
WARNING: Don't try this at home, or anywhere else!
I always bring mine back with plenty of battery to spare. No less than 40 at landing pushing it 30.
 

Cookedinlh

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No substitute for actually reading the WHOLE manual and then trying to understand the behaviour of the system under ALL scenarios . . not a simple task for sure . . but well worth spending time at before you go off into the big wide world. These systems are highly "intelligent" but will only do what you "ask" them to or "let" them do. Most newbies . . self included learn the hard way. . . in my case with a home built quad . . so when I got my Mavic I constantly went back over various what ifs? . . this thread should motivate anyone to think through actual responses and prevent surprises. If you won't spend time doing that then . . .Best take away from this thread is from Mossiback . . "familiarize yourself with the cancel button".
Maybe I should write a "Zen Guide to Drone Health" . . .I think I've made a enough of these mistakes already myself. Thanks for this important input Flybuddy.
 

jimlips

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I had something similar occur. My drone was fairly new and I was getting to learn the controls a bit. I was flying at an old former mental hospital and it's a good spot to learn and get a feel for things. Being new, I missed the RTH altitude. I was receiving a battery warning but was not concerned as I was within feet of the drone and thought I would just land when the battery went low. When it went low enough, RTH kicked in...unfortunately, this caused the drone to pause, then shoot up into the tree canopy.

Ouch! That is painful to watch. Hope your aircraft was OK. It looks like it hit branches several times, and kept "almost" recovering, only to hit more and more branches until it finally succumbed.
 
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