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APAS 5.0 saved me!

Squidinc

I come from a land “down under”
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For over two years of flying I have always backed myself to not push the limits of my Air 2 when it comes down to trees, wires, forests, water (rivers, waterways, dams, creeks, waterfalls, oceans & seas) That covers most. 99% of my flights are predominantly over water. So this morning I got very lucky as I pushed my new Air 3 a little too optimistically.

Trying out the new (for me) MasterShots, the Air 3 was completing a “far circle” around a boat which unbeknownst to me was a far bigger circle than I had anticipated. It was really moving in normal mode and then I suddenly lost VLOS. Before I could abort it came to what must have been a shuddering halt, as APAS 5.0 hit the brakes so as not to collide with a tree 🌲 maybe 40-50 metres high. My heart was in my throat as I would have lost her for certain had it been my previous Air 2. Thank you DJI for APAS 5.0. You just saved me over 2K!

Lessons Learnt:
1. Beware of MasterShot surrounding height requirements before commencing.

2. Don’t push the limit just to get “the shot”, as that’s when you’ll most likely go home without your drone.
 
For over two years of flying I have always backed myself to not push the limits of my Air 2 when it comes down to trees, wires, forests, water (rivers, waterways, dams, creeks, waterfalls, oceans & seas) That covers most. 99% of my flights are predominantly over water. So this morning I got very lucky as I pushed my new Air 3 a little too optimistically.

Trying out the new (for me) MasterShots, the Air 3 was completing a “far circle” around a boat which unbeknownst to me was a far bigger circle than I had anticipated. It was really moving in normal mode and then I suddenly lost VLOS. Before I could abort it came to what must have been a shuddering halt, as APAS 5.0 hit the brakes so as not to collide with a tree 🌲 maybe 40-50 metres high. My heart was in my throat as I would have lost her for certain had it been my previous Air 2. Thank you DJI for APAS 5.0. You just saved me over 2K!

Lessons Learnt:
1. Beware of MasterShot surrounding height requirements before commencing.

2. Don’t push the limit just to get “the shot”, as that’s when you’ll most likely go home without your drone.
Squidinc:

I had the exact same experience and came out of it very lucky. Several years ago I was attempting to do an automatic circle flight with my Mavic Air 1 (red) over a baobab tree in Madagascar(Avenue of the Baobabs).

I did not judge the height correctly of the tree, and the drone crashed. My guide and driver searched in the heavy brush under the monster tree for over an hour and FOUND IT. Only a small nick in the prop and slight damage to the gimbal. This was at the end of the trip anyway so I was able to still fly it straight.

My lesson learned is that it is very tricky to determine the height of an automated circle and to be very aware of obstructions anywhere near the flight.

Dale
Miami
 
Squidinc:

I had the exact same experience and came out of it very lucky. Several years ago I was attempting to do an automatic circle flight with my Mavic Air 1 (red) over a baobab tree in Madagascar(Avenue of the Baobabs).

I did not judge the height correctly of the tree, and the drone crashed. My guide and driver searched in the heavy brush under the monster tree for over an hour and FOUND IT. Only a small nick in the prop and slight damage to the gimbal. This was at the end of the trip anyway so I was able to still fly it straight.

My lesson learned is that it is very tricky to determine the height of an automated circle and to be very aware of obstructions anywhere near the flight.

Dale
Miami
Too true Dale! I’ve got a whole new perspective on “MasterShots” now.
 
Glad for you! Thanks for shaing!
 
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Squidinc:

I had the exact same experience and came out of it very lucky. Several years ago I was attempting to do an automatic circle flight with my Mavic Air 1 (red) over a baobab tree in Madagascar(Avenue of the Baobabs).

I did not judge the height correctly of the tree, and the drone crashed. My guide and driver searched in the heavy brush under the monster tree for over an hour and FOUND IT. Only a small nick in the prop and slight damage to the gimbal. This was at the end of the trip anyway so I was able to still fly it straight.

My lesson learned is that it is very tricky to determine the height of an automated circle and to be very aware of obstructions anywhere near the flight.

Dale
Miami
Don't suppose you have that video? Those trees are really unique and beautiful.
 
Appreciate the share. I too initiated a master shot flight and while I thought I had the smaller radius, it was the largest. I also didn’t notice until the air 3 flew out for the large circle arc, and quickly disabled the flight path without incident. To say the least it was unnerving as I’m sure you experienced as well.
 
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Appreciate the share. I too initiated a master shot flight and while I thought I had the smaller radius, it was the largest. I also didn’t notice until the air 3 flew out for the large circle arc, and quickly disabled the flight path without incident. To say the least it was unnerving as I’m sure you experienced as well.
Yes, it was “panic stations” when I realised the radius and the speed was unbelievable!
 
Air 3’s new generation of omnidirectional APAS really is incredible. There is a video on YouTube by a nice gentleman who is a drone reviewer where he flies the Air 3 directly into a dense forest with only the right stick pushed forward and the Air 3 autonomously navigates through all the branches like a champ. It then did the same exact thing backwards. Most people could not even manually pilot a drone through those trees the way that Air 3 did completely by itself.

Link to the “Drone Valley” YouTube video.

Magic starts at around 1:50.
 
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Air 3’s new generation of omnidirectional APAS really is incredible. There is a video on YouTube by a nice gentleman who is a drone reviewer where he flies the Air 3 directly into a dense forest with only the right stick pushed forward and the Air 3 autonomously navigates through all the branches like a champ. It then did the same exact thing backwards. Most people could not even manually pilot a drone through those trees the way that Air 3 did completely by itself.

Link to the “Drone Valley” YouTube video.

Magic starts at around 1:50.
And that will continue to work like a champ. Right up until the drone flies into a thin, leafless branch or a cable. APAS works fine for big, well-defined objects but fails with thin objects.
 
And that will continue to work like a champ. Right up until the drone flies into a thin, leafless branch or a cable. APAS works fine for big, well-defined objects but fails with thin objects.
I totally agree. As amazing and magical as it is, it’s not perfect or anywhere near foolproof, particularly with very thin objects such as small branches or electrical lines or any sort of thin cabling and/or wiring.
I would never rely on it during flights, nor should anyone else. But I will say the system will continue to save countless pilots from losing their drones, when they otherwise would have, if it wasn’t for APAS.
 
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Air 3’s new generation of omnidirectional APAS really is incredible. There is a video on YouTube by a nice gentleman who is a drone reviewer where he flies the Air 3 directly into a dense forest with only the right stick pushed forward and the Air 3 autonomously navigates through all the branches like a champ. It then did the same exact thing backwards. Most people could not even manually pilot a drone through those trees the way that Air 3 did completely by itself.

Link to the “Drone Valley” YouTube video.

Magic starts at around 1:50.
I just saw that YouTube before I read your post.
 
I totally agree. As amazing and magical as it is, it’s not perfect or anywhere near foolproof, particularly with very thin objects such as small branches or electrical lines or any sort of thin cabling and/or wiring.
I would never rely on it during flights, nor should anyone else. But I will say the system will continue to save countless pilots from losing their drones, when they otherwise would have, if it wasn’t for APAS.
That's true. But the converse is true, too. We frequently see crash reports here that were caused by the pilot having too much confidence in APAS and not remaining in full control of the drone.

I use APAS and like it. As you say, it's amazing but not foolproof.
 
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