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Letsgethigh469

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Wow where do I begin... Have flown DJI quads on and off since 2015.
Have never crashed one until the last few months. And there has been one mishap and one total crash. Both of them due to decisions made by the pilot but not due to my hand on the sticks.
I've never used RTH that often, always just flown em back home. Little leary of the "obstacle avoidance" and the old Phantom 3 advanced had none except for grounds sensors. But the Mavics and others Ive owned I always felt it was a false sense of security to a degree.

2nd flight of the Air 3, testing it out getting a feel for it carefully. Almost done and decided to try out the RTH . It was hovering about 10ft and about 75ft from home. I had RTH set for 150' but failed to catch or understand fully the "optimum" RTH option that was set on. I looked directly above it, all clear (in case it climbed to preset altitude) I knew that if within a short distance it would not climb just hover over. But in between home and the it, above it at an angle were 4 phone line cluster. When I hit RTH it climbed at an angle, did not anticipate this. Obstacle avoidance on but as usual but power/power lines and branches in the winter are a drones worst nightmare. I did not have time to react much hoping sensors may work but nope. Didnt crash but finally stopped after input from me and ruining a couple props as it hovered, slicing them up.
It was then I learned what optimum RTH was and turned it off.

Had to send that one in for exchange because of another issue unrelated.
So brand new Air 3 maybe 20 min on it after setting for a couple weeks. My boy and I decided to try out a release I had purchased for it. The one with the release triggered by the ground light. Had read some reviews, mostly positive of the device but one stating conflict with the ground sensor slightly but he figured a way around it. I figured I would turn off ground sensors. Had ordered 25 of these tangle free parachute men. Was having my nephew 3d print a release to hang from a line that I would trigger action with one line to dump several. Figured it would be fun for the kids.
Being cooped up in the house and last minute decision we decided to take one and try it even though I didnt have the release yet. My plan was to release one directly from the release switch.
Tested the switch in the house then turned it off to walk across the street. It had crossed my mind of it getting tangled in a prop and knew it was probably not the greatest idea but I figured I could pull it off. In the rush of beating darkness I folded up the chute and set the Air 3 on it. Lifted up, it was just blowing the chute down as it hung. I knew I better lift straight up gradually and not make any movements other than straight up then release it.
We get up maybe 100ft not sure exactly. I turn on the light and waited. Nothing. Try again....then it hit me we forgot to turn on the power to the release mechanism. I told my son we have messed up! I knew the attempt to lower it while parachute still attached may cause interference. So I gave very soft descent on the stick, very slow in an attempt to prevent it. After about a minute I realized it was not descending. I look down at the altitude and it was now showing 5ft while still 100ft in the air. It would state that it was landing but never lose altitude or continue to settle.
It then hit me about the ground sensors. Not knowing at that time that DJI REMOVED THIS OPTION??!!!. I spent 5 min hunting for the switch to disable. Made an attempt to move forward while descending....no luck, It was having no part of it. Would not give me even a foot of descent.
Considered my options of letting it hover until battery failure but it was cold and getting dark fairly quick.
Thought it would react the same way or fall out of the sky at voltage loss.
So because of not having the ability to control my quad and its sensors. Stuck in this "artificial intelligence is smarter than human" scenario, I was out of options. I am pretty certain I could have landed it safely without incident, had I have actual control of it ( what a strange concept). My only option I could think of to get me out of the scenario I created was to hit RTH and see what happens.
When this activated it moved over swiftly toward the home spot which was maybe 10 ft over. I looked down to watch the altitude. At that time I heard a prop start struggling. I look up to see it coming down at a good pace with chute in one of the props. I believe when it stopped or moved at normal swift rate, it caused the chute to swing and get in the prop draft of course. So we watch the other props struggling but it falling straight down landing in a partial gravel area. Broke an arm off, gimbal/camera popped out and surprisingly I lost signal to it after it landed. It would not shut off for about 30 seconds.

Thinking if I would have had the line connected as originally planned it would not interfere with ground sensors, anyone have any experience?
Great idea from someone within DJI to axe that option. Not sure where the logic was in that decision.
 
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Reactions: LoudThunder
An interesting read and definitely a lesson to be learned here.
Being cooped up in the house and last minute decision we decided to take one and try it even though I didnt have the release yet.

Tested the switch in the house then turned it off to walk across the street. It had crossed my mind of it getting tangled in a prop and knew it was probably not the greatest idea but I figured I could pull it off. In the rush of beating darkness I folded up the chute and set the Air 3 on it.
In a response to my introduction post, @LoudThunder gave me a bit of advice:
Good luck and remember to breath…
And went on to share an anecdote where a relative wanted to see the props turn so energized the motors in the house, forgot to breathe, and pressed launch, in the process damaging the drone and the chandelier it collided with.

Haste will get the better of you because it keeps you from being careful.

Thanks for sharing and I'm sorry for your loss.
 
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@Letsgethigh469 ,interesting possibly ,you definately were in big Kid mode ,when you made your decisions, to undertake the parachute flight .
this hobby can do that to you ,because lets face it ,apart from those of us flying for a living, or some sort of job requirement ,such as SAR ect
we are all big kids at heart ,playing with our grown up toys
the best part about the whole post ,was the fact that you ,knew that such an undertaking was fraught with danger ,but you still went ahead with it, big kid mode again
the first scenario you painted ,was unfortunately ,pilot error ,not fully understanding the latest RTH settings ,that are now part of the latest generation of DJI drones ,for that you get a E minus
you are not the first ,and certainly not the last ,to expirence big Kid mode ,entertaining post YES
 
There is no such thing as bad judgement. It is all good experience.

Good judgement usually comes from episodes of bad judgement. Most people (myself included) have to learn things the hard way rather than learning from the mistakes of others. I think it is human nature.

When it comes to drones, after losing one and crashing a second one, I've tried really hard to learn from the mistakes of others.
 
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