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Flight time question for ya...

Tony56

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#1
Hi Everyone...

I'm still taking it easy on my learning curve...

Not the flying RC part.....I have been into cars, planes and helis for a long time...

But just learning the ins and outs of a real drone....this Mavic Air...

I lost a generic camera drone on the first flight...

The wind was not blowing at ground level in my yard...

So.....I went straight up about 100' to get a pic with the cam drone...

However...the wind was blowing up there...and took my $140.00 toy away...never to be recovered...

So I am not taking any chances with this Mavic Air..

I have a flight time question for you all...

If you were flying out to a spot to take some shots or video...

And your battery got to the 50% remaining level...

Would common sense not tell you to come back...even if you did not achieve what you set out for...???

Reason I ask is...there’s a lake 1/2 mile away that I would like to get some photos or even video of....

I have tried to make it out there twice...

And think I wouldn’t necessarily even have to return immediately....

But...during the 2 flights I have tried to make it out there...

I always hit 50% battery level before getting to the lake...so just being safe....I return...

But then I always have some battery % left over....

And when doing so...it has never told me “there is only enough battery remaining to RTH”...

Except when I am almost home...

This really has me scratching my head....can someone elaborate when they get a chance...???

I’m attaching a pic of that lake (really a huge watershed pond)...

And the pic is from flying straight up above my house...

Thanks in advance...

Tony

Lake near me.JPG
 

InvisibleName

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#2
Imagine the scenario where you travel to the lake with a tail wind, then get to the 50% battery state, chances are that, if you return into wind, you may not have sufficient to make it back. That’s the risk with flying out of VLOS. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t ( most, if they’re honest will sometimes), just be sure you know what the wind strength & direction is at the height you transiting at
 
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MavicCF

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Colorado
#3
Hi Everyone...

I'm still taking it easy on my learning curve...

Not the flying RC part.....I have been into cars, planes and helis for a long time...

But just learning the ins and outs of a real drone....this Mavic Air...

I lost a generic camera drone on the first flight...

The wind was not blowing at ground level in my yard...

So.....I went straight up about 100' to get a pic with the cam drone...

However...the wind was blowing up there...and took my $140.00 toy away...never to be recovered...

So I am not taking any chances with this Mavic Air..

I have a flight time question for you all...

If you were flying out to a spot to take some shots or video...

And your battery got to the 50% remaining level...

Would common sense not tell you to come back...even if you did not achieve what you set out for...???

Reason I ask is...there’s a lake 1/2 mile away that I would like to get some photos or even video of....

I have tried to make it out there twice...

And think I wouldn’t necessarily even have to return immediately....

But...during the 2 flights I have tried to make it out there...

I always hit 50% battery level before getting to the lake...so just being safe....I return...

But then I always have some battery % left over....

And when doing so...it has never told me “there is only enough battery remaining to RTH”...

Except when I am almost home...

This really has me scratching my head....can someone elaborate when they get a chance...???

I’m attaching a pic of that lake (really a huge watershed pond)...

And the pic is from flying straight up above my house...

Thanks in advance...

Tony

View attachment 40120
Usually you get a feel for your battery life as you get more flight time with the Air.
Probably you would make it, just pick a day where you would have a headwind as you fly towards the pond (that way you have a tailwind coming back) and give it a shot. You usually use less battery on the return trip as you are descending back to the ground instead of ascending, thus if it take 50% to get out, it might take 35-40% to get back.
Also, are you flying in Sport or GPS mode? Sport mode will give you the best distance/battery ratio.
 
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CanadaDrone

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#4
Paragraphs please, my friend - this is formatted like a long poem and very difficult to read :)

General rule is to start heading back or plan to be 'home' around 30%. I believe that is the default notification percentage as well. This is not only a safety buffer, but also it is not good for the batteries to run them really low. You can push this a bit if you are flying super close to yourself obviously, or when you gain more experience.

Your drone constantly calculates the battery required to return to home from wherever it is (the top bar the app screen), and will automatically do so after a certain point as well. What it doesn't account for is wind, so if you are flying down wind to your target location and up wind home, give yourself plenty of extra leeway and don't wait for the warnings to fly back. A half mile out & back is no problem at all for the drone unless it was fighting major wind. You can also flip it into sport mode to get to the location faster. Again, just be very aware of the wind direction if it isn't calm.

A half mile round trip is one mile which is only 1.6 KM. The Air can easily do that round trip unless there is a lot of wind, but in that case I wouldn't even be attempting it. In sport mode (ideal conditions) it could do that loop in a mere 1m25s, or in normal mode, 3m26s, giving you plenty of extra time to capture photos & video. Make sure you aren't in beginner mode where it slows the drone down to a crawl, although then it also wouldn't let you fly it that far away either. After a half mile you should be nowhere near 50% battery unless if it fighting major wind in which case you shouldn't be attempting it.
 
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Mossiback

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#5
...I have a flight time question for you all...
If you were flying out to a spot to take some shots or video...
And your battery got to the 50% remaining level...
Would common sense not tell you to come back...even if you did not achieve what you set out for...???
Yes. On simple terms with calm winds, if it takes 50% to get to a point then it will take 50% to get back. Of course, you need to consider wind speed and direction because the battery indicator does not factor this.
...I always hit 50% battery level before getting to the lake...so just being safe....I return...
But then I always have some battery % left over....
And when doing so...it has never told me “there is only enough battery remaining to RTH”...
Except when I am almost home...
This is the way it is supposed to work. You should have some battery power left when you land for a safety margin. You really do not want the low battery RTH to kick in if you are a mile out because it does not factor wind speed or direction.
...Reason I ask is...there’s a lake 1/2 mile away that I would like to get some photos or even video of....
I do not own an Air but it seems like you should be getting better distance. Do you start with everything fully charged? Have the batteries had a few charging cycles?

Be wary flying in Sport mode. Yes it will get you there quicker but will also burn battery power quicker. On the Pro and according to what I have read on this forum, the most efficient power setting is normal mode with forward OA turned off.
 
Last edited:

msinger

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#6
But then I always have some battery % left over....

And when doing so...it has never told me “there is only enough battery remaining to RTH”...

Except when I am almost home...

This really has me scratching my head....can someone elaborate when they get a chance...?
Here's a good explanation of how the battery level indicator works in DJI GO:

 
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Pilot25dmc

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#7
Very surprised that it takes that much battery for you to fly 1/2 mile. I did a mile out and a mile back which took 6mins24sec and I landed with 48%.

Average wind speed was 13.7mph with a maximum gust of 21.6mph. I flew out with the wind and flew back into the wind.
 

Tony56

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#8
Very surprised that it takes that much battery for you to fly 1/2 mile. I did a mile out and a mile back which took 6mins24sec and I landed with 48%.

Average wind speed was 13.7mph with a maximum gust of 21.6mph. I flew out with the wind and flew back into the wind.
Well Pilot25dmc..
Like I said above...
All this drone info is new to me...

I am still learning it...
While trying not to lose this Mavic Air....like I lost that toy drone...

I myself have no explanation..
Except before I ever got into the drone craze...which I do not regret at all...
I can look back recently and I remember very well...complaining to myself about the wind here...
One particular example being having to constantly sweep up the leaves in my garage...
Or as soon as I get them swept up for the dustpan...
A big gust will come through and scatter what leaves I just swept up...back into the garage..

I am located on top of a hill...with a valley between the next hill
Whether that has anything to do with it I do not know...
I am sure as I become more experienced I will be able to fly it better...

And until I can find out otherwise....
We will just have to wonder...
 

RayOZ

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Brisbane, Australia
#9
Install UAV Forecast and check the estimated wind speed and direction around your area for different altitudes.
50% battery for 1/2 a mile does seem short.
I aim to have 30% leftover battery when I land. Draining and storing at low % is not good for the batteries.
 

Tony56

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#10
Well I made it out to that lake today...
But I was hesitant to go out over it...
I was surprised how fast I made it there...
Then came back with battery left over...
I think it was 48%...
So I'm just guessing I had some strong winds on my previous tries.

But I was so amazed at getting there...
I forgot to take any footage or pics...
Oh well....just part of my learning curve...
I'll get better..

Thanks everyone for the replies and help...
Especially that battery video...
 
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Mossiback

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#11
Well I made it out to that lake today...
But I was hesitant to go out over it...
I was surprised how fast I made it there...
Then came back with battery left over...
I think it was 48%...
So I'm just guessing I had some strong winds on my previous tries...
The next time you fly on a calm day, note your speed at max forward stick. If you do not reach this speed on future flights then that means you are fighting a headwind and need to factor that into your flight. It's all part of learning.
 

InvisibleName

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#12
Well I made it out to that lake today...
But I was hesitant to go out over it...
I was surprised how fast I made it there...
Then came back with battery left over...
I think it was 48%...
So I'm just guessing I had some strong winds on my previous tries.

But I was so amazed at getting there...
I forgot to take any footage or pics...
Oh well....just part of my learning curve...
I'll get better..

Thanks everyone for the replies and help...
Especially that battery video...
Glad your confidence is growing, you’re not the first to forget to start recording video!
Ps
Love the way you now break up your text, almost like reading poetry!
 
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Turn11

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#13
May I suggest using an app that will give you wind speed near the ground and up to a LOT higher than you will be flying. I like UAV Forecast for that task.

UAV Forecast
KP index is one you don't hear much about. The KP-index is the global geomagnetic storm index, it is my understand that a reading of 3 is marginal to fly and a reading of 4 and above it is strongly suggested not to fly.

DJI UAV Forecast - 1      .png DJI UAV Forecast - 2      .png

Ventusky
Graphic of ground level wind speed and direction (gust speed selected)

DJI Ventusky     .jpg
 
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lisadoc

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#14
KP index is one you don't hear much about. The KP-index is the global geomagnetic storm index, it is my understand that a reading of 3 is marginal to fly and a reading of 4 and above it is strongly suggested not to fly.
Well, that's not really true. Rather than have me explain why with my limited astrophysical knowledge base, I'll just point you to this post where someone that knows what they're talking about explains it fully:

Solar Flares
 

Tony56

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#15
Wow.....
I am taken aback by the wealth of knowledge we have in here...
I stand to learn much from this info...
Not members trying to show brilliance...
Just trying to contribute..
 

JDawg

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#16
I always hit 50% battery level before getting to the lake...so just being safe....I return...

Do you have more than one battery? What mode are you flying in? Something isn't right.
 
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Tony56

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#17
Well yes JDawg...
I got the Fly More combo...
And was able to make it out there yesterday..
It was absolutely calm...
 
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Turn11

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#19
I'll just point you
Perhaps the thread on "KP in UAV Weather Forecast" needs to be updated, that is where I pointed to with KP index. That seems to be a good thread on the topic, I certainly do not have the knowledge on that subject to update it, perhaps someone with knowledge could. It is a shame to have fragmented threads.
 
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