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How to not lose your drone? Tips.

Joined
Jul 17, 2018
Messages
16
Likes
11
Age
35
#1
I have been flying drones for 4 years now and I have not permanently lost one yet (knock on wood). I had a fly away once because I did not wait for a GPS lock and flew it out of range and it just floated around until the battery got low and safely landed itself. Lucky I was able to keep eyes on it the whole time.

I am curious to hear peoples advise on how to not loose their drone. Maybe it will help out some of the newer folks.

From my experience:
  • Don't take off until there is a GPS lock so your home is updated. You don't want to have it lock a couple of blocks over.
  • If you are flying in an area without GPS available, don't fly out of sight.
  • If you know you will be flying in an area with no cell service, like on vacation to another country, use your map in the app to go to the location you will be going and zoom in until you see roads and such and it will download the map to your app.
  • Don't fly very high or very far if the wind is too strong (or don't fly). If you find yourself in a situation where you flew out and can't get back, don't wait until the drone force lands due to a low battery. Pick a safe spot to land yourself and use the GPS to go find it. You can also check the wind using the "UAV Forecast" app.
  • Watch your battery life. The drone will auto land at 10% and I don't believe you can cancel this. However, something you should keep in mind is: Even when it is auto-landing, you can throttle up (left stick forward) and it will pause the descent, overriding the auto land while the stick is up. But as soon as you stop full throttle, it will continue its auto descent.
  • If you start to loose signal, don't keep going. You may be getting some magnetic interference. There are some Apps out there that can help you avoid those areas. Its better to check before you fly, but if you don't and you are loosing signal when you shouldn't be its a pretty safe bet that its not going to get better the farther you go. I have seen videos where people have done this and it was caused by magnetic interference and it seemed to mess up the drone compass and it floated away.
  • Always check the orientation of your drone to the go4 app before take off. This is why most people end up with fly always when they press rth and it goes the opposite direction. Simply make sure the direction your drone is pointing is the same direction the arrow is facing. Pointing it North might also be wise to verify physical direction.
  • Do not take off from concrete. This would include a sidewalk or a parking lot. It is well documented that this can cause magnetic interference due to the rebar in the concrete. I suggest taking off from your hand.
  • If your phone disconnects from your drone, remember that you still can control the phone with the remote. Use the indicators to see your height and distance. Go to an elevation that will prevent you from hitting something and fly your drone in the direction that reduces your distance from the drone.
    If your app wont reconnect to the drone, disconnect the micro USB that connects the phone to the controller and then plug it back in. This method has been effective to get the screen back.

I also have my email and phone number on my drone. Just in case something were to happen I want to give someone that may find it the opportunity to get a hold of me to return it.

I have been very impressed looking through the forums and seeing people provide the logs and have members help them identify a general area to look. I have seen several people recover their drone doing this.

What are some other ways to prevent from loosing your drone?
 
Last edited:

Marco Cantieni

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2016
Messages
272
Likes
232
Age
52
Website
www.youtube.com
#2
Don't fly very high or very far if the wind is too strong (or don't fly). If you find yourself in a situation where you flew out and can't get back, don't wait until the drone force lands due to a low battery. Pick a safe spot to land yourself and use the GPS to go find it.
I have provoked several times the situation of a force land with a very low battery level. Conclusion: The force land can not be canceled but you can hold the left stick up in order to keep the Mavic on height or even climb. If you release the stick that brings it back to its neutral (middle) position the bird continues to lose height. That fact could help in some situations where your homepoint or safe place to land is higher than the current altitude of your Mavic.
 
Last edited:
Likes: hawk3907
Joined
Jul 17, 2018
Messages
16
Likes
11
Age
35
#3
I have provoked several times the situation of a force land with a very low battery level. Conclusion: The force land can not be canceled but you can hold the left stick up in order to keep the Mavic on height or even climb. If you release the stick what brings it back to its neutral (middle) position the bird continues to lose height. That fact could help in some situations where your homepoint or safe place to land is higher than the current altitude of you Mavic.
That is solid advise. It would defiantly be good to know that in advance. Added to the list.
 
Likes: joekerjoe

Canuk

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2018
Messages
337
Likes
213
Age
53
#4
I found that the wind can change at different altitudes . If I am flying about 500 yards away I will let the drone hover. I then will slowly yaw the drone while watching the bulls eye on the bottom left of the screen . The image will show if the drone is tilted into the wind to stay in place . Things can be very different 500 yards away and 300 feet up . Wind can and will get the best of you if your not paying attention
 
Joined
Jul 17, 2018
Messages
16
Likes
11
Age
35
#6
I agree. Especially if you are flying with the wind and don't realize it until you are coming back home.
I have done this a time or two from my back porch. The house was blocking the light breeze, but at 200 feet there was a descent wind that I flew with and realized there must be wind when I hit 42mph and stopped. I then got the high wind alert.
 
Joined
Jul 17, 2018
Messages
16
Likes
11
Age
35
#7
Before taking off, confirm that your Mavic and the directional pointer on your display are both pointing in the same direction.
I have actually never done this.
Would that indicate a compass malfunction and be resolved by calibrating the drone?
 
Likes: Ghog

Canuk

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2018
Messages
337
Likes
213
Age
53
#8
I also have my drone facing straight North or south and make sure things are 100% correct on the display . I have a compass for when I am in a cellphone dead zone . A pro and a battery are over a grand so I want the best odds of getting it back . Money don’t grow on trees for me so I am trying to be careful

I watch that little red pointer ever time my bird is in the air
 
Likes: hawk3907

Mossiback

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2017
Messages
2,140
Likes
1,115
Age
64
Location
Brier, WA USA
#9
I have actually never done this.
Would that indicate a compass malfunction and be resolved by calibrating the drone?
No. The Mavic Pro compass' rarely need to be calibrated. Calibrating the compass (if it will under these conditions) would be the wrong thing to do since the compass is most likely being affected by metal, certain types of rock, or something else in the take off area. When you take off in this condition the Mavic rise up and away from the affecting item causing the compass to change heading without the Mavic actually turning. This confuses the programming and your stick inputs.

The thing to do would be to move to another area and see if the deviation gets resolved. It may only be a matter of feet that makes the difference.
 
Likes: hawk3907

GavieboyDji

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2018
Messages
198
Likes
74
Age
35
#10
I have actually never done this.
Would that indicate a compass malfunction and be resolved by calibrating the drone?
Always check the orientation of your drone to the go4 app before take off. This is why most people end up with fly always when they press rth and it goes the opposite direction.
 
Likes: hawk3907

jason38

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2017
Messages
128
Likes
70
Location
Isere, France
#11
I have been flying drones for 4 years now and I have not permanently lost one yet (knock on wood). I had a fly away once because I did not wait for a GPS lock and flew it out of range and it just floated around until the battery got low and safely landed itself. Lucky I was able to keep eyes on it the whole time.

I am curious to hear peoples advise on how to not loose their drone. Maybe it will help out some of the newer folks.

From my experience:
  • Don't take off until there is a GPS lock so your home is updated. You don't want to have it lock a couple of blocks over.
  • If you are flying in an area without GPS available, don't fly out of sight.
  • If you know you will be flying in an area with no cell service, like on vacation to another country, use your map in the app to go to the location you will be going and zoom in until you see roads and such and it will download the map to your app.
  • Don't fly very high or very far if the wind is too strong (or don't fly). If you find yourself in a situation where you flew out and can't get back, don't wait until the drone force lands due to a low battery. Pick a safe spot to land yourself and use the GPS to go find it.
  • Watch your battery life. The drone will auto land at 10% and I don't believe you can cancel this. However, something you should keep in mind is: Even when it is auto-landing, you can throttle up (left stick forward) and it will pause the descent, overriding the auto land while the stick is up. But as soon as you stop full throttle, it will continue its auto descent.
  • If you start to loose signal, don't keep going. You may be getting some magnetic interference. There are some Apps out there that can help you avoid those areas. Its better to check before you fly, but if you don't and you are loosing signal when you shouldn't be its a pretty safe bet that its not going to get better the farther you go. I have seen videos where people have done this and it was caused by magnetic interference and it seemed to mess up the drone compass and it floated away.

I also have my email and phone number on my drone. Just in case something were to happen I want to give someone that may find it the opportunity to get a hold of me to return it.

I have been very impressed looking through the forums and seeing people provide the logs and have members help them identify a general area to look. I have seen several people recover their drone doing this.

What are some other ways to prevent from loosing your drone?
Good topic. Very helpful if you dont want to loose tour drone...
Tjanks guys for all these precious infos!
 
Likes: hawk3907

jason38

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2017
Messages
128
Likes
70
Location
Isere, France
#12
I have provoked several times the situation of a force land with a very low battery level. Conclusion: The force land can not be canceled but you can hold the left stick up in order to keep the Mavic on height or even climb. If you release the stick that brings it back to its neutral (middle) position the bird continues to lose height. That fact could help in some situations where your homepoint or safe place to land is higher than the current altitude of your Mavic.
You can also continue to drive your drone even in force landing. It happens to me one time, hopefuly my MP was high, and not so far when battery reaches critical level (I didnt watched battery gauges, my bad...), so I was in panic for a minute, but I saw I was still able to make it come back while it was descending...
 
Likes: hawk3907

Red Baron

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2018
Messages
169
Likes
95
Age
55
#15
I have been flying drones for 4 years now and I have not permanently lost one yet (knock on wood). I had a fly away once because I did not wait for a GPS lock and flew it out of range and it just floated around until the battery got low and safely landed itself. Lucky I was able to keep eyes on it the whole time.

I am curious to hear peoples advise on how to not loose their drone. Maybe it will help out some of the newer folks.

From my experience:
  • Don't take off until there is a GPS lock so your home is updated. You don't want to have it lock a couple of blocks over.
  • If you are flying in an area without GPS available, don't fly out of sight.
  • If you know you will be flying in an area with no cell service, like on vacation to another country, use your map in the app to go to the location you will be going and zoom in until you see roads and such and it will download the map to your app.
  • Don't fly very high or very far if the wind is too strong (or don't fly). If you find yourself in a situation where you flew out and can't get back, don't wait until the drone force lands due to a low battery. Pick a safe spot to land yourself and use the GPS to go find it. You can also check the wind using the "UAV Forecast" app.
  • Watch your battery life. The drone will auto land at 10% and I don't believe you can cancel this. However, something you should keep in mind is: Even when it is auto-landing, you can throttle up (left stick forward) and it will pause the descent, overriding the auto land while the stick is up. But as soon as you stop full throttle, it will continue its auto descent.
  • If you start to loose signal, don't keep going. You may be getting some magnetic interference. There are some Apps out there that can help you avoid those areas. Its better to check before you fly, but if you don't and you are loosing signal when you shouldn't be its a pretty safe bet that its not going to get better the farther you go. I have seen videos where people have done this and it was caused by magnetic interference and it seemed to mess up the drone compass and it floated away.
  • Always check the orientation of your drone to the go4 app before take off. This is why most people end up with fly always when they press rth and it goes the opposite direction. Simply make sure the direction your drone is pointing is the same direction the arrow is facing. Pointing it North might also be wise to verify physical direction.

I also have my email and phone number on my drone. Just in case something were to happen I want to give someone that may find it the opportunity to get a hold of me to return it.

I have been very impressed looking through the forums and seeing people provide the logs and have members help them identify a general area to look. I have seen several people recover their drone doing this.

What are some other ways to prevent from loosing your drone?
I THINK YOU SAID IT ALL!
 
Likes: hawk3907
Joined
Jul 25, 2018
Messages
1
Likes
2
Age
46
#16
I have been flying drones for 4 years now and I have not permanently lost one yet (knock on wood). I had a fly away once because I did not wait for a GPS lock and flew it out of range and it just floated around until the battery got low and safely landed itself. Lucky I was able to keep eyes on it the whole time.

I am curious to hear peoples advise on how to not loose their drone. Maybe it will help out some of the newer folks.

From my experience:
  • Don't take off until there is a GPS lock so your home is updated. You don't want to have it lock a couple of blocks over.
  • If you are flying in an area without GPS available, don't fly out of sight.
  • If you know you will be flying in an area with no cell service, like on vacation to another country, use your map in the app to go to the location you will be going and zoom in until you see roads and such and it will download the map to your app.
  • Don't fly very high or very far if the wind is too strong (or don't fly). If you find yourself in a situation where you flew out and can't get back, don't wait until the drone force lands due to a low battery. Pick a safe spot to land yourself and use the GPS to go find it. You can also check the wind using the "UAV Forecast" app.
  • Watch your battery life. The drone will auto land at 10% and I don't believe you can cancel this. However, something you should keep in mind is: Even when it is auto-landing, you can throttle up (left stick forward) and it will pause the descent, overriding the auto land while the stick is up. But as soon as you stop full throttle, it will continue its auto descent.
  • If you start to loose signal, don't keep going. You may be getting some magnetic interference. There are some Apps out there that can help you avoid those areas. Its better to check before you fly, but if you don't and you are loosing signal when you shouldn't be its a pretty safe bet that its not going to get better the farther you go. I have seen videos where people have done this and it was caused by magnetic interference and it seemed to mess up the drone compass and it floated away.
  • Always check the orientation of your drone to the go4 app before take off. This is why most people end up with fly always when they press rth and it goes the opposite direction. Simply make sure the direction your drone is pointing is the same direction the arrow is facing. Pointing it North might also be wise to verify physical direction.
  • Do not take off from concrete. This would include a sidewalk or a parking lot. It is well documented that this can cause magnetic interference due to the rebar in the concrete. I suggest taking off from your hand.

I also have my email and phone number on my drone. Just in case something were to happen I want to give someone that may find it the opportunity to get a hold of me to return it.

I have been very impressed looking through the forums and seeing people provide the logs and have members help them identify a general area to look. I have seen several people recover their drone doing this.

What are some other ways to prevent from loosing your drone?
Learn all the features of your drone and how to use it before you mess up like ALMOST did.
I was at the badlands South Dakota. Been on a road trip so got a lot out of my DJI MAVIC Pro.
I set the unit off when I was on a cliff. Sent it out to hover over a bunch of cows (I wasn’t messing with them, just recording)
All of a sudden my phone disconnected from the unit (it’s said “aircraft disconnected”) I freaked out. It was 1300ft away. I couldn’t see it and there was no way to get down the mountain to get it. I thought for sure it was gone.
After a few minutes of waiting, I realized the controller had the distance and altitude. And as I moved the joysticks the closer the unit can to me. Lucky I got it back.
So learn how to use your controller.
 

jason38

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2017
Messages
128
Likes
70
Location
Isere, France
#17
Learn all the features of your drone and how to use it before you mess up like ALMOST did.
I was at the badlands South Dakota. Been on a road trip so got a lot out of my DJI MAVIC Pro.
I set the unit off when I was on a cliff. Sent it out to hover over a bunch of cows (I wasn’t messing with them, just recording)
All of a sudden my phone disconnected from the unit (it’s said “aircraft disconnected”) I freaked out. It was 1300ft away. I couldn’t see it and there was no way to get down the mountain to get it. I thought for sure it was gone.
After a few minutes of waiting, I realized the controller had the distance and altitude. And as I moved the joysticks the closer the unit can to me. Lucky I got it back.
So learn how to use your controller.
Yes, this is very very helpful... I dont know why DJI didn't fit a screen on the mavic air RC...
Its the only way you have to know where your drone is and to make it come back manually when you got a screen freeze or disconnection...
Safety first? Not at all with mavic air...
 
Likes: hawk3907

JamTek

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2018
Messages
46
Likes
19
Location
Hampton Roads, VA
#19
Yes, this is very very helpful... I dont know why DJI didn't fit a screen on the mavic air RC...
Its the only way you have to know where your drone is and to make it come back manually when you got a screen freeze or disconnection...
Safety first? Not at all with mavic air...
That was my main reasoning for getting the MP over the MA. I debated that for a long time since I already owned a Spark. But I am happy that I bought the MP.
 
Joined
Jul 16, 2018
Messages
11
Likes
8
Location
South Mississippi, USA
#20
I have been flying drones for 4 years now and I have not permanently lost one yet (knock on wood). I had a fly away once because I did not wait for a GPS lock and flew it out of range and it just floated around until the battery got low and safely landed itself. Lucky I was able to keep eyes on it the whole time.

I am curious to hear peoples advise on how to not loose their drone. Maybe it will help out some of the newer folks.

From my experience:
  • Don't take off until there is a GPS lock so your home is updated. You don't want to have it lock a couple of blocks over.
  • If you are flying in an area without GPS available, don't fly out of sight.
  • If you know you will be flying in an area with no cell service, like on vacation to another country, use your map in the app to go to the location you will be going and zoom in until you see roads and such and it will download the map to your app.
  • Don't fly very high or very far if the wind is too strong (or don't fly). If you find yourself in a situation where you flew out and can't get back, don't wait until the drone force lands due to a low battery. Pick a safe spot to land yourself and use the GPS to go find it. You can also check the wind using the "UAV Forecast" app.
  • Watch your battery life. The drone will auto land at 10% and I don't believe you can cancel this. However, something you should keep in mind is: Even when it is auto-landing, you can throttle up (left stick forward) and it will pause the descent, overriding the auto land while the stick is up. But as soon as you stop full throttle, it will continue its auto descent.
  • If you start to loose signal, don't keep going. You may be getting some magnetic interference. There are some Apps out there that can help you avoid those areas. Its better to check before you fly, but if you don't and you are loosing signal when you shouldn't be its a pretty safe bet that its not going to get better the farther you go. I have seen videos where people have done this and it was caused by magnetic interference and it seemed to mess up the drone compass and it floated away.
  • Always check the orientation of your drone to the go4 app before take off. This is why most people end up with fly always when they press rth and it goes the opposite direction. Simply make sure the direction your drone is pointing is the same direction the arrow is facing. Pointing it North might also be wise to verify physical direction.
  • Do not take off from concrete. This would include a sidewalk or a parking lot. It is well documented that this can cause magnetic interference due to the rebar in the concrete. I suggest taking off from your hand.
  • If your phone disconnects from your drone, remember that you still can control the phone with the remote. Use the indicators to see your height and distance. Go to an elevation that will prevent you from hitting something and fly your drone in the direction that reduces your distance from the drone.
    If your app wont reconnect to the drone, disconnect the micro USB that connects the phone to the controller and then plug it back in. This method has been effective to get the screen back.

I also have my email and phone number on my drone. Just in case something were to happen I want to give someone that may find it the opportunity to get a hold of me to return it.

I have been very impressed looking through the forums and seeing people provide the logs and have members help them identify a general area to look. I have seen several people recover their drone doing this.

What are some other ways to prevent from loosing your drone?
Sorry to nitpick, but the word is "lose", not loose. Example My tooth is 'loose".
 
Likes: hawk3907

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