Welcome Mavic Pilot!
Jump in and join our free DJI Mavic community today!
Sign up

Lost MP into lake trying to fly off sailboat - dumb mistakes

scrumphy

New Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2017
Messages
2
Reaction score
6
Age
56
Putting up this post in the hopes that I might save someone else from dropping their MP into the drink. Bottom line, my overconfidence cost me my MP.

Situation:
Was out on a buddies sail boat on Lake Erie. Hand already done several hand launches and catches from power boats before, so did not think an issue to do another one this time. But two major issues launching/landing on a sail boat versus power boats. 1. Sail boats have a lot of rigging and the landing window can be very narrow. 2. Sail boats are difficult to keep stationary in the water, especially if there is any breeze, which is why you're probably sailing in the first place.

Aside from the issues above, made 4 rookie errors that ultimately lead to this disaster:

1. Took off with only 58% battery. Didn't think I would be flying that long and when I got in trouble on the hand catch landing, I didn't have the battery life cushion I needed which lead to panic and, well you know.
2. Did not disable to collision avoidance features. Trying to do a hand catch landing in a tight window between sailboat rigging, the MP kept "backing away" as I tried to bring it in.
3. Even a 1 knot forward motion requires you to maintain forward stick, while trying to also lower slowly for the usual hand catch process. Pretty much impossible to do with one hand on the controls and the other hand trying to catch the MP.
4. Not having a "bail out plan" when I knew I was in trouble. We were sailing only about 300 yards from a spit of land that was just an open field that is accessible my car. As I never considered landing in this field as "Plan B" BEFORE I took off, it did not occur to me in the heat of the battle when I was trying to manage a hand catch over water, on a moving object with the low battery alarm blaring away.

Hope this helps any would be sailboat videographers out there.

Scrumphy
 

dewster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2016
Messages
1,167
Reaction score
484
Age
48
Definitely good information and advice. It's certainly helpful. It takes extreme piloting to land or hand catch from a moving platform with obstacles no less.
 

Dspace

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2017
Messages
94
Reaction score
32
Age
60
What type of powerboat and conditions were you launching and catching from prior to the sailboat incident?
 

Ping^Spike

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2017
Messages
910
Reaction score
387
Loc
UK, North West
Sorry for your loss mate :(

But it's invalueable info - thanks for sharing Thumbswayup
 

Mystiko

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2016
Messages
57
Reaction score
37
Age
33
Props are normally visible if flying in strong wind or in sport mode. Not a big issue.

As for the Getterback devices, I fly with 2 on my mavic every time I plan to fly over water. Well worth the investment for the peace of mind it brings.
 

Youser

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2017
Messages
686
Reaction score
184
That low battery warning sound adds to the stress in these situations.

Sorry for your loss.

Lost mine last week, replacement around a week and a half away :'(
 
  • Like
Reactions: Drgnfli

Lake_Flyer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2017
Messages
1,139
Reaction score
607
Age
62
Putting up this post in the hopes that I might save someone else from dropping their MP into the drink. Bottom line, my overconfidence cost me my MP.

Situation:
Was out on a buddies sail boat on Lake Erie. Hand already done several hand launches and catches from power boats before, so did not think an issue to do another one this time. But two major issues launching/landing on a sail boat versus power boats. 1. Sail boats have a lot of rigging and the landing window can be very narrow. 2. Sail boats are difficult to keep stationary in the water, especially if there is any breeze, which is why you're probably sailing in the first place.

Aside from the issues above, made 4 rookie errors that ultimately lead to this disaster:

1. Took off with only 58% battery. Didn't think I would be flying that long and when I got in trouble on the hand catch landing, I didn't have the battery life cushion I needed which lead to panic and, well you know.
2. Did not disable to collision avoidance features. Trying to do a hand catch landing in a tight window between sailboat rigging, the MP kept "backing away" as I tried to bring it in.
3. Even a 1 knot forward motion requires you to maintain forward stick, while trying to also lower slowly for the usual hand catch process. Pretty much impossible to do with one hand on the controls and the other hand trying to catch the MP.
4. Not having a "bail out plan" when I knew I was in trouble. We were sailing only about 300 yards from a spit of land that was just an open field that is accessible my car. As I never considered landing in this field as "Plan B" BEFORE I took off, it did not occur to me in the heat of the battle when I was trying to manage a hand catch over water, on a moving object with the low battery alarm blaring away.

Hope this helps any would be sailboat videographers out there.

Scrumphy
I applaud you for being this honest.
You hit the nail on the head with all you points. Like having to take into account extra time for those panic situations that always seem to happen on a sail yacht, only when you least expect it. Some one lets go of the jib just while you are making the final approach for catching your MP instance. Been there done that. Fortunately I always have 5 more minutes to hover and think of a new approach strategy if I need one. Indeed, have all stuff like OA and LP set to OFF.
Stays are a hazard. I have 2 back stays but a lot of room in the cockpit upwind side. That's the only place I dare to catch while under sail.

I use to come in for a hand catch well before the 30% warning that I set.

The biggest problem always is: Someone else is sailing my boat while I'm flying.
Not always good.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ping^Spike

CaryTheLabelGuy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2017
Messages
50
Reaction score
25
Age
40
In a situation like this, you can always position the Mavic Pro just above you (no more than a few feet) and perform an emergency motor stop and catch the Mavic as it falls from the sky. It's better than totally loosing it in the water.
 
  • Like
Reactions: FuzLogix and Youser

kozinao

New Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2017
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Age
29
Landing on a moving boat (especially under sails) is a nightmare :) Last time I had fortunately a catamaran with wide net in the front and was basically falling into the net every time :)
 

lewijo

Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2017
Messages
8
Reaction score
3
Age
43
Putting up this post in the hopes that I might save someone else from dropping their MP into the drink. Bottom line, my overconfidence cost me my MP.

Situation:
Was out on a buddies sail boat on Lake Erie. Hand already done several hand launches and catches from power boats before, so did not think an issue to do another one this time. But two major issues launching/landing on a sail boat versus power boats. 1. Sail boats have a lot of rigging and the landing window can be very narrow. 2. Sail boats are difficult to keep stationary in the water, especially if there is any breeze, which is why you're probably sailing in the first place.

Aside from the issues above, made 4 rookie errors that ultimately lead to this disaster:

1. Took off with only 58% battery. Didn't think I would be flying that long and when I got in trouble on the hand catch landing, I didn't have the battery life cushion I needed which lead to panic and, well you know.
2. Did not disable to collision avoidance features. Trying to do a hand catch landing in a tight window between sailboat rigging, the MP kept "backing away" as I tried to bring it in.
3. Even a 1 knot forward motion requires you to maintain forward stick, while trying to also lower slowly for the usual hand catch process. Pretty much impossible to do with one hand on the controls and the other hand trying to catch the MP.
4. Not having a "bail out plan" when I knew I was in trouble. We were sailing only about 300 yards from a spit of land that was just an open field that is accessible my car. As I never considered landing in this field as "Plan B" BEFORE I took off, it did not occur to me in the heat of the battle when I was trying to manage a hand catch over water, on a moving object with the low battery alarm blaring away.

Hope this helps any would be sailboat videographers out there.

Scrumphy
Sf
Putting up this post in the hopes that I might save someone else from dropping their MP into the drink. Bottom line, my overconfidence cost me my MP.

Situation:
Was out on a buddies sail boat on Lake Erie. Hand already done several hand launches and catches from power boats before, so did not think an issue to do another one this time. But two major issues launching/landing on a sail boat versus power boats. 1. Sail boats have a lot of rigging and the landing window can be very narrow. 2. Sail boats are difficult to keep stationary in the water, especially if there is any breeze, which is why you're probably sailing in the first place.

Aside from the issues above, made 4 rookie errors that ultimately lead to this disaster:

1. Took off with only 58% battery. Didn't think I would be flying that long and when I got in trouble on the hand catch landing, I didn't have the battery life cushion I needed which lead to panic and, well you know.
2. Did not disable to collision avoidance features. Trying to do a hand catch landing in a tight window between sailboat rigging, the MP kept "backing away" as I tried to bring it in.
3. Even a 1 knot forward motion requires you to maintain forward stick, while trying to also lower slowly for the usual hand catch process. Pretty much impossible to do with one hand on the controls and the other hand trying to catch the MP.
4. Not having a "bail out plan" when I knew I was in trouble. We were sailing only about 300 yards from a spit of land that was just an open field that is accessible my car. As I never considered landing in this field as "Plan B" BEFORE I took off, it did not occur to me in the heat of the battle when I was trying to manage a hand catch over water, on a moving object with the low battery alarm blaring away.

Hope this helps any would be sailboat videographers out there.

Scrumphy
Try bringing the bird in backwards. This ensures the stick movements are consistent with the direction your flying. I’m gonna oversimplify this for most. If your flying in forward, to move the bird “to your left” left requires a right stick movement. When coming in backwards a left movement requires a left stick movement. Less to think about in such a dynamic situation. Also, this prevents you from having to disable the sensors on the MP.

I hope I said that right. Or was it left
 

Matt

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2016
Messages
251
Reaction score
99
Age
48
Loc
Grosse Pointe Farms, MI

FuzLogix

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2017
Messages
129
Reaction score
131
Age
35
Loc
Mid Wales
Really sorry to hear of your loss, but thanks for sharing the info, reading stories like this makes others better pilots.

Hope you get yourself a new bird soon.
 

Jonno

Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2017
Messages
13
Reaction score
7
Age
47
Ugh, sorry... did the same thing myself a few months ago but on a motorboat. My MP hit a ski rope and dropped in the water. I jumped in after it with my controller and wife's iPhone! I managed to get all the kit back in the boat. Rice worked for the controller and iPhone but not the MP. Sent it back to DJI and got a new one back. As an aside, I've never had a problem with DJI customer service.
 

FlyGuy8675309

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2017
Messages
844
Reaction score
863
Age
49
Sf
Try bringing the bird in backwards. This ensures the stick movements are consistent with the direction your flying. I’m gonna oversimplify this for most. If your flying in forward, to move the bird “to your left” left requires a right stick movement. When coming in backwards a left movement requires a left stick movement. Less to think about in such a dynamic situation. Also, this prevents you from having to disable the sensors on the MP.
This is how I do it. Works like a charm.

Just adding to this: I have a great spot to fly from. It's a dock on a small lake that lets me get to a lot of areas in the city pretty fast. I usually take off and land on the dock. Not a huge takeoff/landing area, but I have no issues.

I was thinking the other day: Should I lose connection and am unable to reestablish before RTH & auto land, I'd be screwed.. couple feet off in any direction from the exact take-off point and it's going to land in the water or a railing. So now I take off and land on the walkway at the end of the dock, and walk to the end to fly.

Always try to think about the worse case scenario and how to deal with it...
 

bvsolutions

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Messages
77
Reaction score
57
Age
65
I had a very similar problem, but a speedboat, not on a sailboat.
Very Strong winds, and battery at 8% . I was panicking pretty good,when my buddy grabbed the fish landing net and scooped the Mavic out of the air. I broke 2 props, but saved my Mavic
 
  • Like
Reactions: kozinao

GerdS

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2016
Messages
627
Reaction score
301
Loc
Southern Germany
I never fly over water without foam balls attached for being able to land on water in case of emergency. Still can do hand-catch with the foam balls attached.
 

Matt

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2016
Messages
251
Reaction score
99
Age
48
Loc
Grosse Pointe Farms, MI
I never fly over water without foam balls attached for being able to land on water in case of emergency. Still can do hand-catch with the foam balls attached.
if a fishing rod can take out the foam balls i would think sailing rigging would do the same. need the getter-back or something a bit more useful in a crash

 

New Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
64,342
Messages
749,816
Members
91,309
Latest member
calpsy