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My drone wanted to land 200+ feet up.

psloan

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Was flying off the top of a peak with intermittent clouds rolling through. Was 200+ agl, directly overhead and wanted to come down. Gave it some down and got the warning drone about to land. Figured it was the clouds messing with the down sensor. Saw a warning flip by. Only way to get it to come down without landing at 200 feet up, was to turn off the downward sensor. Got it down with a bit of a bump...I'm a newb and this was my first time problem solving while in flight. Anyone else experience similar issues with clouds/fog?

Here's a pic I snapped while up there.
20180624_120206.jpeg
 

Prismatic

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Mt. Rainier standing far above the wet marine air blanketing the Cascades! Lovely.

As to your in-flight issue, I'd guess it was the clouds, although I've flown without issue in moderately heavy fog. I believe Sport mode switches off the sensors, so that might have been an option. Perhaps that's what you meant when you said you'd "turned off the downward sensor"?
 
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psloan

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Mt. Rainier standing far above the wet marine air blanketing the Cascades! Lovely.

As to your in-flight issue, I'd guess it was the clouds, although I've flown without issue in moderately heavy fog. I believe Sport mode switches off the sensors, so that might have been an option. Perhaps that's what you meant when you said you'd "turned off the downward sensor"?


Thanks! got some great video too. This was just last night, so just got home. need to get some editing time

as for the issue.. . it popped up the landing dialog and had to cancel it. tried 3 times and the battery was getting low. I did try sport mode, but that did not help. I had to go into the menu and turn off the downward sensor and then all was good, except the landing was a bit of a bump
 

Prismatic

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<*snip*>... I did try sport mode, but that did not help. I had to go into the menu and turn off the downward sensor and then all was good, except the landing was a bit of a bump
Yikes. I'm unsure where, in the menus, you would do that.

And I really wonder what would have happened if the battery had reached critical and the bird needed to force-land; would it? If so, would it be a controlled landing, or would it blindly auger in at "descent speed"?
 
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psloan

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Yikes. I'm unsure where, in the menus, you would do that.

And I really wonder what would have happened if the battery had reached critical and the bird needed to force-land; would it? If so, would it be a controlled landing, or would it blindly auger in at "descent speed"?

Yah, that was my worry. I had never changed that setting before. had to hunt for it through the menus and it's two levels deep. I had visions of the drone thinking it was on the ground and cutting the motors... free falling
 

gjmphoto

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I wonder what it would do if it tried to land and never touched terra firma. Would it keep dropping and trying to get to a landing point and then discover that it's 200' off the ground? I'd imagine that clouds don't look so solid once you start to descend into them. The sensors would never really see solid earth and always look like it's "close", until it got below the clouds...I would think. Maybe the engines would never get turned off? Don't really want to try this, but someone from DJI might opine.
 
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psloan

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Video from the adventure. Question. anyone know why when the drone is panning side to side the video looks a bit choppy?

 

Tripner

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psloan, I'm a Mavic Air operator living in Seattle. I like your Rainier shot and video. Mind if I ask where you launched from? I once tried to fly toward Rainier from the the top of the gondola lift at Crystal Mt, but felt uncomfortable about it because Crystal doesn't want drone flights at their ski resort. Can't blame them.
 

psloan

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psloan, I'm a Mavic Air operator living in Seattle. I like your Rainier shot and video. Mind if I ask where you launched from? I once tried to fly toward Rainier from the the top of the gondola lift at Crystal Mt, but felt uncomfortable about it because Crystal doesn't want drone flights at their ski resort. Can't blame them.

Sure, I was flying from high rock lookout.
 

Prismatic

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... anyone know why when the drone is panning side to side the video looks a bit choppy?
You may want to look into ND filters. When the shutter speed is too high, each frame is razor sharp. Without that little bit of blur, objects moving in the frame (which includes everything when you pan) are too sharp, and your brain sees them individually rather than “blending” them seamlessly into a ‘continuous’, flowing impression.
 
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pdxpilot

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I wonder what it would do if it tried to land and never touched terra firma. Would it keep dropping and trying to get to a landing point and then discover that it's 200' off the ground? I'd imagine that clouds don't look so solid once you start to descend into them. The sensors would never really see solid earth and always look like it's "close", until it got below the clouds...I would think. Maybe the engines would never get turned off? Don't really want to try this, but someone from DJI might opine.


Interesting idea on motor shutdown. Does it shutdown the motors based on when it 'senses' the ground or when downward motion stops? I am hoping it's the latter.
 

lalalandrus

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Intermittent clouds. I doubt it was clouds as I have flown thought a large blanket before multiple times with no issue. It likely was condensation on the sensors as the dew point was passed.
 
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neggy

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Intermittent clouds. I doubt it was clouds as I have flown thought a large blanket before multiple times with no issue. It likely was condensation on the sensors as the dew point was passed.

you do know it is illegal to fly in clouds, thru clouds, or even close to them
 

Cheech Wizard

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Thanks! got some great video too. This was just last night, so just got home. need to get some editing time

as for the issue.. . it popped up the landing dialog and had to cancel it. tried 3 times and the battery was getting low. I did try sport mode, but that did not help. I had to go into the menu and turn off the downward sensor and then all was good, except the landing was a bit of a bump
Nice job... the key is not to panic, but things happen fast seem to be in slow motion....
 

Ricapoody

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Agree with Prismatic. Shutter speed is a critical factor. Even with ND32 I sometimes have problems getting shutter speed low enough.
Panning speed/smoothness is also a factor. Have you tried Tripod Mode?
It may also have something to do with computer/phone processor power when editing.
I used to do a lot of video editing. Horizontal panning needed a powerful computer and up market editing program to handle this.
I admire some of the work on Skypixel. It would be good if camera settings and editing details were available for these.
 

neggy

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Whaaaa? Are you called "neggy" because you are negative? Iv'e never heard of "Illegal flying in clouds". It doesn't exist PSLOAN.

sUAV's fly under VFR rules.

That means visibility minimums, ceiling requirements and NOT FLYING INTO OR NEAR CLOUDS

Below 1200 AGL it is 1 statute mile visibility and stay clear of clouds
The basic VFR weather minimums are specific to types of airspace and altitudes.

Does the concept of "see and avoid" ring a bell? VLOS?

Not that many of us get to 1200 AGL, but the rules for there are
500 below 1,000 above 2,000 horizontal away from clouds. That means don't fly into them!

Remember the FAA has a very broad policy allowing for prosecution if a flight was unsafe, even IF it followed the rules.
 
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