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Newly retired middle aged female living on a sailing catamaran in Turkey learning how to fly my drone

Sailing Okaliptüs

New Member
Dec 29, 2022
Hi! If you didn't get it from the title of my thread, I am learning how to use my drone. I have had a pretty scary issue with it recently, so in hunting the internet for an answer, I ran into this website and decided to join and see if I can get some help from the community for all past, present and future questions. Firstly I should let you all know, I do have a Personal Articles Policy on it through my home insurer back in the US and I would suggest you all insure yours if you haven't done so already. ;)
Anyway, my husband and I recently retired early (at 50/51 yrs old) from careers in Catastrophe property claim adjusting in the US and bought a sailing catamaran in Turkey to live on and sail the world.
We (really me) are trying to learn how to fly our drone and had a scary situation a few weeks ago and even scarier yesterday. I think I figured out some answers through this website, so at least I feel a little better about it.
A few weeks ago we visited an old archeological site in southern Turkey and I flew the drone (outside the site perimeter where I was allowed to) and the drone flew up to a certain height and stopped. I tried to move it forward and around and it would barely move. I couldn't see the screen very easily due to the glare of the sun, so I moaned and groaned about the fact it was acting strangely more so than trying to actually read the screen for messages to try and figure out what was going on. When it came time to bring it home and land it, it would not. It hovered above my head and would not come down. I reached up and grabbed it and it fought me tooth and nail, while trying to go back up. I was afraid I'd lose it and panicked, so I didn't let go of it until friends/husband got to me and took battery out to shut it off. It was like the Chucky doll of drones. I am leaving out a big part of this story involving several stray dogs circling around me trying to eat the drone whilst I tried to cope with my dilemma for the sake of your valuable time having to read all of this.
Yesterday, we sailed the catamaran and I flew it up to circle around and although my understanding was that it will sit and hover in place pretty well in light winds, it did not. I tried to do a cinematic circle round the cat to show off her sails and failed miserably. The drone turned into Chucky and blew away from view. on my screen all I could see was far horizon of mountains and the Mediterranean water. The screen said something about me not being logged in, so I tried to log in, but being in the middle of the ocean away from Wifi, it just loaded and loaded and loaded.... My friend gave me his Mifi password and I quickly logged on and tried to sign in, but of course..... because why not.... I FORGOT MY PASSWORD.
I clicked on forgotten password, checked email, created a new password and finally logged back in. By this time, my husband had started the engines on the boat and began to motor towards the vicinity of the drone location based on the little tiny screen on my control. Read the last 2 sentences again. Two short sentences, which in real time, took a solid, very long and stressful 10 minutes. I thought for sure the drone was going to plummet down into the water, never to be seen again.
I don't know how we found it, but we did. I quickly used the control buttons, with my still shaking hands, and landed him on the deck of the boat. Read that last sentence again. In real time, that took what seemed like 137 minutes and although the boat was at a full stop, it was still swishing around in the waves, so my landing pad was a moving target. I have no idea how I got the drone back on the boat unscathed, but I did.
Now... I'm trying to figure out why it signed me out in the first place and how to avoid all of this from happening again in the future.
So, if you have any guidance to share with this 51 year old idiot, please share, but don't recommend I read the stupid owners manual because that's an obvious given.
Cheers !
Claudine ~ Sailing Okaliptüs on IG, FaceBook, Twitter and youTube.
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Hi and welcome to MavicPilots. We have a lot of very knowledgeable pilots here and they should weigh in on your issues soon.

The one I can help with would be landing on a boat. Most experienced with doing this have learned to hand catch (or use a hand held landing pad such). As you already have experienced the pitch and roll of the vessel makes landing a trying experience at best. I would also suggest using a Kevlar glove like fishermen use when filleting fish to catch the drone (on Terra Firma this is quite easy, but on a water craft the unpredictability could lead to injury). Damaged props are a lot less expensive than damaged fingers.

The log in issue is something our DJI gurus will be able to help with.

Hope you and your husband enjoy your Salt Life retirement. Long life and smooth sailing to you both.
Hello from the Crossroads of America Sailing Okaliptüs .

Hopefully you'll get the answers you're looking for.

This is a great place.

Welcome to the Forum. :cool:
Welcome to Mavic Pilots! :) Enjoy the forum!Thumbswayup
Welcome to the forum! :)

Here are some things to help you get started with your drone:
  • Download the DJI manual for your drone here (it doesn't come in the box). The manual is packed with lots of useful tips and will give you a better understanding of your drone's features.

  • Check out this getting started guide for some tips not found in the DJI manual.

  • Your drone batteries will last longer if you use and maintain them like this.

  • Practice flying outdoors in a wide open location that's free of all obstacles. Don't attempt to fly inside your house or in other confined locations.

  • The drone records flight data each time you fly. You can decrypt and view those flight logs with these tools.

  • Check out for commonly used accessories you might need.
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Welcome to the forum.

As someone else has already mentioned, what drone is this? Behaviours vary from model to model.

Regarding both flights,have a look at, and follow, the instructions on the website
and you should be able to retrieve the flight logs.
Upload those logs, one at a time, to that site and then post the resulting URL's here. They may yield the reasons for some of the troubles in both flights.

Also, you can replay flights in the app via the "profile" or "me", or something similar, section at the bottom of the app's front page. There, you will, from memory, be able to see most of the warning messages.

It is also a good idea to run a screen recording app on the phone for precisely these sorts of circumstances, i.e. you do not have time to look at the screen to see warning messages or you can't see the screen because of the sun.
Both are of course "after the fact" replays but useful none the less. Just remember to clear old screen capture recordings out, they eat storage space.
I use Xrecorder on an Android phone, can't help with an iphone.

With regards to the drone in incident 1 fighting you, it did so beacuse it thought it was still flying and was trying to fly in accordance with the instructions it was being given, which could include "hover at the height of capture".
What you need to do is either,
a) tilt the drone to a significant angle, ( already been suggested ), which may stop the motors but sometime this will not stop the motors and the reason for that I do not know.
b) hold your hand still and either hold the throttle closed until the motors stop or hold the CSC position until the motors stop (difficult one handed) CSC = Combination Stick Command

Concerning flying from a boat, I suggest you read threads etc. on hand catching on a boat and resetting the home point from time to time. Deck landing is fraught with difficulty and risk, also note that most current DJI drones have sensors on the bottom that will cause the drone to rise if it detects an object withing 50cm of the bottom of the drone. This can cause problems, especially when hand catching or landing on a rising and falling surface, it can be over come but you need to know how and you need to expect the behavoir.
Regarding the home point, if the home point is not reset then the drone will RTH (return to home ) to where the drone first acquired sufficient satellites to locate the home point, normally that is the lauch point but since a boat tends to move the boat may not be at the launch point when the drone arrives there and that could be fatal for the drone.
I would also suggest you check whether your drone has obstacle avoidance ( OA) and if so hwther or not you can switch it off, trying to land on a boat with OA on is almost certainly going to fail.

I would also suggest reading up on flying in wind.

With regards to being logged out of the app, I have read that there is an inactivty threshold beyond which the app automatically logs you out, I do not know if that is correct nor do I know the qualification period but if it exists it must be months. I also have the suspicion that logging out of the app on one phone can log you out of the app on other phones.
The restrictions placed on a logged out app are mentioned my manuals so you will probably find them in the manual for your drone. e,g. for a mavic 2 "For increased safety, flight is restricted to a height of 98.4 ft (30 m) and range of 164 ft (50 m) when not connected or logged into the app during flight. This applies to DJI GO 4 and all apps compatible with DJI Aircraft"
I know I mention the manual but it needs to be done.
It is easy to miss things and or for someone new to their drone to miss the implication of a phrase in the manual. Been there done both of those and, after 3 years, I am still finding undiscovered or misunderstood 'gems' in the manuals.
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Welcome from the unlimited visibility of Arizona!

My first thought, when you said it went “Chucky” on you, was compass calibration. Had that been accomplished before flying in the local area? My Mini 2 manual states that compass calibration should be accomplished if more than 31 miles away from the last used location used and/or more than 30 days since last used.

Hope this is useful. Don’t hesitate to ask question in this forum. There are a lot of very experienced “Droners” with a wealth of knowledge. Remember, the only stupid question is the one that isn’t asked.

And, CONGRATULATIONS on early retirement! A fantastic goal that so many aspire to.
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Greetings from Birmingham Alabama USA, welcome to the forum!
Welcome to the forum. Enjoy safe and happy flying!
Welcome to the forum.
Please and do be sure you have read our guidelines.
I hope you will find our site helpful and look forward to any input , photo's/video's you might post .
Don't be shy and ask anything if you can't find it by searching . 👍
Welcome from sunny SoCal. Stay away for the rigging would be my tip. Lots of posts by people with boats, kayaks, etc. I'm from a sailboat family but, even though I've wondered about it many times, I've never tried it. It's the perfect subject and by the way, I envy the hell out of you.
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