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Weird Flying Story

Jul 24, 2018
So, I'm not sure if this is the best section of the forum for this, but I have a weird story I thought I'd share.

The other day I went flying on my university campus (knowing full well that it was against the rules). I started off from one end of campus and flew it forward a ways, then set it to hover over a basketball court while I closed in on foot (so I could keep a line of sight on it).

Unfortunately, the RAs saw me, so one of them came up to demand that I land. I started to fly it back to me as he talked, but after a moment I looked down at the controller and saw that it had disconnected. I was only at 160 feet a moment ago, and now the drone wasn't in sight at all, so I began to panic, thinking I was in the middle of a flyaway. Even so, I kept walking in that direction, hoping I might pick it up. A short while later, it picked the signal back up... but the camera feed showed the drone sitting on the ground!

I was absolutely perplexed at what happened, and at first, I thought the remote control had somehow dropped the signal (despite being only a few hundred feet away) and landed itself (despite being set to return home). After looking at several flight records, though, I've pieced together what I believe happened.

When I started flying back, I rocked the left joystick back, thinking that I was bringing it back. But, as you all know, that's actually the button to descend. I remember doing this, but I thought I had let it go as I realized my mistake. Well, it turns out that with the distraction of talking, I just kept holding it down even as I thought I'd taken my thumb off... so, over the space of about 20 seconds, the Mavic landed in the basketball court, and I didn't notice anything was wrong until I looked back at my controller. The controller must have dropped after that, then, due to the several buildings between me and the drone.

So basically, the perfect storm of distraction/incompetence and luck lead to me manually landing my drone without even noticing.
Good to share, many don't realise this.

During my flight exam I had to prove I was able to keep focus on my drone and keep it under safe control while somebody was doing a great job in trying to distract me.

You've learned a lesson, fortunately everything went OK. It could have ended in a disaster if you were flying in a populated area.
From now on you know that you should never let anyone distract you while flying a drone. Especially when your flying alone. Tell them to hold on for a minute and keep a safe distance from you, and the landing spot. Land your drone, shut it down, then have your conversation.
I'm thinking that unintentionally manually landing the drone wasn't the only lucky thing that happened in this story:eek:

However, as Lake_flyer says, no harm was done.
You'll probably also gain alot from this experience and be all the better pilot going forwards.Thumbswayup

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