First Brush With Disaster, Almost

Discussion in 'X-Star / X-Star Premium' started by PFD4030, Feb 15, 2017.

  1. Out flying today and let my son have at the controls. Everything going well until his hands got cold and I took back over. Did some figure 8s and orbiting maneuvers before deciding to switch to Attitude mode to check out top speed. Well made a couple passes then got a little turned around.

    Could not see my small phone screen very well to maneuver back closer and too far away to see flashing lights. Also was getting drift from the wind so switched back to GPS mode. Switch went well except it placed my home point 200 feet in the air.

    About the time I had my position worked out to bring the craft back to me the LOW BATTERY warning flashed and system went into return to home mode. Tried to disable the return to home as I could see the craft gaining altitude and traveling away from me towards the new established Home Point when switched back into GPS mode. Was unable to override the return to home function so I disabled the GPS and switched back to Attitude to allow me to directly land the craft.

    All was going as well as could be expected considering the circumstance until I lost video signal. The craft dipped down behind a small rise and also lost line of site at this point. Then received a message craft was going into auto land mode. Getting nervous at this point but video was re-established. Craft going down in a field that I was not too worried about and when close enough to ground to begin seeing some prop wash, lost video signal again. As soon as the "landed" message appeared I was on the sticks to cut the motors.

    Well, got to the craft and it was upside down. No damage to anything was apparent and craft did not appear to be going fast enough for a crash at landing, but surface was on a hillside so not level. Believe the craft flipped itself over after touchdown.

    Relieved no serious damage but rest assured the next time I power up, will be turning off the ability to use Attitude mode.

    Here is my question. Did I miss something to warn me the battery was getting low or is the first warning right before the craft goes into return to home mode automatically. Also should I be able to pause the return to home function at this time with enough time to land the craft myself? Using an iPhone 7 for this flight as the 6 I had planned on using went dead with about 30 seconds of hover time. Battery settings are the preset settings from factory. Further there was about one minute between the time the return to home was automatically engaged and the time the craft went into emergency landing. Does this sound right?

    Not blaming the craft as if I had left the GPS mode on the craft would have been able to return to the location within the 1 minute time frame but if I was out further it would not have.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  2. Ok, it looks as if you did just as I panicked? \r
    When you switched to ATTI mode, someone correct me if I am wrong. Did it clear the HOME POINT? If it did OR didn't, you should have done several things...\r
    1. Switch back to GPS (which you did)\r
    2. Reset your home point to YOU(the controller)\r
    IMG_1602.jpg \r
    3. If you're disoriented and it's getting away, switch to IOC mode. You still have GPS! But, pull down on the right stick, the bird comes back to you regardless of direction (IF your home point IS set properly to you(controller)\r
    Now, you said it set the home point at 200 feet, were you referring to the GO HOME ALTITUDE? if that's the case, most likely you were below your go home altitude and it was going to go straight up to the go home alititude then start its journey home.\r
    Once you switched to GPS it should have settled.\r
    Also sounds like the battery was less than 25% when you switched to GPS and immediately was trying to go home, it was cold maybe a little winds and the battery was depleting quickly. You got to 15% and down it was coming!\r
    When it says it's coming home, let it come home! I learned my lesson. There was most likely some pilot error here which is a learning curve for these very sophisticated machines. You can see below, I had my own pilot error by not letting the tech work for me. It's a scary moment and the first instinct is panic and mash buttons!
  3. Didn't panic but between getting the low battery warning and the return to home function I could not switch the home point back to me as the return to home kept overriding everything I was trying to do, even just lowering the craft myself to a landing was impossible. And the craft returned to home alright, 70feet up and away from where I was as I was bringing the craft back to me. It did what it was supposed to do, it returned to the last generated home point.

    The new home point was generated automatically when I switched from ATTI back to GPS. When the craft force landed I was good with that as it would have been in a relatively good spot to land. Never thought about IOC mode and will keep that in mind if I am ever inclined to fly ATTI again with my small phone. Just the short time between the low battery warning and the forced landing making me wonder that I missed another warning somewhere. Flight lasted for over 20 minutes so between the warning and the control of craft being taken over seems way to quick of battery drain.

    Not overly cold, in the upper 40s or lower 50s and winds were around 9mph. Just not satisfied the battery would drain that quick making me think I missed a warning somewhere before everything was taken out of my control.

    Also thanks for the info on setting home point to me and controller. Much appreciated as I did not realize that was an option.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  4. These batteries only last 23-24 minutes. You were most likely at a critically low battery level.
  5. Understand that. So the first warning is a banner that reads low battery and the next level is the automatic return to home and when the batteries are about spent the automatic landing now takes effect.

    I assume I have this correct and am just tying to avoid the battery getting that low again and understanding what happens. At this rate I may need to tweak my battery levels to avoid this in the future as I thought I missed the first warning. Just can't see that battery charge ring on the small phone when it am flying outside.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  6. There is NO pre warning
    The PRE warning is at 25% and it starts returning home
    The FINAL warning is at 15% and it lands!
  7. It's all good, it's a learning experience...I'm still learning every time it goes up in the air.
  8. Pl

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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