Quad crashed when RTL

Last saturday I went to do some testing on my quad and I had an awful crash, this is what happend:

- Armed the quad with Mission Planner in Stabilize mode

- Moved the a few meters up and a few mts away south

- Switched to RTL

Then the quad went to the north at full speed slowly decreasing the altitude until it crashed.

I don't have a clue of what happend because, the GPS had a perfect lock, the altitude was correctly displayed, and the compass showed the correct heading, I'm just astonished.

This is what I use:

APM 2.6 fw 3.2.1

3DR 915Mhz Radio


3DR Power module

HJ 450 Frame

Also use APM 2.0 RC1/RC3

What am I doing wrong?, ideas?


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  • interesting discussion... I had few problems with my quads these days and I think that ONE of the problem is to use 2 GCS in the same time. 

    We (2 pilots) made few tries last week, beautifull day, no wind. Quad (last firmware, mini apm) flying perfectly, 10 sats (Ublox 6H), 1.6 m HDOP, open field, 2 or 3 auto missions, etc... then, we start to use droidplanner (last version with Samsung Note3). Arm (with DP), take off (with DP)... the quad took off, 10 meters and just went a full throttle crasy. Just had the time to put it back in stabilize and save it. We were 2, we just saw it for real ! I flew it again, just perfect.

    When you are alone flying, it is not so easy to understand in 1 second what is happening. And get the right reflexe. After maybe 100 flights, I can put it in stabilize in 2/3 seconds but something it is too late....

    And maybe there is a problem with the HOME function, making autopilot to use wrong info from gps.

    I didn´t find any data from log refering to this HOME position.

    • I am cautious, I never use the GCS for arming or takeoff.

      I arm with my TX, then take off.  I then switch to Pos Hold and fly long enough to determine that everything is responding as it should.  Only then do I initiate DP actions.

      Any needed emergency recovery can be done more quickly and surely on the TX than GSC.


      You are correct about the incomplete documentation.  It does take a lot of reading and searching of multiple forums to try to understand the constantly shifting details of MP and DP.

      • I used to do like you.... except when I try some new function.... because if nobody try, nobody knows.

        Merry christmas to all

  • I think you are both not understanding something basic.  Setting a home position had nothing to do with your problems Louis, why do you continue to insist on that?  If you don't understand this ask some questions.

    The home position is determined at the time of arming for a copter!!!

    It does not matter if the Home text is empty or if one has entered a location.  All of that is ignored.  The Flight Controller determines the home position from GPS data at the time of arming.  And that arming point is where it will head on RTL.

    And no, it is not a bug it works that way for everyone, thousand of missions have been flown correctly with that behavior.  One just needs to understand what is happening.

  • I forgot about this, I found the cause to this, I live in Argentina and "Home" was somewhere in the US and the first WP was home at US, the rest you can imagine

    • I am not sure I understand that reasoning.  Home should be established by the flight controller when you arm the quad before takeoff.  A wrong first waypoint could send it in an unexpected direction; but a RTL command should bring it back to the arming location.

      • Indeed, but the drone hit a tree before I could do anything to save it :P

        • What does that have do do with your statement of an incorrect home position?

          When you gave it the RTL command what was your RTL height set at?  The only way it would decrease in altitude is if it was already higher than the RTL height.    That height should have been set to a height higher than any tree in the area.

          If it hit a tree then you were below tree line when you RTLed or had too low an RTL height set.

          None of it sounds like equipment issues but rather setup and pilot errors.

          • This was a year ago, the first time I went out to test.

            Yes!, it was a pilot error indeed, the home was set in USA (didn't knew that back then) and I set the drone to auto and it off it went to the first WP (home) and between the drone and home there was a 20mts tall tree, again, there was no time to hit RTL, LAND or whatever in 3 seconds it hit the bloody tree.

            Thanks for replying, but I just wanted to leave my experiece since it was a dumb error, no help needed.

  • Moderator

    Perhaps attach a log file and it might be easier to help you.

This reply was deleted.


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