Some considerations about SIMPLE feature. And why you shouldn't use it for recovery

I am a bit concerned about the energy spent and fuss about the Simple feature, so I will post my considerations, hoping it will help someone understand better this feature.


The simple mode (feature) is nice, allowing one to control the copter with the roll/pitch sticks as if they were a joystick. Up is forward, down is back, left and right are same whatever the copter is pointing at.

It has another interesting feature. Let's say we want to film an object while moving, we switch on the simple mode (hmmm not any more now.... let's say we program a stabilize mode with simple feature) and while going forward we slowly rotate the copter to keep the subject in the view. Nice!

This is the good part, it allows every noob (and not)  to control the copter in an easy and intuitive way.



Let's say I'm new to flying and I start in simple mode...

What happens when we (pilots) rotate a little and we are not in the same exact facing position?

What happens if the copter flyes over us or is on our side?

 We usually follow the copter rotating our head towards the copter, and in most cases we also rotate our body.

Well if you have Simple mode, you have to remember that when you(pilot) rotate from yuor original position, the commands will rotate with you.

In simple(hehe) words:  

If the copter flyes over you and you turn 180° to look at it, your command will be inverted.
Up will be back,
down will be forward,
left will be right and
right will be left.

If you turn 90° right

Up will be right,

down will be left,

right will beforward and

left will be back.


Now what is simple about this? 

I sometimes read about "keep the simple mode switch ready for emergency". Well.. don't!

If you are in a completely different position from start your simple mode will be as much complicated as your stabilize.

A good recovery option will be that of having your copter face opposite of where you are (home position) so you will be able to get it back by tilting back (facing tail) as when you practice hover with the copter in front of you.

Sorry for this complaint, but I think beginners should be aware of this....

or did I miss something?!?






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Yeah, I think you're missing the noob experience. I have never lost or crashed a copter in Simple mode while yawing. New pilots do all the time!

Once I lost a copter because it was too high to see the orientation and too windy to hold Yaw. Simple mode would have kept an 800 (and don't consider the time...) investment from flying away!

If it flies over you , don't panic, just fly it back. I don't even bother to turn around anymore, I just send it back over my head. 

I love it so much, I haven't flown normal Yaw in months.

I crashed twice in Simple, into the same apple tree no less, using Simple before the 5883L compass bug was fixed. ;) Before that I nearly lost my quad completely because I made the mistake of letting it fly too far to see its orientation - and the compass didn't hold true. (The quad was found on the only path in the forest the following morning, luckily.)

Before, I used almost nothing but Simple, but now I'm wisened just a bit and I don't rely on anything automatic. I'm still a bit nervous about using simple, which is a pity - when it worked and I didn't know to worry, it was great fun. Seriously though, every pilot should learn to respect their limits and preferably without a bad experience to force them into it. Nearly all systems have unexpected idiosyncracies or outright bugs, some of them just haven't been discovered yet. Train and prepare for handling at least the known risks and you'll be happy if you ever need those skills!

Emile: I know what you mean. Sometime back I had proposed a flight mode that is based on a darn simple polar coordinate system where the pilot can turn facing the copter as he pleases, one that trades that problem away. Since then Jason implemented the Circle mode. Try it if your vehicle is well tuned for holding gps positions! Stick "up" and "down" will control the distance to you, and "left" and "right" will always be left and right in a circle around you, no matter how the copter or you turn! I haven't gotten around to that yet, and handling behaviour close to the origin isn't an easy problem especially with real world inaccuracies, but it's a neat principle.

Yeah, I also crashed once in simple mode  in my earlier days because I turned around and walked the copter through the garden, then accidently switched to simple.  Before I realised what was going on it crashed in the meadow behind me.


Thing is to learn new 'panic' behaviour.  When panic, first thing is to keep the copter in the air, so switch to stabilise or simple and throttle up a bit (if too low).  Then removed the panic, even if the copter is driftiing away from you, and decide on using stabilise or simple to bring it back, based on if you can still see its orientation.


The real key is to remove the panic as quickly as possible and start thinking rationally again.  

What about a mode where the pitch stick controls the distance from you and the roll stick controls the azimuth of the copter from you (the takeof place) no matter how you turn. Something like circle and simple combined. If you dont move from the takeof site, this would be the best recovery option. Im not shure if its clear enough. If not, i post pictues tomorrow.
What about a "panic" mode/flight plan.
0)Flip the switch,
1)Yaw to same direction as at launch,
2)Return to overhead launch location,
3)Descend slowly,
4)Wonder what all the fuss was about.

They key here is the yaw at the start.
My "panic" moments are all when the aircraft gets to high / far away an I loose orientation.

well.... why not use RTL for this?

this mode you mentioned would not have any other use than bringing the quad back to launch position...

or am I missing something?

sometimes rtl is not an option (indoors, or with trees or other structures in the way), this mode would be great for photography (yaw would not be locked). anyway, its possible to change interactively the radius of circle mode?

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