Friggin' Solo crashed into a tree

I was out on my deck, taking off from the yard, flying around, landing, no problems whatsoever. Two or 3 short flights. I took off again. I climbed to about 25 feet, the Solo started to wobble badly, so I corrected it, preparing to bring it down for a landing. It suddenly took off at full tilt in reverse, crashed into a tree, and got hung up there.

I tried my best to prevent it doing that, but it wasn't responding to controls. Total time for the episode was about 6 seconds, I'd guess.

I filed a problem ticket while the Solo was in the tree, which I thought was handy. Then I got my pole saw out, fastened an 8 ft. length of PVC to the end of it, then fastened an 8 ft. cane fishing pole to the end of THAT, stood on the railing of my deck, and knocked the Solo down. It was the only way to reach it. 

Some thoughts:

I suppose it was a GPS issue, but looking at my HDOP, it was 1.5, which didn't seem unreasonable.

I'll say this, the Solo is well-made. There is not a single scratch on it. The only "damage" was that the camera mount got knocked off, and the plate it attaches to inside was loose after the crash. It turns out the plate is attached with rubber mounts, and they had been pulled out of their holes. About 10 seconds with an awl was all that's needed to put the rubber mounts back in place, and the camera mount just snapped in. I got a look inside while I had the bottom plate off, and it looks like an interesting place to snoop around. There were pureed leaves on the outer shell, but those were wiped off easily enough.

I have developed a theory that is I install new props on a quad, the chances of me having a crash within the first 5 minutes of flying with them is exactly 100%. 

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  • I think it's Charlie Browns' Kite eating tree but since nobody flys kites anymore it's had to change its diet to quads. :)
  • By the way, here's the stick I made to get access to the Solo. Maybe I'll just stick a GoPro on the end of the stick and carry that around instead of flying a quad.

    2015-06-15 19.41.19.jpg

    • Oooo, the Solo Stick ;)

  • Developer
    What's it with you and trees?

    Any chance of a log?
    • Hi Bill, 

      I think it's the combination of trees and props. There's an irresistible attraction between them. :-) 

      I do actually have a log, the one attached to the email sent to 3DR. I can't seem to read it, but I'd be most appreciative if you could tell me what happened.



    • Were those logs pulled off the controller or the Solo?  Some of the logs do not seem to be able to be opened in MP and others are not a normal type.

    • Those are the logs from the controller. Is it possible to pull logs from the Solo directly? If so, I'd like to know how to do that!

    • With the Pixhawk 1 the logs are on the PH and are pulled using MP.  I would think that PH 2 would also have logs but don't know how they are pulled; directly or through the controller.

    • I'm sure it does. I just connected to the Solo with Tower and APMPlanner to have a look around.

      To do it with Tower, set the Telemetry Connection Type to UDP, and connect. I was on Solo's wifi so I didn't have a map to look at, but everything appears to work as it would if you were connected to an Iris or something. There are 472 parameters, and I exported them while the "Performance" setting in the Solo app was at "Very Fast" and again with it set to "Very Slow", then diff'd the files to see what parameters are changed. Pretty straightforward.

      With APMPlanner, it was even simpler to connect. I just set my ThinkPad to use Solo's wifi and started APM planner. It came up connected, showing the little "flight data" window with live data.

      I wasn't able to get APMPlanner's log extraction to work, I think it depends on the UAV being in "terminal" mode, a mode the Pixhawk enters immediately after startup (and exits shortly afterward). So the "Logs" button in APMPlanner wasn't enabled, and I didn't get logs off of it.

    • Developer
      You can download logs using 'log download' in the Graph View. terminal,isn't enabled by default anymore.
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