Solo Crash on Camera Flash

Flying my Solo this evening when it flew off and crashed across the street after my son took a picture of it while it was hovering in front of him. No warning - just went. Solo was completely unresponsive to control attempts. See the event here:

Uploaded log to 3DR. Really lucky no one was hurt as kids had just been watching. Second flight - battery was around 20% - getting a picture just before going to land it.

Broke 3 blades but no damage to Solo or GoPro.

Doesn't build confidence when it just decides to do its own thing...


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    • 3D Robotics

      At 3DR we try to learn something from every flight—the good, the bad and the ugly—which is exactly why we made it quick and easy to submit your flight logs through the Solo app. We got our hands on the logs from this flight as soon as we could and turned our flight analysis machines on the demo. Here’s what we learned: 1. We’re all human. The fight logs show that the crash was unambiguously a result of pilot error. There’s lots of data below for those of you who love a good flight log.2. Flying nose-in is tricky. Before the crash, Solo was executing “Selfie,” one of its automatic Smart Shots. In Selfie, Solo faces the pilot. This is called flying “nose in” and is the mirror-image orientation of typical flight. As a result, the stick controls become inverted: Your left is Solo’s right. (Exactly the same as “stage left” being the audience’s right.) When the Selfie was completed, the pilot appropriately put Solo back into “Fly” mode to regain manual control. Likely in an attempt to get a little farther away from the taco truck, the pilot applied a small amount of “right stick” (figure 1 in the log image below), but since Solo was “nose in” it simply went to its right instead of the pilot's right. Seeing Solo go what appeared to be the wrong way, the pilot applied “full right stick” to try and correct. Unfortunately Solo did exactly that and flew “right” into the taco truck. If you’re a beginner pilot, it’s always a good idea to fly Solo “tail in” as much as possible—which is exactly what Smart Shots allow you to do. So in general, right after a Selfie it’s a good idea to rotate the copter back around until the rear of the copter is facing you, and you and Solo are looking the same way.3702706679?profile=original3702706624?profile=original

    • So are you basically saying that Solo does not implement "Super Simple Mode"?

      I would think that this should be the default setting for the Solo as it comes out of the box. Perhaps you could allow a user to turn it off in the Advanced settings menu when they achieve the skills to fly without it.

      I looked at the Solo documentation and haven't noticed any mention of Super Simple Mode, nor of being careful to keep the front of the Solo pointed away from you or the controls will be backwards.

      There is a very short sentence that describes the right stick on the controller where it says: "These movements are relative to Solo’s current orientation, so always maintain awareness of Solo’s forward-facing direction before using right-stick controls."

      I think a beginner could easily miss this very important point. I'm very surprised that there wasn't a warning or enhanced notice to the operator to be careful about this.

      So why no 'Super Simple Mode' in the Solo? Wouldn't this save a lot of frustration for new users? Or is the idea not  to let them rely on a crutch such as Super Simple Mode?

    • I would guess because it is glitchy as hell currently and has a tendency to flip direction of all controls 180 deg if you fly your drone too close to the operator - most people after that are unable to control it as it may start flipping that back again, or in some cases may not and may get stuck in reversed/inverted direction.

      also, when you are in this 'super simple mode' and God forbid fly under some roof so all GPS glitches bad - drone can do some real crazy things. that is where you need to have a kill motor switch on your remote to turn it off immediately and just let it drop down.

      'simple mode' that is driven by compass is more than adequate and works very reliably, again, unless you get really close to you with a transmitter, or any other big metal object that upsets compass reading, then drone may do some erratic moves or alter actual direction of your input controls.

      remember that crash where lady flew too close to a bus? I bet drone was in a 'simple' mode and big metal object near to drone made it fly in a direction different from one operator dictated.

      that is also a reason why I do not like what 3dr did for that solo remote. taranis with its 8 flip multi position switches is incredibly convenient to operate as you can turn off stuff very quickly just by your muscle memory.

      in most cases it saves your vehicle from the crash. why 3dr did what they did for this solo remote is beyond me. they probably assumed it is more convenient to push fingers into iphone screen in a bright sun, I do not know.

    • I didn't know that simple and/or super simple mode had such bad issues. I haven't seen any warnings about this. Thanks for mentioning it.

      Is this the official stance about Simple and Super Simple modes?

    • bad? it is not bad. it is just if you fly your compass next to a huge chunk of metal - it will affect its readings and it will ruin all directional awareness of your system.

      same with a real aircraft. that is why real aircraft has multiple systems in the different parts of a fuselage and uses intelligent techniques to assess what reading is accurate.

      simple mode works just fine if your compass reading is not affected.

      I asked several questions in the 'copter 3.3 beta' thread about super simple mode control direction inversion - not sure what devs think about it, I just stopped using it at all and in my opinion it is simply much less reliable than an old compass based one. that is my 2c.

      as of compass isolation, there is not much what can be done. if you were on any navy ship you can look up how a properly isolated compass looks like - in a 500lb enclosure. what we have in the drone is extremely sensitive and is affected even by motors of same drone, so, you fly to a big chunk of metal - compass goes kaput.

      may be they should have done some emergency mode to recognize this situation, and may be it even exists now in 3.3 beta but I never tested it enough to know how it works, or does not work.

    • It will be interesting to see what 3DR has to say about my crash. Sure I was reversed on the right stick but when Solo moved away initially I hadn't given any command for it to do so and then when I pulled down on the left stick Solo continued to move away. It did not respond to the command to come down immediately but rather flew across the street and crashed into the grass. Too bad there wasn't surveillance video to see what commands the pilot actually applied (if any) when the Solo flew into the truck. On my video I posted the surveillance video showing what initially happened and my incorrect response to a Solo fly away. I showed the mistake but I also showed that Solo left without me giving any command.

    • Roger, in my Opinion and since this is OPEN Source, Can you not code in a Rotate 180 Command at the end of Selfie? When you hit the FLY button to exit it, have the App screen Flash "Rotating 180 Degrees" along with a 2 second pause to regain orientation and that would solve a lot of problems with post selfie orientation crashes.

    • +1 That sounds like a great idea!

    • Thanks Roger, Just what I thought. Seen several videos where it appeared to be the familiar nose in flying problem that has crashed many a vehicle since the dawn of R/C flying machines.

      People have stated that the pilot worked for 3DR, but I find that unlikely. Could you comment on that?


    • FAA just loves watching all these social networks crash videos. Just building up more ammunition to slap huge restrictions on us!!! It a matter of time when we wont be able to fly at ALL!!!!! KEEP YOUR CRASHES OFF YOU TUBE!! I dont really know why peeps like putting them on there anyway. If you need sympathy, take you broken drone to the bar and have a couple of shots to make you feel better!!!

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