Lesson: always fly with telemetry or a spotter!

After some painstaking PID tuning and some near crashes, I decided to take out my octocopter and see what kind of thrust it was able to generate. After hovering for a moment, I gunned the throttle and the machine disappeared into the sky. It was beautiful. The only problem was that I had forgotten my Xbee receiver and thus had no telemetry data. My glee quickly turned into panic as I tried to judge which way the octo was facing and how to get it back. As it drifted further and further with the wind, I collected myself and started to lower the throttle. It grew larger for a moment but I knew it was still drifting. I tested pitching backwards, to see if it would get closer, then pitched forwards.... forwards was the trick and it moved back within a comfortable range.


Moral: Never fly without telemetry OR a spotter. I had neither and my very expensive prototype almost disappeared forever because of it.

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Comment by Don Cramer on August 29, 2011 at 7:45am

One thing that may help.. have one of your mods set to simple mode... if you lose orientation or are to far away to tell this will help. Helps me a few times..

Comment by Adam Rivera on August 29, 2011 at 7:57am

That's a really great idea. There were quite a few safeguards that I overlooked because my excitement got the best of me. I am definitely going to use that as one of my flight modes. Thanks for the suggestion!

Comment by Grips on August 29, 2011 at 8:25am

Did you have RTL setup? could you have put the octo into RTL mode and it would have flown back?

Comment by Grips on August 29, 2011 at 8:25am

I guess I should ask if RTL works without a mission planned or not.

Comment by Adam Rivera on August 29, 2011 at 8:34am

Good question... I did not have RTL setup either. All foolish choices on my part before trying to go out that far. Unfortunately I didn't have my telemetry receiver.

Comment by Dimitri on August 29, 2011 at 8:56am

rtl work without a mission planned, it goes where the gps first get the sats

Comment by Sebastian Gralla on August 29, 2011 at 9:35am

Dimitri: that's not correct, it goes where you arm the motors ;)

Comment by basshead on August 29, 2011 at 1:26pm

Simple mode is the best mode :)

Comment by Toby Mills on August 29, 2011 at 2:45pm

Put your phone number on it as well along with a "reward for return' label.
My Skyfun got caught in a sudden 60kph wind last week that came from knowhere and took it 15km off track.

It landed in a farm and luckily a farmer thought it was a dead lamb and went to investigate. I had put my phone number on it and he rang to say he had found it. I was very lucky.

Comment by Grips on August 29, 2011 at 4:59pm

Sebastian: That is what I thought I had read but I wanted to make sure before I said it. So in essence, setup a RTL as a last resort if you lose orientation? I hate to say use it as a 'failsafe' as you should be piloting well enough to not need it.


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