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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  • Developer


    I have thought about that danger. I am trying to come up with a way to mitigate that kind of threat. I am considering implementing a remote, CO2 powered parachute. But I haven't ironed out any of the details on that yet.

  • Please also consider the danger of such an octocopter (2kg?) falling at high speed on a person or a car...



  • yup RTL is good failsafe, I aggree

  • Moderator

    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.

  • 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.

  • Simple mode is the best mode :)

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

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

  • Developer

    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.

  • Moderator

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

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