Flying IFR-FPV


I flew my Arducopter IFR-FPV Sunday!

It was pretty cool once I landed safely back at the takeoff point.

For various reasons which I won't go into, my video camera view became unusable 2 or 3  minutes into the FPV flight in my rural neighborhood, and I found that I had no idea where I was.

The last thing I saw was an unfamiliar street and I was probably 100-150 ft high, then I couldn't make out anything.

I realized FPV wasn't going to get me back so I put int into loiter and took off my googles and  and tried to see if I could see or hear it.  I found that I couldn't hear or see the ArduCopter.

Unfortunately, I hadn't set up the Mission Planner and ground station, I was just going for a quick test flight before it got dark. so i just took the copter and the radio and took off.  

Then I remembered!, I could just use the MinimOSD, thats what it's there for!

So I put the googles back on, even though I couldn't make out any camera image, the OSD was overlaying fine.  So I checked the direction arrow, and the distance, I was about 600 feet out. 

So, i turned until the arrow was pointing straight up and started heading in, In less than a minute, I began to hear the copter and it was a great sound. The meters out were counting down and  I got it right within 2 meters of home, and descended to a landing.  Whew!, I wiped my brow and retreated to the house with my hardware, and got a beer..

I found that it was a great feeling to know that I could fly IFR, and that I probably could have used RTL instead, using the instruments was much more fun and less nerve racking...


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  • Hi Mike,

    A couple of reasons that I didn't RTL, I haven't tested RTL and don't just trust without first testing it line of sight in an open area, especially considering I just flashed it to beta 3.0 RC5 and it was my first flight. My landing zone is in a clearing between a column of trees, and needs to be precise.

    Also, even if had tested it and had confidence in it, I would still prefer to fly home on instruments. I like that fact that RTL is there, but I think flying IFR is a lot more fun!

  • That's a little better than my first FPV attempt.. which ended with a 4 hour search for my quad which I found the battery in the grass and looked up and 100 feet up was the rest... which took a very tall ladder and a chimney sweep poll to get it out of the tree.

  • why didnt you just RTL? thats what its for!

  • Hahaha, That is awesome. You must maybe think of installing a video channel switcher

    and then have 2 cameras on it, so then you can switch between the IFR and normal video.

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