An Incredible Adventure!


An Incredible Adventure! by Chapelat Daniel [with translation mistakes by Mike Pursifull] 


   First of all, thank you to the developers, to Google, and for the Xbee telemetry module (without these accessories and associated MediaTek GPS and APM Mission Planner and) without you, I would not be writing this story because I would have lost all of my equipment!

This very afternoon [yesterday; translation delay] I decided to test ArduCopter 2.6 (despite strong winds) so off I went to my flying field.

After a few successful tests, stabilize, altitude hold, RTL ... I decided to try loiter mode. Suddenly ... what happened? I have no idea!  Mixed up modes? Wind gusts? A navigation problem? My quad disappears out of sight in a flash ... PANIC!

Oh, the panic and desolation! Where'd my quad go? Where

My transmitter is beeping, alerting me that the receiver is out of range. Beep, beep, beep .... DISASTER!

I jump in the car with the RC transmitter (beep, beep, beep, ...) and the ground station laptop (Xbee still connected!) and head out along the flight path shown in Mission Planner. 

New trouble, no luck today .... my path is blocked by a large gate across the road!

I decide to continue the search on foot after climbing the gate, with the PC and the XBee radio tucked under one arm and the RC transmitter under the other arm. Always: beep! beep! beep! The transmitter keeps reminding me of my lost aircraft. 

My heart is racing at 195 beats per minute! 

To add to my anxiety, I need to hurry because the battery of the quad should be almost empty ... I plunge forward in my search.

Bad luck again, I now notice that somewhere during my mad dash, the laptop telemetry link has dropped. I've covered almost a full kilometer, 950 meters, plus or minus, in my race to find the lost quad.

Suddenly, the beep changes, the transmitter finds the receiver, then loses it again. Meanwhile, the telemetry link is still down. I advance a little more, and ... silence, beautiful silence. The RC transmitter has a good lock (a glimmer of hope appears.)

But the telemetry link, having lead me in this direction, is still down! And I don't see my quad anywhere!

I walk around in a wide circle, checking Mission Planner for a telemetry link, and then ... IT'S OK! I have streaming telemetry data!

I follow the flight path shown on the Mission Planner screen (and a thousand questions run through my mind. In what state will find my poor gear, etc ... and then ...)  I find my quad!


The quad is sitting just 20cm from the edge of a lake, and it looks intact! ... It's a MIRACLE!

Phew! Relief! The apparent cost? Only two propellers broken. I'll check out all the rest in more detail when I get everything home and update you on what I find.

There are days with luck ... and days without, and sometimes days with both; today was the latter.

Thank you for reading.

[The original is below so you can make fun of my poor translation. -Mike]

Une aventure incroyable!


   Tout d'abord: merci aux concepteurs, à Google, au module de télémétrie Xbee (sans cet accessoire associé au GPS médias tek ainsi qu'au Planificateur de mission APM planner), je ne serais plus sur ce forum car j'aurai perdu tout mon matériel!

cet après-midi très décidé pour tester 2.6 (ceci malgré le vent)  je suis allé sur le terrain de vol ...

Après des tests: stabiliser, maintenez la touche Alt, RTL ... J'ai décidé de prendre l'altitude en mode loiter.

Ensuite...., je ne sais pas! .......... la confusion des modes?, des rafales de vent ?,  panique de pilotage.??.

Mon quad est hors de vue ....PANIQUE!

C'est la panique et la désolation !! ……………………………..Ou est mon quad  ????

Premier bip bip radio  (perte de signal radio !)….CATASTROPHE !!

je prends la voiture avec la radio allumée (bip, bip ... bip) et un ordinateur portable connecté et me dirige en direction de l'emplacement indiqué par le Planificateur de mission APM planer

Mais pas de chance .... Le chemin est bloqué par une grande porte!

je décide de continuer la recherche à pieds après avoir grimpé la porte avec : le PC et l'antenne xbee sous un bras,  le TX radio  sous l'autre bras

(toujours bip bip...bip..bip.. signal radio  perdu..)

Mon cœur est de 195 tr / min

Je me dépêche car la  batterie du quad doit être presque vide ...

La malchance encore : le PC est éteint (mauvaise manœuvre pendant ma course effrénée !)

Après avoir couru presque 1 Km : +-  950m

changements bip,(le signal radio revient +/- )..Mais toujours pas pas de connexion PC!

j’avance un peu plus..le :. bip-bip s’éteint!( le signal radio est OK (L'espoir revient un peu)

Mais la connexion Xbee ) n’est pas encore bonne ! je ne vois pas mon quad autour de moi !

J’avance encore, vérifie la connexion Xbee ……..C’EST OK !

Je  suis les indications de l’APM planificateur (Je  me pose mille questions : dans quel état je vais retrouver mon matériel, etc ..... et ........... Je trouve mon quad !

Il est à seulement  20cm  de l’eau d’un  bassin de la carrière, il a l’air intacte !...MIRACLE !

ouf, ouf, Bilan apparent: seulement : 2 hélices cassées!

Je vais tout vérifier en rentrant  à la maison et vous raconter la suite………………………..

Il y a des jours avec de la chance ... et jours sans chance, parfois les deux; ............ c'était mon jour!

Merci de votre lecture

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones


  • i mean a TOS ( top radio )

  • Maybe a LOS.....

    Have you tried your failsafe ???

    You should try it before flying to see what append when you take out one ch on your RX.

    I tried mine whith my wife for testing the range of my TX/RX. 

    ( i left my wife on a side road why my quad and i'd take my car with my tx and go away ^^ )

  • hello

    Can be an answer to my misadventure
    a near field (+ / - 200m), there is a high voltage line and I have doubts on disturbances.
    To check, I put my radio equiment in a motor glider and, indeed, I have lost signal + / - 1.5 seconds it is possible that these bugs have caused interference APM


  • Thx a lot Bertrand.

    No I was not aware about this law ^^

  • Hello all
    Thank you for the links to regulations, by posting this story I just wanted to draw attention to the fact that we are too careful, however this is not an affair of state
      I have not had time to analyze what did not work, I will resume construction at zero and to test

  • Tu es vers clermont, c'est dommage, moi je suis de Tours (37).


    Heureusement que ton lien avec xbee n'a pas lâché...

    Pour ma part, je suis équipé des nouveaux modules 3DR en 433mhz.

    Je ne les ai pas encore testé (normalement, ils doivent offrir une meilleur portée.)


    Sinon, as-tu trouvé ce qui c'est dépassé ? Le mode de flane, c'est quoi exactement ?



  • Hello everyone
    Thank you for the translation (in this connection: it should better post in French? Or google translation?
    and thank you for your comments
    I wish that I fly in specifying expected tidal campaign (the risk of impact vraimment are very low) and only designer in the region.
    the faisafe has run (engine off) but the wind gusts carry the quad
    a parachute would have reduced the impact on the ground, but I have had no chance of finding the material (certainly very far away)
    It is true that this misadventure to reflect on the enthusiasm at the expense of safety

  • Moderator


    Is there a provision that takes into consideration that he was performing a flight test? It seems like it is reasonable and needed to perform flight tests to verify that the failsafe and other features are working correctly. In this case, something was not functioning correctly, so he will need to do more testing before he flies "operationally." Just wondering how that is intended to work. 

  •  Good Story ! Scare and Hope ! Sounds all to familiar There needs to be some form of emergency location beacon for these things . There is a lot of $ taking off when they go rouge I'm glad you got it back in one piece. I can identify with the lake (will it float?) that was close . I went for "one last flight with my radian pro the battery died at altitude with the wind blowing it didn't respond to the controls and came down 3 feet from going over a 200 cliff into lake Erie. is there a switch you can throw and put it on manual over ride to bring it  back in a situation like that or is there no time to program something in?Congrads on getting it back!

  • Mike, great job on the translation you seem to have missed a few Merde and Sacrebleu from the tranlsation, congrats to Chapelat for getting his quad back and for telling his story.


This reply was deleted.