Welcome to YuneecPilots.com!

Sign up and join the fastest growing Yuneec drone community.

Seems like fly-aways should be be fairly simple to prevent

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ChuckD, Jan 8, 2016.

Tags:
  1. ChuckD

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2016
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    1
    Assuming that most fly-aways are due to errant GPS signals, it seems that Yuneec should be modifying the software to look for large, odd jumps in GPS position. You're flying along with a good set of coordinates, then suddenly the bird thinks it's a half mile from where it was? Obviously doesn't make sense, and it really doesn't make sense for the drone to head off that direction.

    If simple filtering of GPS positions doesn't work to throw out the bad coordinates, seems like some message should be sent back to the controller (ST10, whatever), telling the operator that the copter has lost it's mind about where it is. Obviously simple RTH won't work in this case, but at least you could take over the unit. Seems to me that it should sit still and hover rather than trying to take off for some faraway location.
     
    grubmcneill likes this.
  2. Sirwilliam70

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2015
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    53
    That's a scary thought! Has this actually happened to you?
     
  3. grubmcneill

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2016
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    1
    I had my near new Q500 4K do a fly away permanently earlier this week. I have flown out the back of my house which is nice and open area that goes down to a freeway, so this day I started to take it straight up as usual. It got to around 40 metres then just took off away from me flat out, and I immediately tried pulling the levers back to me and trying to decrease altitude. I watched as it sailed across the freeway and across the suburb that I live in and lost track of it.

    I went searching for it as I believe it may have gone towards the last place I flew which was at a field in a next door suburb. I started it up as I normally would with enough GPS data as I normally would and I have flew the machine plenty of times so I can't understand why it took off.

    What has got me concerned as the OP has mentioned is why the software allows this machine to do this? So it seems if you are shooting 50km away earlier in the day, then you take your bird up again this could easily just happen then it takes off towards that position. This really doesn't make sense to me, why wouldn't you have the software in the Q500 4K purge that last GPS data from the machine when it is turned off to prevent this sort of thing? That is presuming that this is the cause and not other fault.

    I've read that this has happened enough that it deserves to be addressed. I've asked about the availability of the Q500 4K body here in Australia and am still waiting for an answer, as they apparently just have the kits with everything - the ST10+ here alone costs $700+ plus 2 batteries which are $150 ea, and the box sells for $200!! All of which I don't need.
     
  4. Sirwilliam70

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2015
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    53
    This is frightening! Did you ever find it?
     
  5. grubmcneill

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2016
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    1
    Never found it, not for the lack of trying but there are too many places it could be and impossible to search everywhere.

    Probably the worst part now is that I have just got enough money together to buy a Panasonic GH4 to compliment the Q500 4K for video shooting. I then planned get the Tornado H920 later in the year so I could mount the GH4 with it. I had plans to use aerial footage a bit, but now my thought process is to just concentrate on ground footage. Imagine what would happen if the H920 which is an enormous beast just lost its mind and took off? That would be a $10,000 bit of gear (in AUD) that could potentially just go off, crash or in the worst case disappear!!

    So now I'm thinking about going all out on the GH4, audio recording and trying to sell the remainder of my Q500 4K kit, and work around not using a drone. I can't afford to lose that sort of money again.
     
  6. Sirwilliam70

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2015
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    53
    Yeah, that's a scary thought! There was someone selling a Q500 by itself (no controller or battery) here a couple weeks ago. Not sure if they sold it yet.
     
  7. CaptOrr

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm a paranoid newbie. I lost my 1st UAV a couple of months ago & finally got up the nerve to try again. I recently bought a Q500+ after reading all great reviews of this product & Yuneec in general-especially their support.

    It sounds like, as with my 1st experience, fly-aways are some unknown random confluence of events frequently ending with ...and I never saw it again. GPS confusion, cell/wi-fi/sunspot interference, karma, gremlins--pick your favorite root cause scapegoat.

    Is there any comprehensive, effective list of preventative measures a pilot can take to minimize or eliminate the risk? That is, besides the standard; don't be stupid, calibrate, verify a good GPS lock before take off, don't panic. Not panicking is easier said than done. There are few things more sickening than watching your awesome machine fade from view as you impotently try everything & anything from the ground.

    Can you turn off GPS while in flight? Even if you can, will that re-establish any control at all? Isn't it almost always the case that the bird is no longer responding to anything from the ground station? What about the quasi-nuclear option of hitting the red button?

    I get the "it's just a matter of time before you crash", but praying lightening isn't going to strike is a bit of a buzz kill.

    BTW: great forum all y'all.
     
  8. Southern Style

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    2
    That was my thought reading this.. Understanding that the Q500 is not responding to ANY instructions from the ST10, would it listen to the "Power Off" button? I would rather at least find it in a few pieces rather than loose the whole drone, camera, batteries, etc....
     
  9. CaptOrr

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    I did a couple of quick ground tests. No props, motors at idle & motors running. I was not able to disable GPS from either the ST10+ settings screen or with the right stick full right, flick Smart/Home 4 times. Both these methods apparently only work when the motors are off.
     
  10. Ren57

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2016
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    6
    Never had my Q500 fly away yet (Tempting fate here) even after 150+ flights...... But if it does or if yours does, here's a few things to try. 1. Whatever mode you're flying in, change it. So if you're flying in Angle mode, switch it to Smart or vice versa. 2. If that doesn't work, switch it to Home. 3. If that doesn't work, try turning off the controller. Turning off the controller should activate return to Home. 4. Last chance! If none of the other things have worked, turn your controller back on and see if you can regain any control. Try changing modes again. If it's still flying away (and assuming you still have a camera signal) point the camera straight down at the ground. When you can see that you're not over any vehicles, property or people, hit the red power off button! Extreme I know but it's the only thing left that you can do.

    If it won't shut down and fall out of the sky and just keeps flying away, try making a note of what direction it's going. If you've kept a note of how long you've been flying then can roughly calculate how much battery life there is left. Look on the controller and see if you can see how fast its going. Example: If you've just taken off and you've got a full battery, then that's roughly 15 minutes of flight time, if it's flying away at 15mph, then it's going to come down about 3.5 to 4 miles away. Get on Google maps and look where it might have come down. If you've got a vehicle, then get on after it! You might be lucky and find it but I know the odds are against it. But you've gotta try, right?!
     
  11. CaptOrr

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Ren57, it's good to hear you've had so many successful flights. That inspires confidence.

    We also have the telemetry data on the ST10+ card so we have a last position and a heading.

    I did as you suggested with my last UAV, but all I could do is make a guess on the heading. Google maps has a feature to measure distance which gave me both the range and a straight line on which I could plot coordinates I could then refer to on the ground. I foraged through fields & woods for a couple of miles to no avail.
     
  12. uavpilotsd

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2016
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    14
    In my case today for first flight, the GPS lock was solid and in smart mode it lost altitude quickly and hit my camera. Fortunately the drone did not break and when I removed the camera, I was able to replace the broken props and fly it twice more without issues. The return home mode works great. Hopefully I can get the camera fixed and working correctly with the unit to take some videos this coming weekend. Smart mode worked ok then and it held altitude.
     
  13. Dewster

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2016
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    11
    If flyways are caused by bad GPS signals then Yuneec should route the GPS on/off feature to the AUX button.