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Breeze over water

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I know, first off it says plainly in the manual do not fly the Breeze over water or other shiny surface... But I live on the Chesapeake Bay, near water almost always. I've flown it over water at altitude twice with great results, though I came back over a floating dock before descending. I'm aware the shiny surface problem relates to the IR distance sensor underneath.

Then the unthinkable- I flew it off a dock from under a metal roof at low altitude on a calm day (smooth water), and plop! right in. Boy, it sure sinks fast! I was right there, it banged into the side of the dock as I was getting down there to try to get it. Nothing I could do, I had full up stick commanded on the controller. Salt water, 10 minutes of fishing with a net, definitely DOA on retrieval. I removed the battery right away, rinsed the Breeze in fresh water, carefully blew it out with compressed air, gently dried with a blow drier but it was too late. Forensic disassembly revealed green goo where metal should be near the power leads to the board, among other former tiny metal bits gone. Since then I'm envisioning the sensor 'seeing' the IR image twice the distance to the water away, since if it sees it at all it will be a reflection. I get the issue. the metal roof may have messed with WiFi too.

Still I like the Breeze so much I bought another one. Are there secrets? Am I right to think it's OK at altitude since it's already locating itself via GPS instead? I'll be forever timid around water, but is there any solution or advice on the flying over water problem?
 

DoomMeister

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Sorry to hear of your mishap with the Breeze. I'm inclined to think the major problem was the metal roof messing with the compass. Especially since your control input had no effect on the Breeze's flight behavior. The elevation command should have overridden any input from the IRS system.

I have flown my Breeze over water more often than over land, with both calm and breezy conditions. It is always a little unnerving when transitioning from land to water that the Breeze appears to lose altitude as it gets over the water. So far mine has remained at the set hover altitude even over the water. Here is a link to one of my over water flights with near mirror conditions Breeze_180226181856_000.MOV.
 
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Sorry to hear of your mishap with the Breeze. I'm inclined to think the major problem was the metal roof messing with the compass. Especially since your control input had no effect on the Breeze's flight behavior. The elevation command should have overridden any input from the IRS system.

I have flown my Breeze over water more often than over land, with both calm and breezy conditions. It is always a little unnerving when transitioning from land to water that the Breeze appears to lose altitude as it gets over the water. So far mine has remained at the set hover altitude even over the water. Here is a link to one of my over water flights with near mirror conditions Breeze_180226181856_000.MOV.
Wow! Thanks for the quick reply! I figured it messed with GPS, didn't even think of the compass.
 

DoomMeister

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Wow! Thanks for the quick reply! I figured it messed with GPS, didn't even think of the compass.

Welcome to the forum Rick. When I get back on my phone I'll send my stock welcome message to you.
 
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I find it interesting that they say not to fly it over water since I saw that it is a big part of their promotional video as it trails a kayaker. I would strongly caution to fly at least 15' or higher over water because otherwise the IPS or optical flow will take over the GPS and the Breeze will lose control and become an out of control spinning razor blade. That has happened to me. Don't get me wrong, I love the Breeze and have had a lot of fun with it but seeing it lose control like that around people was really scary. Is there a way to deactivate the IPS/Optical Flow? There should be no need for it over water with a clear GPS signal.
 

DoomMeister

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Optical Flow and IRS sensors cannot be deactivated.

I guess I have been lucky flying over water, as I have not had any odd behavior from the Breeze while doing so. I have maintained at least 6 feet (2 meters) of height above the water’s surface while doing so.

I have to agree that Yuneec’s warning about flying over water is odd since they show a video of the Breeze with the kayakers.
 
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Thanks for the quick response. Glad that you've had success with no issues. I'm curious, when you fly over water at that height are you ever hovering or coming down in altitude to that height? I'm thinking it's an obstacle avoidance issue that is kicking in while trying to lower altitude causing the loss of control over water. Here's one example of a successful flight I've had.
 
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Look at my Mille lacs lake video, I've had NO issues flying over water, it's the raptors that will get it. (bald eagle in my case)
 
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Thanks for the quick response. Glad that you've had success with no issues. I'm curious, when you fly over water at that height are you ever hovering or coming down in altitude to that height? I'm thinking it's an obstacle avoidance issue that is kicking in while trying to lower altitude causing the loss of control over water. Here's one example of a successful flight I've had.
That video was edited. What you don't see is me, being daring, hovering approx. 4ft.over a choppy lake(i let hover in place about 5mins. Personally I think, smooth, motionless water could be an issue. Try hovering over a puddle in a parking lot, but no deeper than an inch or even a mirror on the ground. IDK JUST A THOUGHT.
 
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Here's the link to the video I mentioned earlier. I hovered at a good 15-20' with no issues and went out and back with no issues as well. I think the problem kicked in when descending. I'll try to post the video that caused the failure.

 
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I've flown the Breeze lowly over a creek for hundreds of feet, it followed the flow of water without any problem. Altitude was set at 3ft. GPS was off however. The video was fantastic.
 
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I wanted to post a follow up regarding great Yuneec customer service. I sent my drone that failed over water back for warranty service since it no longer functioned properly after crashing in the water (not surprisingly). I provided them the log files and they quickly sent me an RA# and UPS shipping label. They repaired the drone quickly which required replacement of the M7 board and both front motors and returned it without issue within a couple of weeks. It was all handled online and was a quick and easy process. I'm extremely pleased with my experience. You might find the repair notes interesting as I tried every known method to clear out the water to minimize damage immediately after recovering the Breeze.

Repair Notes:
THERE WAS APPARANT WATER DAMAGE (RESIDUE ON M7 BOARD AND RICE IN THE DRONE). REPLACED M7 BOARD ALONG WITH BOTH FRONT MOTORS.
DROWN FLEW WITH NO ISSUES.
 

DoomMeister

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Good to hear they replaced it under warranty and did it relatively quickly. Would have been nice if they gave a reason for the miscalculation of height that led to the immersion event.
 
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Here is the log file if you want to take a look. Hope I created the file properly for viewing.
 

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I wanted to post a follow up regarding great Yuneec customer service. I sent my drone that failed over water back for warranty service since it no longer functioned properly after crashing in the water (not surprisingly). I provided them the log files and they quickly sent me an RA# and UPS shipping label. They repaired the drone quickly which required replacement of the M7 board and both front motors and returned it without issue within a couple of weeks. It was all handled online and was a quick and easy process. I'm extremely pleased with my experience. You might find the repair notes interesting as I tried every known method to clear out the water to minimize damage immediately after recovering the Breeze.

Repair Notes:
THERE WAS APPARANT WATER DAMAGE (RESIDUE ON M7 BOARD AND RICE IN THE DRONE). REPLACED M7 BOARD ALONG WITH BOTH FRONT MOTORS.
DROWN FLEW WITH NO ISSUES.
haha I love the rice note. Good of them to replace. The fact you can't turn off the visual positioning system is a real flaw. I also wish I could launch in altitude hold mode and then switch to gps.
 

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