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Do Smart and Home mode work when flying with GPS disabled?

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Answer: No,they don't.

This topic has already been discussed before, and I always assumed they didn't (although I kinda wondered if Home was also completely lost, since it is known that GPS isn't completely disconnected; it just doesn't have an effect on autopilot positioning). However, I had never actually tested it by myself.

So I decided to go out and see whether they infact did or did not, as usual, making sure to document the test with video evidence so you don't have to just take my word for it.


The flight mode switch has basically no function when flying with GPS disabled.

Now, my next doubt is if the H will enter "stand-by" mode when it loses comms with the ground station (which is basically home mode, without the landing sequence: [fly home, hover waiting for signal]) ... but based on this test I would assume it wouldn't and it would just keep flying... I'm not ready to test this one out though.. :rolleyes:

Greetings!
 
Hi Jules,

If you take-off with GPS enabled then disable whilst in the air it will revert to GPS mode and fly back home as normal on loss of control link, hovering overhead until link is re-established or low battery hits. If you take off with GPS disabled from the get-go it will not RTH and drift away with the wind never to be seen again!

It has to be written in my UK ops manual that in order for the H to RTH on loss of control link I have to take-off with GPS enabled at all times, even if I plan on flying with it disabled! It is a quirk of the machine. Hope this helps and don't be afraid to try it, it takes a few nervy seconds before GPS kicks in but works flawlessly.
 
Hi Jules,

If you take-off with GPS enabled then disable whilst in the air it will revert to GPS mode and fly back home as normal on loss of control link, hovering overhead until link is re-established or low battery hits. If you take off with GPS disabled from the get-go it will not RTH and drift away with the wind never to be seen again!

It has to be written in my UK ops manual that in order for the H to RTH on loss of control link I have to take-off with GPS enabled at all times, even if I plan on flying with it disabled! It is a quirk of the machine. Hope this helps and don't be afraid to try it, it takes a few nervy seconds before GPS kicks in but works flawlessly.

A comforting thought indeed.....!
 
A lesson here might be to never have to fully depend on automated flight modes when you are flying. The can and do fail. When they do you must know how to fly using manual directional command inputs. Another factor is keeping the aircraft in sight. When automated systems fail; if you can’t see it you can’t control it.
 
The other factor is that if you do not have the camera on the H, you will not get the assistance from the green arrow either, so even if the H is still within sight, if you cannot determine orientation it will simply drift away with the wind. I had this happen once, when I attempted switching off GPS once, but had made the mistake of doing so with the aircraft too far away to determine direction.

Fortunately as Sam said, The H did return to hover overhead of the last known position of the ST-16, and I was able to land safely. Obviously if the battery reaches the level of the auto-land sequence, it might not make it back.
 
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A lesson here might be to never have to fully depend on automated flight modes when you are flying. The can and do fail. When they do you must know how to fly using manual directional command inputs. Another factor is keeping the aircraft in sight. When automated systems fail; if you can’t see it you can’t control it.
So true.
My, soon to be retired, P2V+ often loses enough satellites (falls below the six needed for the GPS to work) during a flight and goes into atti mode. So, a perfectly good aircraft so long as I keep it within VLOS. Whenever I fly the P2V+ I have become accustomed to the possibility of losing the GPS and through that I've become a dab-hand at flying without GPS aid. This has transferred well to the H480 even though I don't lose the GPS with that aircraft...yet.
 
The other factor is that if you do not have the camera on the H, you will not get the assistance from the green arrow either, so even if the H is still within sight, if you cannot determine orientation it will simply drift away with the wind. I had this happen once, when I attempted switching off GPS, one but had made the mistake of doing so with the aircraft too far away to determine direction.

Fortunately as Sam said, The H did return to hover overhead of the last known position of the ST-16, and I was able to land safely. Obviously if the battery reaches the level of the auto-land sequence, it might not make it back.

that's good to know about the camera if it is not on you will not get the green arrow thanks I did not know that.
Keith Kuhn
He is so much to learn
 

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