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Lessons I learned the hard way

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Hi all

I'm fairly new to drones, and much of what follows will reflect that. I'm sure the more experienced pilots here will read this and think "Yep, that's obvious." But maybe some of the other newcomers will learn from my experience.

A few weeks ago I flew my THP for the first time. The first two batteries were flown at a dry lake bed not far from here and were uneventful. The H performed flawlessly and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

I decided to use my third and last battery to get video of some cottonwoods in full fall color along a local river. I hovered the drone, activated collision avoidance, and started flying. After several minutes I flew the H into the top of a tree on the far side of the river. Normal flow in the river this time of year at this location is barely a trickle, but I was flying just a couple of days after a three day long rainstorm, so the river was too high to cross safely. Google Earth showed a dirt road on the other side so I drove to where I could access that road, only to find that it was blocked by locked gates and No Trespassing signs on both sides of my drone. Long story short, it was a week later before I was able to borrow a friend's kayak and go hunting for my drone.

I found the H on its side with two broken arms and coated in mud. The camera was nowhere to be found, and the battery had popped out when the drone fell out of the tree. The way the drone and battery were sitting made me think that it had landed in water when it fell out of the tree.

I called CS and was issued an RMA to send them the drone and battery. After examination of my H they informed me that the drone was beyond repair but that they were going to replace it under warranty. The new H Pro shipped today and should be here in a few days.

Not being able to fly for a couple of weeks has given me plenty of time to think about what happened, and I've distilled a few lessons that maybe will help someone else.

Lesson #1: The techs at CS told me that RealSense works only when the landing gear is retracted, which is something I had never heard. If you are relying on RS for a particular flight, be certain that you raise the gear. Also be sure you take the time to make certain the indicator on the ST16 is green before you fly. I thought I had done that, but I suspect I saw what I expected to see rather than what was actually there.

Lesson #2: Know the area. If something happens and your drone goes down, are you certain you will be able to retrieve it? There are times when it may be worth the risk to fly over water or whatever, but it never occurred to me that I wouldn't be able to reach the opposite bank of the river. A more thorough risk analysis will be part of my flight planning in the future.

Lesson #3: Use the screen. The H is not my first drone, but it is the first I've owned with video feedback. Not being used to having the screen I was flying LOS at the time of the crash, and I simply misjudged my position. When I reviewed the video stored on the ST16 it was very clear that if I had been flying FPV it would have been very easy to avoid the accident. I know we're required to fly VLOS, but if I'm anywhere near any obstacles in the future I will be watching the screen.

Last, but nowhere near least, Lesson #4: When buying a drone, be certain it is one manufactured by Yuneec. They have given me one of the best customer service experiences I have ever had, and I cannot imagine that any other manufacturer would come anywhere close to what Yuneec has done.

Sorry for the length of this post - thanks for reading.
 

PatR

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You learned some hard lessons and some good lessons. We all get to learn a few hard lessons along the way. Not everyone gets to learn the good ones as you have with Yuneec's customer service. May your luck remain good and may your next H provide many hours of flying pleasure without incident.
 
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Keep in mind that you can get some video lag as distance increases or you get objects between the st16 and the H. I was flying the other day and noticed video lag. I let go of the sticks right away then continued when the lag was gone. I was a bit low following a dirt road and some trees were between me and the H. I gained altitude so I could see it clearly and brought it back to me.
 
R

Rayray

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Lesson #1: The techs at CS told me that RealSense works only when the landing gear is retracted, which is something I had never heard. If you are relying on RS for a particular flight, be certain that you raise the gear. Also be sure you take the time to make certain the indicator on the ST16 is green before you fly. I thought I had done that, but I suspect I saw what I expected to see rather than what was actually there.
Hard experience, Steve. I have a RS Pro since July. Were you flying in Angle Mode? In Angle Mode, RealSense can be turned on and will work, BUT only toward the craft front. So if the craft is flying sideways or backwards, RS is no protection. At distance it can be easy to lose the craft orientation. Also, in Angle Mode, if RS does detect an obstacle, it will stop but not steer the craft. The Op must steer it clear.

In RTH Mode, if you activate RS, get the green icon, the craft will steer itself around obstacles on the way back.
Thanks for sharing your experience.
 
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Is Yuneec replacing the drone to you free of charge? Wow. If that's the case you should be writing a letter to the president of the company and thanking him. And don't feel bad, this is not as easy of a hobby to learn as some people think. And the H is not what I would recommend for anyone to start with. I started in RC aver 10 years ago with large nitro 3d helicopters. I didn't have any help and no one to learn from. If you want to know about learning a million lessons the hard (and expensive) way, just ask, lol.
 
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You're right David I've been in RC since 1984 and for this first time flyer to go out and buy a TH is like a first time motorcyclist buying a Harley Davidson. Thankfully the first time you make a mistake doesn't kill you with a TH.
 
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Hi all

I'm fairly new to drones, and much of what follows will reflect that. I'm sure the more experienced pilots here will read this and think "Yep, that's obvious." But maybe some of the other newcomers will learn from my experience.

A few weeks ago I flew my THP for the first time. The first two batteries were flown at a dry lake bed not far from here and were uneventful. The H performed flawlessly and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

I decided to use my third and last battery to get video of some cottonwoods in full fall color along a local river. I hovered the drone, activated collision avoidance, and started flying. After several minutes I flew the H into the top of a tree on the far side of the river. Normal flow in the river this time of year at this location is barely a trickle, but I was flying just a couple of days after a three day long rainstorm, so the river was too high to cross safely. Google Earth showed a dirt road on the other side so I drove to where I could access that road, only to find that it was blocked by locked gates and No Trespassing signs on both sides of my drone. Long story short, it was a week later before I was able to borrow a friend's kayak and go hunting for my drone.

I found the H on its side with two broken arms and coated in mud. The camera was nowhere to be found, and the battery had popped out when the drone fell out of the tree. The way the drone and battery were sitting made me think that it had landed in water when it fell out of the tree.

I called CS and was issued an RMA to send them the drone and battery. After examination of my H they informed me that the drone was beyond repair but that they were going to replace it under warranty. The new H Pro shipped today and should be here in a few days.

Not being able to fly for a couple of weeks has given me plenty of time to think about what happened, and I've distilled a few lessons that maybe will help someone else.

Lesson #1: The techs at CS told me that RealSense works only when the landing gear is retracted, which is something I had never heard. If you are relying on RS for a particular flight, be certain that you raise the gear. Also be sure you take the time to make certain the indicator on the ST16 is green before you fly. I thought I had done that, but I suspect I saw what I expected to see rather than what was actually there.

Lesson #2: Know the area. If something happens and your drone goes down, are you certain you will be able to retrieve it? There are times when it may be worth the risk to fly over water or whatever, but it never occurred to me that I wouldn't be able to reach the opposite bank of the river. A more thorough risk analysis will be part of my flight planning in the future.

Lesson #3: Use the screen. The H is not my first drone, but it is the first I've owned with video feedback. Not being used to having the screen I was flying LOS at the time of the crash, and I simply misjudged my position. When I reviewed the video stored on the ST16 it was very clear that if I had been flying FPV it would have been very easy to avoid the accident. I know we're required to fly VLOS, but if I'm anywhere near any obstacles in the future I will be watching the screen.

Last, but nowhere near least, Lesson #4: When buying a drone, be certain it is one manufactured by Yuneec. They have given me one of the best customer service experiences I have ever had, and I cannot imagine that any other manufacturer would come anywhere close to what Yuneec has done.

Sorry for the length of this post - thanks for reading.
U got that RIGHT, I had a simular experience had my H a week just reading the instructions only hoovered a few feet off the ground testing the control's before i took off, cause this is my first copter, & not pocket change as i heard someone say. So i go to this very large field with like 4 baseball diamonds so plenty of open space. Go thru my pre checks & take off, its a Beautyful day. Flying for about 10 min or so she's got maybe 100 yeards & i wish to back to the right get some height to bring back a little closer bout 100 feet up or so, landing gear up & she just Dropped, my copter just dropped to the ground, didn't hit anything. I was stunned & then wanted to cry, as i collected myself went over to it & three pieces on the ground, the battery, camera, & the H with all the blades broken everything all busted up. After collecting everything & making it back to my van i called cs, explained everything & she sent me a return label. Took bout 3 very long weeks, but it was 2 days before the hurricane not yuneecs fault.
Conclusion, they text me a invoice for $788 in repairs @ N/C to me. I have my H back & she flys great.
Only one problem i can't calibrate the compass after many attempts so if anyone has any help with that id love to hear them.
This story is to confirm CS at yuneec is Tops & im Proud to have there product, would recommend!!!
Gonna buy a Mavic next.... lol lol
 
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U got that RIGHT, I had a simular experience had my H a week just reading the instructions only hoovered a few feet off the ground testing the control's before i took off, cause this is my first copter, & not pocket change as i heard someone say. So i go to this very large field with like 4 baseball diamonds so plenty of open space. Go thru my pre checks & take off, its a Beautyful day. Flying for about 10 min or so she's got maybe 100 yeards & i wish to back to the right get some height to bring back a little closer bout 100 feet up or so, landing gear up & she just Dropped, my copter just dropped to the ground, didn't hit anything. I was stunned & then wanted to cry, as i collected myself went over to it & three pieces on the ground, the battery, camera, & the H with all the blades broken everything all busted up. After collecting everything & making it back to my van i called cs, explained everything & she sent me a return label. Took bout 3 very long weeks, but it was 2 days before the hurricane not yuneecs fault.
Conclusion, they text me a invoice for $788 in repairs @ N/C to me. I have my H back & she flys great.
Only one problem i can't calibrate the compass after many attempts so if anyone has any help with that id love to hear them.
This story is to confirm CS at yuneec is Tops & im Proud to have there product, would recommend!!!
Gonna buy a Mavic next.... lol lol
With version 3 software and the radio redundancy, if the RC is not bound you can still control flight, but you cannot get into the calibrate mode or turn on/off LEDs. Make sure in the info screen both radio and camera are bound.
 

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