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View Poll Results: Have you experienced a Phantom Flyaway?
Yes I have, and I never got it back. 119 15.54%
Yes I have, but I managed to recover it. 122 15.93%
No, I have not. 525 68.54%
Voters: 766. You may not vote on this poll

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Old Jul 20, 2013, 04:44 PM
Registered User
United States, NJ, Roseland
Joined Apr 2009
2,214 Posts
So is the consensus, manual mode somehow stops the fly away? If so, then one is led to believe that its not the RX/TX link up........
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Old Jul 20, 2013, 05:18 PM
BB1
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United States, OR, Eugene
Joined May 2013
124 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by hidaven View Post
So is the consensus, manual mode somehow stops the fly away? If so, then one is led to believe that its not the RX/TX link up........
The Phantom's stock radio being the cause of flyaways seems unlikely as there are owners using Spectrum and Futaba who have experienced flyaways too. Plus what about all those non-Phantom NAZA owners who claim to have experienced flyaways too? The only commonality is NAZA and its related instrumentation so the problem likely lies there. My guess is that flyaways are caused by bad or stuck data being fed to NAZA by the instrumentation-- e.g. screwed up compass, stuck gyroscope, inaccurate GPS coordinates. It seems quite unreasonable to expect all this instrumentation to be 100% accurate 100% of the time.

Since manual mode supposedly does not use data from this instrumentation, switching to it may stop the flyaway. But does manual mode truly ignore all instrumentation? I've never heard an authoritative answer to this question.
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Old Jul 20, 2013, 08:21 PM
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Las Vegas/Lake Tahoe
Joined Feb 2010
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Manual only relies on the gyros. ATTI uses the accelerometers and the barometric sensor. So no manual does use sensors to control the MR but only in 3 degrees of freedom.
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Old Jul 21, 2013, 08:34 AM
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United States, TX, Montgomery
Joined Aug 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hidaven View Post
So is the consensus, manual mode somehow stops the fly away? If so, then one is led to believe that its not the RX/TX link up........
Of course it isn't. This has been established long ago. You must have been busy writing you dissertation to DJI. donnie
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Last edited by menksters; Jul 21, 2013 at 08:47 AM.
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Old Jul 21, 2013, 11:25 AM
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United States, CA, Pacifica
Joined Oct 2012
175 Posts
Since we are finally discussing what might be the reason for these fly aways (GPS and compass system malfunction) we have to realize that RTH relies on these systems to work properly. RTH is not going to save your Phantom if you lose control in GPS/ATTI modes.
Since the first Phantom was sold users have been "testing" RTH. My question to those testers is: What are you going to do if it fails the test?
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Old Jul 21, 2013, 01:17 PM
Up, Up & hopefully away!!
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United States, FL, Volusia County
Joined May 2013
1,513 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Casperhyde View Post
Since we are finally discussing what might be the reason for these fly aways (GPS and compass system malfunction) we have to realize that RTH relies on these systems to work properly. RTH is not going to save your Phantom if you lose control in GPS/ATTI modes.
Since the first Phantom was sold users have been "testing" RTH. My question to those testers is: What are you going to do if it fails the test?
If you have S1 with "failsafe" and have received the correct LED flashes, you should be fine. But it sounds like enabling "manual mode" on S1 may be a safer bet since switching to manual mode helps in regaining control.

And you should never turn off your Tx to test RTH function, that's what failsafe on S1 is for.

I know there are problems out there, but knock on wood, I haven't had one problem with either of my Phantom's.
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Old Jul 21, 2013, 03:51 PM
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United States, NJ, Roseland
Joined Apr 2009
2,214 Posts
Last question, what's the cause, fix or reason why when you hit rudder the phantom makes a wide circle instead of pyro in place? My little nano indoor quad stays in place better. Now in GPS mode it was a little better than atti mode but still it made a wide circle as opposed to a clean spin......
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Old Jul 21, 2013, 04:20 PM
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United States, OH
Joined May 2008
941 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by hidaven View Post
Last question, what's the cause, fix or reason why when you hit rudder the phantom makes a wide circle instead of pyro in place? My little nano indoor quad stays in place better. Now in GPS mode it was a little better than atti mode but still it made a wide circle as opposed to a clean spin......
I have this problem too! No matter how careful I am.
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Old Jul 21, 2013, 05:23 PM
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United States, CA, Big Bear
Joined Jan 2006
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Most of the time its a balance issue. It could also be z axis setting could be off, by adding the gopro or other equipment.
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Old Jul 21, 2013, 06:02 PM
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United States, NJ, Roseland
Joined Apr 2009
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Mine did it with no equipment on board.......any way to fine adjust to curb this? I did the IMO calibration and various compass calibrations. Hmmmmmmmmm,
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Old Jul 23, 2013, 07:36 PM
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United States, OH
Joined May 2008
941 Posts
Results as of July 23:
354 respondents
26% Flyaways.
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Old Jul 30, 2013, 05:21 PM
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United States, IL, Chicago
Joined Jul 2013
136 Posts
I don't yet have a Phantom, but I am seriously considering it. (And unlike any fine gentlemen from New Jersey, I am not looking to establish standing in a suit against DJI or to rustle up members of a class...) It looks like a great step up from the "micro" "toy" helis that I have enjoyed, but far more affordable than a "serious" aerial photography/video platform. I've read this thread (and others) with a great deal of interest. While I can afford a hobby, and realize that crash damage is part of the deal, the idea of several hundred dollars flying off out of control is unappealing.

One thing I've realized from reading so much is that it is likely that there could be more than one cause of "flyaways". Some may be from one problem, others from a different problem, and some from a combination of problems. It's quite possible that new firmware has fixed one problem, but hasn't addressed some other problem.

In an ideal world, a few hundred Phantom owners would commit to joining a "club". If they had a fly-away, they would submit a detailed, standardized report, and everyone else would check in periodically to say "nope, no fly-away on my end." That would give you a better idea about trends over time (did firmware improve the situation) and a better idea of what percentage of a known (albeit self-selecting) group had seen a problem. The results of the current poll on this thread confirm that there has been some sort of significant problem (or problems), but isn't terribly useful in assessing how widespread these problems are when it seems likely that many thousands of units have been sold world wide.

Also, I'd like to suggest one way to cut down on the BS in this thread: No one I saw here said "Flyaways are only caused by operator error." Claiming so is just throwing up a strawman, and isn't helpful. That said, it's clear that there are fly-aways which have nothing to do with operator error, and DJI is handling that fact very badly. (Self-interested lawyers looking to cash in make it that much more difficult for a company to fess up...)

One thing I've learned here is that the Phantom may have slick packaging, but it's far from a consumer appliance or the Jetson's self-flying space car. It's still a RC aircraft and you need to take responsibility for yourself ,know what the *bleep* you're doing and go into it knowing that *bleep* can and does happen.
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Old Jul 30, 2013, 05:36 PM
Up, Up & hopefully away!!
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United States, FL, Volusia County
Joined May 2013
1,513 Posts
Welcome to the forum!

I own two Phantoms and fly most mornings(4 flights 7 minutes each) and I have not had one hiccup. But I also realize that things fail, satellites drop out or loss of a signal could cause a fly away. I do have manual mode enabled, so hopefully I'll be able to regain control. If not, oh well, I'll buy another
Prior to lift-off I always watch the LED to ensure all points have been recorded, 6+ satellites & two(throttle all the way down)green flashes and you're flying
Enjoy!! Life's short!
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Old Jul 30, 2013, 05:45 PM
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United States, IN, Jeff
Joined Dec 2012
358 Posts
IMO...

I don't have a phantom but I did crash a quad when I first started flying too far line of sight. In all honesty I thought the quad was flying away all by itself, I really did. After reviewing the video I know it was pilot error I got disorientated on what direction I was going since I took my eyes off of it just for a second. Keep that in mind when you guys say I had a fly away. If I was DJI I'd probably say the same thing. I dont care how long you have been flying planes or heli's the multirotors fly totally different and it's easy to get disorientated with them once you get some good altitude with them.
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Old Jul 30, 2013, 05:48 PM
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United States, IL, Chicago
Joined Jul 2013
136 Posts
I think the BS on this thread probably turned a lot of people off, but I recall a few people mentioning their pre-flight checklists. I searched the main thread, but I didn't find anything specific. Has anyone posted a written pre-flight checklist or similar? I suspect that just as with "real" aviation, following a written procedure could cut down on problems like fly-aways.
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