Runaway plane - RC Groups
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Apr 28, 2017, 04:15 PM
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PilotsSummer's Avatar
Help!

Runaway plane


Just had a regular Vector fail on me today. I selected RTH and it flew away from me climbing steeply. I was extremely lucky to retrieve my plane. Some details:

1. I'm not new to Vectors. I'm a fan and this is the second Vector I've bought. Never had any problems before.
2. The aircraft was a fixed wing fast aerobatic plane.
3. I know the Vector had a good GPS position at the start of the flight and (almost) at the end of the flight because I checked the coords (recorded on ground station video) against Google Maps.
4. I know I set the home position manually (by toggling mode switch) just before take-off and after it had found 20 satellites because its shown on the video recording.
5. Beyond 300m the Vector was configured to RTH at 400 feet. In fact it just kept climbing away from me.
6. When I realized my plane was out of sight and not coming back I switched to 2D and gave it some aileron to circle it. At this point it was out of sight physically and almost beyond my 25mW 5GHz video range (flickering very badly). Amazingly it landed itself almost undamaged in 2D mode.
7. Throughout the flight the video shows 19 to 20 satellites.
8. After retrieving my plane I've found that the Vector has completely reset itself - its like it was never configured. And no Vector data to look at.

As you can imagine this has knocked my confidence in Vector quite a bit. Two questions:

a) Min ground speed was set at 25mph. From the video I can see it was climbing steeply at around 20mph at a throttle setting of 79%. I'm wondering if the incident was caused by a setting mismatch whereby the Vector was seeking to gain a ground speed of 25mph by selecting the climb setting of 79% which pulled the aircraft into a steep climb which in turn reduced the ground speed to 20mph - so it just got stuck in a sort of logic loop. Is this possible? But in that case why didn't it turn back to me?

b) I'm also concerned that the Vector apparently reset itself and lost all its configuration. Might this be something to do with being sat in a field for a few hours powered up to a dying battery before I found it? The battery was totally dead by the time I got to it.


Any thoughts gratefully received. I really want to understand what went wrong so I can get back to having confidence in using Vector gear.

p.s. I can post the video once I edit it down a bit.
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Apr 28, 2017, 04:48 PM
because rust never sleeps....
HugoRogers's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by PilotsSummer
Just had a regular Vector fail on me today.
Stupid question I realise, but just to get it out of the way. The Vector reset itself, but is there any log data on it. This would be invaluable in tracking down the cause wouldn't it?

The other thing to consider is whether it had a mechanical fault, like a stuck servo ?
Apr 28, 2017, 04:57 PM
Registered User
PilotsSummer's Avatar
Vector data would be nice - but sadly no data. I've checked. Vector has apparently reset itself.

The next best thing I have is the video recorded at the ground station. It includes a lot of telemetry but obviously not everything and it does get flickery towards the end. I'll edit it down to a postable size tomorrow.
Apr 28, 2017, 05:12 PM
because rust never sleeps....
HugoRogers's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by PilotsSummer
Vector data would be nice - but sadly no data. I've checked. Vector has apparently reset itself.

The next best thing I have is the video recorded at the ground station. It includes a lot of telemetry but obviously not everything and it does get flickery towards the end. I'll edit it down to a postable size tomorrow.
That's a shame, although to lose data from persistent storage is normally difficult to do. Did it suffer a serious impact which could have damaged the Vector's ability to access its onboard storage ?
Apr 28, 2017, 05:30 PM
Registered User
PilotsSummer's Avatar
No serious impact. It had a lucky landing in 2D. I know this from the onboard mobius footage and the fact that the plane is intact - although it has a nick in a wing from hitting a sign post on its landing run. Sign said "beware of moving vehicles"!

It just seems the Vector reset itself completely (no data and no config)
Apr 29, 2017, 08:38 AM
Registered User
PilotsSummer's Avatar
I've just reloaded a very recent saved config back into the Vector. It all seems to work ok again - all servos and speed controller are fine. Just need to setup the compass again.

Really unhappy about this. I don't know why selecting RTH nearly lost me my plane. I don't know why the Vector had lost its config and data when I retrieved it.

I will be raising a support ticket on this shortly and sending them the groundstation OSD video and config file. Over to you Eagle Tree.........................
Apr 29, 2017, 10:33 AM
Registered User
Have you flown this plane in this configuration many times before or is this the maiden flight?

I am wondering if the Vector shorted out somewhere or something if there were too many amps going through the system?

Nice looking plane!
Apr 29, 2017, 10:55 AM
Registered User
PilotsSummer's Avatar
Its a fairly new plane. Only had about 5 short flights out of her so far.

The groundstation video includes OSD which shows current around 40A most of the time. The electrics should be ok up to 60A continuous and 70A for short periods. Also the whole system appears to work fine now that I've reloaded the Vector with a recent laptop backup of the config - so no obvious damage to the electrics.

Thanks, it is a nice plane. Hobbyking Sbach 342 1400mm. Designed to be a lightly loaded 3D plane but I've loaded her up with FPV and a big battery and she still climbs fast.
May 01, 2017, 10:59 AM
Registered User
PilotsSummer's Avatar

Solved! (mostly)


As a hangup from previously flying a hand-launched Skywalker I left in place a switch for take-off which sets some up-elevator. This must have been switched on because the display says "RTH Engaged : Release sticks to test". All I saw at the time was "RTH Engaged".
So the plane wasn't in RTH - it was in 2DH. The 2DH was also displayed which I also missed at the time. Argghh! User error!
I've just tested this out in my workshop - sure enough switching off up-elevator changes the three letter status message from 2DH to RTH.

But that still leaves me with the one remaining mystery. Why was the Vector in a reset state when I retrieved it? Powered up to a dying battery or as a result of a bump? Do Vectors often reset themselves?
I've since reloaded my Vector from a backup. It appears to work ok. But can I still trust it for use in the air?
May 03, 2017, 05:38 AM
Registered User
PilotsSummer's Avatar
In conclusion..

Eagle Tree says its possible that the impact caused the Vector to reset. They say it should be fine if its working now but they've offered to test it for me if I send it to them in the US. Instead I've decided to simply replace the Vector control unit - I need to be sure I have a reliable system and I think I could end up being charged for postage and repairs anyway since any damage could be put down to an impact and therefore not covered by warranty.

My other cost is a damaged 5000mAh 60C battery. After the plane landed the propeller continued to run until the battery cells went down to 2.7v and the battery puffed out slightly. This should not have happened - the ESC was configured to cut the motor completely at 3.2v. I've taken this up with the ESC and battery supplier - Overlander.

So.. next time I see "RTH Engaged : Release sticks to test" I know it means that RTH is NOT engaged. The two or three letter status text underneath is (I think) the best guide to the mode that the Vector is actually using.

All a bit of a learning experience!
May 03, 2017, 06:27 AM
because rust never sleeps....
HugoRogers's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by PilotsSummer
In conclusion..

Eagle Tree says its possible that the impact caused the Vector to reset. They say it should be fine if its working now but they've offered to test it for me if I send it to them in the US. Instead I've decided to simply replace the Vector control unit - I need to be sure I have a reliable system and I think I could end up being charged for postage and repairs anyway since any damage could be put down to an impact and therefore not covered by warranty.

My other cost is a damaged 5000mAh 60C battery. After the plane landed the propeller continued to run until the battery cells went down to 2.7v and the battery puffed out slightly. This should not have happened - the ESC was configured to cut the motor completely at 3.2v. I've taken this up with the ESC and battery supplier - Overlander.

So.. next time I see "RTH Engaged : Release sticks to test" I know it means that RTH is NOT engaged. The two or three letter status text underneath is (I think) the best guide to the mode that the Vector is actually using.

All a bit of a learning experience!
Thanks for posting back your conclusions.
May 04, 2017, 12:04 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by PilotsSummer
In conclusion..

Eagle Tree says its possible that the impact caused the Vector to reset. They say it should be fine if its working now but they've offered to test it for me if I send it to them in the US. Instead I've decided to simply replace the Vector control unit - I need to be sure I have a reliable system and I think I could end up being charged for postage and repairs anyway since any damage could be put down to an impact and therefore not covered by warranty.

My other cost is a damaged 5000mAh 60C battery. After the plane landed the propeller continued to run until the battery cells went down to 2.7v and the battery puffed out slightly. This should not have happened - the ESC was configured to cut the motor completely at 3.2v. I've taken this up with the ESC and battery supplier - Overlander.

So.. next time I see "RTH Engaged : Release sticks to test" I know it means that RTH is NOT engaged. The two or three letter status text underneath is (I think) the best guide to the mode that the Vector is actually using.

All a bit of a learning experience!

Thanks for the update! I hate it when I (the user) is the cause of the mistake but but it is good to know that the Vector is not the cause.

I have been flying the Vector since it came out, I am not a "power user" because I don't know every detail of what the Vector can do but I do fly regularly. Of the two major crashes I have had while flying the Vector both have either been my fault or another component, not the Vector. One custom build twin engine FrakenPlane crashed when the signal wire from one of the ESC's came loose. The other major crash was at about a thousand feet when one wing detached from a Radian Pro. It was the plane's maiden flight, I didn't have the Vector fully setup and obviously didn't check the simple wing lock, all because I was too excited to do a little cloud surfing. However, the Vector provided the last know coordinates (although at +1,000' over a forest) for me to eventually locate the plane.

It all comes down to setup and pre-flight planning. Have many Vectors and many hours on my Vectors, they are pretty trustworthy. Fliy on and enjoy!

Ship to 4:28 to see what I saw during the wing depature:
Raidan Pro - Goes down cloud surfing (4 min 50 sec)
May 21, 2017, 11:36 PM
Registered User
smoothvirus's Avatar
Had this happen to me today, I was flying around trying to trim my plane out when I lost the video link - I set the switches for RTH but instead of heading home and circling it flew away, off to the south. Fortunately we were able to swing the ground station around and get good enough video that I was able to take manual control of the plane, fly it back and land safely.

I haven't figured out what happened yet but I *do* have the logs and you can see the plane just heads off about a mile to the southeast before I get control back and return to base. I suspect the video issue was due to a faulty vtx but that has nothing to do with the Vector.

btw I own several other Vectors and this was the first time I had one do something weird like that.
May 22, 2017, 02:40 AM
because rust never sleeps....
HugoRogers's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by smoothvirus
Had this happen to me today, I was flying around trying to trim my plane out when I lost the video link - I set the switches for RTH but instead of heading home and circling it flew away, off to the south. Fortunately we were able to swing the ground station around and get good enough video that I was able to take manual control of the plane, fly it back and land safely.

I haven't figured out what happened yet but I *do* have the logs and you can see the plane just heads off about a mile to the southeast before I get control back and return to base. I suspect the video issue was due to a faulty vtx but that has nothing to do with the Vector.

btw I own several other Vectors and this was the first time I had one do something weird like that.
Would be interested to hear what the log says, and whether it actually recieved an RTH instruction. Pleased you got it back.
May 22, 2017, 07:42 AM
Registered User
smoothvirus's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by HugoRogers
Would be interested to hear what the log says, and whether it actually recieved an RTH instruction. Pleased you got it back.
Thanks... I'm sure we can figure it out. I just opened a support ticket with Eagle Tree. It was one of those situations where it was a dual failure, take one away and it's not so bad. Anyhow I think if I swap out the vtx that should solve half of the issue. I'll see what Eagle Tree says.


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