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Aug 22, 2008, 11:42 PM
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Daemon's Avatar
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Discussion

Lost and re-kitted.


I was up at Jones Pass on the continental divide yesterday.
It was sunny and warm and windy and beautiful so I had to get out the
video plane. Got it set up, flew a half mile north, then a thousand feet up,
then headed south down the continental divide hoping to get a view of the
camp site at the end of the valley about 2 miles away. I accomplished all
that, then got a few *little* PCM pauses on the pan servo so I knew I was near
edge of range. Turned back for home and got more PCM lockout, then full
failsafe (which pushes the rudder over), then then lost video then regained
in a full dive, lost again, regained both video and control solid, right about
the time that my spotter said I was disappearing below the horizon into a
bowl to the south. Static. Gone.

First image shows rough search area. Half square mile or so, but no tall
vegetation so if it's out there, I'd find it. Didn't have time to
do full search before sunset yesterday, so I headed back today
and started at the best vantage point.

Rest of the sequence speaks for itself.

Plane is a total write off, but that's no big deal. Was glad to get my wiring
harness back, because making that was a major pain in the butt. I haven't
tested all the electronics yet. I'm pretty sure the Tx is ok, because it flew
off at the moment of impact. Camera lens may be scratched as it was in
the dirt. Tilt mount is ok, but was sheared off the top of the pan
servo, which probably has a bent output shaft. The platform for the
pan mount is obliterated. Gyros are probably ok. In a stroke of good
luck, the main power lead from the lipo was sheared off clean so it
did not drain, and tests at 11.6 volts. 3A filtered BEC doesn't look
broken, but I need to test to make sure. All the servos in the wing and
fuse seem to be ok.

Really the biggest bummer is that at the end of the flight, I
started pulling power plugs on everything at my base station, including
the power to the IF DVR, so it failed to write the file to the disk
completely. I was hoping I'd be able to recover it with a good drive
data recovery tool, but it's just not there, which is a real surprise to me
because it found a lot of other sliced up video files and image fragments
on the disk. Just not the one that I wanted.

ian
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Aug 23, 2008, 12:01 AM
Flying FPV from the lab.
aaron_gx's Avatar
wow man, sorry for your loss. I bet that was an adventure finding it... How long did the search & rescue take?

How long does it take you to notice a PCM pause? I use PPM and am scared to use a PCM for that reason, I might not notice until failsafe hits!

BTW, your mentioning a data recovery tool has given me a great idea to try and recover a similar crash that wasnt saved completely becuase I unplugged my recorder aswell. Thanks for that

Hope your rebuild goes well, and you think of at least 10 ways to build it better this time! (not that there is anything wrong with your plane, ur vids are supreme)
Aug 23, 2008, 12:13 AM
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Daemon's Avatar
Thread OP
I got pretty lucky with the search today so it went fast. I spent maybe
5 minutes searching the smaller near bowl with the binocs, and then the clouds
darkened the area, but I noticed that there was a big sun spot on
the far side of the far bowl, and figured "hey, the sun will help, so I
might as well look over there", and I picked it up with the 10x60 binocs
almost immediately, although it was so far away I still wasn't sure.
The bright orange tail group looked a lot like a patch of Indian Paint Brush
which is in season. But that plus the white/black straight lines
pretty much had to be the plane.

The PCM pauses are most noticeable on the pan servo so if you've
got a head tracker, and you move your head and the pan servo
doesn't move smoothly you know you're getting the pauses. When
Changing orientation of the plane probably made things worse, although
since I'm slope soaring, in a stiff breeze, the plane was never pointed
directly toward or away from me, so I was surprised when I turned
sideways and started losing the signal more, since at that
point Rx antenna and Tx antenna were parallel to each other.
My spotter was telling me to go west out into the middle of the valley
and I *thought* I was doing that, but the view from the plane was
very different than what he saw, so I was actually pointed more north
toward the launch and the wind was pushing me back into the bowl below the horizon.

As for rebuilding the plane. I'm hoping to fly it at Soar Utah next
weekend, which means it's going to be another quick build and probably
not as clean as I'd hoped. I still haven't flown with my Dragon OSD yet
and wanted to build that in somewhere.

ian
Aug 23, 2008, 12:21 AM
Registered User
BushmanLA's Avatar
pffft... slap a little clear packing tape on her and she'll be ok.

Aug 23, 2008, 02:49 AM
Suspended Account
Ian,

Sorry about your loss, but what PCM receiver is that? As if it is a Futaba I have a simple solution that'll give you RSSI (signal strength) output.

Cheers,

Sander.
Aug 23, 2008, 05:52 AM
Registered User
PeteSchug's Avatar
Amazing.

In most of the places I fly I wouldn't even bother to look if I went down that far away. My only hope would be if I had video contact after going down.
Aug 23, 2008, 12:41 PM
Flying FPV from the lab.
aaron_gx's Avatar
hey daemon, what software are you using for SD card data recovery? I've tried a few free versions, but none will let me actually save the data. I think I've found what I was looking for!
Aug 23, 2008, 12:51 PM
Registered User
I see two gyros on board. is that the poor mans auto pilot?
Aug 23, 2008, 01:06 PM
Registered User
Daemon's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaron_gx
hey daemon, what software are you using for SD card data recovery? I've tried a few free versions, but none will let me actually save the data. I think I've found what I was looking for!
I actually purchased a different product but I've used this one in the past.
http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/fil...scription.html

The IF DVR uses a harddrive so I'm not doing recovery off an SD card.

ian
Aug 23, 2008, 01:07 PM
Registered User
BushmanLA's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssassen
Ian,

Sorry about your loss, but what PCM receiver is that? As if it is a Futaba I have a simple solution that'll give you RSSI (signal strength) output.

Cheers,

Sander.
Oh do tell. I'm interested.
Aug 23, 2008, 01:08 PM
Registered User
Daemon's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustinONE
I see two gyros on board. is that the poor mans auto pilot?
Nope, just roll stabilization, because it's a slope glider, I'm always flying in wind
and some level of turbulence. The gyros help damp it out quite a bit.
Occurs to me that the gyros probably contributed to the near vertical
dive it was in after onset of failsafe (full right rudder) and before impact
with the ground. I need to re-work my failsafe settings.

ian
Aug 23, 2008, 01:11 PM
Registered User
Daemon's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssassen
Ian,

Sorry about your loss, but what PCM receiver is that? As if it is a Futaba I have a simple solution that'll give you RSSI (signal strength) output.
It is (was) a Futaba R149DP 9ch PCM. I'm interested.

ian
Aug 23, 2008, 06:11 PM
JettPilot's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daemon

I need to re-work my failsafe settings.

ian
Ian,

What a beautiful and interesting area to fly in !!! Do you have any videos posted ? Can you post the URL ?

As far as failsafe, you read my mind. An FMA copilot would probably not work well if at all in mountains like that... How about a gyro on the rudder that wuold come on in failsafe that would resist any heading change, that should keep it level... That with just some up on the elevator with a stable plane like you have should keep it slow so that if it does hit, it wont be to hard.

JettPilot
Aug 23, 2008, 07:39 PM
Registered User
Daemon's Avatar
Thread OP
Must have missed em when I posted in the FPV videos thread.
Here's a video from Jones Pass
(10 min 22 sec)


And another from about 15-20 miles south, also on the continental divide
at Glacier Ridge. Both incredible places to fly, especially for slope soaring.
(6 min 19 sec)


I really really wish I hadn't lost the video of this last flight at Jones,
because it was bright and beautiful and sunny, and I could see across
the mountains 30+ miles in any direction. Part of the reason I took
off and flew so far away and got in trouble though.

As for the failsafe, I set it for full rudder deflection in the hope that it
would spiral down, as I really can't afford for it to climb and float away
(could end up miles away behind the mountains I fly on). I suspect that
the gyros countered the spiral and pretty much just pushed it into a near
vertical dive.

ian
Aug 23, 2008, 07:53 PM
JettPilot's Avatar
Great videos IAN, I am jealous

That would suck even worse to have your plane fly away, only to be found by aliens 1000 years from now...

Another alternative is to have a Dragon OSD, connected to the rudder so that it will fly back to home should you get into trouble. A stable plane will stay pretty level with rudder turns, and the dragon has enough adjustment options on the rudder that it should not be hard to get it to fly back home well doing rudder turns even without gyros or FMA copilot.

JettPilot


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