Most of us have heard about the infamous DJI Phantom flyaways… Thankfully there are a few things that you can do to try and lessen the chances of a flyaway happening. Ive also included some things to try to get the Phantom to respond and be able to bring it back home.
#1 CALIBRATE YOUR COMPASS. As dumb as it sounds, and as annoying as it is, this is probably the number 1 thing you can do to lower the chances of flyaways. Do it on every new location.
#2 Only turn on your phantom where you want “home” to be set to. As soon as it is powered up and gets a few GPS locks it will set that as home.
Make sure you have only green lights in GPS mode before taking off, alternatively if you have a phantom 2 vision plus, check the number of satellites, 6 is about the lowest limit you want to fly on.
Check the K-index, for solar activity. The index goes from 0-9, if the numbers are showing high there is a good chance that some of the radiation can interfere with GPS signals and cause you to loose satellites. The main reason flyaways happen is loss of GPS signal causing the phantom to go into Atti mode. While in Atti mode the phantom will drift with the wind and RTH wont work because of the loss of signal.
What is the best course of action if you are experiencing a flyaway you ask? Good question.
Firstly check out my short video on how to enable Naza mode in the Phantom assistant software. If you don’t do this, options below are unavailable to a factory set phantom. Don’t worry it doesn’t void the warranty!!
It would be a good idea to fly a little in Course Lock IOC mode, S2 in the middle position, in either GPS or Atti mode on S1. After Naza mode has been set, and Intelligent Orientation Control IOC has been enabled, practice these steps:
Firstly when you set your quad down to turn it on note the direction of the front of the craft, this will help you later! I always point it north as described later on.
If experiencing a flyaway switch S1 (right) to the middle position enabling Atti flight
Then switch S2 (left) to the middle position, Course lock IOC. Now is the time to remember which way your bird was facing when you started it up (I always start mine facing north so I don’t forget). For me if the quadcopter is headed off to the east I go full left on the right stick (would be West for me because I take off facing North) this way the quadcopter is relying only on the compass (that’s why it is important to calibrate every time), and your stick input. With being in Atti mode there is no reliance on the GPS to know where it is or where home is. This is my best solution to recovering from a flyaway.
Also learn how to take control of the Phantom when it initiates a RTH. It should be as simple as switching S1 to the middle and back to the up position. But practice it a few times to see how everything responds.