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Karma Flight School: Karma Drone Lost connection

After watching this video I think

  • The crash was due to manufacturer defect

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • The crash was due to both pilot error and manufacturer defect.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • The crash was due to other factors

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    1

Shon

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In this thread I will be analyzing crash videos in an effort to learn more about the limitations of technology in the Karma Drone, and how to avoid such issues myself. Hopefully such analysis will help us all fly better and avoid potentially problematic flights. I'm interested in hearing from other experienced pilots regarding their observations or "tips of the trade".


Analysis:

1. The first thing I notice is the urban area this pilot is operating in. The Karma Drone does not operate well in such environments. When I see videos of "runaway drones", they often start unsurprisingly in urban environments. I don't know what country this pilot is in, but many countries have laws that prohibit drone flights in close proximity to other people. Just keep in mind, if you injure a person or property with your drone, you may be legally liable.

2. It appears that the drone was being operated in a courtyard. This is a good way to quickly lose GPS. Once GPS is lost, the drone is more difficult to control. Even the slightest breeze can push the drone off course, causing it to drift.

3. Once above the courtyard, the drone drifts over a building and out of line of sight. Many countries require drone operators to fly within line of sight. Beyond the legal implications, in this scenario, the drone is very likely to lose connection with the controller. No control + No GPS = not a good situation! The drone will now drift with the wind or a breeze, and with other tall buildings around, blocking GPS connection, it isn't surprising to see the end result. Keep in mind that the breeze doesn't need to be very strong to cause the drone to drift, and wind is often stronger at a higher elevation than it is on the ground. If you know the wind direction, this can also be helpful in determining the likely flight path of your drone if it disappears.

In such situations, Gopro will often declare this issue a "pilot error", and it will not be covered by manufacturer warranty. There are, however numerous threads on these forums that indicate occasionally, Gopro will replace the broken parts of the Karma as a goodwill gesture, but keep in mind that it is entirely up to them if they decide to do so, and many folks report no such luck.

Summary: With a poor choice of flying venues, this pilot is lucky his drone only hit a concrete pillar and nothing worse happened.
 
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YVR

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There’s a massive comms antenna in the first 30 seconds of the shot too. <<which may not change things according to some experts>>

Poor choice of flying venue and totally illegal when I live.
 

Shon

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There’s a massive comms antenna in the first 30 seconds of the shot too. <<which may not change things according to some experts>>

Poor choice of flying venue and totally illegal when I live.
Good eye! Right next to where he was flying ( to the left of the frame).
 

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