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Karma Flight School: Loss of signal and hover?

Shon

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Intro:
In this series of threads, 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".


Pilot Statement: "A normal GoPro Karma flight turned into a nightmare after the controller lost connection, and the GoPro Karma DIDN'T RETURN. Rather, it just hovered in place, in plain sight. Sooner than later, the battery started to die, and the GoPro Karma auto landed. But due to the lack of proximity sensors, it clipped a wall upon touch down, causing it to face-plant, and damage some components."

Analysis: Liar liar pants on fire, LOL. After watching this video I strongly doubt the pilot's version of events. The Karma just doesn't react the way I would expect it to react if "auto-landing". The pilot clearly has control at 1:30 mark on the video.

I suspect that when the pilot got a low batter warning, he stopped hovering and started bringing his drone in for a landing. at the 2:00 mark, with a low battery the drone initiated the auto landing sequence. Upon auto landing, the drone crashed.

Given where, and how this pilot was flying, I'm honestly surprised he didn't suffer signal loss, GPS loss, and a fly-away. It could have been much, much worse.

How to Avoid:
1. Do leave a fuel reserve. If you wouldn't fly an airplane all the way down to "empty" on the fuel gauge, You probably want to leave a fuel reserve in your "drone" battery for the same reason. When planning your flight, leave plenty of reserve time to make it back safely. You can't assume that you will be able to land when and where you want. One time when I was flying, a nearby tarp flew up and unexpectedly interfered with my landing. On another occasion, some dogs thought my drone was a Frisbee, and started chasing it. On yet other occasions...a wind whipped up at the last minute causing my drone to drift dangerously, and I needed to abort the landing. Leave a little in the tank.

2. Don't use Auto-Landing if you can avoid it. You can cancel "auto-landing" by touching the "x" on the controller touch screen. I personally recommend that folks learn how to land the drone themselves. The drone may not allow you to cancel this feature if you lack a connection with the controller, or when you have a critically low battery.
 
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james shih

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The footage didn't show the launch situation, I think he had not a proper taking off and also not came back with enough battery power which initiated the "auto come back" function and crashed.
 

Shon

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The footage didn't show the launch situation, I think he had not a proper taking off and also not came back with enough battery power which initiated the "auto come back" function and crashed.
I agree...it certainly wasn't an ideal place to fly.
 

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