Drone Crashed Into the Water – Flight Log Reveals Why!
It comes down to stupidity, so i know that some of you are gon na tell me that, but i also wanted to share this video. I hesitated whether to do this or not because of that reason, but i think its really important to share this information because its something that not a lot of drone pilots talk about. I havent seen anyone talk about it on youtube and its something that i think had a lot to do with this crash. So basically, one of the sections on the part 107 exam for the faa has to do with its under drone flight operations. I think and its called hazardous attitudes. Now i had a few of those questions on my exam and honestly, i passed them off as fluff and a waste of my time, because we all know the most important things on that exam are how to read a sectional chart. So i never paid really much attention to those little extra fluffy things, but one of the hazardous attitudes that they mention is called invulnerability and its a feeling that many remote pilots can develop over time as they gain experience because they kind of develop an attitude of It could never happen to me im very skilled at flying, so thats not going to happen. That only happens to new pilots. So lets talk about the real reason that i crashed my dji air 2s into the lake a couple of weeks ago. Music: hey welcome to 51 drones, everyone, my name is russ.
Thank you for coming back and if this is your first time here, i hope that i can earn your desire to click on that subscribe button. So, a couple of weeks ago, now its coming up on two weeks, i crashed my dji air2s into the lake, and that day i thought i had figured out what had happened and i made a video about it to possibly help someone else avoid the same disaster That i had well after figuring out how to download and study the flight logs from my iphone. It turns out that the crash did not occur, for the reason that i thought it did so in this video. What i want to show you is im going to show you how to download and view your flight logs, because i think thats really important to know how to do that. Also im going to answer some of the questions. Some of the many common questions that some of you asked in that video and then finally im going to go through my flight logs and you can see exactly what happened well. First of all, i do want to say a great big thank you to the folks over at mavicpilots.com, its an online forum for all sorts of dji drones, mostly mavic related drones, but theres just about everything on there, but a few guys over there helped educate me On how to download the flight logs for my iphone and then upload it and be able to interpret it now, its the first time that i ever did that, and i thought it would be very difficult, but its not its super super easy now, if you havent Seen that video that i made a couple of weeks ago go ahead and watch it ill put it right up here, but just a really quick review.
We were out on family vacation on lake sakakawea in north dakota, and i was flying my air 2 s. I was capturing some boat footage. My family was out tubing and i wanted to get some really cool dynamic footage and what happened is i got my drone out a little bit too far. I lost line of sight, plus i lost clear view on my iphone because it was almost 100 degrees and it got really hot, and so, when that happens, the iphone goes dark. So when that happened, i attempted to fly my drone closer, so i could regain line of sight and in that process it hit the water and right now its sitting in 91 feet of water. It happened you guys it happened in the blink of an eye. It felt like it was a split second now in that video that i made that day. I thought that what happened was. I did not go through my checklist. I didnt turn off my downward sensors, but after a couple of days after i posted that video im watching im going, you know what i wasnt flying my mavic 2 pro i was flying my air 2s, which uses the dji fly app and with the dji fly Up you cant disable your downward sensors theyre on all of the time you cant turn them off. So, even if i did remember to do my checklist that day and i did remember to turn off my sensors – i couldnt have so what im gon na do right now is im gon na answer.
Some of the questions that you guys had in the comment section of that video now the number one question by far was why didnt you hit the return to home button when you lost line of sight. Well, the reason is, i only use the return to home button when i feel like all is lost like when i have determined that there is imminent danger to my drone or anything around the drone, and i dont know where it is for an extended period of Time now that has only happened to me a couple of times where ive had to hit that return to home button. In this case, i had no concern for my drone. I had no concern for anything around it because i was out in open water and there was nothing around me, nothing near me and i had only lost line of sight for just a few seconds, so there was no alarm at the time. I had visual line of sight right up until a couple of seconds before the crash happened, so all i had to do was bring it a little bit closer, so i could regain line of sight. Another question that many of you asked is: can you please share your pre flight checklist with me now im not going to share that here. Ill go through it real briefly, but what im going to do is im actually going to post it on my patreon page and ill make it public, so you dont have to pay for it or anything like that.
You can go ahead and view it. You can copy and paste and use that if you want to so ill put a link for that down in the video description. However, you do your preflight. I just recommend that you take a couple of minutes and ensure that you, both you and your drone, are ready to fly safely and efficiently. Now mine is very simple, but it covers the most important things. First of all, because i am a part, 107 pilot and most videos that i record with my drone i might be using on my youtube channel, so i record the date and the time of each flight, the location, the purpose of the flight or the flights. I write down my lance authorization number if i have one and then any other important information about all of that, you know information that someone may ask for if anything, bad were to happen. Next thing i do is i inspect the drone and all of its components. I check the props for any nicks or cuts or anything like that thats going to affect their performance. I make sure that my prop arms are firm and tight, firm and tight, and then i turn on the drone when i turn it on. I make sure that the gimbal functions normally during startup, and then i evaluate the software to make sure that there are no warnings. I check the battery health, then i go through the safety tab disabling the sensors.
If im flying my mavic 2 pro over water, then i set my camera settings. Then i take one last look around the vicinity. I make sure that everything is safe. I document that and then i launch the drone theres, really no right or wrong way to do a checklist. You guys, but basically two important things. You want to make sure that the drone is functioning normally and safely, and you want to address any warnings that may pop up in the software. Another comment that came up a lot was, you know. People were telling me your altitude is from your launch point, not from the point of the drone to the surface and yes, i know that very well and people were thinking. Maybe you were lower than you thought, but no, i launched right from shore next to the water right next to the water, so the altitude that was showing on the app should have been very close to the altitude above the water, because water, of course stays level Except for maybe a few waves that may occur, but there were barely any waves this day, so the altitude was right on at least i thought it was. Another question is: did you calibrate your compass and your imu before you took off and no? I only do those things when the app tells me to or if my drone is acting erratically like if its not responding to the sticks properly or whatever.
I will calibrate the imu, even though it doesnt tell me, but for the most part i only do those things when the software tells me to, and neither of those things had anything to do with this event, but after viewing the logs you can. Let me know what you think in the comments: oh whats, this this right here. Well, im glad you asked this is the ecoflow delta max and they are sponsoring this video now ecoflow just announced a kickstarter campaign and theyre releasing a whole bunch of amazing new products to those products of the delta max and the delta pro now the delta max Has over 2000 watt hours, plus it can power anything up to 3 400 watts. That means that anything in your home, this thing can power it. Now. This is a little more portable than the delta pro. The delta pro is like the ultimate home battery backup system, but the delta max its a little more portable. You can take this to the campsite to your bug out house and you can also use it for emergency purposes at your home during power outages. One other really cool thing that ecoflow just announced is their brand new app. So you can control and monitor the delta. Max and the delta pro on your phone – and i think that is incredibly useful, so if youve been considering getting into portable power at all theres no better time right now, especially with this kickstarter campaign, you can get the delta max for 400 off and the delta Pro for 600 off so go ahead and click on the kickstarter link in the video description and see everything that ecoflow is releasing, including a solar tracker like it tracks the sun, its a solar panel that tracks the sun, some really cool stuff coming from ecoflow.
Thank you ecoflow for sponsoring this video, so lets head inside right now and check out the flight log and see exactly what happened with my air 2s. All right so now were going to take a look at my flight log and i actually didnt know how easy it was to get these. But on an iphone. You simply open up your files, folder and then you click on my iphone and then you open the dji fly folder and then click on the flight records, folder and then choose the flight that you want to interpret, in my case, its the very last flight youre. Going to go ahead and open that and then what youre going to do is youre going to share that to your email or to your icloud folder. Now also, if you have airdrop and a mac, you can just share it that way, and if you have an android phone, it is a little bit different theres, actually a tutorial on how to do that right here it says: locating your flight logs and then, if You scroll down it says for android mobile devices, uh its on the phantomhelp.com website, im going to put a link for this in the video description. This is the website that youre going to use to interpret your log now also, what i want to do is im going to challenge one of my peers. You know like daily droning or air photography to put out a tutorial for how to download and view your flight logs from an android.
What i did is i sent it to my email and then i saved it on my computer and then i went to this website. Its phantomhelp.com log viewer, slash upload. I know you know this is not a phantom, but this is the website that you go to and then what you do is you click on right here? You click on im, not a robot, you browse and you look for that flight record. You go ahead and click on it and open it and then youre going to click on upload log, and then it does take a few seconds, but its going to show us the complete log here. Okay, now what you can do is you can copy the url right here and then you can email that to yourself you can save that somewhere. You can share it on a forum like mavicpilots.com, so some of the experts can evaluate it and see exactly what happened, but thats pretty nice, so its just to have an extra copy, so you dont have to come back to this website. Every time you want to view that log, so you can see here it gives you a pretty detailed information about every tenth of a second every two tenths or every tenth of a second, but it shows you, the location. The map shows your stick. Inputs shows the attitude indicator so very valuable stuff here. So lets go ahead and scroll down here you can see it shows what mode youre in satellites the altitudes um your speed at the time, your distance from home, the battery life, the battery voltage and health.
So really great stuff here so im going to go ahead and just scroll all the way down and just show you like its pretty cool. You just click on one of these lines, and it shows you where you are at that time. It shows your stick inputs at that time, so im moving forward at full speed and im going to the left a little bit and then, if you just keep on scrolling down, you can see that itll move through the record, so very, very cool. To have that. So were going to scroll all the way down here to when we started to have some trouble, so you can see about right here. I was flying at 17 feet at 1 minute and 28.1 seconds. Okay, so lets go to right here. Where should we go? Lets? Go right here, one minute, 27.8. All right, i got im flying straight ahead. I got no input on the left stick, but for some reason right here, look what i did down and to the left. Why is it down? I have no idea im, assuming maybe i was just trying to turn to the left a little bit, but for some reason i was pushing down on the stick and i didnt even realize it so youll see right there thats when the um the altitude starts to Decrease lets just jump ahead here to one minute and 30 seconds. It shows you the position here: im still pushing down im going 22 miles per hour, so its going down very quickly.
I dont know i just dont know what was going on here and then you go to uh right here, one minute and 30.2 seconds and you can see right here: thats im, assuming thats when the obstacle avoidance went off and i let go of both of the Sticks and im at 8.9 feet altitude vps altitude, so that means from the drone to the water is 8.9 feet same thing here, 0.1 seconds later and then look right here, 30.4, one minute 30.4 seconds. It goes to 0.7 feet. So yes, i was, i was pushing down. I i dont know why. But what happened here? I went from 8.9 feet to 0.7 feet, so thats like 70 feet per second drop. I dont get it. I dont get this right here, like this means that it this tells me that it hit the water when the altitude was at 8.9 feet that doesnt make sense that doesnt sound like it was functioning correctly because before it was dropping not that fast. But then here so somebody, please explain this to me and then you can see right here at the very bottom. The very last input was me trying to push up on the stick when i realized what had happened, and it was way too late so and thats that must be when it hit the water and it must have spun around because you can see you know if You look right here so at this point you know im facing northwest now im facing northeast and now its facing southeast.
So this must be. You know this must be. This has got to be when it hit the water right here, but why did this altitude change? So much so, but anyway that that just shows me that, yes, this was 100 uh pilot error. Like i was pushing down, i was decreasing my own altitude, i just wasnt seeing it on the screen and i wasnt seeing it because i didnt have visual line of sight at that time and you can see how fast this happens. You guys this took less than two seconds for this whole thing to happen. You know were talking right here, 1 27.9 to 30.3 seconds, so things happen real fast. So we really need to be vigilant. So anyway, it makes me feel a little better to know that it was my fault, because it gives me a little bit of closure, but it still sucks that i did it myself all right. So what is my deduction from all of this? This event right here? My attitude of invulnerability is what crashed my drone into the lake. Nobody talks about that, but it really is a thing i think pretty much. I just got too cocky, especially that day i was getting really good at flying manually around that boat, and i was feeling really good and i was feeling really confident about my skills, but when that happens, youre not really focused on what youre doing like i was Trying to fly in auto mode like inside my brain, i was on auto mode and i wasnt paying full attention to the actions that i was doing like.
Why was i pulling back on the left? Stick, you know decreasing my altitude as i was flying forward. I have no idea like ive done, that when im playing flight simulator, but i havent played that game for a long time. Maybe my thumb was resting on the stick and i didnt realize it or i didnt notice it when i was flying forward, because my screen was dark and i couldnt see my stats normally, when im flying im checking those stats like every three or four seconds. I couldnt see that it was decreasing in altitude and the reason i couldnt see that is because tim cook does not know how to design a phone that cant handle. The heat android definitely kicks butt in that category. Maybe i was trying to increase my altitude, but the summer heat confused, my brain and i was pushing down on the stick instead of up. I really have no idea now. I still think this incident has a little bit of something to do with those downward sensors, but either way this crash was absolutely due to pilot error and my attitude of invulnerability. Yes, it was a little combination of the mobile device overheating and maybe a little bit of vps malfunction, but ultimately my fault. What happened to my air 2s in those last moments of his life? We will never truly know, but i do feel a little bit better. Knowing that it was mostly my fault having that understanding does bring closure to me, and i think thats really important you guys.
This can happen to anyone at any time, even for experienced pilots, and so i think we should always be overly obsessive about drone safety. Its so easy to become lacks, especially as you become more confident in your flying skills. Now, confidence can be useful when youre flying piloting a uav, but it must be combined with the understanding that anything can happen at any time to anyone. Thank goodness that this happened over a safe place and there was no damage to life or property, except for my drone. But for that i am truly thankful. What do i want you to take away from this? I want you to not be afraid to fly over water but respect it when you do understand that when youre flying over water and your drone crashes more than likely, you are never going to see that drone again. But the payoff the payoff of flying over water is worth it. You guys its worth it because the acceleration that comes with it and then the footage that you can capture by doing that is so awesome, theres, nothing better, so dont be afraid to do it. Now, if i was able to improve your knowledge in some way today, please click on the thumbs up button. Also click on that subscribe button. I want to see how close we can get to 200 000 subscribers before the end of 2021.. Thank you for watching the entire video today you guys. That means so much to me.
I cant even describe to you how much that means have a great day and, as always, fly safe and fly smart. I bet youre wondering whats. The deal lets deal with that cup. I know some of you are like youre, just looking like what what is up with this cup. This is from reptile gardens a few years ago and its my camping coffee cup. I take it camping and uh. I thought itd be fun to put it in the video isnt it great.