Tuesday, September 20, 2011

and Disaster strikes ... again!

Last weekend I was in Ostfriesland at my father in Law's house, he has a wonderful farm in the middle of nowhere.

After I did somecalibration flights to find better PID parameters I attempted to do a short FPV flight since there was pleeeenty of space around the house. I fired up the gear and climbed upa few meters, because I am not very good doing FPV yet I looked at the copter beneaht the FPV goggles and noticed that it has drifted off quite a bit. I tried to determine in which direction it was heading but it was to late, the wind had taken over command and it was flying further away from me, too late I decided to let it come down, I watched closely at the copter to get a clue where it crashed and ran to my car, unfortuneally the assumed crash site was on the other side of a channel. I raced around the channels but did not find it. Than I headed back to the other side of the channel and searched between the two channels on this small peninsula - nothing.
I crossed the next channel an searched a little swamp and the fields there - still nothing. I thought I hit a channel and this was my second copter gone in two weeks. I sorted out which of my friends gets which of my spare parts and thought about spending more time Windsurfing and with my girlfriend... I gave up again. Because the GoPro was onboard this was a real disaster....)

Then I remembered an important fact: THE FPV GOGGLES!! I watched through the googles: static, DAMN - I raised the antenna from my shoulder and I got a black picture: The TX of the FPV system was still operating!! Yippieh!
So the copter hit ground and not water - but where the frack was it...

I remembered the fact that 5,8 GHz signal is very sensitive on blocking so I put my hand before the antenna and I determined the copter was north of my position. So I went northwest and did a second bearing to determine the crashsite, I searched for 15 minutes. In the meantime my girlfriend and her parents came to help and brought their dog - but this dog was busy hunting rabbits so he was no help.

After 10 minutes I circled around and was nearly at the point where I first looked , north of the first channel and THERE SHE WAS - or there was what was left of her. She was hanging in a sheep fence just 1 meter to the bank of the channel and about 800m where I was standing as I started the flight , If there had not been a fence...

x: I was standing here to fly
1. my first searchnode
2. second attempt to find it.
3. I remembered the FPV system here and got a fix
4. I circled around here and spotted the crashsite
red lines: my driving route

The rear pilons were badly bent, all props were broken, one Motor wos ripped off, the flyduino, and the flydusense were severed from the centerplate and the flyduino was without power (so no buzzer "Find me!" signal), the Lip was lying several feet away from the copter but still connected to the TX of the FPV  (how lucky can a man be??) The GoPro was 3 Meters away the protective housing of the Gopro was shredded but the cam was intact and is working.

I collected all parts and double checked the area (very important: There are cows on the meadows - the can choke on these pieces) I got every single part and was heading home lighthearted. I just saved a lot of money.

Back home I checked the equipment: Despite the motor everything was still working. I was lucky that she crashed rear first otherwise the gopro would be no more.
The Pins of the flyduino were badly bent but no shortcircuit happened. The motors where still running and the sensors were doing their work. I logged in to giantcod and ordered 6 new motors and got me a cold beer.

I was very astonished that the alu was bent like hell, even the holes but the epoxy was completely unharmed.

Lessons learned today:
- leanr your lessons man!!! Still no telephone number on it.
- pull the breaks as soon as possible I should have turned of the engines right in the moment I noticed the drift.
- GPS GPS GPS! I need GPS!!
- I definetely need a tracking device
- I need to make shure that the Lipo stays in place and that it can still power the electronics after a bad crash
- better protection of the flyduino tower it got ripped of like - i dunno what.

After all it was a lucky day - The copter is almost back in the air - I still need a replace motor and cochones to fly again.

ps.: Thank god for the FPV system!!!!

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