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My opinion about fly aways

toluwumi

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I can't just stop thinking about what will happen the next time I fly my sparky (Fear of fly away). Am now thinking why will home point change during flight which could be the reason the drone recognize another home point when RTH is triggered.
Am a newbie and I want expert opinion to help me get over this fear.
 
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Spark 317

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Hello from the Hoosier Heartland, toluwumi.

The Spark only records one Home Point so if all goes well, that's where it should go.
Unless you change it while flying with your device, but you would know that when doing so.

I have a little fear every time I fly the Spark and I think that's why I still have it since 2017.
I fly in VLOS and check my preflight list before launch to insure that I'm doing everything possible to have a successful flight.

Just take your time with the Spark.
Keep an eye on the telemetry and prompts that may pop up.
Read the manual, watch videos, and ask questions. That's how we learn to become experienced pilots.

Welcome to the Forum. :cool:
 

Haggi

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About RTH button located on the remote..

First couple of times I hit the button, nothing happened.
Then I learned I had to press and hold it until its start beeping..
Never had an issue with it since..
 

msinger

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Am now thinking why will home point change during flight which could be the reason the drone recognize another home point when RTH is triggered
After starting the motors, check the home point on the map in DJI GO to ensure it's in the correct place. After it has been marked, it will not change unless you manually reset the home point in DJI GO.

This is only one of the many potential things that could cause a flyaway. See this guide for many more things you should know:

Prevent a Crash or Flyaway with Your DJI Drone (The Complete Guide)
 

Wingman8209

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I forget exactly what it's called but isn't there a setting in the Spark that tells it to constantly update it's home point location as it fly's? That needs to be turned "off" to keep your launch point as your home location.
 

Troy.Spark

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One more thing to add is if it loses GPS signal during a flight your RTH doesn’t work and can cause a fly a way. And that can and does happen. I have a spot over my property at 120’AGL where it losses the satellite signals from 16 to 7 the it just try’s to go on it’s on way. The first time it did it I freaked out and was able to over ride it with controls. But since then I us it for training to practice for fly a way events when I’m away from home. I’ve done enough to just about map out the dead zone. And by the way it also affects my Garmin in my car. So I know it’s just not my Spark or WIFI interference.
 

msinger

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isn't there a setting in the Spark that tells it to constantly update it's home point location as it fly's?
The "Enable Dynamic Home Point" setting is only used when flying in Gesture or ActiveTrack mode. You probably always want to keep that enabled for Gesture mode. For ActiveTrack mode, you probably want it enabled if you're tracking yourself.

DJI-GO-Enable-Dynamic-Home-Point.jpg
 
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nyjumpee

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I just attended a DJI Photo Academy event. . .it concentrated mainly on photo techniques, etc. with very little emphasis on actual flying, as expected. . .however one interesting note is that both of the instructors agreed that RTH should only be used as an absolute last resort as RTH doesn't always respond as expected. I've been flying for almost 3 years now and have NEVER hit that button. . .
 

Wingman8209

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The "Enable Dynamic Home Point" setting is only used when flying in Gesture or ActiveTrack mode. You probably always want to keep that enabled for Gesture mode. For ActiveTrack mode, you probably want it enabled if you're tracking yourself.

View attachment 8538
That was the one I was thinking about. Thanks for the clarification.
 

toluwumi

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I forget exactly what it's called but isn't there a setting in the Spark that tells it to constantly update it's home point location as it fly's? That needs to be turned "off" to keep your launch point as your home location.
This is what am talking about. I don't want to update my home point as dji go4 always ask me, I want it to always keep my initial home point but it will keep asking me to update my home point during flight
 

msinger

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but it will keep asking me to update my home point during flight
DJI GO should never prompt you to update the home point while flying. What's the exact message you're seeing in DJI GO?
 

Joeinwa711

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I just attended a DJI Photo Academy event. . .it concentrated mainly on photo techniques, etc. with very little emphasis on actual flying, as expected. . .however one interesting note is that both of the instructors agreed that RTH should only be used as an absolute last resort as RTH doesn't always respond as expected. I've been flying for almost 3 years now and have NEVER hit that button. . .
I use it all the time, never had a bad response or unexpected reaction—unless using the auto takeoff feature (which sets the home point when taking off), good idea to set the home point manually, (ie. when using palm launch)
 

Mr Geek

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This is what am talking about. I don't want to update my home point as dji go4 always ask me, I want it to always keep my initial home point but it will keep asking me to update my home point during flight
Hi toluwumi, I suspect your issue was having "Enable Dynamic Home Points" enabled, I had this occur to me as well. Also make absolutely sure you see the Green "Ready to Go (GPS)" on the top left side of the DJI Go app screen before taking off. If you have flakey GPS reception then never depend on RTH when drone if out of sight.

I do a lot of flying over inaccessible terrain at distances pushing 1-mile away and I routinely depend on RTH to get my Spark back Home safely. I use RTH as an excellent navigation tool along with actively monitoring the map and manually flying as needed. Again, ensure stable, strong GPS reception for any RTH use.

I also do a lot of Active Track flying, where the drone follows me or my Jeep and made a video that covers this RTH topic in part, specifically discussing the problems with using Dynamic Home Points in some situations you might find interesting HERE along with a speed testing segment at the end that same video.

Bottom-line is I use the default RTH mode everytime I finish shooting and have had zero problems by following the steps below BUT note that I do not use Dynamic Home Points for the specific reasons I discuss in the Spark Forum video linked above.

Rules I follow for safer RTH operation:
-Ensure RTH altitude is set higher than any surrounding obstacles
-Confirm strong GPS signal and full Green "Ready to Go (GPS)" status in app status bar prior to take off
-At take off confirm the updated "H" Home Point ICON is properly plotted on your DJI Go Map
-Do not use Dynamic Home Points unless you have full, unfettered access to any point your drone could land along the route flown and you feel you could find it in the landscape type
-When initiating RTH after shooting immediately look at your map to confirm the Spark is moving along the line/vector shown on the map back to the Home Point ICON

-Monitor flight to Home Point with controller in hand and eyes on map/screen, manually land if needed

My Spark always lands well within a couple foot from where it took off and I feel safer letting the Spark autonomously fly back "Home" using the RTH point where the drone took off from. Again, if you have flakey, weak or inconsistent GPS reception to the Spark then RTH should not be used if you do not have sight of the drone.
 

dat1

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Dec 9, 2018
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I heard the same, as nyjumpee, from two pro
instructors facing a classroom of police officers.
RTH is a good backup in case of disconnection if
GPS reception is good. But not advice...
Personally, I did try it once, my third afternoon with
the Spark, the first day with GPS signal and it works.
We have a cloudy winter here and often fly on ATTI.
I never use RTH to finish my flights. Mostly landing
the bird in my hand and, as a GA aircraft pilot for 43
years, do believe the landing is the most interesting
part of a flight. I feel the same with the drones.
just my opinion, my feel...
 

Mr Geek

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I totally agree that skillful manual flying is preferred for both safety and satisfaction. I normally manually land mine as well and enjoy challenging flying to capture landscapes that look dynamic with low to ground flying and manual orbits, etc. but once my Spark is out of sight and it's time to come home I have come to trust the Spark's AI to know best for when and how to RTH using data it collects about wind, battery temperature and distance traveled. I say this confidently after 200+ flights with zero problems with the RTH system used in virtually all flights. My experience and perspective may be different than those living in the city or in locations with poor GPS access because I live in the desert in a small town surrounded by wide open lands.

Anyway, totally agree about the joy of hands on, manual flying/aviation aspect...at age 13 I was lucky to land a weekend job of washing an instructor's Piper Cherokees and in return got Saturday flying lessons, then a few months later my family "blew up" and trips to Lindbergh Field were no longer possible. My career then swallowed me up and I never got around to following through but am a lifelong avid flight sim geek.

The reason I wanted to comment on RTH is because in reading through this thread a new Spark owner would think that using RTH is a risky business and should be avoided but I maintain exactly the opposite view based on 200+ flights using RTH from distances up to a mile away. I just wanted people to know, for me it's been a rock solid extremely comforting autonomous feature I depend on and saves a lot of time as I plan the next shoot while my drone is safely flying back for a fresh battery :)

Have fun flying!
 
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Dave Canada

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Mar 12, 2018
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ive had a lot of flights that lose dignal but never had a flyaway maybe becuase i live in rural nm but unless i run into a tree or something dumb sparky loves comimg home
 
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Mr Geek

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ive had a lot of flights that lose dignal but never had a flyaway maybe becuase i live in rural nm but unless i run into a tree or something dumb sparky loves comimg home
Yes, that's my observation as well. The Spark is very good at recording it's home point at take off and returning to it no matter what. We as pilots just need to follow common sense rules to ensure solid GPS signal quality, take note of the home point on the map every time we take off and set adequate RTH altitudes (high enough) to avoid obstacles on any given RTH . I tested RTH by intentionally losing connection and the Spark will wait for a few seconds, maybe 10 or less then begin RTH and always lands where it took off from. If the user does nothing the Spark comes back where it took off and lands, that's a huge piece of mind and has been a very solid function for me flying in the desert badlands.
 
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nilanjan118

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Yes, that's my observation as well. The Spark is very good at recording it's home point at take off and returning to it no matter what. We as pilots just need to follow common sense rules to ensure solid GPS signal quality, take note of the home point on the map every time we take off and set adequate RTH altitudes (high enough) to avoid obstacles on any given RTH . I tested RTH by intentionally losing connection and the Spark will wait for a few seconds, maybe 10 or less then begin RTH and always lands where it took off from. If the user does nothing the Spark comes back where it took off and lands, that's a huge piece of mind and has been a very solid function for me flying in the desert badlands.
Ditto here. I live in a non-FCC country and before learning to force FCC mode, I used to get barely 300~400m range. In other words, as soon as I exceeded 300m or 400m, connection would be lost and auto RTH would kick in. Initially, I used to get really nervous thinking whether the drone is really coming home but it has never failed me. RTH would always bring it back within a couple of feet from take-off point and I almost got into a habit of letting RTH take over every single time I went flying. So if there is one feature of the Spark I can vouch for, it is definitely RTH.
 

Mr Geek

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Ditto here. I live in a non-FCC country and before learning to force FCC mode, I used to get barely 300~400m range. In other words, as soon as I exceeded 300m or 400m, connection would be lost and auto RTH would kick in. Initially, I used to get really nervous thinking whether the drone is really coming home but it has never failed me. RTH would always bring it back within a couple of feet from take-off point and I almost got into a habit of letting RTH take over every single time I went flying. So if there is one feature of the Spark I can vouch for, it is definitely RTH.
My experience as well. One thing I learned from tips I found online is when you take off try to ascend to about 30-feet and stop/hover for a few seconds then go flying. This 30-foot hover/pause allows the Spark to take a photo of the ground below that it uses, along with GPS data and 3D terrain mapping from the downward facing camera and IR sensors for Precision Landing. The RTH accuracy is better when you do this. It also saves that take off/landing site photo on your phone. I found it normally lands within inches of the take off location this way many times.
 

nilanjan118

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One thing I learned from tips I found online is when you take off try to ascend to about 30-feet and stop/hover for a few seconds then go flying. This 30-foot hover/pause allows the Spark to take a photo of the ground below that it uses, along with GPS data and 3D terrain mapping from the downward facing camera and IR sensors for Precision Landing. The RTH accuracy is better when you do this. It also saves that take off/landing site photo on your phone. I found it normally lands within inches of the take off location this way many times.
This feature is called Precision Landing. The manual says that the aircraft must take off vertically to a min. altitude of 7m for this feature to come into effect at the time of RTH. However, the manual doesn't mention that a pause is required to map the terrain underneath.
1.JPG
 

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