The first rule in bringing your drone back safely when things go wrong is “Don’t Panic!!”
I sunk my first drone in a lake after losing sight of it, panicking and hit the Return to Home (RTH) switch…it didn’t!
There are many possible reasons why RTH didn’t work. But the biggest mistake I made when I lost sight of it was that I panicked. At the time I still knew roughly where it was and, in hindsight, there were many options I should have tried before relying on any automated functions.
These days…I know better. I test the RTH function regularly, and honestly believe it will work in an emergency. But, personally, I see it as an option of desperation.
Should I be unfortunate enough to lose sight of the drone AND lose video feed, here’s what I do today.
Of course it goes without saying that you should not lost sight of your drone…at least until the regulations for BVLOS are changed. But it happens. You’re flying a mission, you look down at the screen to see what is in frame, look back up into a bright sky and…where the did darn thing go?
Should that happen the worst thing to do is panic. Instead, take your time. The drone will wait while you sort yourself out. And if you watch the video you will know that you always have an option.
This isn’t the only way…but it works 99% of the time.
And what do you do if the app completely crashes? Don’t panic!!
You don’t actually need the app to fly the bird, so take your time. If you need the app because you need the radar then shut the app down, unplug the USB, and start it all again. The drone will wait. And gaining some altitude is usually a good idea too – you always want to make sure you are higher than anything you might hit.
If all else fails, of course, the RTH is pretty reliable these days…but I wouldn’t personally rely on it unless I absolutely had to.