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How to avoid DJI Phantom Fly-Away by Colin Guinn

The DJI Phantom is really a great RC quadcopter UAV. It’s relatively cheap and is capable of filming great aerial videos using the GoPro Hero cameras. However not all users are have a great experience with it.

One of the issues that’s been reported by Phantom pilots is fly aways. A fly away is a scenario where the Phantom pilot will suddenly lose control of the Phantom during a flight resulting in lost or damaged units.

This is a video by Colin Guinn from DJI Innovations explaining what you need to do to avoid experiencing a fly away.

There are basically 3 main things you need to perform before taking off.

1. Calibrate Your Compass

According to Colin, you should always remember to calibrate your compass. DJI will never really know where every Phantom will land in the world, as they shipped to different countries. As you would expect, there are different declinations of Magnetic North around the world. So it is important to calibrate the compass when you first get your DJI Phantom. This process will tell the Phantom exactly where it is in the world.

Do not calibrate in areas that could have high magnetic EMI interference such as areas that are close to power lines, underground car parks and cell phone towers. It is recommended that you fly and calibrate your compass in open areas such as grass fields or open and big parks.

Please watch the video below to find out how to calibrate your DJI Phantom’s compass:

How to tell if your DJI Phantom needs calibration?

1. The Phantom wants to fly in a circular pattern. For example, if you fly forward and stop but the Phantom then starts to fly in a circle and looks like its looking for an area to stop. It’s time to calibrate

2. If you fly forward but the Phantom flies to the left and if you fly back and it flies to the right. This indicates that the GPS and compass of the DJI Phantom is conflicting with each other. Time to calibrate.

2. Set Home Point

Before you take off, be patient and allow the DJI Phantom to find and mark its home point. It needs time to identify satellites in the sky to pinpoints its location. Don’t just plug in the battery and take off. Let it sit on the ground – up to 2 minutes and make sure you see blinking green light for at least 10 to 15 seconds. This tells you that it has successfully received signals from GPS satellites.

The DJI Phantom needs a minimum of 6 to 8 satellites detected for a minimum of 8 seconds before it can really marked its home point.

When the DJI Phantom flashes rapid green lights after take off, you know that it has marked its home position.

3. Watch out for EMI

Be aware of any possible high electromagnetic interference in your location.- Before taking off check and look out for high power lines and cell phone towers near you, avoid these at all cost. If something is transmitting a similar frequency as your controller and has a higher signal. It will take over the DJI Phantom controls resulting in possible fly aways.

Remember to update your Phantom firmware to the latest version as the software developers at DJI are constantly looking for better ways to provide you with an enjoyable and safe flying experience.

Final point is exercise good judgment and common sense. If you notice your Phantom is doing weird things, just be cautious and land as soon as possible. Better be safe than sorry.

That’s it!

Enjoy your flying time with the DJI Phantom. Happy flying.

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