Lost drone when using DD - where should I look for?


Two days ago we lost two drones (DJI Phantom 4) in a line. The first was forced down probably by a CH-47 military helicopter that came out of the blue (no military airport in the area) and flying low over the project area (national park). That drone was found a day later.

However, on the day we lost it, we sent up a second drone to look for the first one. First, the polygon we set in DD was saved, because when we started the flight, the initial square fro flight planning came back on the iPad screen. We called the drone back, re-set the polygon and sent the drone in the air again. It worked ok in the first few seconds, then the connection was lost and it never returned. The battery was on 58% according to the control panel. We have been looking for it since then, but no success so far. Unfortunately, the last flight log was not helpful.

Now, my question related to your experience. Once a drone is lost like that, will it stay within the polygon? Or is there a possibility that at some point it simply continued the flight along one of the lines set in the polygon, but extending it beyond the limits of the polygon? Just keep flying in one direction. In latter case, I see no chance to find it…

Could you please, advise us?

P.s.: I have already contaced DD and they are working on the case, but no answer yet on that latest question.



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Yes, unless it is a power failure, hits something or it loses all of it’s satellites, the waypoints are loaded on the drone and it should continue on course.

Were you using Authentic DJI Batteries?

Beware of using generic clone batteries because they can cause your drone to fall out of the sky, even at 58%.

Look at the flight logs on your controller and go to PhantomHelp.com and upload the logs and it will show you what was going on with your drone.

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Thanks for the replies. Yes, I use original batteries. Unfortunately, the drone is still missing after 4 days of intensive search.

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There are too many unknowns to be able to answer you.
The drone could be lost because it ran into a tree or other obstacle, because headwinds prevented it getting back, battery issues or something else.
You’d need to investigate flight data to get any clues to help.

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How did you get clearance to fly in a national park?

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You can get a waiver. The last time I flew one I spoke with the management at the park and then file for the waiver. This makes the lines of communication much more clear. Make sure that the flight is communicated to the park ranger.

Yellowstone they send a park ranger with you.

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Well, we work with the national park and we do vegetation mapping for them in the frame of a conservation project. Mind that it is in Hungary, Europe, not in the U.S. so different rules apply.

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If the drone is in RTH mode it is not expected to stay within the polygon of the flight plan. The best source of for where it might have gone is the flight log. I really hope you find your lost drone!

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Ok, folks, thanks for the help. The drone was found actually on the same day on the exact spot (within the polygon) where we suspected it to be - but by a bunch of tourists. They announced that on a website, so finally we got it back today.

Thanks again for your comments.


Nice. Hooray for honest people! Our world isn’t dead.

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Congrats on getting it back! I’m guessing no damages to the drone?

i think it has continued her flight to the direction that was set to it
see: https://bluestacks.vip/ , https://kodi.software/

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This thread will close in 1 week if there is no response from the OP.

Well, as I mentioned above the drone was found almost immediately by someone (within the set polygon), who later announced it on the web looking for the owner. So, it was no point to search for it for a week - but we did not know that. We got the drone back. Only one of the blades was broken, but it was ok otherwise. We have flown it since then and it works ok.
Apparently, the auto obstacle avoidance was not switched on and we set the altitude a bit low when we launched the drone from the valley. Thus, it hit a tree on the top of the ridge. It is likely that we talk about a few inches, but that was enough for the crash.
Anyway, all is good and thanks for your help.