Ballooning on landing


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I am not sure of the terminology, but as @Uaviator53 suggests, ground effect does play a role in your landing. Basically, you are experiencing an increase in the performance of your UAV where there is increased lift (force) and decreased aerodynamic drag that UAV's propellers generate when they are close to the ground. The effect usually occurs within about 1 rotor diameter. You can play around with this but descending fast and when you get close to the ground let go and you will see the UAV float up a little.

As a tip, try hovering near the ground for 5-10 seconds to stabilise your UAV before finally descending to land. Use caution if you are using cross sticks control to power off your UAV because if your timing is out, you can send the UAV into a spin or backwards which might be causing the topple. Just using the left stick only to power off.

You could also try to catch your phantom - the landing gear is suitable for this. This will help with launching/landing skills in areas that might have limited space available. Good practice either way.

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I think you mean that when you land your drone is rearing up on its hind legs (or sides etc) as it were and then promptly flipping over? If so what i have found that works for me is:

ensure you slowly bring the throttle down, this actually only needs to be somewhere below 50% or dead center, not all the way down at first,  this will allow for a slow descent towards the ground. as you approach the ground  find a flat surface and wait for wind to be at a minimum. finish the landing using only the throttle stick as the pads have hit the ground pull the throttle down to 0 leaving it there until the engines stop. (this does not need to be a fast or jerky action). Try to avoid last minute right stick lateral adjustments as they can cause some issues.

I actually avoid shutting the engines down using the stick combo to shut the engines off at all cost as it can very easily give movement input instead of shutting the engines off. With practice you can land these like a feather on a pillow, I only manually land because i have found autoland slams to hard, and though catching is alright; im not keen on placing my hands on a slim flimsy piece of plastic near four blades spinning at several thousand RPM, but my luck and murphy's law are what really keep me away from the blades when they are active.

As to the reason for this flaring, ground effect plays into creating a wash and turbulence. It Mostly stems from the flight mechanics of quadcopters. as opposed to a standard gyrocopter or helo which control their force vector with the pitch of the blades, quadcopters actually operate more on a balancing of four force vectors from the four props, or more aptly by independently controlling the speeds of each prop. when you are landing this becomes an issue especially when the back of the pads touch down, as any input on the right stick will cause the props to spin at different speeds resulting in a different or unbalanced force from the front blades (or one side vs the other). since the pads are on the ground this now creates a more drastic rotation instead of a lateral move because the ground is pushing back up on the quad. When i see new pilots land this is one of the more common issues i have seen. Accidental flipping of the drone after initial contact, which can damage the props, the gimbal or the camera itself.

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Ballooning is the correct term, and all those suggesting ground effect are also correct, good advice on landing process. I saw the same and experimented with several elevated/vented landing platforms to reduce or remove ground effect. And now I believe the ballooning is caused by the ground proximity sensor. When I change the mode to full manual it is not so pronounced. As suggested you gently command the landing. I like these no non sense sites!

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  • 2 months later...
On March 30, 2016 at 1:28 PM, mconcialdi said:

So my Phantom Pro 3 keeps "ballooning"  or popping up when I intend to land.  This makes it a hard landing and I've damaged a couple props when it does this.  I've used the automatic landing which obviously is perfect, but why does it do this?
 

Marc 

 

On April 5, 2016 at 6:57 AM, Dingo desu said:

Ballooning is the correct term, and all those suggesting ground effect are also correct, good advice on landing process. I saw the same and experimented with several elevated/vented landing platforms to reduce or remove ground effect. And now I believe the ballooning is caused by the ground proximity sensor. When I change the mode to full manual it is not so pronounced. As suggested you gently command the landing. I like these no non sense sites!

Practice hand catching.  Saves on props and keeps the camera safe and keepsdust/dirt/sand//grass out of the engines.

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