The Fly Away Club

This looks like a step in the right direction for civilian UA, an incident reporting service. Good luck to them! (ed)

Paging Dr. Flyaway! (be sure to turn up your speakers!)

Well folks the day has finally come Zen[1] and DroneSavant[2] of DIYDroneSafety[3] would like to present the community with The Flyaway Club. The “fly-away” phenomenon is not specific to any particular community. In fact some of the earliest reports can be attributed to Parrot A.R.Drone owners experiencing an issue with the ultrasound sensor[4]. The constant in all communities is that there is not enough data on hand to help understand what causes them.
To an end user a “fly-away” can be embarrassing, scary, and eye opening all at the same time. As a first hand witness to one I can also attest to the fact that there is a certain helplessness felt as you watch a bird liberate itself to the heavens. In that split second, your heart sinks, your copters life flashes before your eyes and you go into instant panic mode wondering where it will land. Zen and I wish that feeling upon no one and as such we want to help get a handle on what causes these events.
One thing that we noticed is that there seemed to be no community neutral ground for reporting “fly-away” occurrences. In various forums users that have lost control of their gear are often ridiculed by their RC peers or encouraged to remove what they share for the good of the community. Oddly enough often “safety” is cited as a reason to temper this type of post. We really feel that this behavior is  in general counterproductive to the community at large. If we as a community do not collect data on the common causes of “fly-away” gear there is no way we will ever get to the point of understanding them.
As a result of this we would like to present The Flyaway Club. The goal is go begin collecting some empirical data on the subject of “fly-away” drones and RC craft. We plan to create a public interface to our data collection in the coming months so that we may share the information with everyone. In the few days that the site has been up even before release we have received several excellent submissions! We’ve seen everything from pilot error to autopilot lockup on everything from Attopilot to WooKong. We are really excited to share what you guys are sharing with us. Keep an eye out for our reporting interface, it should be available soon.
Now this is where things get fun for everyone. To help encourage submissions we will be giving away two prizes to a few lucky folks in our first 100 submissions. After the first 50 submissions we will be doing a drawing for the original mythical unicorn board aka the OpenPilot CC3D[5]. Out of the next batch of 50 submitters we will be giving away a Millswood Failsafe device[6]. To us these devices represent quality and safety, two things that this community needs a lot more of. A chance to win the Millswood is in and of itself is WELL worth posting a submission since it remains one of few devices that offer real flight termination options to help save “fly-away” craft. The CC3D’s reputation precedes itself so comment is not necessary, the quality is simply understood. Between the two we hope that one will encourage you to submit what you know about your own fly-away occurrence so it can be shared with the rest of the community.
Best of probability, luck, and randomness to you all!
5. http://store.openpil…tercontrol.html (not a clone)
Full Disclosure: DiyDroneSafety is helping design a variant of the Millswood Engineering Failsafe Device that is targeted specifically to the DIY Drone making community rather than the original Australian UAV Outback Challenge audience. As such this could be considered a “marketing stunt” on the part of DIYDroneSafety.
Note: We are aware of a few issues with mobile based browsers and certain Windows browsers. We are working diligently to rectify them, in the mean time the site is best viewed in Firefox or Chrome (if you are experiencing issues).
The Flyaway Club would like to welcome you! Stop by and see us to secure your chance to win a Millswood Failsafe or OpenPilot CC3D!