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Mayday - MAVIC Crash Investigation
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3997 125 2017-4-9 07:10:47
taus
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I finally got my Mavic
After waiting since November, I finally got my Mavic Pro this Friday.

I had spent the last 6 months watching YouTube videos so I know what to do. Charged everything, updated firmware and calibrated everything.

Now I was ready to do some test flights! Beginner mode… Sunny day… not too far away.
What an amazing drone!
I had a Parrot before and this is a whole other game. Fantastic images, range and stability.
The crash.

I did two flights of 2-3 minutes each. Then on my third flight, my drone crashed.

The drone was a few hundred meters away. Battery 59%. Rather high up and definitely clear of obstacles.

It just fell out of the sky without any warning at all.

The damage:
One of the arms fell off, another was badly bend and the whole aircraft is rather badly bend out of shape. Funny thing is that it will actually still turn on and make the happy DJI sound.

So, why did i crash?

I have two pieces of evidence. The video that I got from the SD Card and the flight log.

The flight log just stops with the warning “Week signal”. Then nothing. Since the drone was a few hundred meters away and the signal up to the crash was good, it suggests that the drone just shut off.

The video just stops. Nothing abnormal recorded and when the video stops the images is very stable. This also suggests to me that the drone shut off in midair.

Theory number one: Wind

There was wind on that day. About 10m/s. according to weather forecast. 30 seconds into the video, you can see some flags. It shows a breeze but nothing crazy. I think anyone after watching the video would say that the weather is suitable for flying. However, if it were a wind problem, I think the video would show it? It would not just shut off.

Theory number two: Collision

Not a chance, the drone was too high in the air to hit anything at all. The video clearly shows that.

Theory number three: Loose battery

Could the battery have been loose? Probably not. I suppose it should lock into place before providing power to the drone. The drone did two flights with the same battery without problems and it actually could turn on after the crash with the same battery.
Theory number four: Hardware defect
  Defect in the drone or the battery. The drone had only 5 minutes of total flying time. Ever. So a manufacturing defect might have been there all the time

Evidence:
Flight log:

Flight video:

Please help or comment.
Why did this happen?

Crashed Maveric

Crashed Maveric
2017-4-9 07:10:47
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rnrnrn
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Given all the data you provided - I'd say this goes for warranty case back to DJI. They will review the logs from the craft once they get it and then they should get back to you with conclusions. It does seem that the standard reply is pilot error - but given what you have here you should just write to the mods here if this happens (always mention case number) and then you can have it resolved and get a new craft shipped back to you.

Best of luck with this and sorry for your loss, really nasty :-/
2017-4-9 07:31:31
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rydfree41
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There could be another theory . You were making a lot of stick movements so did you perhaps do the emergency motor shut down stick command ?
2017-4-9 07:33:01
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taus
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rydfree41 Posted at 2017-4-9 07:33
There could be another theory . You were making a lot of stick movements so did you perhaps do the emergency motor shut down stick command ?

Thank you. I did not know about that. I agree that I do some sharp turns but I did not do an emergency shutdown (looked it up). Nothing in the log about that. No notifications. And doing an emergency shutdown would not make the controller loose signal at the same time. It should only shut down the engens not turn off the drone. But thank you for the theory! Keep them coming.
2017-4-9 07:45:58
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hallmark007
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Wow that's tough waiting for six months and all gone up in smoke after a couple of minutes,
Just as you took off you had strong interference warning, so likelihood is you were flying in a problem area or had compass problem,
However when you lost signal, your Mavic should have returned home as it had recorded home point ,
Those logs and video tell very little as to what might have happened, where your antennas pointing in the proper direction.
I think you should sync your flight log to the cloud in the dji app, and contact support regarding setting up an RMA , they will issue you with a case number and a set of instructions what to do next.
When dji looks at your logs as to what might have happened be sure to post the outcome here.
Thank you and good luck..
2017-4-9 07:55:50
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Jason Lane
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Before you send your Mavic to DJI, get the .dat files off it and post the log for this flight. Some users here are able to give pretty good analyses of what happened.

This certainly seems like another case of the Mavic shutting down mid-flight. It's possible the logs might reveal that there was a battery issue just before the shutdown, or it might reveal nothing at all, leaving it up to speculation as to whether or not your battery was properly secured. (You seem pretty certain it was)
2017-4-9 08:05:27
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taus
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hallmark007 Posted at 2017-4-9 07:55
Wow that's tough waiting for six months and all gone up in smoke after a couple of minutes,
Just as you took off you had strong interference warning, so likelihood is you were flying in a problem area or had compass problem,
However when you lost signal, your Mavic should have returned home as it had recorded home point ,

I have set up a case and will send the drone back to DJI. I will keep you posted on the results.

Even if return to home did not work, I guess the drone would keep recording video? The video just stops without any hint of a problem at the same time as I get the connection warning. I realize I got the interference warning, but the connection was strong until the crash and the drone was relatively close by.

If you look here: https://app.airdata.com/main?fli ... amp;page_id=SENSORS you can see signal strength of the flight. Looks green all the way...

2017-4-9 08:06:24
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DroneFlying
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I'm sorry to hear this happened.

I had spent the last 6 months watching YouTube videos so I know what to do. Charged everything, updated firmware and calibrated everything.

Out of curiosity, why did you decide to calibrate everything? It isn't something I'd recommend.

Could the battery have been loose? Probably not. I suppose it should lock into place before providing power to the drone.

Not necessarily. There have been cases where a Mavic was able to take off and fly for a while with an improperly seated battery and only later (such as immediately some sudden or quick movement) it lost power.

The drone did two flights with the same battery without problems and it actually could turn on after the crash with the same battery.

Do you mean that the battery was still seated correctly after the crash? Or was it separate from the aircraft body and you just mean that the battery was still able to provide power when reinstalled?
2017-4-9 08:48:58
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taus
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DroneFlying Posted at 2017-4-9 08:48
I'm sorry to hear this happened.

I had spent the last 6 months watching YouTube videos so I know what to do. Charged everything, updated firmware and calibrated everything.

Battery was still in the drone after crash. I think making a battery lock so that it can power up the drone without being securely fastens is poor design.  But I am sure it was locked. Can't prove anything...
2017-4-9 08:49:24
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taus
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Jason Lane Posted at 2017-4-9 08:05
Before you send your Mavic to DJI, get the .dat files off it and post the log for this flight. Some users here are able to give pretty good analyses of what happened.

This certainly seems like another case of the Mavic shutting down mid-flight. It's possible the logs might reveal that there was a battery issue just before the shutdown, or it might reveal nothing at all, leaving it up to speculation as to whether or not your battery was properly secured. (You seem pretty certain it was)

Backup from the drone... Please if anyone can see more than I can, I would be happy.
2017-4-9 08:50:41
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DroneFlying
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taus Posted at 2017-4-9 08:49
Battery was still in the drone after crash. I think making a battery lock so that it can power up the drone without being securely fastens is poor design.  But I am sure it was locked. Can't prove anything...

Battery was still in the drone after crash.

In that case I'd tend to agree with you that a loose battery probably wasn't the cause.
2017-4-9 08:55:54
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taus
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taus Posted at 2017-4-9 08:50
Backup from the drone... Please if anyone can see more than I can, I would be happy.

Backup of datafiles from the drone:

https://1drv.ms/f/s!AkNV4fqh0kOrspsFRKlh6m6RvRgdLQ

2017-4-9 09:06:25
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hallmark007
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taus Posted at 2017-4-9 08:49
Battery was still in the drone after crash. I think making a battery lock so that it can power up the drone without being securely fastens is poor design.  But I am sure it was locked. Can't prove anything...

Yes your battery was still in the Mavic , and battery cells according to your airdata logs show little or no deviation.
Most of the time when AC drop out of the sky all of a sudden are usually caused by battery problem or motor / prop problems, there are no redundancies for these on Mavic .
2017-4-9 09:27:21
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fans218fb036
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Ehhhhhh, just happened to me, Mavic jus fell from sky 38m high. Im sure I didn't put battery in with proper click, because the battery was damaged right next to my Mavic. All works, calibrated all, just one front landing leg is bent slightly, I've been lucky, very lucky! Advice to the others, please make sure the battery is in properly!
2017-4-9 09:32:39
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NoSale
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fans218fb036 Posted at 2017-4-9 09:32
Ehhhhhh, just happened to me, Mavic jus fell from sky 38m high. Im sure I didn't put battery in with proper click, because the battery was damaged right next to my Mavic. All works, calibrated all, just one front landing leg is bent slightly, I've been lucky, very lucky! Advice to the others, please make sure the battery is in properly!

This is a good suggestion (not saying this was the cause), but when I insert the battery, I make sure not to just push downward to insert the battery.  To me, this is putting pressure on the Mavic.  So instead, I insert the battery, then clamp my hand from underneath the Mavic body while pressing down, distinctly feeling and hearing the click, then double check that there is no give in the way the battery is seated.

May be overkill, but helps me to be certain the power system is secure.  I do like the idea of a mechanical latch mechanism that requires something more than a force crash to unseat the battery, and as a secondary insurance that battery is secured into plaace.....
2017-4-9 09:46:57
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geofox784
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Wind should not have caused something like that, but if you are curious here are the wind speeds recorded.

2017-4-9 09:55:17
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thehippoz
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Theory number four: Battery Lips

Yeah, imo if it shut the video feed down, it lost power. It wouldn't be a lost motor or signal, video would still be there as it fell.

It may have been a faulty battery or the battery wasn't latched in and popped out. Easiest way to diagnose if the power loss happened on the ac or battery is to put a another battery in and see if it powers on. If it does, put the crash battery in and see if that also powers on. If that does, then the battery probably unlatched during flight.

2017-4-9 09:55:36
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taus
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thehippoz Posted at 2017-4-9 09:55
Theory number four: Battery Lips

Yeah, imo if it shut the video feed down, it lost power. It wouldn't be a lost motor or signal, video would still be there as it fell.

Battery was still in the drone after the crash and I am sure it was secure. But it still works and the drone can power on using that same or any other battery. I don't know why it should pop out on 3rd flight and then still be in the drone after the crash. But I agree that it probably was a power problem.
2017-4-9 10:05:12
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taus
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geofox784 Posted at 2017-4-9 09:55
Wind should not have caused something like that, but if you are curious here are the wind speeds recorded.

[view_image]

Thank you... looks rather strong... but I am glad it is not the cause of the problem because it is the only thing that I could blame myself of.
2017-4-9 10:12:19
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thehippoz
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Check the leads, see if anything got in there. Could something like that too. That's all can think of. Heard other stories on the forum about this. One guy said it almost gave him a mason mustache.
2017-4-9 10:12:07
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taus
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thehippoz Posted at 2017-4-9 10:12
Check the leads, see if anything got in there. Could something like that too. That's all can think of. Heard other stories on the forum about this. One guy said it almost gave him a mason mustache.

I'm not sure I understand what you are talking about? Leads? Mason mustache?
2017-4-9 11:02:21
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LostMyMavic
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i had a very similar case happen to me a week ago. check out my thread and tell me if what happened to you was similar https://forum.dji.com/thread-91177-1-1.html
2017-4-9 11:08:35
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taus
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LostMyMavic Posted at 2017-4-9 11:08
i had a very similar case happen to me a week ago. check out my thread and tell me if what happened to you was similar https://forum.dji.com/thread-91177-1-1.html

If it was the same issue, then you should be able to find the drone at the last spot on the map where you lost signal. Mine was within clear sight a few hundred meeters and dropped to the ground the second I lost signal.
2017-4-9 11:18:11
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LostMyMavic
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taus Posted at 2017-4-9 11:18
If it was the same issue, then you should be able to find the drone at the last spot on the map where you lost signal. Mine was within clear sight a few hundred meeters and dropped to the ground the second I lost signal.

thanks but i already found it after 3 days of searching. i was just wondering how similar your case is to mine.  
2017-4-9 11:21:45
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taus
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LostMyMavic Posted at 2017-4-9 11:21
thanks but i already found it after 3 days of searching. i was just wondering how similar your case is to mine.

So, what is the current status for you? Did you send it back to DJI? What did they say?
2017-4-9 11:25:33
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R&L Aerial
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Super glue it back together
2017-4-9 11:27:49
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LostMyMavic
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taus Posted at 2017-4-9 11:25
So, what is the current status for you? Did you send it back to DJI? What did they say?

i sent it back yes. its in the process of being shipped over there and should arrive tomorrow. and god only knows how long its going to take to actually get word from them
2017-4-9 11:29:34
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taus
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LostMyMavic Posted at 2017-4-9 11:29
i sent it back yes. its in the process of being shipped over there and should arrive tomorrow. and god only knows how long its going to take to actually get word from them

Good luck. Please keep me posted on the progress. I guess I will be next in line...
2017-4-9 11:28:59
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LostMyMavic
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taus Posted at 2017-4-9 11:28
Good luck. Please keep me posted on the progress. I guess I will be next in line...

good luck to you to. did you purchase DJI refresh ?
2017-4-9 11:29:39
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taus
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LostMyMavic Posted at 2017-4-9 11:29
good luck to you to. did you purchase DJI refresh ?

Yes, I did. But I think this should be covered on the warranty because it looks to me like a manufacturer defect. Lost power after 5 minutes of total use... no collision... It's just not fair...

I have done some testes and it is possible to power up the drone without the battery only being locked in one side. But the battery was in the drone when I found it so that is unlikely and it had done two complete flights with the same battery in.  

2017-4-9 11:42:45
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LostMyMavic
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taus Posted at 2017-4-9 11:42
Yes, I did. But I think this should be covered on the warranty because it looks to me like a manufacturer defect. Lost power after 5 minutes of total use... no collision... It's just not fair...

I have done some testes and it is possible to power up the drone without the battery only being locked in one side. But the battery was in the drone when I found it so that is unlikely and it had done two complete flights with the same battery in.

not to be a negative nancy, but your going to have a hard time trying to push that it was a manufacturers defect. there are just so many things that could have happened and since you do have that warning that says strong wireless interference, im sure DJI will try and chalk it up to that. try and put up a TXT log of that flight. and maybe get .dat file from the drone as well to get some more info
2017-4-9 11:49:02
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taus
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LostMyMavic Posted at 2017-4-9 11:49
not to be a negative nancy, but your going to have a hard time trying to push that it was a manufacturers defect. there are just so many things that could have happened and since you do have that warning that says strong wireless interference, im sure DJI will try and chalk it up to that. try and put up a TXT log of that flight. and maybe get .dat file from the drone as well to get some more info

Wireless interference would not power off the drone. And signal was strong all the way (because drone was close). The warning said fly with caution. I did....

So I think the only thing they could say is that the battery was loose and that was my fault. I can't prove anything but DJI can't either.

The benefit of doubt should fall to the customer’s side when a product fails after a total of 5 minutes of use.

I am sure they will be reasonable and replace a drone in a case like this.  Wait and see... :-)
2017-4-9 11:57:21
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LostMyMavic
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taus Posted at 2017-4-9 11:57
Wireless interference would not power off the drone. And signal was strong all the way (because drone was close). The warning said fly with caution. I did....

So I think the only thing they could say is that the battery was loose and that was my fault. I can't prove anything but DJI can't either.

best of luck to you my man
2017-4-9 12:00:13
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geofox784
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taus Posted at 2017-4-9 10:12
Thank you... looks rather strong... but I am glad it is not the cause of the problem because it is the only thing that I could blame myself of.

10 mph is not strong at all. I've flown in 25 mph no problem
2017-4-9 13:03:34
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taus
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If anyone can make sense of the datafiles from the aircraft, it would really be helpful

The files can be downloaded here:

https://1drv.ms/f/s!AkNV4fqh0kOrspsFRKlh6m6RvRgdLQ
2017-4-10 00:21:10
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DJI Mindy
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Sorry to hear about your crash.
Our engineers will help to analyse the flight records and let you know what could have caused the issue.
If you have any further query about your case, please feel free to let me know.

2017-4-10 01:26:28
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taus
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DJI Mindy Posted at 2017-4-10 01:26
Sorry to hear about your crash.
Our engineers will help to analyse the flight records and let you know what could have caused the issue.
If you have any further query about your case, please feel free to let me know.

Thank you Mindy!

I already made a case in order to send the Drone to Nederland for replacement.

This may be a stupid question, but will I get a paper shipping label in the mail within 48 hours? Or do I get an email with a shipping label that I should print?
2017-4-10 03:09:18
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DJI-Ken
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taus Posted at 2017-4-10 03:09
Thank you Mindy!

I already made a case in order to send the Drone to Nederland for replacement.

I'll look at the flight from your PM.
If you are located in an are where shipping is covered then they will email you a shipping label.
But after your case gets reviewed then you'll get an email.
2017-4-10 09:12:03
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taus
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Thanks for looking at the flight DJI-Ken (you rock!).

Just so that everyone else interested knows what is going on, it did not show CSC (shutting off engines by mistake using the controller command).

If a bird hit it, it would be a very stupid bird (and the video would probably show jolting).

It might just be an error… no other explanation so far… I have to send it in and let the techies look at the log.

I will post here when I get a result.

2017-4-10 10:19:19
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SadOwnerOfMavic
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I had exactly the same situation this Saturday. I was flying my new Mavic for the first time. After 1st flight (to check if everything works) i gone to capture the beautiful sunset at the dam (we don't have many in Poland). So i flew for 3 minutes, everything perfect and then lost connection, my heart stopped as I saw something falling into the water and a big splash after. I knew it was my Mavic. I have a video feed  from my phone's cache - editor from DJI go app. https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=NoCj4EfjkbY
Also I have a flight log http://app.airdata.com/main?share=rxSTGo here.
Unfortunately, my drone is laying somewhere deep in the lake at 60m depth, so i just lost it and spent 1200€ for 5 minutes of flight. After coming home from the weekend trip i gone to the authorized reseller in Warsaw and started a case, but they said there will have to be a miracle for me to get a new drone, so now I am a sad owner of a Mavic controller.
2017-4-10 13:50:30
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