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Gesture mode flyaway
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2837 43 2017-7-22
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OneMatt
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Flight distance : 155984 ft
Canada
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Just had my Spark flyaway while in gesture mode. I had just completed a successful flight, took a selfie, landed it. Went to do another selfie, same battery still with lots of charge. Took off, hovered OK, did the Jedi stuff to aim it (palm control), gave it the wave to raise up, and instead just flew away at high speed. As it flew away, it didnt gain altitude, but rather was slowly losing altitude. It crashed and now has a broken arm.

Worse though, I was flying in a large empty parking lot, away from everyone, and this flew away out of the lot and hit a passing car. I had to pay to fix the dents. I'm thakful it didnt hit a person!

I downloaded the logs, but cant submit them because Assistant 2 has an issue with my phone number. I can't ask support online as they appear to be closed.

Hopefully DJI makes this right.
2017-7-22
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OneMatt
lvl.4
Flight distance : 155984 ft
Canada
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Picture of broken Spark. Needless to say I'm shaken by this. Not just that it is broken, I'm sure that will be resolved by DJI, but that such an issue can happen on a device designed to be operated without a linked controller. Not sure I will trust this mode ever again!

broken

broken
2017-7-22
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Tviscomi
Captain
Flight distance : 106699 ft
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The Spark actually dented a car?
2017-7-22
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GCBrent
lvl.4
Flight distance : 66286 ft
Australia
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Tviscomi Posted at 2017-7-22 11:42
The Spark actually dented a car?

Must have been going real fast to dent anything...
2017-7-22
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OneMatt
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Flight distance : 155984 ft
Canada
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Tviscomi Posted at 2017-7-22 11:42
The Spark actually dented a car?

Yeah, two small dents the distance apart of the arms. Door panels on Infinitys arent that beefy, apparently !
2017-7-22
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R&L Aerial
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I had the same thing happen while taking a selfie, flew sideways at a high rate of speed, crashed into porch with no damage. I haven't tried any jedi tricks since....
2017-7-22
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R&L Aerial
Captain
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OneMatt Posted at 2017-7-22 09:24
Picture of broken Spark. Needless to say I'm shaken by this. Not just that it is broken, I'm sure that will be resolved by DJI, but that such an issue can happen on a device designed to be operated without a linked controller. Not sure I will trust this mode ever again!

Looks like a clean break, maybe try a little 2 part epoxy. If you do decide to glue it and throw on some new props, don't use super glue, it will melt the plastic.
2017-7-22
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OneMatt
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R&L Aerial  Posted at 2017-7-22 13:56
Looks like a clean break, maybe try a little 2 part epoxy. If you do decide to glue it and throw on some new props, don't use super glue, it will melt the plastic.

Im opening a case with DJI before I try anything. Im an experienced drone user,I know everyrhing was working fine, until it wasnt. Like I said, hoping DJI will remedy this.
2017-7-22
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OneMatt
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R&L Aerial  Posted at 2017-7-22 13:56
Looks like a clean break, maybe try a little 2 part epoxy. If you do decide to glue it and throw on some new props, don't use super glue, it will melt the plastic.

Im opening a case with DJI before I try anything. Im an experienced drone user,I know everyrhing was working fine, until it wasnt. Like I said, hoping DJI will remedy this.
2017-7-22
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HamdiR
lvl.2
Flight distance : 70262 ft
Lebanon
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Yea and everyone will keep defending this drone

How all these reports not alarming for some users is beyond me

I guess once someone is actually hurt it will click
2017-7-22
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fansb3a79777
lvl.4
Flight distance : 323235 ft
United States
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I have yet to use these features.  Otg cable from phone to R.C. works correctly every time I fly no lags or wifi drops hopefully they work out the bugs soon.
2017-7-22
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nucmanchh
Second Officer
United States
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fansb3a79777 Posted at 2017-7-22 18:01
I have yet to use these features.  Otg cable from phone to R.C. works correctly every time I fly no lags or wifi drops hopefully they work out the bugs soon.

OTG cable from phone to R.C. is the only way for me as well.
2017-7-22
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fansd8e80c3c
lvl.2
Flight distance : 95502 ft
Chile
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I guess we will need to wait from 2 to 3 months until software is mature, right now it's really risky to do anything without RC and being able to manually interfere.
2017-7-22
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OneMatt
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fansd8e80c3c Posted at 2017-7-22 19:25
I guess we will need to wait from 2 to 3 months until software is mature, right now it's really risky to do anything without RC and being able to manually interfere.

This would be my advice to any Spark owner at this time.

I purchased the Spark for these features, being portable, and that I can take a quick picture and land it without a lengthy preflight. The gesture selfie was something I was looking forward to. This is the promise of the product. I have my P3A for more professional images.

Now to me, the experience with my P3A, zero crashes or errors of any kind for that matter since I bougth it in 2015, led me to think the flying experience would be on par. So, I trusted it to do as advertised. Apparently, that was a wrong choice.

Again, though, I feel confident DJI will remedy this. I was in an empty asphalt (not concrete rebar) parking lot. It hovered ok, it palm controlled ok, and then suddenly it wasnt ok.
2017-7-22
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OneMatt
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HamdiR Posted at 2017-7-22 14:56
Yea and everyone will keep defending this drone

How all these reports not alarming for some users is beyond me

Im not defending anything at this point. If I was linked to the RC and it gave warnings, I might take some blame, but this was in full gesture mode, all autonomous as it advertises to be, right after a successful flight, and no way to stop it. There is no possible way to pass the blame from the Spark.
2017-7-22
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OneMatt
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Flight distance : 155984 ft
Canada
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Heard back from DJI Support, I feel like this is going to be trouble. As I am in Canada, the online repair request doesnt work, so I filled out the email form as requested. They reply, asking me to fill out the online form (??) or reply with all of the exact same details I provided in the original email.

I am however concerned that they have said "repair". If this is due to a sensor malfunction, I'd much prefer a replacement. Certainly, I am not paying for any repairs! Anyone have experience with DJI support?

Also, I see others uploading logs to Dropbox for analysis by the admins here. How do I do that? I'd like some answers before I put this thing in the mail.
2017-7-24
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Phuong Do
Second Officer
Flight distance : 29800 ft
Vietnam
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OneMatt Posted at 2017-7-24 04:31
Heard back from DJI Support, I feel like this is going to be trouble. As I am in Canada, the online repair request doesnt work, so I filled out the email form as requested. They reply, asking me to fill out the online form (??) or reply with all of the exact same details I provided in the original email.

I am however concerned that they have said "repair". If this is due to a sensor malfunction, I'd much prefer a replacement. Certainly, I am not paying for any repairs! Anyone have experience with DJI support?

As I know warranty will only do the "repair", only DJI Refresh will consider replace the new one.
2017-7-24
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OneMatt
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Well, DJI gave me an RMA, and seemed to suggest this repair is covered....will keep everyone updated.
2017-7-24
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ImHereToCrash
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nucmanchh Posted at 2017-7-22 18:23
OTG cable from phone to R.C. is the only way for me as well.

i think i need a better OTG cable..  mine works but i drop in and out... i know im in an area of moderate wifi congestion but way it drops sometimes over an empty parking lot makes me think maybe my cable is bad or imy spark really struggles with wifi hopping.
2017-7-24
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ImHereToCrash
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OneMatt Posted at 2017-7-22 09:24
Picture of broken Spark. Needless to say I'm shaken by this. Not just that it is broken, I'm sure that will be resolved by DJI, but that such an issue can happen on a device designed to be operated without a linked controller. Not sure I will trust this mode ever again!

that is crazy!    i think DJI really should have delayed the spark  and did a lot more testing...   

i dont use gesture controls much i tried the one where pal launches and hovers.. it took off straight up, luckily it didn't go too far and it crashed into a tree.. then decided to land..
2017-7-24
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OneMatt
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Yeah, I had no issues at all prior to this, while using the RC. I rarely used gesture mode, but I did do it per the instructions. All indicators said it was good. Then it wasn't. I don't think I'll use gesture ever again.
2017-7-24
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ImHereToCrash
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OneMatt Posted at 2017-7-24 12:50
Yeah, I had no issues at all prior to this, while using the RC. I rarely used gesture mode, but I did do it per the instructions. All indicators said it was good. Then it wasn't. I don't think I'll use gesture ever again.

:/  ya i think its official, DJI spark = suicidal.

2017-7-24
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fans07aae7d8
lvl.2
Flight distance : 32516 ft
United States
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Sounds like something is not right with Spark
2017-7-24
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danielwilkie29
Second Officer
United Kingdom
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This might help to avoid this: https://www.heliguy.com/blog/201 ... ser-error-flyaways/
2017-7-28
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$gambino$
First Officer
Flight distance : 1563980 ft
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Again don't agree with this website and shouldn't be posted especially the part about the compass and calibrating every flight you should not do that as stated in the instructions you should only do it when prompted this could introduce user errors
2017-7-28
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gnuDroneUser
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Flight distance : 7841 ft
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From my understanding the compass (like any other) can be affected by magnetism. You said you were flying in a lot, possible issue? It literally takes about a minute to do a compass calibration. Whenever I fly anywhere new and want to do gestures I do a quick calibration.
2017-7-28
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OneMatt
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danielwilkie29 Posted at 2017-7-28 01:15
This might help to avoid this: https://www.heliguy.com/blog/2017/07/27/heliguy-recommendations-to-avoid-user-error-flyaways/

Let me know how to do a compass calibration when in full gesture mode (no rc, no app).

Oh, you cant.

And literally 5 mins prior it worked fine, so compass was fine for the area.
2017-7-28
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OneMatt
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gnuDroneUser Posted at 2017-7-28 03:05
From my understanding the compass (like any other) can be affected by magnetism. You said you were flying in a lot, possible issue? It literally takes about a minute to do a compass calibration. Whenever I fly anywhere new and want to do gestures I do a quick calibration.

Again, fully autonomous, no app no rc gesture mode.

The lot, as most are up here, is asphalt. Those dont have metal beneath them. It was hovering fine, being controlled fine, then just didnt stop. Very sudden. No other metal or posts around, at least nothing that changed in the previous 5 mins.

Thanks many people for your help, but this was not in app connected mode at all. This was in the no app, no rc, fully autonomous gesture mode. You cant compass calibrate, you cant get warnings (other than maybe LEDs, but then it is too late). Im an experienced drone user, I know about calibrations, and had done one the day prior, but that isnt the point here.

It is that their heavily advertised, self-controlled aircraft had a sudden error and instead of failig safe, went way beyond parameters and crashed. Ill never use gesture mode again, and highly advise that none of you ever do either, simply for no other reason than total lack of safeties.
2017-7-28
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OneMatt
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Well this is bs.  

DJI decided that they couldn't detect a crash in the logs, and because it hit a moving car, this is not warranty covered.

EXCUSE ME?? IT HIT THE CAR BECAUSE YOUR UNTESTED CRAP FLEW AWAY!!

How do I escalate this? Totally unacceptable!
2017-8-9
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OneMatt
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Update:

I reviewed the DAT files after some searching on how. It appears that there were several compass errors in this flight. Interestingly, though, it triggered a RTH despite being at the home point, with 10+ satellites. The logs show several things which should have clued DJI into problems, such as speed warnings (why would it go full bore in this mode??). It also clearly records the position from start to end of 52 metres (which is isnt supposed to do in this mode). And yet, not their fault?
2017-8-9
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OneMatt
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From the data:

Final speed was 8.96m/s (way faster than I can run)
Final distance from home was: 34.9m (took 4 seconds to get there)
VPS altitude was 1.6m (take off height, remember it was told to go up)

And because the battery popped off, it didnt record the actual crash, so DJI is accusing me of mishandling the drone, breaking it, and trying to blame them. Thanks, DJI!
2017-8-9
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ImHereToCrash
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OneMatt Posted at 2017-8-9 16:17
From the data:

Final speed was 8.96m/s (way faster than I can run)

yep, DJi will not be receiving my recommendations anytime soon with these crappy moves.   and yes, sometimes i encounter people who would best use the drone, like urban explorers and youtubers.  if they ever ask my review, it's RIP... i cannot recommend a company that treats customers like this for something so expensive.

word of mouth is going around DJi..
2017-8-9
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fans340b9dbb
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South Korea
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oh my god....Terrible
2017-8-9
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OneMatt
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UPDATE: WARRANTY COVERED!

So, I managed to escalate the case, and got it closer reviewed. Seems that after reviewing the flight data, they determined it was a problem with the Spark!

....which begs the question: did they not review the data in the first place? I thought that was why they wanted the Spark sent in??

Anyway, looks like they are just fixing the frame, not the electronics, so I'll have to give it a full test whenever I get it back. Don't think I will ever trust Gesture Mode ever again, and will certainly never fly it without some sort of remote.
2017-8-14
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Charles Adams
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OneMatt Posted at 2017-8-14 10:31
UPDATE: WARRANTY COVERED!

So, I managed to escalate the case, and got it closer reviewed. Seems that after reviewing the flight data, they determined it was a problem with the Spark!

OneMatt, do you have the exact response from DJI when they first refused coverage?  I'm curious as to the initial justification.

I can understand that they would not cover the damage to the automobile, but I don't understand how they wouldn't cover repairs to the drone itself.  That seems to fall well within the terms and conditions of the care package.  Obviously they gave it a second review and decided to cover it.  I'm just confused as to how they would come to the initial conclusion that the damage wasn't covered.
2017-8-14
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fans99d24711
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danielwilkie29 Posted at 2017-7-28 01:15
This might help to avoid this: https://www.heliguy.com/blog/2017/07/27/heliguy-recommendations-to-avoid-user-error-flyaways/

How could this help? He was in gesture mode. He also stated he had just flown and all was right.
2017-8-14
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OneMatt
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Charles Adams Posted at 2017-8-14 10:48
OneMatt, do you have the exact response from DJI when they first refused coverage?  I'm curious as to the initial justification.

I can understand that they would not cover the damage to the automobile, but I don't understand how they wouldn't cover repairs to the drone itself.  That seems to fall well within the terms and conditions of the care package.  Obviously they gave it a second review and decided to cover it.  I'm just confused as to how they would come to the initial conclusion that the damage wasn't covered.

Initial justification was as follows:

"Unable to locate any crash on available flights. User claimed crashing into a moving car, which is not covered by warranty. Non warranty."

After escalating via a contact I had made at DJI (who I wont name, because this is outside his pervue), I was contacted by a person in warranty, who was told I was disputing the outcome. He told me the above, that crashing it into a car isnt their problem. Which, on its face, is true. But this means they didnt fully read my incident description, nor did they look at the aircraft logs.

Key here: AIRCRAFT LOGS. Not App logs.

DJI always wants to see the app logs, just as some helpful users here do, as it is a quick and dirty way to see what is happening. However, when you fly in gesture-only mode, there will never be an app log, nor a record of that flight. So, my guess is that they looked at my most recent flight record, saw it was fine, and assumed it was broken by misuse.

Looking at the aircraft log tells a different story, as detailed above.

I explained this to the warranty guy, who finally seemed to understand that this was a fly away, proven by the fact the aircraft shows that it was in disconnected mode, and it flew to a distance well beyond what it should, at a speed beyond what it should (log actually says excess speed). The log cuts off abruptly and does not show a crash, per se, as the battery popped off, so the last second or so wasnt recorded (it seems the data logger writes at specific intervals in order to prevent corrupting the log).

Anyway, he said he would call me back, but instead I got an updated invoice today, saying

"Status change to warranty coverage per flight data analyst".

I guess they finally saw I was right. For this I am glad, as there should be a better failsafe in gesture only mode (like killing the motors before it flies away).

Oh, the lower frame costs $13usd, and costs 1 hour of labour at $65usd to fix.

2017-8-14
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OneMatt
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Flight distance : 155984 ft
Canada
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Update: Got my Spark back....sortof. It actually appears they sent me a whole new Spark! Has that strong "new drone smell", as well as all the lenses have the protective wrappers back on it, but also the serial number is new. The flight logs are also completely clean. This suggests to me a new motherboard as well as frame.

RC is definitely my same RC.

Battery, which had a retainer tab broken in the crash was replaced.

They also threw in as many new props as the box would fit! 6 pairs!

Anyway, glad DJI made it right. Look forward to flying this one, though never in disconnected Gesture mode ever again.
2017-8-26
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fans9ea9c44f
First Officer
Flight distance : 22129 ft
United Kingdom
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Trying to make sense of gesture mode, as it is a big selling point. It seems better after last upgrade , but still if you wave it away,  and it loses you,no amount of gestures reconnect. Gimbal drops and , though it still tracks you, I think you're too close for it to see  your arms.have to use rc to bring it down.
With RTH I think just after turning on, 6 quick green flashes on rear lights indicate RTH point recorded, and I always wait for them.
But until Ican reconnect as above, I'm afraid I can't trust it.
2017-8-26
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Charles Adams
Second Officer
Flight distance : 294528 ft
United States
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In other threads, I posted some results of RTH in gesture mode (no phone or RC).  Apparently the compass and GPS are used and relevant in gesture mode, as the craft will in fact RTH to original launch point.  This lead to the speculation:  What happens when you palm launch in a location which is causing a great deal of disturbance to the nav systems (gps and compass)?  Does the user know?  When using the app, the user is alerted.

My suspicion is that even when in gesture mode, the craft is just as susceptible to gps and compass issues.  I need to read the manual:  Do the led lights indicate when compass and gps are sound/good?
2017-8-26
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