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Mavic Air no longer stable or hover stable
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Marsofearth
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I went out flying today. March 30, 2018 after checking to make sure all my firmware was up to date on both the controller and mavic air.

I launched the drone but it did not go straight up.  It skewed a bit to the left then back then jittered side to side.  Without touching the controls it started drifting to pilots left.  There was a mild wind of about 5-8kmph.

I let the Mavic air warm up a bit and tried flying a bit, but it was flying very erratic with lots of drift from side to side.  Normally the Mavic Air does amazing controlled flight very stable.  

After about 1 min I started to bring it back down and a Gimbal error warning popped up, warning to the effect that the gimbal was overworking.  Likely due to the jittery flight.

I landed and checked the props, battery, arms.  Restarted both controller and Mavic Air, tried another launch but was even worse jitter side to side with strange drifting back and forth and side to side so extreme to be unsafe.

I landed again, brought it home.  Re-installed the latest firmware today on both controller and mavic air.   I recalibrated the compass, IMU, sensors, replaced the propellers from my fly more bundle making sure to match white to white, black to black. Placed a new fresh battery in the Mavic air.

Tested once more outside my home and the launch was very unstable with lots of drifting and jitter.

So now I am asking what should be my next step?

I have flown quite a few times with my mavic air and this is the first that I have noticed anything close to this behavior.

Thank you!

Mars
2018-3-30
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DJI Diana
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Hi Mars, I'm sorry to hear about the issue that you are experiencing. May I confirm that did your drone crash before or not? Could you please provide a photo of the warning message on the DJI GO4 app? We'll look into it. Thanks!
2018-3-30
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Marsofearth
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DJI Diana Posted at 2018-3-30 20:05
Hi Mars, I'm sorry to hear about the issue that you are experiencing. May I confirm that did your drone crash before or not? Could you please provide a photo of the warning message on the DJI GO4 app? We'll look into it. Thanks!

Sorry I did not take a photo of the warning message.  I was bringing the drone back to me at about 30m above ground, with the visual line of sight when I looked down and notice on my phone display jerky pivot motion on the screen while flying.  I can not remember exactly what the error message was, since I only noticed it 1-2s before it disappeared. The message was something about " gimbal overload ".  I took it to mean the gimbal was working way too hard to maintain steady and smooth lock.

There was no collision or physical interaction except the wind which seemed average about 5-8kmph.

The day before, March 29, I was flying with my daughter and tracking her. Everything seemed good, nice and smooth.  This is the first time I have ever noticed anything like this.

There was a warning on March 29th about a firmware mismatch.  So on March 30 I plugged my drone into my computer and ran the DJI assistant and loaded the latest firmware on both drone and controller.  

2018-3-30
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Wachtberger
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Marsofearth Posted at 2018-3-30 22:46
Sorry I did not take a photo of the warning message.  I was bringing the drone back to me at about 30m above ground, with the visual line of sight when I looked down and notice on my phone display jerky pivot motion on the screen while flying.  I can not remember exactly what the error message was, since I only noticed it 1-2s before it disappeared. The message was something about " gimbal overload ".  I took it to mean the gimbal was working way too hard to maintain steady and smooth lock.

There was no collision or physical interaction except the wind which seemed average about 5-8kmph.

Have you done it with all batteries too?
2018-3-30
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DJI Diana
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Marsofearth Posted at 2018-3-30 22:46
Sorry I did not take a photo of the warning message.  I was bringing the drone back to me at about 30m above ground, with the visual line of sight when I looked down and notice on my phone display jerky pivot motion on the screen while flying.  I can not remember exactly what the error message was, since I only noticed it 1-2s before it disappeared. The message was something about " gimbal overload ".  I took it to mean the gimbal was working way too hard to maintain steady and smooth lock.

There was no collision or physical interaction except the wind which seemed average about 5-8kmph.

Hi, thank you for the information, please make sure all the firmware of the drone, remote controller, batteries and DJI GO4 app are the latest one, I still recommend you to try the update again, then change another open area where the GPS is good, no magnetic interference, no big wind, to try the flying again. If there is any further issue, please feel free to let us know and provide a photo of the error message if applicable, we can look into it. Thank you in advance!

2018-3-30
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Gunship9
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Down sensors dirty?  Sticks, grass, or dirt in the motors?  Do motors turn freely.  One of the sensitivity settings turned way up?  Like a model helicopter with its gyro rate turned up too high so it is over compensating?  The heli's tail will shake if turned up too much.
2018-3-30
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Marsofearth
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Wachtberger Posted at 2018-3-30 22:55
Have you done it with all batteries too?

I have tried 3 different batteries from my kit. All fully charged.  Always latched positively.
2018-3-31
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Marsofearth
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DJI Diana Posted at 2018-3-30 23:10
Hi, thank you for the information, please make sure all the firmware of the drone, remote controller, batteries and DJI GO4 app are the latest one, I still recommend you to try the update again, then change another open area where the GPS is good, no magnetic interference, no big wind, to try the flying again. If there is any further issue, please feel free to let us know and provide a photo of the error message if applicable, we can look into it. Thank you in advance!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPmWvxeSp7E&t=0s&list=PL8-vxWY64sBOeP6CJM0vmkDB0onco2V2i&index=7

1. ...please make sure all the firmware of the drone, remote controller, batteries and DJI GO4 app are the latest one...

How do I update the battery firmware?

I have tried all three batteries, all fully charged.

2. I still recommend you to try the update again...

Okay, I will try again.  This would make the 4th refresh of firmware on the drone and 3rd on the controller.

3. ..change another open area where the GPS is good, no magnetic interference, no big wind, to try the flying again..

The last two spots were very open, very good gps, out in the countryside with no magnetic interference.  It is spring here, so the chances of flying without any wind is 0%.  Average wind speeds of 5-10km/h.  I have flown several times in 20-30km/h winds on our mountain with no issues before. I have been incredibly impressed with the mavic air's ability to remain steady.

I will try and find a place that meets all this criteria though. And test under near perfect conditions.

3. provide a photo of the error message.  

I really do not feel comfortable flying the drone in this unstable state.  What if it glitches, and I lose it?
I will borrow another person's phone and try and take a photo or movie.

4. Down sensors dirty?

All sensors are very clean.  I have also run through the sensor calibration twice on my computer.

5. Sticks, grass, or dirt in the motors?  Do motors turn freely.

All very clean, motors turn freely like new.

6. One of the sensitivity settings turned way up?

I reset everything on my controller to factory settings, however I will inspect all the sensitivity settings.

I'll have one more go with the drone.  One more full refresh of firmware, (drone, controller, software), check all the sensitivity settings on controller app, and try and find an absolutely perfect flying condition location.

I'll report back.

2018-3-31
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Wachtberger
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Marsofearth Posted at 2018-3-31 06:47
I have tried 3 different batteries from my kit. All fully charged.  Always latched positively.

I was referring to the firmware update with my question. You need to update each battery too.
2018-3-31
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Wachtberger
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Marsofearth Posted at 2018-3-31 07:07
1. ...please make sure all the firmware of the drone, remote controller, batteries and DJI GO4 app are the latest one...

How do I update the battery firmware?

After having done the firmware update on the Mavic Air via DJI Assistant with one battery, you close the Air down, put on the next battery and start again. DJI Assistant will display a -firmware inconsistency- message (if the battery was not yet updated) and update it. Same procedure with all other batteries.
2018-3-31
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hallmark007
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Marsofearth Posted at 2018-3-31 07:07
1. ...please make sure all the firmware of the drone, remote controller, batteries and DJI GO4 app are the latest one...

How do I update the battery firmware?

What you need to do is put up your flight log.
Just click on link and follow instructions come back here and post your link.

http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/Upload/
2018-3-31
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Marsofearth
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Wachtberger Posted at 2018-3-31 07:58
After having done the firmware update on the Mavic Air via DJI Assistant with one battery, you close the Air down, put on the next battery and start again. DJI Assistant will display a -firmware inconsistency- message (if the battery was not yet updated) and update it. Same procedure with all other batteries.

I am not getting any  ->> firmware inconsistency <<- warnings.  The batteries must have updated through all the firmware updates and refreshes I have done.  I try and use all the batteries equally, not giving any one battery more time than the other if I can help it.
2018-3-31
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Wachtberger
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Marsofearth Posted at 2018-3-31 08:53
I am not getting any  ->> firmware inconsistency <<- warnings.  The batteries must have updated through all the firmware updates and refreshes I have done.  I try and use all the batteries equally, not giving any one battery more time than the other if I can help it.

Ok, then all should be ok on the battery side. One more box ticked :-) Good strategy too to use them always one after the others. My four are numbered for this purpose with little stickers on the inside.
Now for coming closer to find out what might be wrong with your Air please follow the advice given by hallmark007 and upload your flightrecord. He is a great expert and certainly can help you.
2018-3-31
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Marsofearth
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hallmark007 Posted at 2018-3-31 08:13
What you need to do is put up your flight log.
Just click on link and follow instructions come back here and post your link.

Here is the flight log: http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/XPLPTITAS0EES7D1DX2T/

It was a very sketchy flight.
2018-3-31
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Marsofearth
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Marsofearth Posted at 2018-3-31 09:27
Here is the flight log: http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/XPLPTITAS0EES7D1DX2T/

It was a very sketchy flight.

Strange that the flight log does not have any mention of the GIMBAL OVERLOAD message I remember seeing a couple times briefly on the screen.
2018-3-31
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hallmark007
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First could you tell me what stick mode you are using.

Going through that flight, while it won’t report jittering it does show aircraft maintaining distance from home showing that it was hovering normal, the wind even 15kph will buffet your MavAir but it will always try to regain its gps position and looking at your log , it reports this happening.

If it was jittering this could be caused by IMU problem, so calibration of IMU may cure vibration/jittering, it will also help with gimbal problem.
This is what I would do first.

IMU "Inertial measurement unit" .

As far as I see it, IMU calibration on a level surface updates a table of values the flight controller software uses as a reference for a level stationary hover. From there the craft responds predictably to flight commands.  It also likely measures any sensor noise and thermal drift so that these technical imperfections are accounted for when using IMU sensor data in flight. - this is likely why there must be no vibrations during the calibration process.


Bad IMU calibration could cause drift and attitude issues as the flight controller fights to hold the craft in what it thinks is the correct attitude as opposed to the correct physical attitude.


The IMU usually has 2 types of sensors – angle and acceleration and in turn 3 sensors of each type measuring in the X,Y and Z axis. These sensors can, through vibration, aging, impact etc, drift in their response over time and thus an IMU calibration will establish a new reference for the IMU’s level/stationary state that the flight controller can work with to restore stable flight.


Think of calibration as the bringing back into line the measured craft attitude with the true physical craft attitude.


As to how often an IMU calibration is needed, Refer to your manual ; certainly after any impact or if there are suspicions the craft can’t hover in a level attitude in a windless environment.
2018-3-31
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hallmark007
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Marsofearth Posted at 2018-3-31 09:34
Strange that the flight log does not have any mention of the GIMBAL OVERLOAD message I remember seeing a couple times briefly on the screen.

Gimbal overload can simply be caused by flying into the wind.
2018-3-31
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Marsofearth Posted at 2018-3-31 09:27
Here is the flight log: http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/XPLPTITAS0EES7D1DX2T/

It was a very sketchy flight.

Had a look at your logs, i recommend

- calibrate the IMU
- calibrate the remote controller

You flew in cinematic mode; can you try another flight in 'normal' P_GPS mode? (Without Intelligent Flight Modes)
2018-3-31
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Ricardo Ghion
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replace the helices and test again, if it continues, I suggest to redo the firmware downgrade.
2018-3-31
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Marsofearth
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hallmark007 Posted at 2018-3-31 10:33
Gimbal overload can simply be caused by flying into the wind.

Wind was very low, 5-10kph estimated.. I have flown into winds much greater with full gusting.  This has never happened before.  I am not sure what made this flight different.

Also, the Mavic Air was flying erratically, even when hovering without touching control sticks.
2018-3-31
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hallmark007
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Marsofearth Posted at 2018-3-31 11:34
Wind was very low, 5-10kph estimated.. I have flown into winds much greater with full gusting.  This has never happened before.  I am not sure what made this flight different.

Also, the Mavic Air was flying erratically, even when hovering without touching control sticks.

I think if you look at your flight log and try to match up stick movements and position being held by your MavAir you will see there was not much erratic about it holding its position, if it was moving like you said jittering that’s a different matter, and is more to do with IMU than firmware.
While you said it was drifting it doesn’t show this in your log.
2018-3-31
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Marsofearth
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Keule Posted at 2018-3-31 10:40
Had a look at your logs, i recommend

- calibrate the IMU

I just did my 4th IMU calibration.

I have calibrated my remote following the on screen directions.

I have calibrated my compass

I have reset all the settings in the DJI go 4 app.

I have now flown twice in just normal mode.  scary flying a drone when the drone is not reacting to the controls as one would expect.  IE. moving stick forward moves the drone forward in a skewed to left then sometimes skewed to right, and shaky from time to time.

2018-3-31
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Marsofearth
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Ricardo Ghion Posted at 2018-3-31 11:06
replace the helices and test again, if it continues, I suggest to redo the firmware downgrade.

what are helices?
2018-3-31
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Marsofearth
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hallmark007 Posted at 2018-3-31 10:32
First could you tell me what stick mode you are using.

Going through that flight, while it won’t report jittering it does show aircraft maintaining distance from home showing that it was hovering normal, the wind even 15kph will buffet your MavAir but it will always try to regain its gps position and looking at your log , it reports this happening.

I have now calibrated the IMU 4 times.  

I have used a flat cutting board as the surface and levelled with a bubble level on 4 axis. (very level)

I do not know how much more calibration of the IMU I can do.

I understand that wind will buffet.  I fly in mountainous zones where winds gust.  I have never witnessed behaviour like this before of my Mavic Air.  

What do I mean by behaviour?  Moving stick forward, Mavic air moves skewed to one side and forward.  Calibration of control sticks and IMU does not fix this.

Other behaviour.  Random jitter across central forward axis of Mavic Air.  Think of an axis moving horizotally through the centre of the drone from back to front.  Jitter runs Clockwise and counter clockwise along this axis.  I have never noticed this before March 30, not this extreme.

I just flew my Mavic Air again, once again, a full refresh of firmware, controller, drone, reset of DJI go 4 app, and just flying normal no extra setting,  Same sketchy flight that I do not feel comfortable with.
2018-3-31
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Wachtberger
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Marsofearth Posted at 2018-3-31 11:49
I have now calibrated the IMU 4 times.  

I have used a flat cutting board as the surface and levelled with a bubble level on 4 axis. (very level)

If you are not feeling comfortable, I would suggest you open a formal support case with DJI https://www.dji.com/support via email. They will request you to upload your blackbox and other flight data and then analyse it. Should the data show anything abnormal, you will be given further advice on how to proceed.
2018-3-31
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Marsofearth
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hallmark007 Posted at 2018-3-31 11:39
I think if you look at your flight log and try to match up stick movements and position being held by your MavAir you will see there was not much erratic about it holding its position, if it was moving like you said jittering that’s a different matter, and is more to do with IMU than firmware.
While you said it was drifting it doesn’t show this in your log.

Okay... So which should I believe, the log or my visual?  Personally visual trumps anything logged.  The Mavic Air was drifting, something that had never occurred before in any of my other flights.  Now the mavic air drifts, and sounds erratic in its motors.  I am about ready to give up.  I have spent a good 10+ hrs trying to get my Mavic Air reset, refreshed, and recalibrated, but it is still flying erratic.  I have a tiny little toy drone that is more stable than the mavic air at this point.  I am not saying that I should be expecting absolutely no drift at all, I just want my mavic air working like it has been all the previous flights before March 30th.
2018-3-31
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hallmark007
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Marsofearth Posted at 2018-3-31 11:49
I have now calibrated the IMU 4 times.  

I have used a flat cutting board as the surface and levelled with a bubble level on 4 axis. (very level)

From what height are you testing this , to test properly you need to be outside of vision sensor territory, ie above 40 ft if it is still flying erratically then maybe you need to send it in, if not at this height then it could be vision sensors, is anything covering these or have you added anything to your aircraft ?
2018-3-31
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hallmark007
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Marsofearth Posted at 2018-3-31 12:35
Okay... So which should I believe, the log or my visual?  Personally visual trumps anything logged.  The Mavic Air was drifting, something that had never occurred before in any of my other flights.  Now the mavic air drifts, and sounds erratic in its motors.  I am about ready to give up.  I have spent a good 10+ hrs trying to get my Mavic Air reset, refreshed, and recalibrated, but it is still flying erratic.  I have a tiny little toy drone that is more stable than the mavic air at this point.  I am not saying that I should be expecting absolutely no drift at all, I just want my mavic air working like it has been all the previous flights before March 30th.

Well we know that humans are more prone to error than machines so that one is debatable, I have not seen any logs that were wrong yet.

So maybe just take a simple 3 minutes video of you MavAir and this strange behaviour. It may help to see this drifting but you haven’t said how far it’s drifting.
2018-3-31
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Marsofearth
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So I reverted the drone firmware back one version.  It flys much better now,  after only one quick test flight.  When launching it comes straight up instead of skewing to one direction, The jitter is gone and the motors sound much smoother. When the wind gusts it adjusts but not in an irradict motion over compensating and slowly drifting to different positions with no stick action.

Flying now is straight, even with a slight crosswind. I was always incredibly impressed with how my Mavic Air handled wind and steady vector lock.

The gimbal was not jerky which s nice also. I would be happy to just leave it as it is.

One problem now is that I am getting a firmware mismatch which must be due to the firmware on the batteries being updated to the latest firmware which makes sense.

I can not find a way to downgrade the battery firmware though. DJIgo4 tries to upgrade the drone to the latest firmware to match.

Looks like I will have to phone this in or put in for DJI SUPPORT to get this resolved.  

Watched a ton of YouTube vids showing similar erradict. Motor jitter and many suggested IMU calibration for the solution. Unfortunately that did not solve the problem.

Whatever fix was issued into the latest firmware caused strange behaviour in my Mavic.
2018-3-31
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Marsofearth
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Wachtberger Posted at 2018-3-31 12:29
If you are not feeling comfortable, I would suggest you open a formal support case with DJI https://www.dji.com/support via email. They will request you to upload your blackbox and other flight data and then analyse it. Should the data show anything abnormal, you will be given further advice on how to proceed.

I think you are correct,  I have tried enough troubleshooting, of which learned a lot.  Downgrading firmware has been the only way to correct my drones behaviour.
2018-4-1
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Wachtberger
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Marsofearth Posted at 2018-4-1 09:06
I think you are correct,  I have tried enough troubleshooting, of which learned a lot.  Downgrading firmware has been the only way to correct my drones behaviour.

Downgrading firmware should not be an appropriate solution, something seems to be wrong. Better get it checked.
2018-4-1
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AG0N-Gary
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Downgrading didn't really prove the firmware was the culprit.  I once worked for an ex-aerospace engineer who taught me that you haven't found the problem unless you can put it back.  In other words, you downgraded firmware and it was good.  Great!  Now prove the new firmware was the problem by putting the new firmware back and and see if it goes bad again.  If it does, downgrade again and know you have proven your case.  There's a chance that putting the newer firmware back in might be good, because you could have had a bad load before.  Don't just load the same file.  Download a fresh one.  i.e. not every byte was error free when it downloaded to you or uploaded into the drone.  So unless you have loaded the newer firmware two or three times, it could still have a chance of making it work as it should without sending it off for weeks at a time or costing you shipping.
2018-4-1
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Marsofearth
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AG0N-Gary Posted at 2018-4-1 12:37
Downgrading didn't really prove the firmware was the culprit.  I once worked for an ex-aerospace engineer who taught me that you haven't found the problem unless you can put it back.  In other words, you downgraded firmware and it was good.  Great!  Now prove the new firmware was the problem by putting the new firmware back and and see if it goes bad again.  If it does, downgrade again and know you have proven your case.  There's a chance that putting the newer firmware back in might be good, because you could have had a bad load before.  Don't just load the same file.  Download a fresh one.  i.e. not every byte was error free when it downloaded to you or uploaded into the drone.  So unless you have loaded the newer firmware two or three times, it could still have a chance of making it work as it should without sending it off for weeks at a time or costing you shipping.

I am not here to prove anything, just troubleshooting my issue with the help of more knowledgeable people.

I feel like I have exhausted enough variables such that I will be contacting support directly with a brief of everything I have tried and supply all black box info they need. Seems I have a compass issue also from information I have found in the community forum.

Thank you for all your help, I certainly learned more about my drone.
2018-4-1
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DJI Diana
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Marsofearth Posted at 2018-4-1 14:48
I am not here to prove anything, just troubleshooting my issue with the help of more knowledgeable people.

I feel like I have exhausted enough variables such that I will be contacting support directly with a brief of everything I have tried and supply all black box info they need. Seems I have a compass issue also from information I have found in the community forum.

Hi, so sorry for all the inconvenience, after all the troubleshooting, if still no good luck, then you are recommended to contact our support and send it in for a full diagnosis: https://www.dji.com/support. Thanks!
2018-4-1
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Ricardo Ghion
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2018-4-2
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Parisi2274
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So, I am having a similar issue.  Once I updated to the latest firmware my Air started to jump in altitude by a couple of meters, and when I had it hovering it would list to the left or right and not just stay put at a fixed altitude.  I asked about this in the official FW update thread and a few people are having the same issue.  I am going to test it one more time to see if its an actual issue or if it was an isolated issue due to weather.  If it still happens, then I am just downgrading my FW back to the previous FW.
2018-4-4
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GaRz
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shaky mavic air after update

Mine also swerves all over the place after firmware update.  Also swerves to the right just a bit when going full stick foward.
2018-4-4
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GaRz Posted at 2018-4-4 11:59
shaky mavic air after update

Mine also swerves all over the place after firmware update.  Also swerves to the right just a bit when going full stick foward.

This is exactly what mine looks like when hovering, after the  firmware update.  That and the additional rotation to the left as well as a drift to the left when flying forward.   My drones basically useless at this point and i'm loosing money everyday its not up in the air.  
2018-5-8
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UPDATE:  So after redoing the Visual Calibration through DJI assistant and doing a remote sticks calibration, along with uninstalling and reinstalling GO4, the problem seems to have been resolved.  I don't know if it was a combonation of all of these, or if it was just one of them that fixed it.  But, Air now hovers in place and doesn't shift.  Fly's straight and doesn't seem to rotate on its own anymore.  Flew in various flight modes as well as Sport, all seemed to work fine.  I'm also not getting tons of compass calibration alerts anymore.  Very weird...

Hope that helps anyone with similar issue.
2018-5-9
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trigo
lvl.1
Flight distance : 4475 ft
Philippines
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sstimeare Posted at 2018-5-9 05:17
UPDATE:  So after redoing the Visual Calibration through DJI assistant and doing a remote sticks calibration, along with uninstalling and reinstalling GO4, the problem seems to have been resolved.  I don't know if it was a combonation of all of these, or if it was just one of them that fixed it.  But, Air now hovers in place and doesn't shift.  Fly's straight and doesn't seem to rotate on its own anymore.  Flew in various flight modes as well as Sport, all seemed to work fine.  I'm also not getting tons of compass calibration alerts anymore.  Very weird...

Hope that helps anyone with similar issue.

did you need to downgrade the firmware then do these steps?

i have a new mavic air and before i flew it, i upgraded everything..  then it happened, it swayed on one direction and it cannot seem to be steady on a slight wind.  i fear that i will lose this if i do not fix this.  i will try these steps and see if the problem disappears.
2019-1-22
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