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Mavic Air went berserk and crashed into a waterfall..
1279 24 2018-8-11
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djiuser_dsuz9bMSj6dW
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STORY TIME!!


I was trying to fly my Mavic Air near a waterfall during my Oregon Roadrip.  The moment I tried to launch the Mavic Air, the drone immediately went into berserk mode and kept turning and spinning towards the waterfall. I tried to hit RTH and everything but I completely had no control over the drone. It was like it was flying by itself.. I definitely calibrated the compass and check everything prior to the take off (as usual), but there is nothing much I can do when the Mavic Air just went crazy like that...

After flying and spinning for like a minute or two, the MA ultimately did a freaking 360 spin into the waterfall. A FREAKING 360!!! I was left dumbfounded.. It was like one of those movies where the helicopters just spun out and crashed into abyss. Luckily or unluckily (depends on how you want to look at it), the drone actually crashed into a rock formation a few feet away from waterfall so I was still able to get the signal and see where it crashed. My friends and I immediately rushed over to the other side of the waterfall in order to retrieve it.


BUT HERE is the kicker, we KNOW where it is. We can SEE the red light beeping, BUT my little precious drone actually crashed into a place where it is possible for me to retrieve without the risk of DYING. Bummer huh? We tried everything but Mother Nature simply said "F U, you can't get your drone back."


I have the video proofs of everything: a clip of how it crashed via directly from the drone recorded from the data log (it was still alive after the crash), a video of where it is with the beeping red light, and a video to show how it is impossible to retrieve. I do have DJI Care Refresh and everything. The drone was flying under normal circumstances like the hundred times that i've been using it too. Do you think DJI will replace my "lost" or "unrecoverable" drone even though I know where it is?


Please advise. Thank you.


P.S Still the craziest sh**t to witness in person. Just imagine watching your drone commit suicide is one of .. GG Fam.
2018-8-11
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Paul_IA
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Flight distance : 4712818 ft
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If you have Care Refresh, I believe you're going to be OK. It covers accidents even if they determine it was pilot error. But I believe you'll have to recover your drone and send it to them if it's possible.
2018-8-11
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djiuser_dsuz9bMSj6dW
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Paul_IA Posted at 2018-8-11 09:54
If you have Care Refresh, I believe you're going to be OK. It covers accidents even if they determine it was pilot error. But I believe you'll have to recover your drone and send it to them if it's possible.

The thing I can't recover the drone even though I can see it. It's simply not feasible because of the waterfall and where it crashed.
2018-8-11
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KlooGee
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Flight distance : 11321529 ft
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I think we'd all be interested here to learn from your experience and see if there is anything we can do to help you out.  Can you post your video and log files here?  The video you can upload to something like YouTube and the log you can upload to the following site (instructions on that site):  http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/Upload/
2018-8-11
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djiuser_dsuz9bMSj6dW
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CORRECTION: **Drone actually crashed into a place where it is IMPOSSIBLE for me to retrieve without the risk of DYING.
2018-8-11
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Paul_IA
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djiuser_dsuz9bMSj6dW Posted at 2018-8-11 10:05
CORRECTION: **Drone actually crashed into a place where it is IMPOSSIBLE for me to retrieve without the risk of DYING.

You may have to hire somebody to recover it for you (repel down and rescue it). I know it'll be a PITA to do, but if I remember correctly, you have to send the damaged drone back for Care Refresh to work.
2018-8-11
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rolling56
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Put an ad in the paper maybe or on Craigslist? $100 for the recovery of my drone or whatever you can agree on. Something cheaper than buying a new one.
2018-8-11
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AG0N-Gary
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Why did you do a compass calibration there?  You don't need to calibrate every time you fly.  In fact, it can be risky to do that.  If you calibrate where there may be a geomagnetic disturbance in the rocks around you or similar, you can expect problems as soon as you start flying.  By the way, trying to do RTH is NOT the thing to do in your case.  It is obviously not under control, so you have no idea what it might decide to do.  I've seen some people say to try the pause button, but I've never tried it, and I've never had my MAV go out of control anyway.  

From what you're saying, the drone is in the water, under the water, possibly near the bottom of the falls.  Don't mess with dangerous currents.  If you had thought to have external insurance like $50-60/yr State Farm all risk insurance, you could just write it off and not endanger yourself AND get a replacement.  As it is, if you can't retrieve it, which it sounds like is the case, you are probably SOL.  I think in some RARE instances, DJI has replaced an item when the evidence (hard evidence) showed that it went totally bananas.    Good luck.
2018-8-11
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djiuser_dsuz9bMSj6dW
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AG0N-Gary Posted at 2018-8-11 10:52
Why did you do a compass calibration there?  You don't need to calibrate every time you fly.  In fact, it can be risky to do that.  If you calibrate where there may be a geomagnetic disturbance in the rocks around you or similar, you can expect problems as soon as you start flying.  By the way, trying to do RTH is NOT the thing to do in your case.  It is obviously not under control, so you have no idea what it might decide to do.  I've seen some people say to try the pause button, but I've never tried it, and I've never had my MAV go out of control anyway.  

From what you're saying, the drone is in the water, under the water, possibly near the bottom of the falls.  Don't mess with dangerous currents.  If you had thought to have external insurance like $50-60/yr State Farm all risk insurance, you could just write it off and not endanger yourself AND get a replacement.  As it is, if you can't retrieve it, which it sounds like is the case, you are probably SOL.  I think in some RARE instances, DJI has replaced an item when the evidence (hard evidence) showed that it went totally bananas.    Good luck.

The Drone asked me to calibrate the compass so that's why I did it.

I mean I pressed pause too before RTH but it didn't work. As a result, I had to try RTH. What else can you do at that point? Don't press anything and let the drone continue to go berserk and inevitably crash?  
2018-8-11
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AG0N-Gary
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djiuser_dsuz9bMSj6dW Posted at 2018-8-11 11:03
The Drone asked me to calibrate the compass so that's why I did it.

I mean I pressed pause too before RTH but it didn't work. As a result, I had to try RTH. What else can you do at that point? Don't press anything and let the drone continue to go berserk and inevitably crash?

Sounds like you did the only thing you could.  I know it is hard to do, but it may have been cheaper to just kill it (CSC command) before it got completely away.  At least you would have something to send back to them.  My luck, they would say that I crashed it on purpose and not honor the Care Refresh.    But I've seen drones go out of control before and it happens so fast that you usually can't do a thing about it.  It took about 1.5 seconds for my Phantom to go from controlled flight (stable hover)  to diving itself into the concrete driveway, shattering parts of it.  After some hot glue and massaging the plastic a bit, it still flies.  There was no real cause for it and nothing obvious in the logs.  

Take care.
2018-8-11
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Wachtberger
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I am very sorry for your crash! Upload your flightrecord as suggested earlier to this site and share the link with us: http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/Upload/
Then we shall be able to give you a few explanations although from your description I can already feel what we are likely going to see. But let's see the true facts first.
2018-8-11
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OneDoesNotSimply
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Flight distance : 662644 ft
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Could you retrieve it safely with a fishing line or something?  From other threads on here, DJI likely won't honor the care refresh, but might give you a discount on a new drone. I have seen them offer 30%. Given you already have the RC and other parts, you might be able to get just a replacement aircraft from DJI for maybe $500 or less if they have any refurbished ones.

Then again, it could be they determine it was not pilot error and send you out a new one free of charge. Good luck!
2018-8-11
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ash2020
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djiuser_dsuz9bMSj6dW Posted at 2018-8-11 10:05
CORRECTION: **Drone actually crashed into a place where it is IMPOSSIBLE for me to retrieve without the risk of DYING.

No such thing as Impossible. What about a very long fishing rod?
2018-8-11
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DJI Mindy
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Hi there, we are so sorry for the mishap, if you believe the mishap has nothing to do with the pilot's operation, please contact our support team to start a ticket for data analysis as long as the drone is still in the warranty period, we have professional analysis team who will help to figure out the reason and then the corresponding resolution will be provided, please let us know if you have any further concern.
2018-8-11
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Air 1660
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A fishing pole and a big magnet will work
2018-8-11
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HedgeTrimmer
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rolling56 Posted at 2018-8-11 10:32
Put an ad in the paper maybe or on Craigslist? $100 for the recovery of my drone or whatever you can agree on. Something cheaper than buying a new one.

Like idea.  Got a chuckle out of it too.  Imagining - Like Dude, $100!  Hold my beer, I got this!
2018-8-11
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Jyunte
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HedgeTrimmer Posted at 2018-8-11 19:20
Like idea.  Got a chuckle out of it too.  Imagining - Like Dude, $100!  Hold my beer, I got this!

I lost my original Mavic Pro due totally to pilot error... I crashed it on the side of the mountain.

Like you, I knew EXACTLY where it was. It was a couple of hundred feet out, and nearly 300 feet down the cliff-side. It was in an area where climbing down was impossible and not-legal. It was lost from view in vegetation, but close enough to download the HD footage from the SD card.

I gave DJI my flight logs, Google Earth KML files so they could locate it, photographs from the drone, Google Earth screen shots so they could see the terrain, and I even gave them the video of the crash!

DJI told me *not* to attempt to recover the aircraft because it was simply too dangerous... and then denied my DJI refresh claim because I didn't retrieve the aircraft!

I ended up buying a new aircraft from DJI, which has the dreaded rotating and drifting problem that so many are complaining about in these forums.
2018-8-11
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HedgeTrimmer
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Jyunte Posted at 2018-8-11 21:49
I lost my original Mavic Pro due totally to pilot error... I crashed it on the side of the mountain.

Like you, I knew EXACTLY where it was. It was a couple of hundred feet out, and nearly 300 feet down the cliff-side. It was in an area where climbing down was impossible and not-legal. It was lost from view in vegetation, but close enough to download the HD footage from the SD card.

Being condition of drone is irrelevant in those cases, you only need a drone corpse.
I would be tempted to Harpoon drone, and drag it out of there!
2018-8-11
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LordoftheFlies
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what was your take off altitude?
2018-8-12
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Jyunte
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HedgeTrimmer Posted at 2018-8-11 21:57
Being condition of drone is irrelevant in those cases, you only need a drone corpse.
I would be tempted to Harpoon drone, and drag it out of there!

Although we knew exactly where it was, recovery was impossible. We flew several missions with other drones to find it and locate it, but the location and vegetation made it impossible. The aircraft itself was in great condition, as it didn't really crash, but slowly landed unexpectedly in bushes. From the video, it can be seen that it never even touched the ground.
2018-8-13
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Amjad1983
Second Officer
Flight distance : 196660 ft
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Where is the crash footage?
2018-8-13
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MrArcher
Second Officer
Flight distance : 401706 ft
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Grappling hook.  
2018-8-13
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HedgeTrimmer
Captain
United States
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Low tech.   Tractor Beam!
2018-8-13
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TroutboyNZ
Second Officer
Flight distance : 1656693 ft
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What did you take off from, dirt, road, footpath, car bonnet??...
2018-8-13
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DJI Tony
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Hi, sorry for what you've experienced with your drone. I strongly advise syncing your flight records via the DJI GO 4 app and contact our support for further help. Please see the link below.

www.dji.com/support
2018-8-14
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