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Spark Fly Away due to Compass Error
536 7 2019-8-24
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Mika'eel
lvl.2
Flight distance : 47470 ft
South Africa
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Hi

I owned a DJI Spark. The drone was in pristine condition. Not a single scratch, dent or crash and has been 100% reliable up till now.
Today for the first time i experienced an issue with my dji spark shortly after take off and to my disappointment it was unrepsonsive to my commands and flew away.

Before take off, I had the safe to fly green bar appear on the top of my screen with a gps signal and 13 satellites connected. I ascended the drone to roughly 5m high, away from all obstacles and the home point was recorded. Shortly after the home point was recorded the error message "Compass inteference, please move aircraft away from potential interference source or recalibrate the compass" appeared.

I have over 15 hours of flight time on the drone and flown it in this exact location multiple times without any issues before but this was the first time this error appeared mid flight. I thought that there may have been something on the ground interfering with the compass so I ascended the drone further to about 28m after which i was still getting the same compass error message.

At this point the drone started drifting in the wind  despite having full gps connection and 17 satellites connected. The drone then stopped recognising my joystick movements on the controller and continued drifting with the wind still displaying the compass error and now displaying "IMU heading error, please restart aircarft" whilst drifting uncontrollaby. The error "Compass error, exit P-GPS mode" appeared afterwards and a sudden drop in GPS signal happened depsite 18 satellites connected. The drone also subsequently went into "Atti mode". Despite numerous attempts at trying to regain control of the drone to steer it back home the drone drifted off and disconnected at roughly 170m away from me

Note:I have previously sent the drone multiple times out more than 1km without disconnection and it returned safely

I really admire DJI and have been a strong advocator for their products. My dji spark was almost 2 years old and the technology for me has been flawless until now. I have uploaded the fligh log for more details. Please could someone provide me with more clarity as to why this happened

https://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/MGRXJ9ZIHRLMIYJ93O81

Thank you in advance


2019-8-24
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NickEST1987
Second Officer
Flight distance : 558829 ft
United States
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I was having the same problem with my spark the last time I flew it, but I also crashed mine a few days prior.  I sent it in to DJI to have it repaired.  Currently waiting for it to return to try it out.  The only thing they fixed from what I can tell from the quote was the frame of the drone and the gimble so i'm curious to see what will happen when I take it back up.
2019-8-24
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Wolferl
Captain
Flight distance : 22615 ft
Austria
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Hi Mikaeel,

Thats the reason why I don't fly my Sparky more often...the DJI IMU is notoriously unreliable. Too bad DJI does nothing about it. As soon as you get a compass error, it is a good idea to land immediately. Cycle power to Spark and R/C, then restart.
BTW, since you are in South Africa...how strict are the drone flying rules there, how relaxed are people when you fly there? I know, no flying in National parks, that's fine for me.
I'm going to SA for holidays in 3 weeks :-)

Cheers.
Wolferl
2019-8-25
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JJB*
Captain
Flight distance : 2688960 ft
Netherlands
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Hiya,

Sorry for your loss.

What happend ; well, at takeoff you had your first compass error!

At 5s the warning "Compass interference. Please move the aircraft away from potential interference source or calibrate the compass." in the app.

So why continue to fly ??

Always perform the after takeoff checks!  if done, you still had your SPARK.

After that lots of errors in flight ; speed errors, compass, yaw errors.

Finally into ATTI and maayby good news, your SPARK did an autloanding in ATTI (this after loss of comms)

It landed at the beach, see my chart. Hope you can find it there!


cheers
JJB
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2019-8-25
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Mika'eel
lvl.2
Flight distance : 47470 ft
South Africa
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JJB* Posted at 8-25 02:07
Hiya,

Sorry for your loss.

At 5s was when the drone started to act strangely it did not respond to my commands and there was no way of getting it down. Also the last location the drone gives, is where connection was completely lost. The drone was still airborne drifting in the wind beyond line of sight after being disconnected which is why the drone was not in the location mentioned above.
Also why would I completely be disconnected from the drone at only roughly 200m. To my knowledge losing the gps connection should not interfere with the RC connection.
2019-8-25
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Mika'eel
lvl.2
Flight distance : 47470 ft
South Africa
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Wolferl Posted at 8-25 01:00
Hi Mikaeel,

Thats the reason why I don't fly my Sparky more often...the DJI IMU is notoriously unreliable. Too bad DJI does nothing about it. As soon as you get a compass error, it is a good idea to land immediately. Cycle power to Spark and R/C, then restart.

Unfortunately that by the time I got a compass error, it was too late to land the drone because it’s already out of my control.

Drone laws are strict depending where the in the county you’re planning to visit.
2019-8-25
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JJB*
Captain
Flight distance : 2688960 ft
Netherlands
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Mika'eel Posted at 8-25 02:14
At 5s was when the drone started to act strangely it did not respond to my commands and there was no way of getting it down. Also the last location the drone gives, is where connection was completely lost. The drone was still airborne drifting in the wind beyond line of sight after being disconnected which is why the drone was not in the location mentioned above.
Also why would I completely be disconnected from the drone at only roughly 200m. To my knowledge losing the gps connection should not interfere with the RC connection.

Well,

at 2m09s  your SPARK inyo autolanding mode, distance out 329 meters
at 2m19s  your SPARK still autolanding, distance out 325 meters, about 27 meters lower than when autolanding started.So not drifting away while landing.

Only the baro height is indicating minus values, wich is not normal as well.

At 5 seconds your SPARK followed your RC stick commands, higher and higher as you pushed her up and not down. But iff you say it was not controllable, ok.

Loosing full contact is possible even at 30o meters if the RC>DRONE Line-of-sight is broken.
DJI SW will kill the use of GPS when there are errors like compass, yaw etc.
So that means ATTI mode, even when there are 99 satellites in the sky wich are received by the GPS module.


cheers
JJB
2019-8-25
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ssylca44
Captain
Flight distance : 150217 ft
Canada
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Wolferl Posted at 8-25 01:00
Hi Mikaeel,

Thats the reason why I don't fly my Sparky more often...the DJI IMU is notoriously unreliable. Too bad DJI does nothing about it. As soon as you get a compass error, it is a good idea to land immediately. Cycle power to Spark and R/C, then restart.

Good advice Wolferi. Cheers
2019-8-25
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