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Flown Away - Compass Error / Yaw Error
496 8 2019-10-28
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Green Thunder
lvl.1
Flight distance : 63967 ft

Australia
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Newbie here - I'm sorry if this is not posted in the right spot.

I was tremendously disappointed to have a fly away yesterday - my Spark is gone. I had had my Spark for 2 years and this is the first serious issue it has experienced.

As I do before every flight, I checked my drone before I left home and it needed a firmware update, so I did that. When I got to the site, I calibrated as I usually do and set off. I was flying in a park near my home, at an altitude of about 280m (@900 feet) and simply taking some photos of a sunset. I had line of sight, although the drone was very small directly above me and easy to lose sight of. Without notice, the DJI Go4 app told me I had a compass error and that the drone had entered ATTI mode so I immediately started to pull the drone down. Having to look down at my screen, I lost line of sight and suddenly I was in a heap of trouble - although I saw no reason the drone had simply disappeared as I hadn't touched the right hand joystick and was only pulling down on the left hand one to reduce altitude.


Nonetheless, the drone is gone so I contacted DJI to ask what could be done - if anything. The response I got was nothing short of pathetic and so very disappointing from a company I have supported so much over the years, I just don't think I would ever go near their products again. I own(ed) two Sparks, a supplementary remote, several additional flight batteries, a Mavic and goggles.


The response I was given was that because the drone was activated more than a year earlier, they wouldn't perform any analysis. There were no alternatives given, not even really any recognition that the drone had never acted unpredictably like this before the most recent firmware update - not even any questions to gain any further detail - simply "I am afraid that we are not able to provide you with data analysis service according to DJI After-Sales policies". The flight data I did manage to extract myself from the app tells me about the compass error and a yaw error which populated every data line after the compass error until I lost signal.

Anybody got any ideas? Is there any way to get a more educated opinion on what happened from DJI?

Any help is appreciated
PS I am well aware the drone was outside warranty and I am not demanding a replacement or anything like that - although it would be nice considering I believe the firmware update played a part in the fly away - but some more constructive discussion initially would have been my preference.....
2019-10-28
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dronespilot
First Officer
Flight distance : 1392995 ft
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United States
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I feel you. This is the problem when you get compass errors the drone goes into atti mode and does not keep its position; it gets blown away by the wind.

It had happened to me once and I was about 60 meters  high that the drone got compass error and got blown away by the breeze. Luckily the wind direction was towards me and I was able to land it safely.

Have you tried Find my Drone feature on the DJI Go 4 App?
2019-10-28
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Green Thunder
lvl.1
Flight distance : 63967 ft

Australia
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dronespilot Posted at 10-28 17:51
I feel you. This is the problem when you get compass errors the drone goes into atti mode and does not keep its position; it gets blown away by the wind.

It had happened to me once and I was about 60 meters  high that the drone got compass error and got blown away by the breeze. Luckily the wind direction was towards me and I was able to land it safely.

Actually I haven't - what does it look for? Since I know where the signal was - does it give me more!? I don't think I've ever seen that feature!

2019-10-28
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DJI Susan
Administrator

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Hi Green Thunder, we're sorry to read the accident. If you have connected DJI GO 4 in the last flight, please kindly refer to below to see whether the drone can be found: Launching DJI GO 4>click three bars on the right upper corner>Find My Drone
As you mentioned that the unit has been used for 2 years, I'm afraid that data analysis is not available in this kind of situation, sorry about that. If the drone can be found, you may start a case and send it in for diagnosis: https://www.dji.com/support Hope for your understanding.
2019-10-28
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dronespilot
First Officer
Flight distance : 1392995 ft
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United States
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Green Thunder Posted at 10-28 17:56
Actually I haven't - what does it look for? Since I know where the signal was - does it give me more!? I don't think I've ever seen that feature!

I have not used it before, but I've read somewhere that it saves the last location where the drone landed and peeps until the battery runs out. You may try and hopefully, you'll find it.
2019-10-28
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dronespilot
First Officer
Flight distance : 1392995 ft
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United States
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DJI Susan Posted at 10-28 18:29
Hi Green Thunder, we're sorry to read the accident. If you have connected DJI GO 4 in the last flight, please kindly refer to below to see whether the drone can be found: Launching DJI GO 4>click three bars on the right upper corner>Find My Drone
As you mentioned that the unit has been used for 2 years, I'm afraid that data analysis is not available in this kind of situation, sorry about that. If the drone can be found, you may start a case and send it in for diagnosis: https://www.dji.com/support Hope for your understanding.

As Susan says above regarding where to find the Find My Drone. Good luck
2019-10-28
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DAFlys
Captain
Flight distance : 711896 ft
United Kingdom
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You could also upload your logs here - https://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/Upload/
2019-10-28
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Wolferl
First Officer
Flight distance : 22615 ft
Austria
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Hi GreenThunder,

Just in case you'll try a DJI drone in the future:
If it's a Spark again check this out: Engage ATTI mode on the Spark
General advice when flying a drone: Know Your Attitude

Also read up on the rules in Australia .
There are helpful apps to find out if flying is allowed on your spot.

Cheers,
Wolferl
2019-10-29
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Green Thunder
lvl.1
Flight distance : 63967 ft

Australia
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DAFlys Posted at 10-28 23:47
You could also upload your logs here - https://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/Upload/

Yes, I used this upload before and it told me much more than the DJI Go4 app did - in fact, I think it was brilliant. Sadly, the "find my drone" function wasn't much help and just told me where it last registered on that app and how many days it had been missing. Very disappointing unfortunately.

I'll step through it with DJI, and hopefully they're more constructive than the initial response, but I'm not holding onto too much hope.

Thanks for your help everyone.
2019-10-29
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