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So, I loved my Mini until I crashed it in the sea
1104 36 11-15 12:55
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JDnator
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So I'll get to the point, I had my Mavic Mini for 2 days and ive already lost it in the sea


It was totally my fault so I thought I would share my experience so hopefully I may prevent more losses.

Basically, I was flying it in near a coast on a windy day (yeah yeah, alarm bells, but I originally had no intention to take it past 10 ft)
I knew the winds were potentially too high but I was just wanted a short video of the cabin we are staying in. I was just so surprised and impressed with how well the little beast was handling at 6ft - 10ft I took it higher.
Again, total control. My trust in it grew and I inched it up a little higher again. Game over.
Suddenly the drone was swept away with a massive gust. It zipped over the cabin and out of sight, next I lost connection. Naturally at this point I paniked, and ran to re-establish visual, I also made a bigger mistake and pressed the 'return home' button. In all my flustering I hadn't realised that the little 249g drone had been swept over a nearby valley, as the land fell away from it I commanded it to 'return home' which in turn instructed it to go even higher than it already was. Bad news indeed….
I finally got signal return to my controller to horrifyingly find it was already over the coast line. there was nothing I could do and now it lies at the bottom of the ocean.

THE LESSON, don't fly the drone on a windy day near a coast. i'ts just too light for that kind of work.
Failing that, if you have lost control of your drone due to high winds, do not press the ‘return home’ button, instead do a forced landing ASAP or just reduce the height of the drone.

Also reassess your return home height for every flight, I had set mine to 25ft because if where I was flying it the previous day.

Return home is a great function and has its place, but understand that it will force the drone to ascend first as the mini has no obstacle avoidance…. This is no good on a windy day..

AS A SUB TOPIC
Does anyone know where/ if I can buy another aircraft? Is anyone for whatever reason selling a mavic mini?.
I've contacted DJI and unfortunately they don't sell just the aircraft by themselves. This seems bizarre to me as i know im not the first (or last) to lose a drone, I don't want another controller. I assumed I would be able to just buy every spare part I needed from DJI??

Anyway, from my short time with the drone I can confirm it was a wonderful little machine. I will get another one at some point and I will be a better pilot in the future. I'm still very bitter about the incident but much worse things can happen in life.




11-15 12:55
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DJI Paladin
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Hi, I am sorry to know about this unfortunate incident and thank you for sharing your informative insights on what happened. I would recommend you contact our support team to start up a ticket: ( https://repair.dji.com/repair/index ). We have the professional team who would do their best to  assists you with regards to this matter. We hope to hear from you as soon as possible for a swift resolution. Thank you.
11-15 13:01
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JodyB
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Sorry for your lose JDnator. That had to be a very bad experience. As for just a MM by itself, that probably won't happen for a little while, I would say parts would even be hard to come by without being able to send the drone in, sadly, given they are very new.
11-15 13:02
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urbanweb
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Thanks for sharing your experience.  I have got mine, but not taken it out yet.  
Gutted for you!  I can only imagine how I'll feel when it happens to me!  
11-15 13:04
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hallmark007
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I think you should start a ticket, first sync your flight record to dji cloud, let dji tell you exactly what happened , they will almost certainly find pilot error , but should offer you a discount off craft only this can vary from 15 to 30% discount, this has been the norm for all dji craft, so don’t try contacting CS and asking them will they sell you a craft, dji would prefer you go through the channels of what occurred and how it can be settled/solved .
I wish you luck .
11-15 13:09
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Alan E
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Wow, sorry! Thank you very much for sharing the experience though; good lesson for us.
11-15 13:24
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davidms
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I can imagine how you feel right now and I’m gutted for you. Contact DJI as suggested and I know they will help you out and you’ll be flying again soon.
11-15 13:30
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Knapweed
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It's little consolation but your advice is extremely helpful for observing caution in blustery conditions. Your point was well made about thoughtful use of RTH. I'm confident your experience will prevent other users from losing their drones in the same circumstances. Buying DJI Refresh wouldn't have helped in this situation either AFAIK.  
11-15 13:41
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monkeyseemonkey
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Sorry for your loss! Were you recording at the time? Would be good to see the cached file from your phone if possible.

As an aside, am I right in saying that if you put the control sticks into either opposing downward diagonal position that the motors will shut down, even if the MM is in flight and at any altitude? One of those things that I hope to never need but may save a total loss situation if it ever came to it.
11-15 15:19
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djicheaha
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Sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your experience for all of us to learn from.
11-15 15:49
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The Saint
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sorry for your loss.  i'm thinking about cancelling my pending mavic mini combo but if it ships, i'll have two.  planning to give it away for christmas but if no one wants it, could send it back unopened or sell the drone only as i could use all the extras myself.   too bad you are not stateside, i paid net $430 for the package and i would sell the drone only for net $200 - $250US.
11-15 16:19
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luca6686
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HI, that is a sad story, I'm sorry for your loss.
11-15 17:06
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BobB
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wow thanks for taking one for the team man. I hope all of us take heed to flying in this manner at anytime.
11-15 17:26
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JDnator
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Knapweed Posted at 11-15 13:41
It's little consolation but your advice is extremely helpful for observing caution in blustery conditions. Your point was well made about thoughtful use of RTH. I'm confident your experience will prevent other users from losing their drones in the same circumstances. Buying DJI Refresh wouldn't have helped in this situation either AFAIK.

Cheers @Knapweed, I truly hope so. I feel so bad for killing my little guy, hopefully like you say, I can prevent it happening somewhere else in the world.
11-16 00:45
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JDnator
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monkeyseemonkey Posted at 11-15 15:19
Sorry for your loss! Were you recording at the time? Would be good to see the cached file from your phone if possible.

As an aside, am I right in saying that if you put the control sticks into either opposing downward diagonal position that the motors will shut down, even if the MM is in flight and at any altitude? One of those things that I hope to never need but may save a total loss situation if it ever came to it.

cheers monkey. Can anyone confirm the joystick thing? that would be a good one to know in the future for sure!!
11-16 00:47
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JDnator
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The Saint Posted at 11-15 16:19
sorry for your loss.  i'm thinking about cancelling my pending mavic mini combo but if it ships, i'll have two.  planning to give it away for christmas but if no one wants it, could send it back unopened or sell the drone only as i could use all the extras myself.   too bad you are not stateside, i paid net $430 for the package and i would sell the drone only for net $200 - $250US.

Thanks for the consideration Saint, bare me in mind if you ever do come to sell of your spares. who knows? maybe ill still be desperately in the market.
11-16 00:49
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Juliflash
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Sorry for your loss, every time somebody tells their crash story I feel stressed and visualize the story in vivid images, I can only begin to imagine how you feel.

What it scares me is that the range seems very very bad, super easy to loose connection and crash it, it´s starting to make me doubt about the mini, I would definitely want to fly some buildings, bridges, rotate around, after some of the videos regarding range and the crashes, I wont feel confident at all.

This articles definitely help others to not make mistakes, I have a big garden and thought is perfect for my first take off, however after being extremely cautious inspecting every detail I see small hazards every where, so I will drive to an open are with 0 obstacles.

I hope you get a replacement asap.
11-16 02:19
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Montfrooij
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Sad to hear.
Thanks for sharing.
I guess we will hear about this more often.
11-16 11:09
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Ian in London
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I make a point of testing all the Mavics in strong wind for my Youtube channel and I'm waiting for a blustery day to test the Mini.  I'm lucky I have endless farmland to the wst of my house so I can test flying in really strong wind and have it eithe rfly straight back to me or I land it on the field.  The Air and 2 Pro handle winds up to around 40 mph without issue.  I don't' think the Mini will given its slower max speeds, and this story males for sad reading.
Sorry you lost the Mini; you have the right attitude:  learn, replace and move on.  

Cheers, Ian
11-16 12:44
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SeanGalbraith
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I did the same thing with my Air within a week of getting it. I totally sympathize.
11-16 14:04
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Abastros
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So sorry for your loss my friend, I'll take your experience and apply it to mine since I also don't want to lose my new drone as well.
11-16 16:34
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djiuser_0sznpSoW5hVC
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Sorry about your loss. Hopefully you get a replacement! Also do you mind me asking what the wind conditions were? Do you have a ballpark guess of the wind speed on that day?
11-16 22:54
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monkeyseemonkey
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JDnator Posted at 11-16 00:47
cheers monkey. Can anyone confirm the joystick thing? that would be a good one to know in the future for sure!!

This is what I'm talking about which works fine when sat on the ground but I haven't been brave enough to try while in the air!

11-16 23:54
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JDnator
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djiuser_0sznpSoW5hVC Posted at 11-16 22:54
Sorry about your loss. Hopefully you get a replacement! Also do you mind me asking what the wind conditions were? Do you have a ballpark guess of the wind speed on that day?

A ballpark guess is all i can give but I would have said over the valley/ coast in the blustery spots and up at that height it was, probably around 30-40 mph, only because once i did regain connection i flicked it to sports mode but there was no input i could give it that would bring it home.

Around the cabin we were staying in it was much more sheltered so although it was still windy and working hard, I had perfect control, until I got greedy.
11-17 01:58
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AntDX316
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I've been saying
  • to get good at flying 3rd person.
  • to fly higher than the tallest obstacle near you if you can.
  • to always set your RTH higher than the tallest obstacle around you after taking off.

It didn't crash because it hit something on top of it.  It crashed because the RTH was set too low and it had no forward OA detection to stop it or change its course on the way back.

It's proper procedure.

Not say things like
  • don't fly when it's windy
  • don't fly near the coast
  • don't fly inside
  • don't fly at night

I've done it many times with the Spark and all kinds of quadcopters.  As long as more people continue not knowing what to do, more of this will continue to happen.

Of course, if you have hurricane-force winds, military operations on the beach, a room being very very small, a lot of buildings and trees near you at night, then don't fly.

I know a lot of us can make things look easy but it's not done brainlessly.
11-17 04:27
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hallmark007
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AntDX316 Posted at 11-17 04:27
I've been saying
to get good at flying 3rd person.

He clearly said he lost his craft because Rth was set to high, he felt the higher the craft went up the stronger the wind was, and as it happens he was correct, and then you go and say the complete opposite which is totally wrong .
11-17 04:44
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AntDX316
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hallmark007 Posted at 11-17 04:44
He clearly said he lost his craft because Rth was set to high, he felt the higher the craft went up the stronger the wind was, and as it happens he was correct, and then you go and say the complete opposite which is totally wrong .

"Also reassess your return home height for every flight, I had set mine to 25ft because if where I was flying it the previous day."

25ft is not too high.
11-17 07:24
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hallmark007
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AntDX316 Posted at 11-17 07:24
"Also reassess your return home height for every flight, I had set mine to 25ft because if where I was flying it the previous day."

25ft is not too high.

You can stop your mini drone going to any height you have set simply by using sticks on RC
11-17 08:23
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JDnator
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hallmark007 Posted at 11-17 08:23
You can stop your mini drone going to any height you have set simply by using sticks on RC

The problem is as soon at it got taken over the valley no matter how hard i pulled on that stick it wasn't descending anywhere near fast enough, not even close.

I'm not making excuses, an experienced pilot would have probably landed it without breaking a sweat. i just want to be transparent here to help others, I was very flustered and made some bad decisions.
11-17 09:36
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JDnator
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AntDX316 Posted at 11-17 07:24
"Also reassess your return home height for every flight, I had set mine to 25ft because if where I was flying it the previous day."

25ft is not too high.

Believe me buddy.... 25ft was WAY too high for where i was at the time, especially with that wind.
11-17 09:38
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hallmark007
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JDnator Posted at 11-17 09:36
The problem is as soon at it got taken over the valley no matter how hard i pulled on that stick it wasn't descending anywhere near fast enough, not even close.

I'm not making excuses, an experienced pilot would have probably landed it without breaking a sweat. i just want to be transparent here to help others, I was very flustered and made some bad decisions.

These things happen so quick even experienced users will have difficulty .
11-17 09:39
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JDnator
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Ian in London Posted at 11-16 12:44
I make a point of testing all the Mavics in strong wind for my Youtube channel and I'm waiting for a blustery day to test the Mini.  I'm lucky I have endless farmland to the wst of my house so I can test flying in really strong wind and have it eithe rfly straight back to me or I land it on the field.  The Air and 2 Pro handle winds up to around 40 mph without issue.  I don't' think the Mini will given its slower max speeds, and this story males for sad reading.
Sorry you lost the Mini; you have the right attitude:  learn, replace and move on.  

Cheers Ian,

If you remember can you post me a link when you do test it?, i'd be very interested to know how it fairs.... especially because I will be re purchasing the mini at some point. The more information the higher the chance i wont make more mistakes.
11-17 09:49
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Ian in London
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JDnator Posted at 11-17 09:49
Cheers Ian,

If you remember can you post me a link when you do test it?, i'd be very interested to know how it fairs.... especially because I will be re purchasing the mini at some point. The more information the higher the chance i wont make more mistakes.

Will do.  
For now, keep an eye on my channel....
Cheers
Ian

http://www.youtube.com/ianinlondon/videos
11-17 10:03
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AntDX316
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JDnator Posted at 11-17 09:38
Believe me buddy.... 25ft was WAY too high for where i was at the time, especially with that wind.

Then you should've believed yourself to not fly.  There is an option, at least on the other drones to RTH at the same altitude.

I've flown the Spark in 25mph+ winds at the East Coast and it was fine.  Even took it way up and it was fine.  It was the 5th time ever taking it out.  I got the Zoom after.

11-17 20:53
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djiuser_5gF2WypAhONY
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I feel your pain mate, lost mine friday after it seemed to gain a mind of its own. Not too sure where to go from here
11-23 19:14
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fansa029aa8c
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I'm sorry for your loss but truly admire you for admitting your mistake and placing the blame squarely on your own shoulders. We all learn from our mistakes and granted the mini is gone but nobody got hurt. Next time I am sure you will have reservations about flying in those conditions.
11-23 21:05
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hi dive
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soo.... i agree with everyone posting advice, but the takeaway is very high winds are not a good idea for a drone weighing less than half a pound....
11-23 21:47
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