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Flyaway replacement
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fans3808aee1
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Does anyone know how to activate this process? My MA2 lost signal this morning and did not return to home. I used the "find my drone" function and searched the last location extensively with no luck. My aircraft is bound with care refresh. When I go to dji.com to submit a service request I see no option for flyaway replacement - only ship and repair.
Thank You,
Bobby Stevens
2-4 17:29
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Geebax
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DJI care only replaces a damaged aircraft if it can be returned to DJI, it does not cover 'flyaways' or lost aircraft. However it appears that DJI now offer flyaway cover, but at a significant increase in cost.

You would be best to put some effort into recovering your aircraft, and start by posting the flight record. That way we may be offer a clue to its location. The find my drone feature is only of use in limited cases, and does not help if the aircraft is carried away by the wind.
2-4 17:46
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Labroides
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Does anyone know how to activate this process?
My aircraft is bound with care refresh.

Some details of DJI's new lost drone insurance is here:
https://store.dji.com/guides/dji-care-refresh-flyaway-coverage/

My MA2 lost signal this morning and did not return to home. I used the "find my drone" function and searched the last location extensively with no luck.
The 'find my drone" feature can only show you where the drone was last in contact with the app.
If the drone was in flight at the time, it's not going to be there still.

But if you post the flight data, someone might be able to help out.

2-4 19:06
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BobbyStevens
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Geebax Posted at 2-4 17:46
DJI care only replaces a damaged aircraft if it can be returned to DJI, it does not cover 'flyaways' or lost aircraft. However it appears that DJI now offer flyaway cover, but at a significant increase in cost.

You would be best to put some effort into recovering your aircraft, and start by posting the flight record. That way we may be offer a clue to its location. The find my drone feature is only of use in limited cases, and does not help if the aircraft is carried away by the wind.

Where do you see the increase in cost for flyaway coverage? The press release made it sound like it was an addition to  care refresh.
2-4 19:11
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DAFlys
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BobbyStevens Posted at 2-4 19:11
Where do you see the increase in cost for flyaway coverage? The press release made it sound like it was an addition to  care refresh.

The details are on this page about the price.  Before you can claim you have to have bound your drone to your account in the device management section in the fly app.


https://store.dji.com/guides/dji-care-refresh-flyaway-coverage/
2-5 01:15
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JJB*
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Hi Bobby,

Best to get some help, log will mayby explain what happend, is to upload your flightlog, using > https://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/Upload/

or just put a cloud-link to this flightlog on here

cheers
JJB
2-5 02:30
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Hi Bobby, I'm sorry for your loss. Could you PM me the serial number of your drone? I'd like to help you check it. Thanks.
2-5 03:14
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BobbyStevens
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Thanks to all for the advice. I've reviewed the flight log and learned more about the possible location of my MA2 and I will resume the search tomorrow.
2-5 11:13
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Geebax
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BobbyStevens Posted at 2-5 11:13
Thanks to all for the advice. I've reviewed the flight log and learned more about the possible location of my MA2 and I will resume the search tomorrow.

Before you go searching, you might want to post your flight log. There are people on here who are probably more experienced at 'predicting' where it might be.
2-5 14:07
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BobbyStevens
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I've been advised to post my flight log. I'm pretty sure the optimal place to search is at and past the end of  the final flight path, but if anyone else has input I'm all ears.
https://app.airdata.com/share/KwFUOH
2-5 16:32
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JohnLietzke
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BobbyStevens,

My first thought is that you had 40% battery at the last disconnect time.  I would try searching the area where the HomePoint was located as the drone may have initiated an RTH from a sustained signal disconnect from Controller.  It would have tried to return to the HomePoint and would have had sufficient battery to make the 3,000ft flight.   It is strange that the Mavic Air 2 never reconnected to the Controller when it progressed back to the Home Point.

Here is a Google Earth map of the RTH trajectory.  First try searching the Disconnect Point in case the drone lost power and that is the reason for the signal loss.  The GPS coordinates are on the Map.  There appears to be no obstructions in the 305ft RTH height (Yellow Line) that your drone would have hit.  It should maintain it’s current height around 400 ft.  Next, check in the trees or bushes around the HomePoint.  The Red Line is the ground search line based on the RTH optimal path.
2-6 10:17
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MisterFrag
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I believe what happened is that the drone could not climb high enough to avoid the terrain and trees because it had reached the maximum flight altitude.

Your takeoff / home location at the bottom of the valley was at 648 feet ASL. You then flew behind the hill to the east and started losing the signal due to the occlusion, and returned in Sport mode without obstacle avoidance and flying backwards at full throttle. The last recorded data point was at 1046 feet ASL, which was the maximum flight altitude of 400 feet. The top of the hill nearby is at least 1034 feet ASL, not counting the trees which would certainly be taller than 12 feet. This was not a flyaway and the Mavic Air 2 was not in RTH mode, where it would at least have flown in Normal mode with obstacle avoidance. It was manually piloted at the time that it (likely) crashed. This is what pilots call CFIT (Controlled Flight Into Terrain).

Flight Path

Flight Path

Flight Path 2

Flight Path 2

Flight Path 3

Flight Path 3



2-6 12:18
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KDP +
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That's a possible explanation..

Any more news Bobby Stevens ?
2-6 12:32
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BobbyStevens
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MisterFrag Posted at 2-6 12:18
I believe what happened is that the drone could not climb high enough to avoid the terrain and trees because it had reached the maximum flight altitude.

Your takeoff / home location at the bottom of the valley was at 648 feet ASL. You then flew behind the hill to the east and started losing the signal due to the occlusion, and returned in Sport mode without obstacle avoidance and flying backwards at full throttle. The last recorded data point was at 1046 feet ASL, which was the maximum flight altitude of 400 feet. The top of the hill nearby is at least 1034 feet ASL, not counting the trees which would certainly be taller than 12 feet. This was not a flyaway and the Mavic Air 2 was not in RTH mode, where it would at least have flown in Normal mode with obstacle avoidance. It was manually piloted at the time that it (likely) crashed. This is what pilots call CFIT (Controlled Flight Into Terrain).
[Image]
I think that is  what happened, with a few qualifiers. There are several anomalies in the data including - 191 second data interruption at the start of the flight, and several erroneous inputs. 1.  I did not change my max altitude or range in flight. 2. I did not switch from sport  mode to sport mode as indicated in the log. I switched from sport mode back to normal when I began to lose signal so I would have obstacle avoidance on the return flight. Clearly this did not take, and I did in fact execute CFIT.  I miscalculated the slope of the ridge at my return point, and, surprised that I was losing signal at this distance, I merely switched to normal mode and pulled the stick back to return home. In retrospect I clearly should have just ascended to regain signal, as I was not that far away.
2-6 14:33
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BobbyStevens
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KDP + Posted at 2-6 12:32
That's a possible explanation..

Any more news Bobby Stevens ?

I searched the flight path at and beyond the location of last connection for 2.5 hours this morning with no luck. I assume my MA2 is lodged in a tree or perhaps the location data is not accurate given the fact that the signal was spotty the entire final leg of the flight.
2-6 14:41
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BobbyStevens
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JohnLietzke Posted at 2-6 10:17
BobbyStevens,

My first thought is that you had 40% battery at the last disconnect time.  I would try searching the area where the HomePoint was located as the drone may have initiated an RTH from a sustained signal disconnect from Controller.  It would have tried to return to the HomePoint and would have had sufficient battery to make the 3,000ft flight.   It is strange that the Mavic Air 2 never reconnected to the Controller when it progressed back to the Home Point.

I love your theory, and I wish it were so, but I remained at the home point for a good 30 minutes after RC disconnect. I’m sure I would have heard or seen my drone return if it had.
2-6 14:43
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BobbyStevens
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So I assume at this point that my DJI care coverage is of no use and I’ll have to buy another MA2 at full price to replace my missing aircraft. Does anyone know if it’s possible to buy the drone without a controller and pair the new one with my old controller?
2-6 14:56
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MisterFrag
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I would try a methodical search (mostly the east-facing side of trees and the hill) of the probable crash location if the property owner allows it -- it doesn't look like a terribly large area. You can show them the track log to prove you weren’t snooping on them. You’ll need the drone (even if it is badly damaged from the crash or precipitation) if you want to use DJI Refresh. Fly-Away coverage doesn’t apply since the drone didn’t fly away.
2-6 15:31
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BobbyStevens
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MisterFrag Posted at 2-6 15:31
I would try a methodical search (mostly the east-facing side of trees and the hill) of the probable crash location if the property owner allows it -- it doesn't look like a terribly large area. You can show them the track log to prove you weren’t snooping on them. You’ll need the drone (even if it is badly damaged from the crash or precipitation) if you want to use DJI Refresh. Fly-Away coverage doesn’t apply since the drone didn’t fly away.

Thank you for the advice. I think the search is a lost cause at this point. I spent 2.5 hours searching with the property owner and his three sons this morning, and an additional two hours on my own. If the flight log is accurate, the location is heavily treed and thick with blackberries. Much more overgrown than the google earth image shows. Also, I do not have total confidence in the log data given the inaccuracies in the report, and the relatively long distance of flight (essentially the entire last leg)  with poor connection. If it’s anywhere near the last reported location I think it is probably wedged in a tree. And I scanned the trees with binoculars, but finding a small gray drone in gray and green trees against a white sky makes it pretty tough. I expect it will take a good storm to knock it loose if that’s the case. My care refresh expires in May, so perhaps there is some hope of eventual recovery.
2-6 16:21
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JohnLietzke
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BobbyStevens Posted at 2-6 14:56
So I assume at this point that my DJI care coverage is of no use and I’ll have to buy another MA2 at full price to replace my missing aircraft. Does anyone know if it’s possible to buy the drone without a controller and pair the new one with my old controller?

BobbyStevens,

Others on here have reported that you can buy only the drone directly from DJI customer service if you lost your original.  Try reaching out to one of the moderators and maybe they can put you in touch with correct person to ask more questions.  

If memory servers me correctly it was $100-150 less than buying the Mavic Air 2 with a new RC, battery and accessories.  One person said it did not come with a battery and that had to be purchased separately. Unfortunately, my memory is deteriorating after being stuck in the head by an unknown object yesterday near Eugene, Oregon.
2-6 17:18
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The Saint
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i think you may already know this but for anyone else that might read this, simply having care refresh on your drone is not enough to be covered for "flyaway" coverage.  so i couldn't tell from your comment(s) if you have flyaway coverage or not, just curious.
2-6 20:56
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The Saint
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DAFlys Posted at 2-5 01:15
The details are on this page about the price.  Before you can claim you have to have bound your drone to your account in the device management section in the fly app.

to me, the details matter; facts matter.  some might think i'm nitpicking but in case anyone else is reading this, here goes:  i believe your comments are in reference to "flyaway coverage."  if so, it is incorrect to say "you have to have bound your drone to your account...." but it is more accurate to say the particular remote has to be bound to the drone.  this is important because if you use a different remote (even if your drone is bound to your account), you may not be able to make a valid claim.  is that correct?  if i bind my regular remote to my ma2 and while using my sc (which i didn't not bind), i may not covered.
2-6 21:01
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The Saint
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MisterFrag Posted at 2-6 15:31
I would try a methodical search (mostly the east-facing side of trees and the hill) of the probable crash location if the property owner allows it -- it doesn't look like a terribly large area. You can show them the track log to prove you weren’t snooping on them. You’ll need the drone (even if it is badly damaged from the crash or precipitation) if you want to use DJI Refresh. Fly-Away coverage doesn’t apply since the drone didn’t fly away.

the program is new so i believe the jury is still out; remains to be seen.  i know the logs will be analyzed but what are the parameters of a true "flyaway?"  there are so many variable, what does it take to get an approved claim?  on the one hand, i can see this program giving the pilot a way to get another drone in case of a broad range of issues previously uncovered.  or it could be strict because dji knows of an issue and is looking to cover it outside the warranty.  or it could be somewhere in between?
2-6 21:09
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BobbyStevens
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JohnLietzke Posted at 2-6 17:18
BobbyStevens,

Others on here have reported that you can buy only the drone directly from DJI customer service if you lost your original.  Try reaching out to one of the moderators and maybe they can put you in touch with correct person to ask more questions.  

Thank you. And sorry about the head injury!
2-6 21:30
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BobbyStevens
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The Saint Posted at 2-6 20:56
i think you may already know this but for anyone else that might read this, simply having care refresh on your drone is not enough to be covered for "flyaway" coverage.  so i couldn't tell from your comment(s) if you have flyaway coverage or not, just curious.

Yes, unfortunately I did not “re-bind” before this crash. And I don’t understand the need for this if one has already paid for care refresh, unless it’s just a way to limit the number of claims. Or maybe the associated firmware update allows  DJI to disable the drones that have flown away. In any case, it seems my mishap was not a true flyaway. So I’ll buy a new MA2 to keep the footage rolling while I wait for the Pro 3.
2-6 21:46
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DAFlys
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The Saint Posted at 2-6 21:01
to me, the details matter; facts matter.  some might think i'm nitpicking but in case anyone else is reading this, here goes:  i believe your comments are in reference to "flyaway coverage."  if so, it is incorrect to say "you have to have bound your drone to your account...." but it is more accurate to say the particular remote has to be bound to the drone.  this is important because if you use a different remote (even if your drone is bound to your account), you may not be able to make a valid claim.  is that correct?  if i bind my regular remote to my ma2 and while using my sc (which i didn't not bind), i may not covered.

Yes I believe you are correct,  I dont know how it works with the smart controller.
2-7 02:57
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WebParrot
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DAFlys Posted at 2-7 02:57
Yes I believe you are correct,  I dont know how it works with the smart controller.

Works the same with the Smart Controller.  After updating the Fly app (having deleted the old version first), upon re-start up, a notice is displayed on the Fly screen.  Clicking the 'bind' link drags you through the process and you receive confirmation that you're covered.  I believe this only show up if you are already 'registered' with the Care plan.
2-9 09:02
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WebParrot
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BobbyStevens Posted at 2-6 21:46
Yes, unfortunately I did not “re-bind” before this crash. And I don’t understand the need for this if one has already paid for care refresh, unless it’s just a way to limit the number of claims. Or maybe the associated firmware update allows  DJI to disable the drones that have flown away. In any case, it seems my mishap was not a true flyaway. So I’ll buy a new MA2 to keep the footage rolling while I wait for the Pro 3.

Sorry, I'm late to the conversation.  Although I did scan the conversations, I didn't see anything about using the "Find my drone" feature.  If it works the same on the MA2 as the Spark, you can employ a "beep" and flashing lights to help locate.  Can be helpful if you think you might be in the area.  I've used it once to find a Spark, and fortunately not had to with my MA2 :-)

I realize you've conducted the search, but if you decide to go back out, there may be options not considered.

Good luck.
2-9 09:08
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DAFlys
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BobbyStevens Posted at 2-6 21:46
Yes, unfortunately I did not “re-bind” before this crash. And I don’t understand the need for this if one has already paid for care refresh, unless it’s just a way to limit the number of claims. Or maybe the associated firmware update allows  DJI to disable the drones that have flown away. In any case, it seems my mishap was not a true flyaway. So I’ll buy a new MA2 to keep the footage rolling while I wait for the Pro 3.

As long as you have the smashed drone your still covered.
2-9 09:11
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DAFlys
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WebParrot Posted at 2-9 09:02
Works the same with the Smart Controller.  After updating the Fly app (having deleted the old version first), upon re-start up, a notice is displayed on the Fly screen.  Clicking the 'bind' link drags you through the process and you receive confirmation that you're covered.  I believe this only show up if you are already 'registered' with the Care plan.

I think the question was what happens if you swap between smart controller and regular controller.
2-9 09:12
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BobbyStevens
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WebParrot Posted at 2-9 09:08
Sorry, I'm late to the conversation.  Although I did scan the conversations, I didn't see anything about using the "Find my drone" feature.  If it works the same on the MA2 as the Spark, you can employ a "beep" and flashing lights to help locate.  Can be helpful if you think you might be in the area.  I've used it once to find a Spark, and fortunately not had to with my MA2 :-)

I realize you've conducted the search, but if you decide to go back out, there may be options not considered.

Yes, I used the find my drone feature on two separate visits to the site of last connection. I was not able to activate flashing and beeping. When I clicked the button to do that I got a notification to the effect of "the connection could not be established" I'm guessing the battery was drained or dislodged from the drone.
2-9 10:24
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BobbyStevens
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Thanks everyone, for all the advice and suggestions. I spoke with DJI tech support yesterday and filled out their information request so they can assess the situation and decide what kind of remedy I qualify for. I provided this additional information for them:

"After initial loss of connection I moved the mode switch from “sport” to “normal” and pulled back on the stick to return home. Shortly after, the notification “remote control disconnected” appeared on my screen and the video transmission went black. I held the controller in my hands for a few minutes, hoping the connection would reestablish. When it did not, I set the controller next to me and waited at the home point for approximately 30 minutes, hoping for RTH to be activated. My drone did not return.

I then activated “find my drone” and drove to the area where last connection was indicated. I searched the ground and scanned the nearby trees for approximately 2 hours. I attempted to activate flashing and beeping but I received no response. I could not locate my Mavic Air 2.

That evening I downloaded the flight log and viewed in google earth. I traced a line past the point of last contact, and the next day I contacted the property owner and returned to the area of last connection. Our search party of 4 continued the search before, at, and past the point of last contact, scanning the ground and searching the treetops with binoculars. Again I could not locate the drone.

This morning (2-8-2021) I returned to the original home point and searched the area for approximately 2 hours with no luck.

Upon reviewing the flight log I noticed several discrepancies from what I experienced on the flight, including a loss of downlink that lasted approximately 190 seconds, and an erroneous indication that I changed the max altitude and distance mid-flight. Another anomaly was an indication that I switched to sport mode twice with no other mode indicated in between. I believe what I actually did was switch from sport to normal mode when the reception became weak so I would have positioning sensors available for the return home."

From a practical standpoint this seems like a flyaway. The flight log data, when opened in google earth shows plenty of clearance above the ground on the return path. The area of last connection has been searched extensively. In any case I am hoping for a quick resolution so I can get back in the air. I am holding myself back from just ordering a new MA2 on my own dime at this point.



2-9 10:31
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BobbyStevens
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DAFlys Posted at 2-9 09:11
As long as you have the smashed drone your still covered.

I've searched the are of last connection for a total of 5.5 hours and the home point for 2. No sign of the carcass on the ground or in the trees. From a practical standpoint it now seems like a flyaway to me.
2-9 10:36
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Ice_2k
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i don't understand, why would you call it a fly away? Wouldn't that mean that the drone simply malfunctioned and.... flew away? From what I understand, this is not the case, it was mostly pilot error and sketchy signal due to occlusion from the terrain
2-10 04:33
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The Saint
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from what i am reading, this is exactly the type of situation that dji would cover under the "flyaway" policy.  i recall the pilot did not have this particular insurance but if he did, my thinking is care refresh if you retrieve the drone and flyaway if you don't retrieve the drone.  because "flyaway" is just a clever marketing term designed to inspire confidence with the new flyer, it will drive sales of the offering (which will inevitably increase in price), and help get the pilot back into the air without have to resort to a more expensive warranty claim.  think about it; on your second flight out as a new pilot, your new drone with dji refresh and you get into a little bit of trouble from venturing out a little further, so you press the rth button for the first time and....nothing.

i understand there are many different definitions of "flyway" but for most pilots, this is irrelevant when you don't have your drone.  you can't exactly call it "my drone got away from me" insurance.  obviously dji had to put parameters around the insurance but i don't see why it cannot be as wide open (in theory) as the dji care refresh i.e. covers crashes that are the pilot's fault except intentionals.  since the rc is bound and the logs must be provided, this should take care of anyone who would simply fly their drone away or sell it and make a claim.  not sure how dji would tag the drone.

i will be binding my drone this weekend (currently not flying due to winter weather).  if you have care refresh, you have nothing to lose since you are not forced to use the insurance.  why does only the m2 and ma2 have it?  not sure.

another point based on the o.p. comments as well as from other threads:  spending hours and hours searching for a drone, rounding up search parties, and coordinating with private property owners is simply not a option for most pilots.  if you are in an urban area and there are several dozens buildings in the area, it's impossible to reach out to everyone.  it took me about 6 hours over 2 days to find my drone while searching alone and in the public park so i can imagine the frustration when the find my drone "feature" doesn't produce results as expected (even though we all understand why not).
2-10 06:41
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Ice_2k Posted at 2-10 04:33
i don't understand, why would you call it a fly away? Wouldn't that mean that the drone simply malfunctioned and.... flew away? From what I understand, this is not the case, it was mostly pilot error and sketchy signal due to occlusion from the terrain

I’m always quick to take responsibility for my actions. But my drone was only 3,200’  from the controller, a fraction of the range DJI advertises. And upon reviewing the flight data and plotting it on a 3D terrain map, it’s not entirely conclusive that this was a controlled flight into terrain. The flight log shows several errors throughout the flight that weren’t communicated as they occurred. And there is no physical evidence of the crash, just a mysterious signal loss and then nothing. If you are flying your drone and it doesn’t come back, wouldn’t you call that a flyaway?
2-10 10:52
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Ice_2k Posted at 2-10 04:33
i don't understand, why would you call it a fly away? Wouldn't that mean that the drone simply malfunctioned and.... flew away? From what I understand, this is not the case, it was mostly pilot error and sketchy signal due to occlusion from the terrain

I think the OP has done an excellent job of walking us through his encounters and efforts to locate his aircraft AND describe the numerous steps he's taken to discover what might have gone wrong.  Basically -I'm saying- lacking other evidence, I think he's justified with calling it a flyaway.  It seems -at this point- the only logical, remaining explanation.  Much of science re: medicine is a process of diagnosis/problem solving using the exclusion of what we know, what we can define, to come to a conclusion.

He's done us all a service by taking the time to answer questions, and share his experience so we can apply our own safety protocols.   :-)   Hats off.
2-10 19:52
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WebParrot
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The Saint Posted at 2-10 06:41
i will be binding my drone this weekend (currently not flying due to winter weather).  if you have care refresh, you have nothing to lose since you are not forced to use the insurance.

FWIW, I 'bound' my aircraft without taking flight.  Remove the props, and fire that baby up -following the binding steps provided by DJI.  :-)
2-10 19:54
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WebParrot
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BobbyStevens Posted at 2-10 10:52
I’m always quick to take responsibility for my actions. But my drone was only 3,200’  from the controller, a fraction of the range DJI advertises. And upon reviewing the flight data and plotting it on a 3D terrain map, it’s not entirely conclusive that this was a controlled flight into terrain. The flight log shows several errors throughout the flight that weren’t communicated as they occurred. And there is no physical evidence of the crash, just a mysterious signal loss and then nothing. If you are flying your drone and it doesn’t come back, wouldn’t you call that a flyaway?

You should take comfort (if nothing else) that with all the information you've provided to DJI, it "may" become apparent that even if the the loss doesn't meet their "flyaway" definition, the other error message might be enough to warrant consideration for some sort of compensation.  

Regardless,  "poke" them hard in any followup discussions and push for a replacement, or at a minimum a 50-60% discount on an aircraft-only replacement.  Even if they provide you with a refurbished aircraft, you'll be ahead of buying a whole new kit.  FWIW, I know they used to do that as it happened to me 4 years ago with a Mavic Pro.
2-10 20:00
Use props
The Saint
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Flight distance : 2584869 ft
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WebParrot Posted at 2-10 19:54
FWIW, I 'bound' my aircraft without taking flight.  Remove the props, and fire that baby up -following the binding steps provided by DJI.  :-)

that's true, i could do it tonight.
2-10 21:37
Use props
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