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Mavic mini crashed in C-mode flying by interference
654 24 2-10 02:37
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2t87h4
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Flight distance : 21017 ft
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I'm writing this thread to share my experience purpose and add data point for DJI Mavic Mini crash event.

Background:
- My aircraft purchased on 2019 Oct and flew less than 3 hour
- Properly stored in a protected camera case and no fly at all.
- Success flew on 2020 Dec about 1 hour
- 14months old when it crashed. both warranty and insurance is expired.

When crash:
- Temp. = -4 C
- Wind <= 1m/s
- C-mode (smooth)
- Battery pre-heated in my pocket and 100% when take-off.
- AC have > 2m clearnce around.

After crash:
- LED green & red flash every 2 sec
- RC cannot found AC
- Mobile App could connect with RC but also could not found AC
- Hold 4 sec power button on AC won't goes to pairing mode (no change on LED status)
- With / without SD card perform same behaviour
- Swapped different SD card  


I read all RC&AC connect/pairing thread in this form seems the solution there is not working in my case.
So technically my AC was dead at this moment.


----------Edited and added following analysis----------


By looking into the RCLOG which export from my DJI app, I figure out the root cause of crash event is highly related to the RF interference, see the highlighted log following:


12-13 10:51:03.435:mem_use = 48%, cpu_use = 35%
12-13 10:51:03.465:[GND_wifi0_stats] rx_pkts: 390, rx_errs: 0, tx_pkts: 54, tx_retries: 0, tx_fails: 0, tx_per: 0, ac_tx_per: 0,rssi: -49, rx_rate: 36Mbps, osd 10, stream 350
12-13 10:51:05.856:[2020-12-13 10:51:05]: second 530, USB IOS, bat 96, uart 6986,80480
12-13 10:51:06.486:[GND_wifi0_stats] rx_pkts: 361, rx_errs: 0, tx_pkts: 51, tx_retries: 0, tx_fails: 0, tx_per: 0, ac_tx_per: 1,rssi: -49, rx_rate: 36Mbps, osd 10, stream 322
12-13 10:51:08.450:[GND] CC:CN FCC Cal:0, freq:5745 bw:5MHz rate:6M txpower:20, link:1 phone:1 sw:2057kbps video:2057kbps rc>>105kbps >>rc1888bps
        beacon[rx_all:4402 rx:4401 tx:8 tx_miss:0], probe[req:0 resp_all:0 resp:0]   rxint:1745639 txint:87621
12-13 10:51:08.451:mem_use = 48%, cpu_use = 30%
12-13 10:51:09.533:[GND_wifi0_stats] rx_pkts: 341, rx_errs: 0, tx_pkts: 56, tx_retries: 0, tx_fails: 0, tx_per: 0, ac_tx_per: 0,rssi: -52, rx_rate: 36Mbps, osd 11, stream 301
12-13 10:51:10.876:[2020-12-13 10:51:10]: second 535, USB IOS, bat 96, uart 7065,81248
12-13 10:51:12.532:[GND_wifi0_stats] rx_pkts: 289, rx_errs: 0, tx_pkts: 55, tx_retries: 0, tx_fails: 0, tx_per: 0, ac_tx_per: 1,rssi: -47, rx_rate: 36Mbps, osd 10, stream 252
12-13 10:51:13.546:[GND] CC:CN FCC Cal:0, freq:5745 bw:5MHz rate:6M txpower:20, link:1 phone:1 sw:2348kbps video:2348kbps rc>>113kbps >>rc2384bps
        beacon[rx_all:4451 rx:4450 tx:8 tx_miss:0], probe[req:0 resp_all:0 resp:0]   rxint:1762487 txint:88576
12-13 10:51:13.547:mem_use = 48%, cpu_use = 27%
12-13 10:51:15.667:[GND_wifi0_stats] rx_pkts: 353, rx_errs: 0, tx_pkts: 55, tx_retries: 0, tx_fails: 0, tx_per: 0, ac_tx_per: 9,rssi: -52, rx_rate: 36Mbps, osd 10, stream 321
12-13 10:51:15.896:[2020-12-13 10:51:15]: second 540, USB IOS, bat 96, uart 7140,82034
12-13 10:51:18.678:[GND] CC:CN FCC Cal:0, freq:5745 bw:5MHz rate:6M txpower:20, link:1 phone:1 sw:2603kbps video:2603kbps rc>>119kbps >>rc2024bps
        beacon[rx_all:4499 rx:4498 tx:8 tx_miss:0], probe[req:0 resp_all:0 resp:0]   rxint:1779318 txint:89536
12-13 10:51:18.679:mem_use = 48%, cpu_use = 31%
12-13 10:51:18.709:[GND_wifi0_stats] rx_pkts: 378, rx_errs: 0, tx_pkts: 55, tx_retries: 0, tx_fails: 0, tx_per: 0, ac_tx_per: 8,rssi: -55, rx_rate: 36Mbps, osd 10, stream 338
12-13 10:51:20.916:[2020-12-13 10:51:20]: second 545, USB IOS, bat 96, uart 7215,82817
12-13 10:51:21.850:[GND_wifi0_stats] rx_pkts: 392, rx_errs: 0, tx_pkts: 55, tx_retries: 0, tx_fails: 0, tx_per: 0, ac_tx_per: 1,rssi: -50, rx_rate: 36Mbps, osd 11, stream 353
12-13 10:51:23.865:[GND] CC:CN FCC Cal:0, freq:5745 bw:5MHz rate:6M txpower:20, link:1 phone:1 sw:3125kbps video:3125kbps rc>>109kbps >>rc2520bps
        beacon[rx_all:4549 rx:4548 tx:8 tx_miss:0], probe[req:0 resp_all:0 resp:0]   rxint:1796427 txint:90511
12-13 10:51:23.866:mem_use = 48%, cpu_use = 33%
12-13 10:51:24.910:[GND_wifi0_stats] rx_pkts: 397, rx_errs: 0, tx_pkts: 64, tx_retries: 0, tx_fails: 0, tx_per: 0, ac_tx_per: 2,rssi: -50, rx_rate: 36Mbps, osd 10, stream 361
12-13 10:51:25.936:[2020-12-13 10:51:25]: second 550, USB IOS, bat 96, uart 7290,83591
12-13 10:51:27.974:[GND_wifi0_stats] rx_pkts: 295, rx_errs: 0, tx_pkts: 58, tx_retries: 2, tx_fails: 2, tx_per: 6, ac_tx_per: 30,rssi: -60, rx_rate: 36Mbps, osd 10, stream 242
12-13 10:51:28.941:[GND] CC:CN FCC Cal:0, freq:5745 bw:5MHz rate:6M txpower:20, link:1 phone:1 sw:1122kbps video:1122kbps rc>>189kbps >>rc1992bps
        beacon[rx_all:4596 rx:4595 tx:8 tx_miss:0], probe[req:0 resp_all:0 resp:0]   rxint:1813095 txint:91470
12-13 10:51:28.942:mem_use = 48%, cpu_use = 22%
12-13 10:51:29.983:strong interference: tx_per: 64, rssi: -49
12-13 10:51:30.956:[2020-12-13 10:51:30]: second 555, USB IOS, bat 96, uart 7350,84365
12-13 10:51:30.998:strong interference: tx_per: 100, rssi: -49
12-13 10:51:30.998:[GND_wifi0_stats] rx_pkts: 0, rx_errs: 0, tx_pkts: 51, tx_retries: 52, tx_fails: 52, tx_per: 100, ac_tx_per: 8,rssi: -49, rx_rate: 36Mbps, osd 0, stream 0
12-13 10:51:32.006:strong interference: tx_per: 98, rssi: -49
12-13 10:51:33.016:strong interference: tx_per: 100, rssi: -49
12-13 10:51:33.623:plane disconnect
12-13 10:51:34.011:[GND] CC:CN FCC Cal:0, freq:5745 bw:5MHz rate:6M txpower:20, link:0 phone:1 sw:0kbps video:0kbps rc>>6kbps >>rc8160bps
        beacon[rx_all:4602 rx:4601 tx:8 tx_miss:0], probe[req:1 resp_all:0 resp:0]   rxint:1829727 txint:91679
12-13 10:51:34.013:mem_use = 46%, cpu_use = 14%
12-13 10:51:34.846:try scan flush
12-13 10:51:35.976:[2020-12-13 10:51:35]: second 560, USB IOS, bat 96, uart 7372,85109
12-13 10:51:37.579:check ibss connection, find peer:64:60:1f:e8:87:f0, run ibss rejoin, freq:5745
12-13 10:51:39.087:[GND] CC:CN FCC Cal:0, freq:5745 bw:5MHz rate:NA txpower:20, link:0 phone:1 sw:0kbps video:0kbps rc>>4kbps >>rc1800bps
        beacon[rx_all:4602 rx:4601 tx:13 tx_miss:0], probe[req:11 resp_all:0 resp:0]   rxint:1846429 txint:91728
12-13 10:51:39.088:mem_use = 46%, cpu_use = 47%
12-13 10:51:41.030:[2020-12-13 10:51:41]: second 566, USB IOS, bat 96, uart 7382,85796
12-13 10:51:41.691:check ibss connection, find peer:64:60:1f:e8:87:f0, run ibss rejoin, freq:5745
12-13 10:51:44.214:[GND] CC:CN FCC Cal:0, freq:5745 bw:5MHz rate:NA txpower:20, link:0 phone:1 sw:0kbps video:0kbps rc>>4kbps >>rc1760bps
        beacon[rx_all:4602 rx:4601 tx:18 tx_miss:0], probe[req:21 resp_all:0 resp:0]   rxint:1863197 txint:91773




flight_log.png
2-10 02:37
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DJI Stephen
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Hello there. I am sorry for the trouble this has caused and thank you for reaching out. Since this unfortunate event happened to your DJI Mavic Mini. It would be best to contact our DJI Support Team for further assistance. You may contact or DJI Support Team at : https://repair.dji.com/repair/index or via http://www.dji.com/support to open a case. Again, I am sorry for the trouble and thank you.
2-10 03:39
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2t87h4
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*Merged this comment into the OP
2-10 05:24
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JJB*
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Hi,

I would be surprised if interference would cause such a crash.

If you like post your flightlogon here, using > https://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/Upload/
or put a cloud link to this flightlog on here.

cheers
JJB
2-10 05:55
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K6CCC
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I'm with Capt. JJB on this one.  Highly unlikely that interference caused the crash.  Interference will cause the remote and aircraft to fail to communicate with each other (more likely that the aircraft can no longer receive a signal from the remote - as opposed to the other way around).  In the event of loss of signal, the Mini will either initiate a Return to Home procedure, hover in place, or land (depending on who you have it set in the settings (default is to RTH unless you changed it).
When I fly around my neighborhood, I routinely lose connectivity due to WiFi interference.  It always initiates a RTH procedure.
2-10 07:31
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2t87h4
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JJB* Posted at 2-10 05:55
Hi,

I would be surprised if interference would cause such a crash.

I was doubting that as well.
But I excluded other facts:
- There is ~50mm snow on the ground so even falling from ~80ft still makes the AC one piece.
- The gimbal arm was broken by the impact and I glued it back later, seems the landing point is head
- No other major dent on the shell
- AC was visible to me during the flight

I PMed you the URL for the flight log ;)
2-10 07:36
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2t87h4
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K6CCC Posted at 2-10 07:31
I'm with Capt. JJB on this one.  Highly unlikely that interference caused the crash.  Interference will cause the remote and aircraft to fail to communicate with each other (more likely that the aircraft can no longer receive a signal from the remote - as opposed to the other way around).  In the event of loss of signal, the Mini will either initiate a Return to Home procedure, hover in place, or land (depending on who you have it set in the settings (default is to RTH unless you changed it).
When I fly around my neighborhood, I routinely lose connectivity due to WiFi interference.  It always initiates a RTH procedure.

Thanks for the input and currently WiFi interference was the only clue I got.
As I tried to proof it was hit by a bird/stone but there is no such damage on the shell which could tell the story. (well a snowball could possibility be the case)

PS: Flight log URL PMed incase you interested
2-10 07:40
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K6CCC
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2t87h4 Posted at 2-10 07:40
Thanks for the input and currently WiFi interference was the only clue I got.
As I tried to proof it was hit by a bird/stone but there is no such damage on the shell which could tell the story. (well a snowball could possibility be the case)

Bird strike may or may nor leave anything visible.

JJB is the expert on reading the flight logs, so we'll see what he comes up with.
2-10 08:16
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JohnLietzke
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I agree with JJB & K6CCC that interference with the RC is not a likely cause of the crash.  From the short clip you included of the rapid descent it appears to me that it would more likely that it stuck or was struck by something.  Power lines & telecom lines are hard to see and in urban areas are often much higher than rural or suburban areas.
2-10 08:48
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JJB*
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2t87h4 Posted at 2-10 07:36
I was doubting that as well.
But I excluded other facts:
- There is ~50mm snow on the ground so even falling from ~80ft still makes the AC one piece.

Hi,

Had a look at your log.

The interference message at 1m25 in flight.
Your Mini started to fall down at 6m43s, pitch and roll angles of your drone goes wild.

As you sent me your log in PM i will not show data where you are located.
If you like sent me the DAT file for this flight, more info in there about engines  rpm ect or other errors.

DAT on your device as well, look for FLY037.DAT.

See your data in my 2 charts, first chart check the pitch and roll angles, vertical speed etc.

At 2,3 and 4m in flight 3x a msg "Aircraft unable to Return to Home automatically | Lower altitude immediately and Return to Home manually | Strong wind warning. Aircraft unable to Return to Home automatically"  So it must have been windy.
So what happend?  or hit by a bird, loosing blades () or drone hit a wire or so. Or an error in the 'system' wich distribute power to the motors etc.DAT file can tell mayby.
No errors on the motors in the log.
Or did a wind sheer caused it, nah do not believe in that scenario.


cheers
JJB




analysis1.png
analysis2.png
2-10 09:15
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2t87h4
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JJB* Posted at 2-10 09:15
Hi,

Had a look at your log.

Hi Captain JJB,

A big thank you for digging the root cause with me and your considerate.

Regarding the timing of the wifi interference, I think it happened when crashing, as the rclog started at 12-13 10:43:52.526 and interference happened on 12-13 10:51:29.983 which is around 7mins after RC was powered on. (I think the timestamp somehow is not synced between rclog and fightlog which creating the confusion).

Unfortunately my SD card is dead as well during the crash so everything was lost
I searched everything from the DJI app but there is no .DAT file.
It was really a pity that we could not have additional input from the engine RPM data which I also believe could tell a lot.

Regarding to the possible root cause of crash, I could exclude following:
  • Telecom/power wires. (This not the first time I flew in this area and it actually a “square/plaza”)


Apart from the wifi interference, I think following causes are valid:
  • Loosing blades. (as you might have noticed I’m not an experienced user with this AC so have no idea how to check/adjust/maintain a good condition of blade. I only do check if blades are blended / broken before and after flight)
  • Wind sheer. (from the wind speed at ground I could tell is quite gentle, but it make sense the wind speed condition is totally different at ~80ft height.)
  • Hit by a bird. (it is possible a bird hits the AC and leaves quite quickly. I visually focused/locked the AC immediately when the picture started “rotate/unstable” and observed how it falls from 80fts. But I can’t tell what happen before that)
  • Power distribution issue. (we are missing critical logs in this case which could tell the possibility for this. But, according to the “analysis2.png” you shared, when the AC is crashing/falling, the voltage of battery increased a level. From the engnergy perspective my understanding is the motor might stop/slower working during crash/falling as the engnergy/battery consumption slows down a lot.)


I have a question here: In what kind of condition AC will shut down the motor during flight?. I only know I could stop it by ↘️  + ↙️.   (my wild guess is the unstable AC position makes it stop the engine eventually causing the crash. as from the video cache it also shows the AC is trying to stabilize its position in the beginning and suddenly lost height for some reason)

Thank you all who showed interest here and helped to figure out what happened there.


q.png
2-11 01:47
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jonny007
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I searched everything from the DJI app but there is no .DAT file

I think I remember that this file is deleted when syncing the logs with the DJI server (?) They all exist for me, but I've never synced.

An engine stop is e.g initiated when the drone exceeds a certain incline. You can simulate that yourself by letting the drone land on your hand and then turning it around. But the question is, WHAT has made the drone so unstable? Another possibility you have not listed: Bad neighbors shot the drone down from the sky. ;-)
2-11 03:13
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JJB*
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2t87h4 Posted at 2-11 01:47
Hi Captain JJB,
A big thank you for digging the root cause with me and your considerate.
Regarding the timing of the wifi interference, I think it happened when crashing, as the rclog started at 12-13 10:43:52.526 and interference happened on 12-13 10:51:29.983 which is around 7mins after RC was powered on. (I think the timestamp somehow is not synced between rclog and fightlog which creating the confusion).

Hi,

See the rough data on messages. If out of sync than the last messages would have been recorderd after the crash!  So imo interference at the moment i wrote.

Bad luck for the DAT file, sometimes its deleted after syncing with the DJI servers.
( i always copy log and DAT to my PC before syncing)

Blades, well if one or more blades were missing than you have wrote that in the first post.
Wind sheer, normally drone will coop with that and not falling out of the sky
Bird, could be possibilty   we will never know
Power fail to one or more motors, for this we need the DAT....

Not sure when a DJI drone will stop their rotors in a falling down to earth scenario.
If recognized as a severe bad situation users can stop rotor by CSC.

Totals volts from 7.3 to 7.4 volts after releasing RC sticks, my guess is that the motors were spining (but not all at the same rpm)  till the end.

Hope that DJI can help you out.

With regards,
Cheers
JJB
analysis1.png
2-11 04:36
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m80116
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That kind of tilt I've seen happening a lot of time with Mini when ESC errors are present, like Not Enough Force.

Beyond that ingredients for a disaster were probably all lingering around like: freezing temperatures, strong wind, snow drizzle and an Aircraft that's been in storage (without knowing how the props were folded in) months on end without any successful recent test flight.

2-11 13:34
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Labroides
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2t87h4 Posted at 2-11 01:47
Hi Captain JJB,
A big thank you for digging the root cause with me and your considerate.
Regarding the timing of the wifi interference, I think it happened when crashing, as the rclog started at 12-13 10:43:52.526 and interference happened on 12-13 10:51:29.983 which is around 7mins after RC was powered on. (I think the timestamp somehow is not synced between rclog and fightlog which creating the confusion).

Interference is common in urban and residential areas.
But it won't ever crash your drone or cause it to fly uncontrollably.
The worse it could do would be to swamp your control signal which would only trigger failsafe RTH.

If you PM the flight data, I'll have a look to see what I can find.
2-11 20:39
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2t87h4
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jonny007 Posted at 2-11 03:13
I searched everything from the DJI app but there is no .DAT file

I think I remember that this file is deleted when syncing the logs with the DJI server (?) They all exist for me, but I've never synced.

yeah I didn't realize the DAT data will be removed once uploaded this
Actually I called DJI once the crash happen and they suggest me to upload the flight log
then they said, oh your AC is out of warranty and we suggest you to bring it to our repair center plus if you wanna analyze the root cause, you will need to pay ~30usd-ish first to request.
2-14 21:29
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2t87h4
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JJB* Posted at 2-11 04:36
Hi,

See the rough data on messages. If out of sync than the last messages would have been recorderd after the crash!  So imo interference at the moment i wrote.

Hi Captain JJB,

Yes it was really a pity that I lost the DAT file. (see the post able, DJI customer support ask me to sync data from app first)

For the blades, none of them are blended / broken even after crash (Thanks to the snow on the ground soften the "landing"). So I personally would like to exclude this one.

So at this moment from the facts and logs on our hand, we could only tell the crash might caused by one of / multiple following root cause:
  • Bird hits
  • Power fail
  • Wifi interference (doesn't seem to trigger such unstable flight positions as we understand.)


Yeah I will try to ask DJI if they could do a remote analyse the DAT file and/or send the DAT file back to me.

Thank you once again Captain JJB wish you all the best!


2-14 21:37
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2t87h4
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m80116 Posted at 2-11 13:34
That kind of tilt I've seen happening a lot of time with Mini when ESC errors are present, like Not Enough Force.

Beyond that ingredients for a disaster were probably all lingering around like: freezing temperatures, strong wind, snow drizzle and an Aircraft that's been in storage (without knowing how the props were folded in) months on end without any successful recent test flight.

"
That kind of tilt I've seen happening a lot of time with Mini when ESC errors are present, like Not Enough Force.
"

Yeah agree with your point that ingredients of this crash might be multiple.
but aircraft has been properly storaged, I have enought knowleadge on this part ;) and there is ~1 hour test/actuall flight before this crash events

and thanks for your input regarding the tilt angle /parttern seesms ESC error (aka power issue).
2-14 21:40
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2t87h4
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Labroides Posted at 2-11 20:39
Interference is common in urban and residential areas.
But it won't ever crash your drone or cause it to fly uncontrollably.
The worse it could do would be to swamp your control signal which would only trigger failsafe RTH.

Thank you for willing to help, I've PMed flightlog to you.
2-14 21:48
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Labroides
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2t87h4 Posted at 2-14 21:48
Thank you for willing to help, I've PMed flightlog to you.

Thank you ... the data is good and explains the cause of the incident.

You flew closer and closer to a large building to the northeast of your home point.
At 6:43.9 the drone collided with something at the time the drone reached the building.
The drone was knocked upside down by the crash and partly recovered  but came tumbling to the ground.
How tall is the building?


It looks like the kind of environment where I'd expect to have interference, but it wouldn't cause flight problems.
You have full signal and control right up to crashing into the building.

2-14 22:53
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Labroides
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JJB* Posted at 2-11 04:36
Hi,

See the rough data on messages. If out of sync than the last messages would have been recorderd after the crash!  So imo interference at the moment i wrote.

You didn't think the building was the issue?
2-14 23:03
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JJB*
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Labroides Posted at 2-14 23:03
You didn't think the building was the issue?

Hi,

well, if the drone hit that building than at least one set of blades must have been really damaged.
As the OP did not say anything about blade damage...., i was not triggered about hitting a building.
But possible ofcourse, have not check that building for it shape ect, it looked after the hit kind of free fall plus correcting, so it must have been some free distance away from that building. And in the log no motor blockage errors at all, hitting a hard object will normally gives such a message.

cheers
JJB

2-15 00:51
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2t87h4
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Re to Captain JJB and Labroides,

Hope these input could make things clear:
1. All blades are in the good shape, no broken, no blended, no scratch as the AC crashed on the snow.
2. I visually check the AC when flying cause I aware the building.
3. Height when crash is higher than building ~5 meters.

BTW I tear down the AC to perform a post-mortem, here is the findings:
a) Gimbal arm is broken --> I glue it back perfectly/
b) Edge of GPS module was scratched by its plastic mounting frame. --> Which shows GPS board has been very very impacted when hit the land.
c) Metal cap from the bottom of GPS board falls off and blended. --> Which I think very likely damage the chip on it.
d) Disconnect the GPS&Gimbal flex connector from main board shows same symptom: steady Green & Red LED rotate every 2sec
e) Reconnect every flex connector on main board, no luck.

I think the AC was stuck in self-check program at some point which leads it won't pair with RC and DJI assistant PC
- It will beep after power on, sounds normal
- gimbal can initialize but will stop working ~5sec
- After I manually poke the gimbal a bit it will re-initialize then starts working, camera always been stabilized.
- Hold power button 4+ sec will make 4 motor move a little bit but won't make AC into pairing mode.

I'm not planning to repair it with DJI as the cost prob 1/3~1/2(my guestimation) to a new mini2 + insurance.
Prob just simply replace a GPS board to see if any luck if I can find one.
2-16 09:06
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JJB*
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2t87h4 Posted at 2-16 09:06
Re to Captain JJB and Labroides,

Hope these input could make things clear:

Hi,

Thanks for the update. Hope your repair will be succesfull!

cheers
JJB
2-16 11:23
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m80116
Captain
Flight distance : 3264131 ft
Italy
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This goes to show that contrary to popular beliefs MM plastics are actually very resilient when even after a multistory fall in freezing conditions the body still appears to be in good nick (and the mudules underneath may have been damaged by contact with the outer body shell).
2-16 13:11
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