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Flysafe Still Not Safe
1962 23 2022-1-16
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ianwood
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I have been flying DJI drones since before Flysafe, GEO, NFZ, etc. existed. Phantom 2-4, Inspire 1-2, A2, A3, M600, M300, and Mavic 2-3. Unfortunately, even after so much progress, the current FlySafe system still has serious issues that DJI needs to fix. The issues include:

  • Waiting until you are in the air before requiring you put in your phone number, a code, and then three check boxes before you can continue.
  • Halting the drone from moving in certain directions (even the ones that get you back to your home point) before the above verification is complete. Even in authorization zones.
  • Timing out and leaving an error in a modal dialog with no means of closing it.
  • Lacking consistency with national airspace regulations and guidelines.
  • Not making it abundantly clear why a drone will refuse to fly in a certain direction. Ideally BEFORE flight.
  • Requiring a phone verification code every time the app is updated.

I write this because again today Flysafe caught me out with the Mavic 3 Cine. Despite being 4 miles from the nearest airport, I took off knowing I was on the edge of an authorization zone and expected that maybe I might have to check a box after I took off. Unbeknownst to me, the app had updated and thus it required a full phone verification.

At this point, I tried to bring the drone back the 20 or so feet I had flown it to be safely away from people which happened to be over an incline. The drone didn't want to come back despite the authorization zone being to the right. As result, the choice now was to get the authorization while in the air or land the drone half way down a steep hill.

Having connected to the internet and put my phone number in the app for the hundredth time, the verification dialog then timed out leaving nothing but a white box with an error message and no way to close it. At this point, the app was essentially frozen and the drone refused to come back towards me.

Thankfully Mavic 3 batteries last as long as they do! I forced the app closed, restarted it, only to have it not bring up the verification dialog. Drone still wouldn't fly back. I had to restart the app 2 more times before it prompted me to verify myself again. Fortunately, it finally worked and I was able to regain control of the drone.

This whole fiasco took almost five minutes. Five minutes with a drone in the air that I could not fully control. To be clear, I don't care if the verification process takes 20 minutes if the drone is still on the ground. But because it waits until after you are in the air, it creates a dangerous situation that could easily be avoided. DJI, fix this!

End of rant.
2022-1-16
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rainphantom
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Between this issue of the Phone and the wait for the Satelites and the Home Point to Record,  There is a lot of time lost , let alone the process should be on the ground as you mention.
2022-1-16
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1adlucas59gmail.com
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There’s more issues than those and I won’t get a M3 nor many more if they don’t address these issues.
Does this forum even have Admin’s or Mods that monitor these threads
2022-1-16
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NGC
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Tip: the author has been banned or deleted automatically shield
2022-1-16
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KlooGee
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Okay, before moving on to my comments below, I wish we didn't have to deal with DJI's geofencing system either.  Its not perfect, but with a bit of learning about how it works, it is dead simple and almost always reliable.  I've been flying for several years and have never had it stop me from flying anywhere that I'm legally allowed to fly.  But that is because I took the time to understand how it works and where the geo-zones exist in my region or regions I travel to.  With this information, I can properly prepare.

Having said that....
It sounds to me like there is a good possibility you are launching your drone before you get a GPS location lock.  Until the drone gets that GPS location lock, it doesn't know that it is in a geofenced area.  If you are already up in the air and off flying once the location lock happens, then it will start trying to implement its geofencing rules.

I always wait until I've got a home point location locked in and have never had the problem you describe about it getting up in the air before being prompted to do the unlock.

The current iteration of the Mavic 3 firmware is widely reported as having an extremely slow GPS location lock, so the issue you are seeing while using the Mavic 3 is likely exacerbated because of it.  Just need a bit of patience before launching and likely won't get into this situation again.  Also, if you know you will be flying near an authorization zone, do the unlock via the website ahead of time.  It vastly simplifies things!


1. Wait for a GPS lock before you launch and this won't happen.
2. Same
3. Never seen that, so can't comment
4. Keep in mind that DJI has to design a system that works across the world with a million different regulations that are completely different from country to country.  They decided to implement a safety based system rather than a localized legal system that would have been impossible for them to reasonably maintain.  So they went with a safety based system instead.  Just learn how it works and you won't be surprised by it in the future.  DJI initially had plans to implement a US FAA LAANC based system, but according to Brendan Shulman (DJI's for legal counsel), the FAA basically kicked them out of the program because they are a China based company.
5. Again, what for pre-flight GPS lock.
6. I haven't been prompted for a phone verification code in a at least a couple years.

2022-1-16
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ianwood
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KlooGee Posted at 1-16 15:08
Okay, before moving on to my comments below, I wish we didn't have to deal with DJI's geofencing system either.  Its not perfect, but with a bit of learning about how it works, it is dead simple and almost always reliable.  I've been flying for several years and have never had it stop me from flying anywhere that I'm legally allowed to fly.  But that is because I took the time to understand how it works and where the geo-zones exist in my region or regions I travel to.  With this information, I can properly prepare.

Having said that....

I always wait for GPS. In this particular instance, I had 14 or 15 sats and got the home point updated message prior to take off. Yet the message to verify my account only came up when the drone was in the air and already 20ft away. It's always been this way. Props must be spinning before it prompts for soem sort of FlySafe input.  Phantom, Mavic, Inspire, A3. All of these platforms have the same broken behavior. The only exception being unlocks.  
As for the inconsistencies with national airspace, either they make it consistent or don't do it. It doesn't make sense to have two different sets of rules. It creats confusion and is not safe.

BTW, the first line of my post should tell you enough about my level of experience with DJI product and all forms of the geofencing they have implemented over the years. I've been doing this for a long time. I do it professionally for film and TV. I understand exactly how these systems work.


2022-1-16
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DAFlys
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ianwood Posted at 1-16 16:13
I always wait for GPS. In this particular instance, I had 14 or 15 sats and got the home point updated message prior to take off. Yet the message to verify my account only came up when the drone was in the air and already 20ft away. It's always been this way. Props must be spinning before it prompts for soem sort of FlySafe input.  Phantom, Mavic, Inspire, A3. All of these platforms have the same broken behavior. The only exception being unlocks.  
As for the inconsistencies with national airspace, either they make it consistent or don't do it. It doesn't make sense to have two different sets of rules. It creats confusion and is not safe.

You can always do the unlock in advance from home. - https://fly-safe.dji.com/unlock/unlock-request/

Personally mine always requests an unlock before take off so Ive not had these issues.
2022-1-17
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CloudVisual
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DAFlys Posted at 1-17 01:24
You can always do the unlock in advance from home. - https://fly-safe.dji.com/unlock/unlock-request/

Personally mine always requests an unlock before take off so Ive not had these issues.

Just a heads up, DJI now needs account/drone information adding to this page to unlock zones. Took me 15 mins to add my drones, so make sure you've got yours listed.

Also, what this doesn't do is unlock some of the strange restricted areas which just don't show up on maps. I was flying the other day and absolutely nothing in the area. Had to get an SMS sent to unlock a bizarre underwater pipe which was apparently in the vicinity, but didn't show on the map.

2022-1-17
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DAFlys
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CloudVisual Posted at 1-17 02:46
Just a heads up, DJI now needs account/drone information adding to this page to unlock zones. Took me 15 mins to add my drones, so make sure you've got yours listed.

Also, what this doesn't do is unlock some of the strange restricted areas which just don't show up on maps. I was flying the other day and absolutely nothing in the area. Had to get an SMS sent to unlock a bizarre underwater pipe which was apparently in the vicinity, but didn't show on the map.

Yep mine are already all setup,  I often use this method in advance if I plan properly.  

Ive never had to unlock something that wasnt on the map though,  thats weird.
2022-1-17
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Nicodema
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CloudVisual Posted at 1-17 02:46
Just a heads up, DJI now needs account/drone information adding to this page to unlock zones. Took me 15 mins to add my drones, so make sure you've got yours listed.

Also, what this doesn't do is unlock some of the strange restricted areas which just don't show up on maps. I was flying the other day and absolutely nothing in the area. Had to get an SMS sent to unlock a bizarre underwater pipe which was apparently in the vicinity, but didn't show on the map.

Were you flying underwater at the time?
2022-1-17
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KlooGee
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ianwood Posted at 1-16 16:13
I always wait for GPS. In this particular instance, I had 14 or 15 sats and got the home point updated message prior to take off. Yet the message to verify my account only came up when the drone was in the air and already 20ft away. It's always been this way. Props must be spinning before it prompts for soem sort of FlySafe input.  Phantom, Mavic, Inspire, A3. All of these platforms have the same broken behavior. The only exception being unlocks.  
As for the inconsistencies with national airspace, either they make it consistent or don't do it. It doesn't make sense to have two different sets of rules. It creats confusion and is not safe.

I read your first line and I saw you've got Inspires and Phantoms in your profile.  However, I've seen many people in these and other forums that should have know what is going on based on the experience they purport to have, but clearly haven't taken the time to understand how something works.  I don't know if that is the case here, so I'll take your word for it.

However, I personally have never seen a video (or seen in person) of an unlock prompt happen while in the air to someone that understands how the system works.  So that is why I shared my thoughts the way I did.  However, I can't claim to have seen all situations.

These days, especially since DJI updated the FlySafe site so you can add your inventory, I personally do 99% of my unlocks online via their website.  As a professional, I would never take the chance of waiting until I was onsite to apply for my FAA authorizations and DJI unlocks.  Before I arrive on site, I know whether it is FAA controlled airspace and/or a DJI authorization zone.  So I double check my systems and wait until I'm 100% sure it is unlocked before even attempting to put my drone in the air.  Also, it is a waste of time to do it on site and too many things can go wrong if you don't properly prepare.  The only time I do an onsite unlock is if I get a last minute job and I'm already out.  Even then, I will usually do it via my laptop or iPad in the field before going to the location.  No use in wasting the time and fuel driving to a location if I can't get the proper authorizations and unlocks.  As a professional, it is my responsibility to be properly prepared so that I don't waste my valuable resources, nor those of other constituents that are counting on me to do my job.
2022-1-17
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KlooGee
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CloudVisual Posted at 1-17 02:46
Just a heads up, DJI now needs account/drone information adding to this page to unlock zones. Took me 15 mins to add my drones, so make sure you've got yours listed.

Also, what this doesn't do is unlock some of the strange restricted areas which just don't show up on maps. I was flying the other day and absolutely nothing in the area. Had to get an SMS sent to unlock a bizarre underwater pipe which was apparently in the vicinity, but didn't show on the map.

Yes, I am so glad they added this capability!!!  It makes it SSSOOOO much easier to enter your inventory into the site 1 time and then just be able to click on it and use it for all of your future authorizations.  The old system was a pain in they rear when you had to manually add your flight controller and other details every time.  Now it literally takes about 15 seconds to do an unlock!  I love the system compared to the old one!

I've not had a similar experience as you describe in regards to something not showing on the map, but still requiring an unlock.  Sounds like it worked out reasonably well though?
2022-1-17
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ianwood
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DAFlys Posted at 1-17 01:24
You can always do the unlock in advance from home. - https://fly-safe.dji.com/unlock/unlock-request/

Personally mine always requests an unlock before take off so Ive not had these issues.

I get unlocks when needed. No problem there. If I have no intention of entering a zone that requires an unlock, I do not. As was the case here. The app was requesting I supply my informatioin not for the nearby authorization zone but for the warning zone I was actually in. It was also limiting my movement towards the authorization zone despite not being in it. And it was oddly limiting my movement back towards me which is not consistent with the authorization zone.
Furthering this issue are the authorization zones that extend beyond controlled airspace. I was in class G airspace at the time.
And lastly, all of this could have been completely problem free had the app requested my credentials BEFORE allowing me to take off. Very simple.
2022-1-17
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CloudVisual
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KlooGee Posted at 1-17 07:36
Yes, I am so glad they added this capability!!!  It makes it SSSOOOO much easier to enter your inventory into the site 1 time and then just be able to click on it and use it for all of your future authorizations.  The old system was a pain in they rear when you had to manually add your flight controller and other details every time.  Now it literally takes about 15 seconds to do an unlock!  I love the system compared to the old one!

I've not had a similar experience as you describe in regards to something not showing on the map, but still requiring an unlock.  Sounds like it worked out reasonably well though?

I checked the map back, it was a military zone about 400 yards away.

It would be much better to have this warning before taking off. As has been mentioned in this thread, you end up with the drone in the air and then have to land it again to do the SMS unlocking process. I might start a thread to ask DJI to add a feature to create a banner/warning popup to say that the zone needs unlocking before takeoff.
2022-1-17
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DAFlys
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ianwood Posted at 1-17 11:29
I get unlocks when needed. No problem there. If I have no intention of entering a zone that requires an unlock, I do not. As was the case here. The app was requesting I supply my informatioin not for the nearby authorization zone but for the warning zone I was actually in. It was also limiting my movement towards the authorization zone despite not being in it. And it was oddly limiting my movement back towards me which is not consistent with the authorization zone.
Furthering this issue are the authorization zones that extend beyond controlled airspace. I was in class G airspace at the time.
And lastly, all of this could have been completely problem free had the app requested my credentials BEFORE allowing me to take off. Very simple.

Very odd,   I fly a lot and never have the issues where it allows take off before getting the permissions in place.
2022-1-17
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ianwood
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DAFlys Posted at 1-17 23:57
Very odd,   I fly a lot and never have the issues where it allows take off before getting the permissions in place.

Seems some people consistently experience as you have and others the way I have. I don't think I've ever had it prompt before take off. Only after. Same on all platforms. Inspire 2, A3, Mavic 2 Pro, Mavic 3 Cine.

I wonder if there is something else we are doing differently that creates this different experience.
2022-1-18
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DAFlys
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ianwood Posted at 1-18 12:28
Seems some people consistently experience as you have and others the way I have. I don't think I've ever had it prompt before take off. Only after. Same on all platforms. Inspire 2, A3, Mavic 2 Pro, Mavic 3 Cine.

I wonder if there is something else we are doing differently that creates this different experience.

Are you making sure you have at least 11 sat before take off.
2022-1-19
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ianwood
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DAFlys Posted at 1-19 01:13
Are you making sure you have at least 11 sat before take off.

Yes. Sometimes 14 or more. On Inspire, it's only 9+ but same idea. I always make sure GPS is solid before taking off.
More importantly, it makes no difference how long I wait. I will never get the prompt to enter my phone number, tick the boxes before I spin props. It usually comes about 30 seconds to 1 minute after take off. I think maybe once or twice it happened after I spun props but before take off. But this is always long after GPS has had enough sats to know where it is.
2022-1-19
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DAFlys
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ianwood Posted at 1-19 11:09
Yes. Sometimes 14 or more. On Inspire, it's only 9+ but same idea. I always make sure GPS is solid before taking off.
More importantly, it makes no difference how long I wait. I will never get the prompt to enter my phone number, tick the boxes before I spin props. It usually comes about 30 seconds to 1 minute after take off. I think maybe once or twice it happened after I spun props but before take off. But this is always long after GPS has had enough sats to know where it is.

I know the inspires have a very different NFZ database.  They can’t do the bow tie shape around airports for example and smaller zones like military buildings don’t appear.  Perhaps it’s just old tech that has these issues.
2022-1-19
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ianwood
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DAFlys Posted at 1-19 12:10
I know the inspires have a very different NFZ database.  They can’t do the bow tie shape around airports for example and smaller zones like military buildings don’t appear.  Perhaps it’s just old tech that has these issues.

I should clarify: Inspire 2. It uses the same database with maybe some minor variations. You can see the difference in the flysafe maps. Most often they're exactly the same. Important point being this happens on the Inspire 2 AND the Mavic 3. And other current platforms too.
2022-1-19
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Bob-Mini-2
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Have had the permission come up - after take-off, for the local airport a mile away, and it accepts it when I check that I accept all responsibility,
then it also asks me to confirm it.  Prior to take-off I always record a new home point.  Have often thought that it makes me take my attention off the craft as a whole, and zero in on two little boxes.
I call that unsafe.  It should require all permissions be taken care of prior to take-off.  But, I have one hell of a lot to learn yet.
2022-1-19
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DAFlys
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ianwood Posted at 1-19 12:47
I should clarify: Inspire 2. It uses the same database with maybe some minor variations. You can see the difference in the flysafe maps. Most often they're exactly the same. Important point being this happens on the Inspire 2 AND the Mavic 3. And other current platforms too.

I was flying with someone with an Inspire 1,  and I told him that he couldnt fly a particular part of the building as its a NFZ for a military base, but his inspire didnt have that zone and had simple zones for airports etc.   Short of it was he ignored it and we had a visit from the Military police.
2022-1-20
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ianwood
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Bob-Mini-2 Posted at 1-19 19:43
Have had the permission come up - after take-off, for the local airport a mile away, and it accepts it when I check that I accept all responsibility,
then it also asks me to confirm it.  Prior to take-off I always record a new home point.  Have often thought that it makes me take my attention off the craft as a whole, and zero in on two little boxes.
I call that unsafe.  It should require all permissions be taken care of prior to take-off.  But, I have one hell of a lot to learn yet.

Exactly what I am referring to. Thanks.
2022-1-20
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Bob-Mini-2
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ianwood Posted at 1-20 15:00
Exactly what I am referring to. Thanks.

Unsafe - in my book.
2022-1-23
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