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DJI Mavic 3 fell out of the sky
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Graphicz120
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Hi there,

I purchased a DJI Mavic 3 from an individual online in early June/July 2022, I have since flown the drone many times and had no issues whatsoever.

Yesterday I was flying the drone according to local rules and regulations towards my set off location when the drone suddenly disconnected out of random and crashed atop a building.

The drone is currently stuck on the building and I am waiting to recover it with assistance from the landlord of the building.

The wind was mild, it wasn't raining and it is the first time I have encountered such an issue with a drone that previously had no such issues.

I contacted DJI support today via telephone and they said to make an entry in the DJI repair portal and that they would investigate and the drone would be covered under warranty

I am now wondering, since I purchased the drone second hand and have no access to the original purchase receipt, is it something I require for the drone to be replaced under warranty? And if the drone isn't covered under warranty, what cost would there be for a replacement unit.

The damage: I flew my other DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 drone to locate where the drone was lost, I found the location and assessed the damage from air, the front right arm is broken and the gimbal+camera module is severed from the drone, and since it has been raining for the past day or so it has most likely suffered damage to internals due to water ingress.

If anyone could assist me with this issue it would be really appreciated, I am really disheartened at the fact it fell out of the sky.


Kind regards,











2022-10-23
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frankymusik
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Since the Mavic 3 hasn't been around long enough to be out of warranty, I seriously think DJI will help...

Have you at least registered the drone with DJI, have an account at DJI on which this Mavic 3 appears...?
2022-10-23
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Graphicz120
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frankymusik Posted at 10-23 07:39
Since the Mavic 3 hasn't been around long enough to be out of warranty, I seriously think DJI will help...

Have you at least registered the drone with DJI, have an account at DJI on which this Mavic 3 appears...?
Sadly the DJI Mavic 3 is bound to another user, however I did previously contact DJI about this issue via email and was told this wouldn't affect me being able to acquire care refresh or future issues.

But now that the drone has crashed I'm quite unsure and hoping on DJI to accept the drone for repairs under warranty.

Note: here is an image of the drone stuck on the roof I gathered today, the gimbal-camera module is severed and only stuck by a wire of some sort and the front left arm/leg has snapped.
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2022-10-23
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Sean-bumble-bee
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If you want assistance possibly discovering what happened go to the webpage https://www.phantomhelp.com/logviewer/upload/ and read the instructions regarding accessing the flight logs, download all the logs to a computer etc. including, if possible, the DAT's. Then upload the relevant .txt flight log to that website, copy the URL that results and post the URL here.
If the drone did actually disconnect from the controller then it is likely that the logs will terminate at the disconnection which may mean that conclusions can not be drawn by anyone here but if there were problems BEFORE the disconnections they may be apparent to someone.

There is probably a DAT on the drone that would be of use but ONLY DJI can read that DAT. You probably can download (copy) it from the drone to computer IF the drone will boot and if you have the relevant DJI Assistant 2 installed on that computer but you will most likely not be able to decrypt it nor read it.

2022-10-23
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JJB*
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Hi,

Curious...if the drone got disconnect it should enter a RTH, fly towards and seeing an obstacle it will avoid  the obstacle....so what went so wrong?

Flightlog may help a little...so a said in post #4   upload your flightlog.

cheers
JJB
2022-10-23
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CloudVisual
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This is the second one of these issues posted today and interestingly the drone didn't behave as it apparently should.

The flight logs will tell all, if we get to see them....

...Also, the drone isn't bound to another user, you're just still logged into their old account. Yeah, when they purcased it they get the initial ownership, but you only have to log in with your DJI account to have it all moved to your account.

Obviouisly don't log out until you've got the logs or you'll lose them.

2022-10-23
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Labroides
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JJB* Posted at 10-23 10:55
Hi,

Curious...if the drone got disconnect it should enter a RTH, fly towards and seeing an obstacle it will avoid  the obstacle....so what went so wrong?

Curious...if the drone got disconnect it should enter a RTH, fly towards and seeing an obstacle it will avoid  the obstacle....so what went so wrong?
It's common for flyers to claim that their drone lost connection and fell from the sky.
This isn't what happens at all.
It's a case of the drone losing power and falling from the sky, but when this happens the screen message shows signal lost.
Or a case of crashing the drone and then seeing the signal lost message after a crash.

2022-10-23
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Graphicz120
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Sean-bumble-bee Posted at 10-23 09:53
If you want assistance possibly discovering what happened go to the webpage https://www.phantomhelp.com/logviewer/upload/ and read the instructions regarding accessing the flight logs, download all the logs to a computer etc. including, if possible, the DAT's. Then upload the relevant .txt flight log to that website, copy the URL that results and post the URL here.
If the drone did actually disconnect from the controller then it is likely that the logs will terminate at the disconnection which may mean that conclusions can not be drawn by anyone here but if there were problems BEFORE the disconnections they may be apparent to someone.

I have now managed to retrieve the flight log from the mobile device it was connected to. I downloaded the .txt file from the mobile device storage and pasted it into phantomhelp's flightlog viewer.

This is the link to the flightlog:https://www.phantomhelp.com/logviewer/7PTAPXFPNG1TNN0G9CO8/

Thank you for the heads up with regards to extracting the .txt file also.
2022-10-23
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Graphicz120
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Labroides Posted at 10-23 14:19
Curious...if the drone got disconnect it should enter a RTH, fly towards and seeing an obstacle it will avoid  the obstacle....so what went so wrong?
It's common for flyers to claim that their drone lost connection and fell from the sky.
This isn't what happens at all.

I agree, to me, it showed on the screen of the controller that the connection was lost and I simply saw a short glimpse of the gimbal camera plummetting downwards (it was within visual line of sight as I was across the road) before the controller disconnected.

GPS also seems to be quite strong after hovering for just over a minute at a steady height of 10-25ft for a homepoint to be located

flightlog: https://www.phantomhelp.com/logviewer/7PTAPXFPNG1TNN0G9CO8/
2022-10-23
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Graphicz120
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CloudVisual Posted at 10-23 12:09
This is the second one of these issues posted today and interestingly the drone didn't behave as it apparently should.

The flight logs will tell all, if we get to see them....

Here is the flight log I located which was backed up to my mobile device

-  https://www.phantomhelp.com/logviewer/7PTAPXFPNG1TNN0G9CO8/
2022-10-23
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Graphicz120
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JJB* Posted at 10-23 10:55
Hi,

Curious...if the drone got disconnect it should enter a RTH, fly towards and seeing an obstacle it will avoid  the obstacle....so what went so wrong?

Hi there,

Thank you for your reply, and also obstacle sensing was off due to low ambient lighting however there were no obstacles at the height I was at when I was making my descent back to the original location.  1m47.7second mark (height 190.3ft) is where I was heading back and 1m54seconds onwards (height over 100ft) when things began to go wrong and the drone began to malfunction which is really confusing to me.

also here is the flight log: https://www.phantomhelp.com/logviewer/7PTAPXFPNG1TNN0G9CO8/

2022-10-23
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TonyPHX
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Labroides Posted at 10-23 14:19
Curious...if the drone got disconnect it should enter a RTH, fly towards and seeing an obstacle it will avoid  the obstacle....so what went so wrong?
It's common for flyers to claim that their drone lost connection and fell from the sky.
This isn't what happens at all.

From what I have observed on forums, I agree.  I have grown a dislike of the whole "My drone did this..." instead of just saying it like it is.  "I crashed my drone" or "I had a bad day with my drone."
2022-10-23
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Labroides
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Graphicz120 Posted at 10-23 15:26
Hi there,

Thank you for your reply, and also obstacle sensing was off due to low ambient lighting however there were no obstacles at the height I was at when I was making my descent back to the original location.  1m47.7second mark (height 190.3ft) is where I was heading back and 1m54seconds onwards (height over 100ft) when things began to go wrong and the drone began to malfunction which is really confusing to me.

This doesn't appear to be a simple case of loss of power.
It might take me a little while, to work out what the data is showing.
Stay tuned and I'll come back with analysis.
2022-10-23
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Labroides
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Graphicz120 Posted at 10-23 15:26
Hi there,

Thank you for your reply, and also obstacle sensing was off due to low ambient lighting however there were no obstacles at the height I was at when I was making my descent back to the original location.  1m47.7second mark (height 190.3ft) is where I was heading back and 1m54seconds onwards (height over 100ft) when things began to go wrong and the drone began to malfunction which is really confusing to me.


The problem appears to have commenced at 1:53.5 as you were descending and bringing the drone closer.
The drone was holding a steady course of 156° but starts to gradually rotate clockwise to 168.7° for one second without any corresponding joystick iput.
Then at 1:54.9 it started to rotate faster in an anti-clockwise direction and briefly pitched forward quite a bit more than normal (44°) for the right stick input it was under and started to lose height while slowly spiralling down.

Spiraling downwards indicates the loss of thrust from a motor or prop.
This appears to be fairly slow making me wonder of perhaps there was a loss of just one blade from a prop, rather than completely losing a prop or motor ?
It's not clear whether this could have happened because of a slight colission with an object or a faulty prop.


Power stayed on and the data continued to record down to a height of 92 feet where the VPS recorded something only 14 feet below the drone.
And that's where the data stopped, presumably due to a crash and the battery dislodging.

Perhaps JJB can add something or see something different?
2022-10-23
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DJI Stephen
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Hello there Graphicz120. I am sorry to read and to know what happened to your DJI Mavic 3 and thank you for giving out these information as well. Just a reminder that the warranty of the DJI Mavic 3 is bound to the DJI drone, not the user. In addition, it would be best to send the DJI Drone in after you have recovered it for damage assessment and our DJI team will send you a quotation based on the damage assessment as well. Again, I am sorry for the trouble and thank you.
2022-10-23
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JJB*
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Labroides Posted at 10-23 16:47
The problem appears to have commenced at 1:53.5 as you were descending and bringing the drone closer.
The drone was holding a steady course of 156° but starts to gradually rotate clockwise to 168.7° for one second without any corresponding joystick iput.
Then at 1:54.9 it started to rotate faster in an anti-clockwise direction and briefly pitched forward quite a bit more than normal (44°) for the right stick input it was under and started to lose height while slowly spiralling down.

Hi,

Not much more to add to your text.
VPS height 6.6 meter (14 feet)  is not a corect value, see data in my chart.

Last record at 28 meter baro height and not far from HP, so why is the log closed ??
Battery dislogded in flight at 28 meter baro height? full power loss?  don`t know how the battery is fit into a M3, if it clicks in like other types...

If just one blade is damaged or so....it would go down all the way in connection to the RC i guess, RC<>Drone in LOS i think.

BTW did not know that fly height is max to 3 meter for a M3 with low GPS and no vision!see the first 30 secs, full RC up stick and not climbing > 3 meter.
Why 3 ?  less than other DJI drones....

Uh, zoom the picture   why do i not see any blades on the 4 arm/motors?

cheers
JJB




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2022-10-23
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Labroides
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JJB* Posted at 10-23 23:53
Hi,

Not much more to add to your text.

VPS height 6.6 meter (14 feet)  is not a correct value, see data in my chart.
Why do you think that the VPS data in the log is not correct?

Last record at 28 meter baro height and not far from HP, so why is the log closed ??

As it crashed onto a steel roof, that is likely to have blocked signal and the battery could still be in place.
2022-10-24
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JJB*
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Labroides Posted at 10-24 02:35
VPS height 6.6 meter (14 feet)  is not a correct value, see data in my chart.
Why do you think that the VPS data in the log is not correct?

Hi,

Building checked, not that high. M3 in problems at 33 meters, so it did not crash into a building/roof, it dropped down on that flat roof.

PH csv does not show the correct VPS height values if sensor gets out of reach.
At 33.2s in flight last in reach height value = 6.6 meter, next all records are copy paste of this last record. See the chart  White coloured VPS height line is not correct.
Only clever software does recognize this  ;-)
cheers
JJB
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2022-10-24
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Labroides
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JJB* Posted at 10-24 03:09
Hi,

Building checked, not that high. M3 in problems at 33 meters, so it did not crash into a building/roof, it dropped down on that flat roof.

M3 in problems at 33 meters, so it did not crash into a building/roof, it dropped down on that flat roof.
Crashed or dropped down  .. there's not much difference.

PH csv does not show the correct VPS height values if sensor gets out of reach.
At 33.2s in flight last in reach height value = 6.6 meter, next all records are copy paste of this last record.
Check again ... the last record is not a copy of the line before it.
The whole line is completely different from the previous line.
It appears to be good data.





2022-10-24
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TonyPHX
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While people smarter than myself (Labroides, LLB, and probably most everyone here), I did want to say, I do have some empathy for you Graphicz120.  I have wrecked a few M3's and know it is a sickening feeling. The good news is, I have learned from each incident and have been able to adjust my behaviors and best practices, and do things differently moving forward.
2022-10-24
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JJB*
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Labroides Posted at 10-24 03:57
M3 in problems at 33 meters, so it did not crash into a building/roof, it dropped down on that flat roof.
Crashed or dropped down  .. there's not much difference.

Crashed or dropped down ; is not the same ofcourse....crash into means that the reason for end of flight is the crash...dropped down means that the cause of the incident is not the crash but something happend before the crash.

I did read your text as you said that the crash into theroof was the cause. Guess my language interpretation issue.

Indeed final record shows an other value than all the fixed value before, Thanks for that, check the my code and vps height algorithm ; found the bug for not checking the very last record.
Last record reads 91.9 feet for baro height and 13.8 feet for VPS height. Building not that high.
Position of last record not above the building, direct radio signal line to HP looks free of obstacles.

So no clue why it lost connection, while going down.


cheers
JJB
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2022-10-24
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JJB*
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TonyPHX Posted at 10-24 05:31
While people smarter than myself (Labroides, LLB, and probably most everyone here), I did want to say, I do have some empathy for you Graphicz120.  I have wrecked a few M3's and know it is a sickening feeling. The good news is, I have learned from each incident and have been able to adjust my behaviors and best practices, and do things differently moving forward.

Hi Tony,

I feel the same about loosing a drone for the remote pilot.
Not always i must say as some crashes are due to taking too much risks in a flight or just being so clumsy and not knowing this (lack of understanding in most crashes)

But when the remote pilot did not made any mistakes, real sorry for them.

I lost 1 drone in 8 years of flying....chatting to someone on location and the only 20 feet pole in wide free area just stood in the wrong position....  grrr  hitting the pole full speed, after that big splash...gone for ever... me not happy, but made my credit card company happy  ;-)

cheers
JJB
2022-10-24
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Graphicz120
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Labroides Posted at 10-23 16:47
The problem appears to have commenced at 1:53.5 as you were descending and bringing the drone closer.
The drone was holding a steady course of 156° but starts to gradually rotate clockwise to 168.7° for one second without any corresponding joystick iput.
Then at 1:54.9 it started to rotate faster in an anti-clockwise direction and briefly pitched forward quite a bit more than normal (44°) for the right stick input it was under and started to lose height while slowly spiralling down.

Hi there,

I have just managed to retrieve the drone through the use of my DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 and a contraption I designed at the incident location today.

I managed to gather the drone and will post images of it here!

The battery and also 3 and 1/2 of the propellers were missing from the site of the fall, I searched around the building but could not see where the battery/props were.







2022-10-24
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Graphicz120
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DJI Stephen Posted at 10-23 21:06
Hello there Graphicz120. I am sorry to read and to know what happened to your DJI Mavic 3 and thank you for giving out these information as well. Just a reminder that the warranty of the DJI Mavic 3 is bound to the DJI drone, not the user. In addition, it would be best to send the DJI Drone in after you have recovered it for damage assessment and our DJI team will send you a quotation based on the damage assessment as well. Again, I am sorry for the trouble and thank you.

Hi Stephen,

Thank you for your reply and input with regard to the situation I have faced, I have managed to retrieve most of the drone except for the battery and 3 and 1/2 props as they were missing from the site it fell on. I will attempt to send the drone back to DJI for damage inspection as well as to see what went wrong.

Thank you for the kind sentiment, I do appreciate that.



2022-10-24
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Graphicz120
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JJB* Posted at 10-23 23:53
Hi,

Not much more to add to your text.

Hi JJB,

Thank you for your response.

I retrieved the drone a few hours ago with use of my trusty DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 and a netting contraption I made at the site as no company was willing to scale the building with a scissor lift to get it.

The damage: the battery and 3 and 1/2 props were missing from the site of the fall. I searched but could not find where they were.

Luckily I retrieved the drone with my homemade contraption and was able to get some pictures for you all to see and inspect.

Here are the images and the drone in somewhat pieces.







2022-10-24
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Graphicz120
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Labroides Posted at 10-24 02:35
VPS height 6.6 meter (14 feet)  is not a correct value, see data in my chart.
Why do you think that the VPS data in the log is not correct?

Hi Lab,

The battery as well as 3 and a half props were missing from the site, I searched around the building but could not find where they were.

I have a spare battery at home but there was water in the drone when I retrieved it so I don't wish to risk shorting the drone by putting my last remaining battery in.

2022-10-24
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CloudVisual
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I'm not one of the experts who can examine all the details of the flight logs, but it's clear to see that you took off without letting the drone get enough satellites in an environment where the lighting wasn't adequate for the vision system to work. Why the rush?

It baffles me when people try to take off as quickly as possible and think that the drone can just manage to fly without any issue.

Finally your comment "Yesterday I was flying the drone according to local rules and regulations" - no you weren't. You flew too close to the road for the minimum separations of what I guess is either your A2 or GVC. The M3 hasn't been granted C1 yet, so your separations follow the A2 rules.

If you do this as a job you really need to change your ways and learn that the drone needs time to find GPS signals and understand how it might behave when the other systems are also limited. The warnings you were given were plentiful and your insurer isn't going to pay out if they see this log. You're lucky the drone didn't fall into the road and cause a crash and possibly kill someone.
2022-10-24
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JJB*
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Graphicz120 Posted at 10-24 09:06
Hi JJB,

Thank you for your response.

Hi,

Really weird to find a crashed drone without almost no blades, looks like the blades were not got attachted before this flight.
I would expect broken blades  damaged blades on impact. Not complete missing !  Attaching middle part of the bladess never missing if crashed.

Did you change blades prior this flight?  or took them off to clean etc and mounted them again on the motors?

and yes   start of the flight was not a good one....but has nothing to do with falling out of the sky.I never judge pilots on how they fly, in or out regulations or so.
Just my tech analysis what i think did happen, often correct and few time incorrect  ;-)

cheers
JJB

2022-10-24
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Graphicz120
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CloudVisual Posted at 10-24 09:50
I'm not one of the experts who can examine all the details of the flight logs, but it's clear to see that you took off without letting the drone get enough satellites in an environment where the lighting wasn't adequate for the vision system to work. Why the rush?

It baffles me when people try to take off as quickly as possible and think that the drone can just manage to fly without any issue.

Hi,

I was hovering at over 20ft, approximately 13ft away from where I took off, and this can be confirmed in my flightlogs. The drone was hovering at just above 20ft for just over a 1 minute 18 seconds before I reached 14 satellites in order to initiate my ascent.

With regards to the A2, my separation distance was above 50m (can be confirmed in flightlog after 1m34.3 seconds, IMU altitude 167.0ft or 50.9m) before even crossing the road, so the claim that it could cause a crash and kill someone would be quite extreme (this is not to say that it could not occur, because it can) I was not operating the drone in a reckless way by any measure, the drone malfunctioned and was within my visual line of sight when this occurred, I still haven't found the battery for the drone as of yet.

I've operated a fair few drones, and have been flying for upwards of 6 years, I've not once had this issue with my DJI Air 2S, DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 or DJI Phantom 4 standard, all of which I currently own and I flew the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 today to rescue and retrieve the damaged Mavic 3 from atop the building, it had no issues doing so even with the payload, nor did it suffer from such GPS signal issues.

I understand that the drone requires a strong GPS signal to fly adequately and safely, however in my case the drone had upwards of 12+ satellites connected when in flight after the first initial minute of hovering and waiting for the GPS homepoint lock and still had 12-14 satellites connected as it dropped down.
2022-10-24
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Graphicz120
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JJB* Posted at 10-24 10:14
Hi,

Really weird to find a crashed drone without almost no blades, looks like the blades were not got attachted before this flight.

Hi JJB,

Thank you for your response,

I always check and confirm the blades are accurately in place prior to every flight, I flew the drone earlier on the same day with absolutely no problems and at the same location too which was confusing to me as to why it dropped out of the sky simply in lower ambient lighting conditions which was the only real change.

I do appreciate that you took the time to analyze the data and share your findings with us all.
2022-10-24
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Labroides
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CloudVisual Posted at 10-24 09:50
I'm not one of the experts who can examine all the details of the flight logs, but it's clear to see that you took off without letting the drone get enough satellites in an environment where the lighting wasn't adequate for the vision system to work. Why the rush?

It baffles me when people try to take off as quickly as possible and think that the drone can just manage to fly without any issue.

it's clear to see that you took off without letting the drone get enough satellites in an environment where the lighting wasn't adequate for the vision system to work. Why the rush?
That had nothing at all to do with the crash and there was nothing wrong with the launch process.
The drone was launched vertically and hovered above the launch point until enough satellites were acquired.
This was perfectly safe and of no concern.
2022-10-24
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Graphicz120
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JJB* Posted at 10-24 10:14
Hi,

Really weird to find a crashed drone without almost no blades, looks like the blades were not got attachted before this flight.

Hey JJB,

Here is a link to the rescue and retrieve mission I used to get the drone back, as you can see there are no blades attached .


https://imgur.com/a/GDgR8KF
2022-10-24
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Graphicz120 Posted at 10-24 11:46
Hey JJB,

Here is a link to the rescue and retrieve mission I used to get the drone back, as you can see there are no blades attached .

Hi,

Great rescue action.

No blades, don`t understand how the blades came totally loose.

cheers
JJB
2022-10-24
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Labroides Posted at 10-24 11:08
it's clear to see that you took off without letting the drone get enough satellites in an environment where the lighting wasn't adequate for the vision system to work. Why the rush?
That had nothing at all to do with the crash and there was nothing wrong with the launch process.
The drone was launched vertically and hovered above the launch point until enough satellites were acquired.

You genuinely think that it's good practice to take off without a firm GPS lock, have the drone enter atti mode as an emergency due to low light where the VPS isn't operational? Like, it's not asking for trouble to fly this way?!
2022-10-24
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Labroides
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CloudVisual Posted at 10-24 12:16
You genuinely think that it's good practice to take off without a firm GPS lock, have the drone enter atti mode as an emergency due to low light where the VPS isn't operational? Like, it's not asking for trouble to fly this way?!

Yes, I genuinely think there is nothing wrong with what the OP did.
Perhaps you could explain why you think it's a problem?

Why do you say that it's "asking for trouble"?

2022-10-24
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DJI Stephen
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Graphicz120 Posted at 10-24 09:00
Hi Stephen,

Thank you for your reply and input with regard to the situation I have faced, I have managed to retrieve most of the drone except for the battery and 3 and 1/2 props as they were missing from the site it fell on. I will attempt to send the drone back to DJI for damage inspection as well as to see what went wrong.

Hi there Graphicz120. Thank you for the reply and for these additional information. If you have any concerns or any inquiries with DJI in the future. Please feel free to post it here at DJI Forum. We are all here to help and assist you. Thank you.
2022-10-24
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TonyPHX
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Flight distance : 4603304 ft
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That video cracks me up!  It's like the Mavic 3 popped off ALL of it's props in a fit of glee.  I have never ever ever had any kind of crash where I lost all of the props completely.  That is amazing to me.
2022-10-24
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TonyPHX
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Flight distance : 4603304 ft
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JJB* Posted at 10-24 06:21
Hi Tony,

I feel the same about loosing a drone for the remote pilot.

That is my kind of luck @JJB.  Was that crash the start of the inspiration for the log analysis software?  : )
2022-10-24
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Sean-bumble-bee
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Flight distance : 15515 ft
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A question re the regs, is the required "separation" of 50m in any direction, or is it horizontal with vertical separation being irrelevant? I am not 'getting at' anyone but want to know because I have the impression it is horizontal.

I really would like to know how the drone managed to shed 3 complete propellors, how many 'hooks' hold the propellor to the motor, 3 I think? I have seen a M2Z break off 1 hook out of 3 in a crash but the prop remained firmly anchored to the motor despite a blade anf the hook being damaged.
2022-10-24
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JJB*
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Flight distance : 10076204 ft
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Netherlands
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TonyPHX Posted at 10-24 20:40
That is my kind of luck @JJB.  Was that crash the start of the inspiration for the log analysis software?  : )

Not really....

as an tech aviation guy always my interest always in the why and how tech functions this in relation to how users deal with tech and UI.

So the moment i started to fly drones i felt the need to understand more about flightlogs.
Writing my own analsyis tool made me learn more about it all.

cheers
JJB
2022-10-24
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