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How likely is it for a Mini 3 to crash?
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Mario_Verkerk
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Greetings!

I have my Mini 3 for a few weeks now and besides loving it I'm kind of hesitant to fly above water or to fly far away. When I see video's online of people flying great distances I wonder how often they lose a drone. Just experimenting and "see what happens" seems so high risk te me...


So basically my question is; How likely is it for a Mini 3 to crash or be lost while flying?   
2023-9-3
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Sean-bumble-bee
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I would say the answer is, it depends on how the pilot flies it and how well they understand what it will do and can do in a given set of circumstances. E.g. fly it sideways and the pilot is responsible for obstacle avoidance etc..
There are anomalies, e.g. there have been a few mid air 'falls from the sky"  but, overall, those must be relatively rare.
Such things aside, fly it with its limitation and the designed behaviours in mind and I would say it is no more likely to crash than any other DJI drone. Fly it like an idiot, in disregard of its limitations etc. and crashes are  all but inevitable.
Above water flights should not be a problem providing you watch the drone and are ready to respond to any unexpected behaviours, fly it out of sight low over water and you are at risk since you will be reliant on the screen view to detect loss of height etc.. If low over water I would ensure that it is clearly in direct sight. Make your to and from flights well clear of the water then descend to get the shot and climb back to a safe height when you have captured the desired shot.
2023-9-3
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Labroides
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How likely is it for a Mini 3 to crash or be lost while flying?   
That depends on how it's flown.
The drones are very reliable and genuine faults are rare.
Some flyers aren't so reliable.

The key to safe flying is to take your time and learn about  the things that can go wrong and how to make sure they don't happen to you.
2023-9-3
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djiuser_zKR5HFX3a2EC
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I would say, if you crash a mini 3 then you shouldnt be flying drone at all. You are a dangerous risk to the public. Even a 5 year old can fly a drone and will not crash. Not kidding. I can slam my remote on ground, turn off the power, lose signal/connection and the drone will always rth and auto land safely. So if a drone is smart enough to do all that without an input from the remote, that means it is way smarter than the pilot controlling it. Nuff said
2023-9-3
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DJI Paladin
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Hi there. Thank you for reaching out. First, please make sure to check the weather conditions before flying. Ensure that the weather is in ideal condition when flying and make sure to fly in an open area within the line of sight to ensure safety. Make sure to fully charge your batteries before flying and set your Return to Home properly. You may also want to check the link below on how to avoid environmental Interference during flight. Please don't hesitate to reach us if you have other inquiries. Have a nice day ahead!
https://repair.dji.com/help/cont ... ;paperDocType=paper
2023-9-3
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Mario_Verkerk
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Sean-bumble-bee Posted at 9-3 11:43
I would say the answer is, it depends on how the pilot flies it and how well they understand what it will do and can do in a given set of circumstances. E.g. fly it sideways and the pilot is responsible for obstacle avoidance etc..
There are anomalies, e.g. there have been a few mid air 'falls from the sky"  but, overall, those must be relatively rare.
Such things aside, fly it with its limitation and the designed behaviours in mind and I would say it is no more likely to crash than any other DJI drone. Fly it like an idiot, in disregard of its limitations etc. and crashes are  all but inevitable.

Thank you, this is helpful
2023-9-3
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Mario_Verkerk
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Labroides Posted at 9-3 12:43
How likely is it for a Mini 3 to crash or be lost while flying?   
That depended on how it's flown.
The drones are very reliable and genuine faults are rare.

My main concern was the reliability since I simply don't have the experience yet. Thanks, makes sense!
2023-9-3
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Mario_Verkerk
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djiuser_zKR5HFX3a2EC Posted at 9-3 13:36
I would say, if you crash a mini 3 then you shouldnt be flying drone at all. You are a dangerous risk to the public. Even a 5 year old can fly a drone and will not crash. Not kidding. I can slam my remote on ground, turn off the power, lose signal/connection and the drone will always rth and auto land safely. So if a drone is smart enough to do all that without an input from the remote, that means it is way smarter than the pilot controlling it. Nuff said

Haha, thanks. Agreed!

I'm not a risk taker with a drone - hence my question here. With relatively safe stuff I'm more of a "let's find the limit by going over it" guy.. not so much with drones and potentially hurting people or damaging stuff I can't afford.
2023-9-3
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Mario_Verkerk
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DJI Paladin Posted at 9-3 16:41
Hi there. Thank you for reaching out. First, please make sure to check the weather conditions before flying. Ensure that the weather is in ideal condition when flying and make sure to fly in an open area within the line of sight to ensure safety. Make sure to fully charge your batteries before flying and set your Return to Home properly. You may also want to check the link below on how to avoid environmental Interference during flight. Please don't hesitate to reach us if you have other inquiries. Have a nice day ahead!
https://repair.dji.com/help/content?customId=en-us03400006846&spaceId=34&re=US&lang=en&documentType=artical&paperDocType=paper

Oh wow, I didn't know the Enhanced Warning Zones can contain environmental interferences. Thank you, very helpful!
2023-9-3
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Mario_Verkerk Posted at 9-3 22:37
Oh wow, I didn't know the Enhanced Warning Zones can contain environmental interferences. Thank you, very helpful!

Our pleasure, if you have any further inquiry, please feel free to let us know.
2023-9-4
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JJB*
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Hi Mario,

You probably do not check your compass before each flight...
This is the most inportant check before any flight!


After power ON your drone, check the blue arrow in the map view left bottom FlyApp screen.
Default setting is N up, so easy to get the heading.
Compare the blue arrow heading with the actual heading of your drone.
If not the same, DO NOT start a flight, but switch off drone, reposition and power ON; check again.

Make life simple, align your drone on the gound to a straight line (road, waterway etc) , or 90 degrees offset to that straight 'line'.
Very easy to check if heading drone is correct.

see pic, drone 90 degrees to the waterline.


cheers
JJB




CompassCheck.png
2023-9-4
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Mario_Verkerk
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JJB* Posted at 9-4 09:23
Hi Mario,

You probably do not check your compass before each flight...

You're absolutely right - I haven't checked my compass. Will do from now on for sure. Thank you very much!
2023-9-4
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Lucamax
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There are some enviromental factors that can increase the risk of loosing control of the drone  because GPS and compass get misleading datas.
Strong magnetic fields and solar eruptions can do that.

With the Mini 3 I notice that high temperatures makes IMU error messages to appear after 15 minutes the Mini3 was steady without flying.

Bird attacks can occur when flying near a predator's nest.

So as for planes accidents , drones too might  have some , the challenge is to reduce risk at minimum evaluating carefully the flight conditions.
2023-9-8
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JJB*
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Lucamax Posted at 9-8 21:36
There are some enviromental factors that can increase the risk of loosing control of the drone  because GPS and compass get misleading datas.
Strong magnetic fields and solar eruptions can do that.

...solar eruptions ...

I always use sun block factor 50 on top of my drone, double layer where the GPS receiver is placed.

Never had any problems, so just a tip for you.

cheers
JJB
2023-9-9
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Mario_Verkerk
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JJB* Posted at 9-9 01:36
...solar eruptions ...

I always use sun block factor 50 on top of my drone, double layer where the GPS receiver is placed.

Haha, iemand heeft zijn grapjas én lolbroek aan!
2023-9-9
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Labroides
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Lucamax Posted at 9-8 21:36
There are some enviromental factors that can increase the risk of loosing control of the drone  because GPS and compass get misleading datas.
Strong magnetic fields and solar eruptions can do that.

There are some enviromental factors that can increase the risk of loosing control of the drone  because GPS and compass get misleading datas.
Strong magnetic fields and solar eruptions can do that.

Relax .. that's just a myth.
Despite all the people suggesting that solar activity might cause problems for drones, there still hasn't been a single case of it happening.


2023-9-9
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Potato mini
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JJB* Posted at 9-9 01:36
...solar eruptions ...

I always use sun block factor 50 on top of my drone, double layer where the GPS receiver is placed.

What does the solar block do?
2023-9-9
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JJB*
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Potato mini Posted at 9-9 15:35
What does the solar block do?

Hi,

Good question, only factor 50 protects against solar flare electromagnetic radiation.

cheers
JJB


2023-9-10
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fans02a71ddf
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I crashed today, but I can't seem to write a thread on it? I'm a new user
2023-9-15
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fans02a71ddf
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Essentially, the following happened:

I live near a lake. I've been flying my DJI Mini 3 for a few days. The advantage of living near a lake is the long sight lines.

Anyway, today I flew the drone with no issue. Returned to base, swapped the battery over. I noticed that the camera was blurry, so I turned the drone on, then off. This solved the camera issue and I was ready to fly.

The weather is perfect. Slightly overcast, no precipitation, no wind.

The drone took off fine, travelled approximately 20 meters in a forward direction under my command over the lake, as it has done on many occasions this week.

Then the strangest thing happened - the drone had 'altitude warning' and went down to 2m. This is in an unrestricted area in the UK. The drone wouldn't then respond to my commands.
It accelerated and banked down to the left. It then flew behind a set of trees, obstructing my vision and crashed into the water. It is now unrecoverable. It flew for approximately 40-50 meters not under my command.

I am not sure what to do - there was footage on the SD card that I needed. It's somewhere on the edge of the lake and will need a boat to search for it.

Does anyone have any advice? What's so strange is that it was flying fine 5 minutes before. It is quite scary that it completely lost control. I can't imagine what would have happened if it were near a crowd.

Thanks for your help.
2023-9-15
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Labroides
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fans02a71ddf Posted at 9-15 02:02
Essentially, the following happened:

I live near a lake. I've been flying my DJI Mini 3 for a few days. The advantage of living near a lake is the long sight lines.

It sounds like a yaw error, probably caused by magnetic interference where you launched the drone.
To confirm whether this is the case, post your flight data.

Go to: https://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/Upload/
... where you'll find instructions.
That will give a report you can post a link for the report here.
Or just post the .txt file.
2023-9-15
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fans02a71ddf
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Thanks for your help

Link to report here:

phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/240945E12N053UYSOKNJ


2023-9-15
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fans02a71ddf
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There's a couple of issues with the report.

Firstly, the starlight does not correspond with the actual flight - I didn't launch it from the point that it indicates on the report. However, the crash point appears to be accurate.

Secondly, there is no wind. The lake is like glass today. I am unsure then why there is a strong wind warning.

This is a mystery
2023-9-15
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JJB*
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fans02a71ddf Posted at 9-15 03:04
There's a couple of issues with the report.

Firstly, the starlight does not correspond with the actual flight - I didn't launch it from the point that it indicates on the report. However, the crash point appears to be accurate.

Hi,

Had a look at your flightlog.
Flight started with only 6 satellites and a zero for signal quality use. (range = 0 to 5)
This means that your drone is stabilized by the vision system.HomePoint was never set in this flight, for this drone needs 4 or 5 in that range.

IR height sensor measured up to 5 meter height, at 20s in flight could not measure height.
ATTI mode for just 1 second.

Hard to say why your drone moved away on its own.
I do not see rapid changes on the compass data, so hard to tell if a compass/yaw error was the cause of this bad flight.
Do you remember wich heading your drone was facing at take-off?
Seen few logs where when GPS signal at start in not there, in flight GPS is 'getting there'...kind of move away from position did happen.Warning "Position mismatch" in the log indicates that the calculated position of a drone is not the actual position.

ALways check the GPS icon top right FlyApp before take-off
Red = not enough sats
Yellow = enough sats for GPS lock, bit not enough for setting HP
White = enough sats + HP set.

Plus
Always check before each flight drone heading in the flyapp map view, compare with actual heading.
If not the same   DO NOT FLY

EDITyour heading on the ground : 280. Log shows 316, 36 degrees wich is 'corrected' after takeoff can cause a fly away from position.
See chart of your heading changes and RC yaw input, drone follows your input.Large change in Pitch and Roll before the yaw RC input, see the chart.
If a compass/yaw is the reason for this than the conflict happend at start of your flight, see the orange marker.

See chart 3,  large roll and pitch at the time GPS was getting data, in the orange marker the distances from record to record, 46 en 79 meter travel in distance in 0.1 seconds is ofcourse not real, it shows the GPS incorrect LAT LON data.

cheers
JJB   [ Charts by FRAP ; the 'best' software for data and visual flightlog analysis (www.jjbfrap.eu) ]




Analysis1.png
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Analysis3.png
2023-9-15
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Labroides
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fans02a71ddf Posted at 9-15 03:04
There's a couple of issues with the report.

Firstly, the starlight does not correspond with the actual flight - I didn't launch it from the point that it indicates on the report. However, the crash point appears to be accurate.

Firstly, the start point does not correspond with the actual flight - I didn't launch it from the point that it indicates on the report.

That's because you didn't wait for the drone to acquire GPS before starting your flight.
Your drone had no accurate position information for some time after you launched.
The straight line on the plot is the software joining the dots from a very, very approximate location to the next point where the drone started to get (approximate) GPS location data.

The data looks to be confirming that the issue was a yaw error.
You have unexplained changes in heading data from 0:29.4 to 0:30.5 and the severe roll data for this period doesn't have any corresponding joystick input.
This also corresponds to the time your drone started to get GPS location data.


It would help if you can remember what direction your drone was pointing when you launched.
The data says it was pointing northwest, but I suspect the actual direction was something else.

What was the surface you launched from?
2023-9-15
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fans02a71ddf
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Hi both,

Thank you for your feedback. The launch direction was approximately 280 degrees. I.e. pointing towards West North West.

The surface that I launched from was a raised deck which then transitioned to the surface of the lake in approximately 30 or so meters

It sounds as through the findings on the log correspond with the loss in control of the drone, without joystick input.
2023-9-15
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Mario_Verkerk
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Ok, something scary happend. Yesterday I had a mild heart attack for about 10 minutes.

While at ~120m height (the max. I'm allowed at my location) the connection to the drone was lost - as in no live-feed or stats on my phone. At first I thought the connection would be back in a few seconds but that didn't happen (fast enough). I looked what the drone was doing, still hovering and keeping position, then I quickly closed the app on my phone and relaunched it... didn't work. Now I was starting to panic!

It didn't occur to me to just try and control the drone with the sticks as I was panicking. In hindsight this was probably possible.

Eventually I remembered  that the drone would return to home when it lost connection so I turned off the remote. Nothing, still hovering and I'm starting to die thinking it's going to crash.  Then I thought I just had to wait for the battery to run out and it would come home. Finally it starts to come down and lands safely on it's home position.

When I put down the remote, to pickup the drone, the little cable fell out of my phone. Turned out the connector socket on my phone was full of dust and little fabric particles. So lesson learned and another item on my pre-flight checklist: check phone socket for stuff.

Right after this mini nightmare I cleaned the phone and flew without problems. Got a nice shot of the sun setting.

2023-9-15
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Labroides
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fans02a71ddf Posted at 9-15 04:49
Hi both,

Thank you for your feedback. The launch direction was approximately 280 degrees. I.e. pointing towards West North West.


The surface that I launched from was a raised deck which then transitioned to the surface of the lake in approximately 30 or so meters

What was the surface made of?
It's likely that there was some steel too close to the drone.
Perhaps a bolt or structural steel if it was a wood deck etc or reinforcing if it was a concrete surface.

It sounds as through the findings on the log correspond with the loss in control of the drone, without joystick input.
It looks like a yaw error.
That's a complex thing .... google yaw error for more details.

2023-9-15
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Labroides
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Mario_Verkerk Posted at 9-15 04:51
Ok, something scary happend. Yesterday I had a mild heart attack for about 10 minutes.

While at ~120m height (the max. I'm allowed at my location) the connection to the drone was lost - as in no live-feed or stats on my phone. At first I thought the connection would be back in a few seconds but that didn't happen (fast enough). I looked what the drone was doing, still hovering and keeping position, then I quickly closed the app on my phone and relaunched it... didn't work. Now I was starting to panic!

Eventually I remembered  that the drone would return to home when it lost connection so I turned off the remote. Nothing, still hovering and I'm starting to die thinking it's going to crash.
If you turn off the remote, the drone should/will initiate RTH within seconds after signal is lost.
Perhaps you couldn't easily see it starting to from that distance.
To gain confidence and understanding of how it works, it's a good idea to try out lost signal RTH is a large open area where you can see what happens.


2023-9-15
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fans02a71ddf
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Thank you.

The deck is a raised wooden deck built on steel reinforced concrete piles. However, I've flown the drone from the surface of the deck many times, and this was the first time that this happened.

Given that the drone is only a few weeks old, and lost control without my input resulting in an unrecoverable crash, do you think DJI would be prepared to replace the drone?
2023-9-15
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Sean-bumble-bee
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Mario_Verkerk Posted at 9-15 04:51
Ok, something scary happend. Yesterday I had a mild heart attack for about 10 minutes.

While at ~120m height (the max. I'm allowed at my location) the connection to the drone was lost - as in no live-feed or stats on my phone. At first I thought the connection would be back in a few seconds but that didn't happen (fast enough). I looked what the drone was doing, still hovering and keeping position, then I quickly closed the app on my phone and relaunched it... didn't work. Now I was starting to panic!

"Eventually I remembered  that the drone would return to home when it lost connection so I turned off the remote. Nothing, still hovering and I'm starting to die thinking it's going to crash."

Whether or not the drone starts an 'immediate' RTH when a proper disconnection occurs e.g. when the controller is switched off, depends on the "Failsafe " setting.
Most fly app drones offer three options, RTH, Hover, Land or words to  that effect.
If you do not regain connection "Hover" can result in a Low battery RTH.
Similarly "Land" can result in a Low Battery RTH if the drone rejects the landing site since it hovers.
The default setting is RTH but if you have played with the other options it is wise to check the set option .
2023-9-15
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Mario_Verkerk Posted at 9-15 04:51
Ok, something scary happend. Yesterday I had a mild heart attack for about 10 minutes.

While at ~120m height (the max. I'm allowed at my location) the connection to the drone was lost - as in no live-feed or stats on my phone. At first I thought the connection would be back in a few seconds but that didn't happen (fast enough). I looked what the drone was doing, still hovering and keeping position, then I quickly closed the app on my phone and relaunched it... didn't work. Now I was starting to panic!

Hi

Already good tips from Labroides.

But this sesntence is so wrong in your text:
"Then I thought I just had to wait for the battery to run out and it would come home. Finally it starts to come down and lands safely on it's home position."
A DJI drone will not wait for the battery to run out and than go home...often it needs all its battery juice to fly home and land.
If the FailSave RTH setting is set to GoHome:  at disconnected,  after few seconds it will turn towards home, fly home and land.
If the setting is HOVER or LAND....uh  RTFM.

So what is your setting ?  as you write that finally it came down...

cheers
JJB

2023-9-15
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Labroides
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Mario_Verkerk Posted at 9-15 04:51
Ok, something scary happend. Yesterday I had a mild heart attack for about 10 minutes.

While at ~120m height (the max. I'm allowed at my location) the connection to the drone was lost - as in no live-feed or stats on my phone. At first I thought the connection would be back in a few seconds but that didn't happen (fast enough). I looked what the drone was doing, still hovering and keeping position, then I quickly closed the app on my phone and relaunched it... didn't work. Now I was starting to panic!

Nothing, still hovering and I'm starting to die thinking it's going to crash.  Then I thought I just had to wait for the battery to run out and it would come home

It is possible that you or someone else had changed the Loss of Signal action from the default value (RTH) and you did have to wait for low battery RTH to bring it back.
If you connect the drone to the controller, you can check the Failsafe (Loss of Signal) action to see what it is set to.
For almost all flying it should be left on RTH.

2023-9-15
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fans02a71ddf Posted at 9-15 05:27
Thank you.

The deck is a raised wooden deck built on steel reinforced concrete piles. However, I've flown the drone from the surface of the deck many times, and this was the first time that this happened.

The deck is a raised wooden deck built on steel reinforced concrete piles. However, I've flown the drone from the surface of the deck many times, and this was the first time that this happened.
A difference in position of just an inch could be all it takes to have a bolt or steel reinforcing close enough to deflect the compass sensor during startup.
When that happens, the IMU uses the (false) compass value to initialise the gyro sensor in the IMU and things can go bad from there.

Given that the drone is only a few weeks old, and lost control without my input resulting in an unrecoverable crash, do you think DJI would be prepared to replace the drone?
In the past DJI wouldn't have, but you never know.
I've seen them replace drones sometimes even when there was nothing wrong with the drone.

It's always good practice to avoid launching from anywhere that steel items like bolts, steel framing, reinforcing mesh etc might be close to the compass.
You can always check that the drone icon on the map screen is pointing in the same direction as the actual drone, to confirm that the compass isn't being deflected by hidden steel close to the compass.

And always wait for proper GPS reception before launching.

Wait till the satellite icon at top of screen goes from red to yellow to white and the home point is recorded.

2023-9-15
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JJB* Posted at 9-15 05:43
Hi

Already good tips from Labroides.

It's still on the default setting; RTH.
2023-9-15
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Labroides Posted at 9-15 06:12
Nothing, still hovering and I'm starting to die thinking it's going to crash.  Then I thought I just had to wait for the battery to run out and it would come home

It is possible that you or someone else had changed the Loss of Signal action from the default value (RTH) and you did have to wait for low battery RTH to bring it back.

I'm the only one using this drone. It was still on the default RTH setting. Maybe it was coming down as soon as I turned off the controller... not sure. Since I was a bit panicky I'm not sure how long things took as my time perception was probably distorted.

All in all I don't think something strange or faulty happend equipment wise - my phone and the controller got disconnected and my lack of experience gave me a heart attack, haha. That's it - my post here was/is more of a cautionary tale for other novice pilots
2023-9-15
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Mario_Verkerk Posted at 9-15 06:37
I'm the only one using this drone. It was still on the default RTH setting. Maybe it was coming down as soon as I turned off the controller... not sure. Since I was a bit panicky I'm not sure how long things took as my time perception was probably distorted.

All in all I don't think something strange or faulty happend equipment wise - my phone and the controller got disconnected and my lack of experience gave me a heart attack, haha. That's it - my post here was/is more of a cautionary tale for other novice pilots

Yes... that's probably it.
When things get scary time seems to pass slowly.

If just the phone was disconnected, you lose the live view, but still have full control through the controller.
2023-9-15
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fans02a71ddf Posted at 9-15 02:02
Essentially, the following happened:

I live near a lake. I've been flying my DJI Mini 3 for a few days. The advantage of living near a lake is the long sight lines.

One point, though it has no bearing on the crash.
It is possible that you had the drone's maximum height limit set at 500m / 1640ft.
I would suggest that that 'was' unwise unless the drone intended to  fly up mountains during this flight.
Aside from anything else it allows the RTH height to be deliberately and, more importantly, ACCIDENTALLY set to 500m. The RTH height can not be higher than the height that YOU set as the maximum height limit.
I suspect that the intital 30 m height limit shown in the log is due to the poor GPS etc. and, from memory, it has been shown that air corridors can cause the enforced max height ceiling to be lower than the RTH height so I suspect the 30m no-GPS-etc.-limit has the same capability.

With the accursed sliders that set the limits in the fly app it is all too easy to accidentally drag one slider whilst changing another.
I have done that, I sent the drone up a hill and had the max height limit set to allow roughly 400ft above the hilltop. Whilst setting the Max Height limit I must have accidentally dragged the RTH height limit slider up because after I brought the drone back I ended up with a disconnected drone climbing to WELL above the 400ft AGL legal ceiling.
I was cr***ing it the whole way down and it took a long time to get it down from there.

2023-9-15
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DroneApe
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fans02a71ddf Posted at 9-15 05:27
Thank you.

The deck is a raised wooden deck built on steel reinforced concrete piles. However, I've flown the drone from the surface of the deck many times, and this was the first time that this happened.

Hi,

Please post the outcome of your case.  Or if you’d like, you can send me a private message.  I have a couple friends who are electrical engineers and they have become interested readers of the forum (lurkers) and are curious about what the DJI engineer tells you.

Thanks!
2023-9-15
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Labroides
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DroneApe Posted at 9-15 19:16
Hi,

Please post the outcome of your case.  Or if you’d like, you can send me a private message.  I have a couple friends who are electrical engineers and they have become interested readers of the forum (lurkers) and are curious about what the DJI engineer tells you.

they have become interested readers of the forum (lurkers) and are curious about what the DJI engineer tells you.
DJI rarely give any detailed explanation of their findings.
You get more information from the members here who can interpret flight data.
2023-9-15
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