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Thoughts on phantoms
827 1 2015-1-31
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ive flown a phantom 2 vision plus v3.0. It's s fine machine if it's working.   I'm not sure if the customer service actually lacking or if they know that many of these issues are widespread and fixing them would be a full time job and they don't want to spend all that. Especially since it's so hard to tell what's legit and what's owner error.  So in fairness, I wish they would come up with clear procedures and be more forthright about what they cover.  I mean, if a quad honestly does fly away and it's not pilot error then surely DJI has some sort of responsibility to the customer. Maybe they can offer insurance themselves for each one bought as an option.  I'm not sure.

I don't want to throw them under the bus because I don't have a clue with what they have to deal with on a daily basis.  I'm sure it's daunting.   I really hope that the next gen phantom is a little more solid in regard to motor reliability and such.  It just seems there r lots of problems that are owners are constantly negotiating just to keep them in the air.  

Maybe I'm just not clear on the truths. Maybe there is more to it. Again, when it works, it's a fine product.
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Flight distance : 60709 ft
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United States

How does a quad "honestly fly away"?
We'd had numerous such reports here - many of which are clearly operator error. Since a person who is not mechanical, technical or a pilot cannot properly fly....neither can they honestly determine why a crash or malfunction occurred. I've been in business for 40 years in all manner of things (boilers, fireplaces, solar, chimneys, other retail, web stuff, etc.) and I cannot fathom how it would be possible to warranty a flying machine bought and flown by consumers with no experience.

I also have considered the insurance angle - but considering that one bad pilot could lose a couple quads per year, the price would have to be very very high! You cannot even buy a "lost or stolen" policy on your smart phone in many cases....for the same reason. The price would be too high.

Solving these problems is not easy. For example, DJI or a 3rd party insurance company could require a written online test, pilot training and certification and other means to assure that you are a decent pilot. Even then, it would be impossible to warrant a unit which cannot be recovered and sent back to them.

As far as keeping them in the air, this is true of ALL aircraft and especially rotary aircraft. Now add in "lousy pilot, mass produced inexpensive consumer goods" and other such things and you will see the problems.

As the years pass by it's likely things will get more reliable. But this part is unlikely to change for a while - and I quote Chris Andersen of 3DR here:

Drone makers say they are cursed by their biggest success: the rise in novice users.

Technology has made the devices cheaper and easier to fly, giving anyone who can spare a few hundred dollars access to small aircraft that can climb thousands of feet. As a result, drone makers say, many flyaways occur because untrained pilots struggle to steer drones to safety if the devices lose orientation because of bad GPS data or issues with their compasses. The companies say flyaways can also happen when users don’t calibrate the drone’s compass or configure its fail-safe functions.

“Now that we’ve made them so easy to fly, people just open up the box and put them in the air,” Mr. Anderson says. “It’s not that people are worse pilots; it’s that they’re not pilots at all.”
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