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My drone dropped 20 feet from the sky...into the water.
3354 24 2016-10-17
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supermoto48x
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I was flying my new phantom 4 drone by the Oceanside pier, flew that particular drone quite a few times and never had any problems. Great drone with excellent video capabilities.
I received this one for my birthday and it had three batteries included one which was sent back because it would not take a charge. I numbered the batteries so I would know which one was which.
My buddy Drew works for Transworld Surf and was paddling out so I was on the pier getting some killer surf video. I got 20 minutes with first battery, switched to number two (the one that was replaced) and off it went for 17 minutes no issues. I was hovering 20 feet up doing a slow flat rotation to get a 360deg view of the pier and beach.  The drone stopped responding and literally dropped from the sky. From 20 feet 2 seconds to in the water. (that's freefall speed).  I let go of everything to make it hover...nope down it went. Seeing it still falling I pushed up and it actually responded and flew up from the surface of the water. I was able to fly it back and grab my now dripping drone from the sky in front of me.
The drone was about 300 feet right in front of me, clear sunny day. good signal and gps and compass calibration. All systems go.  I wonder what would cause it to drop so fast and all the way down. Ive landed it many times and cant get it to go down that fast on full down. couldn't be power loss because I flew it back and the battery still had 24% when I landed it.
I sent it in to DJI, They have had it for a week and looked at it but no E-mail as to cost of repair of if my warranty or DJI care covers falling bricks. (I will never fly one of these over anything, That could have been very costly should someone get hit in the head, or across crash across the hood of a Lamborghini.)
Anyone have any ideas or had this happen?

Mastertech
2016-10-17
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Vinniez
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have u recently update the RC firmware ?
2016-10-17
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supermoto48x
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I upgraded in to latest in August when I got it. Then once since.  I had flown it several times since then with absolutely no problems whatsoever.  The battery not charging was the only issue and DJI had a new one to me in a week.  With 17 minutes on it and still having 24% left Id say that battery was ok.
I'd say power loss except I could see everything on my screen and it didn't disconnect or anything. Just fell 20 feet in 2 seconds all by itself from a flat slow rotating hover that it was holding steady for 30 seconds or better.
Im sure DJI guys will figure it out, Theres a lot of info stored and I downloaded all of the flight records.
Ill try to post up some videos, they were awesome right up until then.
These things kick ass and I'm shaking like a crack junkie waiting to get mine back.
2016-10-17
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hallmark007
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Did you ask repairs what exactly went wrong, as they have all your flight records they should be able to tell you, and in turn it's this informative that will help other flyers here.
2016-10-17
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supermoto48x
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The DJI guys have looked at it and said the main board has water damage, OK it landed itself in the ocean so yes it got wet. They haven't sent me the e-mail with the estimate yet.  That's why I posted up, Im looking for an answer to WHY it fell into the drink so I can make sure it don't happen again.  
I'm keeping the faith that its newer technology and DJI will look it over and improve thru thoroughly inspecting and upgrading as things go wrong.
I'm also hoping they find something wrong, not knowing is far worst that at least being aware of a problem and working around it till its fixed.
Also kinda praying they fix that thing under the warranty or the DJI care. It was one of the priciest "toys" I've ever had.  It says no water all over that thing. But few would fly into the water intentionally right.
2016-10-17
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gmccurdy
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I've had that sudden drop occur with normal RC helicopters as well, and then they'll suddenly stop dropping and hover.  I still don't know why or what causes it, but it is alarming.  Maybe some brief radio interference, glitch in the control stick pots, or some wind downdraft anomaly.  

Once I was in the street practicing and the heli dropped when a lady was coming down the street in her SUV and it stopped about windshield level and she braked hard.  It climbed again, but she circled back and cussed me out like it was intentional.  Dunno, but bad stuff happens with RC at times.  Go to a RC field and listen to the stories about "It took off and just kept going.."

2016-10-17
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supermoto48x
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I'm wondering who's going to offer insurance for drone pilots, like the kind you buy for your car to protect yourself and your investment. (I'm buying the full coverage) I would imagine anyone flying as a professional would have said insurance thru their workplace. But as a private individual what is offered and where?
I love to fly but I wouldn't want to risk my home to fly it. My kids still need it to live in.
2016-10-17
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keiser08
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Did you get a brand new battery or a used one? I asked because I also had one of my battery returned due to a defect. I ended up getting a used/ damaged battery. I didn't trust it because of the defect. It looked like it came from a crash. So I flew it 5-10 feet high. Parked it and left it idle. After a few mins, critically low voltage warning came up, then air encorder error (0x20) also came up. Imagine if I trusted DJI and flew it. I was at burney falls 1 day before thank god I didn't use it or it would have fallen in the falls.

I sent that battery for repair. I'm waiting and praying that they will send me a new battery instead of a repaired or used one. I also hope they will just recycle the battery that i sent, what if they send it to others as a replacement
2016-10-17
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gmccurdy
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supermoto48x Posted at 2016-10-18 00:50
I'm wondering who's going to offer insurance for drone pilots, like the kind you buy for your car to ...

Some independent insurers have underwriters for drones, but mostly commercial in the $800-$1,200 annually area.

Non-commercial and hobbyists can join the AMA which gets you $2.5 million in liability, but not on the drone itself and not a bad deal for $75 annually.  There are also some pay-by-the-hour outfits on the phantompilots forum too.
2016-10-17
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gmccurdy
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keiser08 Posted at 2016-10-18 01:34
Did you get a brand new battery or a used one? I asked because I also had one of my battery returned ...

Regarding Bunrey Falls, did the ranger there give you any flack about using a drone there?  I think the park is controlled or owned by PG&E with some sort of agreement with the state to watch over it, but don't know how strict they are with drone use there as it is sort of a confined camping place along with the trailhead to the side of the falls.



2016-10-17
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Mastertech
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I would hope the battery DJI replaced mine with was new, At 1600$ I wouldn't want used anything that flies.
I wouldn't know how to tell new vs remanufactured. the battery they sent me was in perfect visual order and lasted 17 min and was still at 24% when I landed it. Id say there was nothing wrong with the battery holding power. DJI was awesome in replacing it fast and with a good unit from what I can see.
I'm going to wait patiently and hope the black box guru's find something so I can fly with a little confidence. I've confined myself to open areas with no people or buildings so far.  Id like to progress into the city and places where people gather. Its an amazing piece of technology that offers incredible views of everything.
2016-10-17
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keiser08
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Mastertech Posted at 2016-10-17 11:10
I would hope the battery DJI replaced mine with was new, At 1600$ I wouldn't want used anything that ...

You can tell it is new if it was in its own battery box with same serial number. I received my battery wrapped in a bubble pack with a different box.
Hopefully they will find out what caused the crashed. My big fear of flying is the drone falling on someone's head or car.
2016-10-17
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DJI Mindy
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Sorry for your crash, Mastertech.
Could you please provide me with your case number?
I'll help to look into it.
2016-10-17
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Mastertech
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Thanks Mindy,
No need to be sorry, Anyone who flies knows "What goes up eventually must come down."  Sometimes it just isn't as graceful as others.
My case number is   CAS-273316-V2Q4P6    Id appreciate any info you can find for me. So far I'm in the wait mode. I sent it on the 10th, they opened it on the 12th, diagnosed and quoted on the 13th, but I haven't received anything so far. I called but they said just wait it takes a bit. (sounded like a busy place.)
What I'm really interested in finding out is what went wrong so I can make sure it don't happen again. (if at all possible)
Thanks again Mindy.
2016-10-18
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Mastertech
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Keiser08 I couldn't agree with you more. A parked car would cost you a paintjob. (that's just money) Hitting someone would be ugly. Not just because you would probably get sued if your lucky, Beat up then sued if your not so lucky...Or shot dead on the spot if you hit the wrong person. The damage it would do hitting someone would be catastrophic. In the face would change a life forever.  Im looking into insurance, hopefully its not crazy expensive yet.
2016-10-18
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Aardvark
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Mastertech Posted at 2016-10-19 00:12
Keiser08 I couldn't agree with you more. A parked car would cost you a paintjob. (that's just money ...

"What goes up eventually must come down." 

I like your style, Newton was right....
2016-10-18
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Mastertech
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Lest ye all have a little faith my friends.

DJI of course handled it, got the confirmation they analyzed the flight data and will repair it under that ever so sweet DJI Care warranty. (DON'T BUY A DRONE WITHOUT IT!!!)
Everyone was really nice, The only problem I had was my impatience in waiting and wondering. I can only imagine the serious CHAOS DJI is overcoming on a daily basis. Think of how many of these things there are out there now. All in what...5 years.
DJI had created the leading technology on the market and has scaled it at an amazing rate to keep up with demand. Worldwide. (Different game when you play the whole globe, lots of people involved.)
I'm stoked its going to be fixed.
Thanks DJI...I'm already saving for my next one.
2016-10-19
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Mastertech
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How sweet it is, I got the message my drone is on a UPS truck and will be here today WHOOOOPPPP!!!!!!
Just another good thing about living in California, The DJI place is 1 day away shipping wise.
THANKS!
2016-10-21
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Capt. Wild Bill
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keiser08 Posted at 2016-10-17 21:23
You can tell it is new if it was in its own battery box with same serial number. I received my bat ...

Same here.
DJI sent a replacement battery (returned a defective battery under warranty) which was filthy and had several cuts & scrapes on it.
DJI swears it's a new battery, but it came the same way yours did, wrapped in bubble wrap and in a generic box. Funny, all 6 other batteries I've bought for the P3P have come in a DJI factory box.

Simply put....just one more lie form DJI..
2016-10-21
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keiser08
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Capt. Wild Bill Posted at 2016-10-21 10:21
Same here.
DJI sent a replacement battery (returned a defective battery under warranty) which was f ...

Sorry to hear that. Did you use the battery? Any problems? I'm still waiting for them to send me a battery. It already has been 1 month and 14 days... and counting LOL.
2016-10-21
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Mastertech
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I got my drone today, looks like a refurbished unit.  I cant get it to connect the aircraft to the remote.  They had me sent my remote so they could check it too.  Of course I cant call on the weekends and there is no online support offered right now.
any ideas?

2016-10-22
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cubguy
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Mastertech Posted at 2016-10-22 07:50
I got my drone today, looks like a refurbished unit.  I cant get it to connect the aircraft to the r ...

That sucks . I feel for you. Hang in there.
2016-10-22
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davidson_g
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Mastertech Posted at 2016-10-22 16:50
I got my drone today, looks like a refurbished unit.  I cant get it to connect the aircraft to the r ...

It might be worth trying the re-link procedure in the video below to see if that helps;

http://youtu.be/jPdlE_zKWYk
2016-10-22
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Mastertech
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I basically had to start from scratch and got the drone flying. seems to work ok refurbished or not. I personally am stoked they didn't fix the original one and send it back to me. it was brand new but having watched it drop into the pacific ocean I don't think I wanted that particular one back anyway. (lost my carbon red skin though.)
2016-10-24
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fans3f55c2ef
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Mastertech Posted at 2016-10-24 07:42
I basically had to start from scratch and got the drone flying. seems to work ok refurbished or not. I personally am stoked they didn't fix the original one and send it back to me. it was brand new but having watched it drop into the pacific ocean I don't think I wanted that particular one back anyway. (lost my carbon red skin though.)

That is crazy that you have had two drones fall into the ocean there!

I just got my first DJI drone about a week ago and immediately got State Farm to cover an anual article insurance and then AMA for liability insurance.

Once I got the insurance, I have been flying at least 3 batteries worth daily to learn how everything works with the flight, controls, app, gimbal, and camera settings.
2021-10-10
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