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So lucky. (I crashed it)
1327 10 2016-12-5
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boldblue737
lvl.2

United States
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Well I've had my Mavic for a month with over 30+ flights and not a single problem or even close call. Today I crashed it. I wasn't even recording at the time, rather doing a demo flight for a buddy who is big into RC planes and RC jets who was curious about it.

I decided to demo the obstacle cameras by hovering 4 feet off the ground and flying it towards my closed garage door. This worked perfectly and the drone did its job and stopped a few feet away from the door. I then yawed (turned) the drone around on itself to point AWAY from the door and let it continue to hover a few feet away from the door while I discussed the "awesomeness" of my Mavic. After 20-30 seconds I did what I always said you never do, you input a control movement without thinking it through first. I had forgotten I had rotated the drone around and THOUGHT it was still facing forward toward the door. I didn't even bother to glance down at the screen which would have obviously showed it was pointing AWAY from the door. Thinking I was facing the door I applied a strong rearward aft input and my beautiful flawless Mavic did just what I told it to do and flew directly into the garage door.

When it struck the door the Mavic instantly pitched up 90 degrees to the vertical and all 4 rotors were parallel to the door and spinning like mad along the door. The Mavic then essentially "slid" down the door, struck the solid concrete driveway, spun once or twice upside down and came to a stop. Ugh.

The propellors were all destroyed. Most had significant portions ripped away and the leading edges were eaten away by the concrete. The upper surface of the battery was covered by huge white scratches and the white scratches extended past the battery unto the rear of the Mavic itself. Two of the arms just below the motors had plastic scratches. The bottom of the Mavic was nearly perfect with just a hint of scratches (maybe 1-2 cm wide at most) in the metal surface in one tiny area. The all important camera had some nearly imperceptible scratches on the gimbal surface and near the lens BUT NOT on the lens itself. Ugh again.

I removed all the props and replaced them with new ones. I did a full IMU and gimbal calibration and a new compass calibration. The Mavic flew PERFECTLY! The camera appears to work PERFECTLY and the gimbal had full range of motion and was stable. I have NOT yet recorded video to inspect in 4K so hopefully it didn't affect focus or anything but I doubt it. When I brought the drone in I used a "Magic Eraser" (the home cleaning product) to rub at all the scratches on the plastic AND THEY ALL CAME OUT and now you can't see a single scratch on the upper surface of the Mavic or its battery at all. From a warzone look it looks new now. The tiny metal scratches on the bottom, the scuffs below 2 motors on 2 of the arms, and the microscopic scuffs in the gimbal remain but you have to know to look for them and it appears they don't affect the use of the Mavic. Talk about lucky, I watched my Mavic strike a solid wall and fall 4 feet onto solid rough concrete.

Learn from me. This drone is NEARLY uncrashable and will do everything to save you from yourself that it can. After 30+ flights and hours of flying in multiple countries I thought it couldn't ever crash it but inattention will bite you. Thanks DJI for making a great drone, I know I got lucky (but I have their insurance) but yep, I'll be trading up in 12-18 months when the Mavic 2 Pro comes out with the rear facing obstacle cameras. ;-)

2016-12-5
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Danny-B-
Second Officer
Flight distance : 306640 ft
United Kingdom
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Haha, easily done i suppose !

Glad its turned out ok for you, i think i'd have cried !

I demo'd collision avoidance to my dad the other day by edging it forward towards my car .. it did as advertised but i have to admit, i was a little scared that it might not come to a halt
2016-12-5
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Bent Kangaroo
Second Officer
Flight distance : 362510 ft
Australia
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Thanks for sharing, you had some luck there, well done!
2016-12-5
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Jake Phantom 3
Second Officer
Flight distance : 2639747 ft
United States
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Lucky you on the crash, glad everything came out working for you.  "Those who cannot remember the pass, are condemned to repeat it."  by George Santayana. Keep this quote in mind and you'll remember what you did and will never repeat that move.
2016-12-5
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hallmark007
Captain
Flight distance : 6153264 ft
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Hungary
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Thanks for your honesty mate, lesson learnt I'm sure, great advice..
Good Luck
2016-12-5
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Sgt_Throatpunch
lvl.2

United States
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Happy ending! Loved the story, but it would be WAY better if you had some pictures for reference!
2016-12-5
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jvanderhoff
lvl.4

United States
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Yea. I'm also looking forward to an updated Mavic with side and rear sensors and a nicer photo lens.

Lucky you on the crash though. Good to hear nearly all of the damage was repaired.
2016-12-5
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13MStang
lvl.4
Flight distance : 892749 ft
United States
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You are a very good story teller.

2016-12-5
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Farnk666
Captain
Flight distance : 1711394 ft
United States
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Just goes to show that technology and features can't replace old fashioned situational awareness and piloting skills.
I'm happy that the damage was light, no-one was injured and that you are still flying. Looks like Mavics are pretty tough!

Thanks for sharing - I'm sure people will take this as valuable input into their flying activities.
2016-12-5
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z4k4tt4ck
lvl.4
Flight distance : 535 ft
Australia
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WOW you are admiting pilot error? ...listen man this isn't how we do things here .... Ill guide you through the process...
Step 1 ... You need to set a topic discrediting dji or the mavic
Step 2... You'll need to let everyone know how the drone just droped out of the air or crashed even tho you didn't touch the control's ( in fact you werent even there... The drone unpacked itself and took flight.)
Step 3 ... This is where you prove to us it couldn't be pilot error because of your vast experience... individually run through each drone you have owned along with anything rc and even a tonka truck or 2.
Step 4 let everyone know how disappointed you are with dji for making a faulty product.
Step 5.. Profit.
2016-12-5
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boldblue737
lvl.2

United States
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z4k4tt4ck Posted at 2016-12-6 14:53
WOW you are admiting pilot error? ...listen man this isn't how we do things here .... Ill guide you through the process...
Step 1 ... You need to set a topic discrediting dji or the mavic
Step 2... You'll need to let everyone know how the drone just droped out of the air or crashed even tho you didn't touch the control's ( in fact you werent even there... The drone unpacked itself and took flight.)

Love it. I'm sure there are real issues with drones from time to time that cause them to crash for folks but I totally believe pilot error is 80% of the crashes.

This was pilot error for me, 100%. I wasn't recording video but I just watched the track playback and could see where I had it 3 feet from wall (stupid) then I could watch as I yawed it to face away from the wall, let it hover 30 seconds then applied a massive aft control input to the stop like an absolute idiot finally you can watch the drone symbol merge with the google map shot of my house.

That said it is DJI's fault.

I kid.
2016-12-6
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