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Mavic ignoring Return to Home Altitude
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Jason Lane
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[UPDATED 2017-02-23] This appears to have been fixed with firmware v01.03.0400  If anybody still experiences this with the new firmware, please report it.


* Please note, the problem here was not caused by the Mavic's Obstacle Avoidance falsely detecting the sun as an obstacle. I'm well aware of that behavior, but in the instances described below, my Mavic was not heading towards the sun and not giving any OA warnings.

---

So, I was doing some flying a few days ago (Dec 7) to try out the brand new firmware v1.03. I took the Mavic to a fairly large, mostly empty park. I wanted to give myself a bit of room for the first few flights with the new firmware, just in case I ran into any problems. Well, it turns out I did. After some flying around, and testing out the waypoints mode, I decided to pack up for the day. I hit the RTH button, and at first the Mavic behaved as expected; It turned to face me, then started ascending. At that point, my RTH altitude was set to 20m, but I watched as the Mavic reached 20m, but kept on going up. At this point, I thought it was possible that maybe my RTH altitude was still set to 40m, which I had been using on previous flights. So I watch as it kept going to 40m, but then still kept going! I was starting to worry, but I thought I'd just wait and hope it would stop soon. Well, it kept going to over 70m, at which point I decided I wasn't gonna wait any longer. I hit the Pause button, and quickly brought the Mavic back down to a lower altitude. I then checked my setting in the app, and verified that it was still set to 20m. So I decided to try again, and the Mavic did the same thing again. Only this time, I decided to stop it when it reached 35m. At that point, I just flew it back manually and packed up for the day.

The next day, I decided to do some more testing, this time at another park. I tried RTH a few times, and it worked properly each time.

The following day (yesterday) I took it back to the first park to test it out again. I also decided to try out the Go 4 app this time. Unfortunately, that didn't help. It ignored the RTH altitude again.  I decided to let it go and see if it would stop eventually, and it ended up stopping at around 78m, and then completing the RTH as normal. I tested it several times, and it kept ignoring the altitude. I even tried setting the Max Altitude to 50m, with RTH at 20m. Still, the Mavic ascended to over 70m during RTH. I then decided to go back to the second park (where RTH worked properly the day before). However, it still did the same thing. During several attempts, it ascended way above the RTH height.

Everytime this happened, the app was clearly reporting the correct height, so it doesn't seem like a sensor problem. The Mavic was simply ignoring the set altitude. I have videos and screen caps of most of this testing, and when I get the time in the next couple of days I'll post an edited video.

Here are some details:

- Mavic and all accessories were fully updated with the v1.03 firmware
- The problem occured in both Go 3 and Go 4 on my Galaxy S7
- At no point in any of these flights did I see any warnings or errors. All signal bars were showing good to excellent strength.
- Never lost GPS lock (as far as I can remember)

I'm wondering if anybody esle has experienced this?

[Update]
Here's a rough video edit of the first time it happened:




2016-12-9
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theGrindLab.com
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Not sure about Mavics, but several others have mentioned their P4Ps doing this.
2016-12-9
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Nees
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Open a case at DJI, send your logs. Will help everyone if this is a bug.
2016-12-9
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CamStevens
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Awesome job providing lots of details and I love your calm approach to trying to diagnose.

Hope you get it figured out soon.
2016-12-9
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DJI-Ken
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Jason,
That indeed is strange, what is your email and sync the flights and star then as favorites and tell me what minute/second mark this occurred.
Also, connect the Mavic to the Assistant2 and download the DAT files and upload to Dropbox and post the link and I will forward to the flight data analysis team.
2016-12-9
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trance728-
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I haven't tried the RTH once, I'm a bit afraid to do it with all the reports of weird things occurring. Think I should go find an open area though and see what it does in the event that it auto triggers and I can't cancel it.
2016-12-10
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Jason Lane
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DJI-Ken Posted at 2016-12-10 16:36
Jason,
That indeed is strange, what is your email and sync the flights and star then as favorites and tell me what minute/second mark this occurred.
Also, connect the Mavic to the Assistant2 and download the DAT files and upload to Dropbox and post the link and I will forward to the flight data analysis team.

Thanks Ken. I'll PM you my email address. I’ve starred the relevant flights.

The first time it happened was on the Dec 7 flight, at around the 7:32 mark. After I aborted that first RTH, I tried again a few minutes after, and experienced the same issue.

Then, on Dec 9 I've starred 5 flights where I was doing pretty much nothing other than testing RTH.

I’ve also uploaded a video clip of the first time it happened. I’ve added this to my original post.

I'll see if I can send the dat files tomorrow.
2016-12-10
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DJI-Ken
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Jason Lane Posted at 2016-12-10 07:23
Thanks Ken. I'll PM you my email address. I’ve starred the relevant flights.

The first time it happened was on the Dec 7 flight, at around the 7:32 mark. After I aborted that first RTH, I tried again a few minutes after, and experienced the same issue.

Thanks, I've looked and do not see any errors. The flight data analysis team will need to analyze the DAT file to see that the RTH was set to lower than the aircraft climbed to.Post the DAT files of a few of those flights and I'll forward it to them.
2016-12-10
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LukasBlecha
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Same happened to me today. Latest firmware, Galaxy S7.  My RTH attitude was set to 120 m.  I was flying at 200 m, then decided to RTH. Mavic started ascending! At 230 meters I canceled it and landed manually. Weird.
2016-12-10
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Jason Lane
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DJI-Ken Posted at 2016-12-11 00:20
Thanks, I've looked and do not see any errors. The flight data analysis team will need to analyze the DAT file to see that the RTH was set to lower than the aircraft climbed to.Post the DAT files of a few of those flights and I'll forward it to them.

Hi Ken,

I downloaded the DAT files from my Mavic today, but I encountered a few issues:

1. I’ve flown several times since the first incidence, and it looks like some of the relevant flight records have already been deleted from my Mavic’s storage.

2. It seems like the choice of logs that have been deleted is kind of random. For example: On Dec 9, I have 7 flights logged in my app. DJI Assistant only shows 2 flights on the 9th, but still shows some flights from the 8th. Why would it have deleted some flights from the 9th while still keeping some from the 8th?

3. The fight records displayed in DJI Assistant seem to have timestamps that don’t match with my actual flights, making it hard for me to actually figure out which DAT files match which flights.

Since I can’t really determine which DAT files to send to you, I’ve uploaded all the ones I could to Dropbox. Hopefully the data analysis team can sort them out. One thing I can tell you is that my most recent flight was a flight I made today, in which I experienced a similar problem, except that this time it didn’t ascend high enough. My RTH altitude was set to 30m, but the Mavic only went up as far as about 17m, then came home, and ascended slightly on the way, ending up at about 20m. I had a screen recorder running this time, and you can clearly see the confirmation dialog saying that the aircraft would go to a height of 30m.

Right now, it seems like the RTH altitude is totally unreliable in my testing. I don’t know if this is new to v1.03, since I hadn’t done much testing before this firmware updated.

Here’s a link to my DAT files in Dropbox: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/v9003bftbs2rdd3/AAAYOhtLY3zR0YhQzh2OUd9ma?dl=0

And here’s a video clip showing the last RTH, which was lower than the assigned height.

[EDIT] - It just occurred to me that the DAT file recordings are probably started as soon as the Mavic is powered on, and stopped when it's powered off. That would explain my confusion regarding the number of logs and the timestamps. It makes more sense now.



2016-12-11
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DJI-Ken
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Jason Lane Posted at 2016-12-11 07:02
Hi Ken,

I downloaded the DAT files from my Mavic today, but I encountered a few issues:

Jason,
I sent the link to the flight data analysis department and when they analyze some of the flight records they'll let me know.
2016-12-11
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Lnguyen558
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Hi,

I had the same issue with my Mavic RTH yesterday. Before flight, i
2016-12-27
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Lnguyen558
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Hi,

I had the same issue with my Mavic RTH.  Before flight, I set max Altitude 100 M and RTH Altitude 30 M, but during RTH, the mavic kept ascending to over 600ft before landing. I dont touch any sticks on the controllers. When i noticed it kept going up, i only use the camera to look down. Not sure why this happened... after this , i tested two more RTH at 20 M and 30M settings, and everything was ok.



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2016-12-27
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Jason Lane
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DJI-Ken Posted at 2016-12-12 11:06
Jason,
I sent the link to the flight data analysis department and when they analyze some of the flight records they'll let me know.

Hi Ken, any update on this? Seems I'm not the only one who's experienced this.
2016-12-27
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DJI-Ken
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Jason Lane Posted at 2016-12-27 21:25
Hi Ken, any update on this? Seems I'm not the only one who's experienced this.

Hi Jason,
Nothing yet, I've reported it to the R&D department as well.
2016-12-27
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DJI-Ken
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Lnguyen558 Posted at 2016-12-27 16:50
Hi,

I had the same issue with my Mavic RTH.  Before flight, I set max Altitude 100 M and RTH Altitude 30 M, but during RTH, the mavic kept ascending to over 600ft before landing. I dont touch any sticks on the controllers. When i noticed it kept going up, i only use the camera to look down. Not sure why this happened... after this , i tested two more RTH at 20 M and 30M settings, and everything was ok.

Thank you for posting, it's been reported to R&D.
I will update when I receive an answer.
2016-12-27
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Hex
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This happened to me yesterday.  RTH altitude is set to 30m, but the aircraft flew to over 90m--and showed no sign of stopping--before I cancelled it.

Is there any word on what causes this?
2017-1-31
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Hex
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DJI-Ken?  Anyone..?
2017-2-1
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hariedo
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The forward Obstacle Avoidance gets triggered if the aircraft is facing directly into a low sun.  This causes the aircraft to ascend to attempt to get over the "obstacle" of sun glare.  This ascent overrules the configured RTH altitude (as it should).  Some reports suggest it overrules the maximum height of 500 meters (as it should not).

Cancel automatic RTH flight, and then either turn off OA, or fly to the side so that the RTH route is not directly into the sun.
2017-2-1
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Jason Lane
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hariedo Posted at 2017-2-1 13:44
The forward Obstacle Avoidance gets triggered if the aircraft is facing directly into a low sun.  This causes the aircraft to ascend to attempt to get over the "obstacle" of sun glare.  This ascent overrules the configured RTH altitude (as it should).  Some reports suggest it overrules the maximum height of 500 meters (as it should not).

Cancel automatic RTH flight, and then either turn off OA, or fly to the side so that the RTH route is not directly into the sun.

I'm well aware of the problem with OA and direct sun, but this is not that issue. I never got any obstacle warnings, and I've replayed the flights to check in case I missed them at the time. No warnings. Also, if you look at the videos I've posted, the Mavic is not pointing at the sun. It also wouldn't explain why the Mavic came back too LOW on one occasion (also in a video above).
2017-2-1
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Genecidal
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SO just happened to me as well. RTH set to 30m(dbl checked) After 5 min flight @ 50m I hit the RTH and the damn thing proceeded to climb to 70m, i hit pause checked RTH, set to 20m, saved, back to flying, hit RTH went up to 100m.  WTF!!! Ok cancel RTH..... No problem.  Drop alt. to 70m and hit RTH .....lets see  100m.....120m..."Max height reached".....140m....150m.....160m....ENOUGH!!!!!! Canceled RTH and landed manually.
No big deal you say, all good.... well that was my 2nd flight....ever!!!
I am shaking right now. What the F#@K!!
2017-2-10
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Genecidal
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Same here. Did you ever get an answer to this?
2017-2-10
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Jason Lane
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DJI-Ken Posted at 2016-12-27 21:41
Thank you for posting, it's been reported to R&D.
I will update when I receive an answer.

Hi Ken. Any news? More people seem to be having this issue.
2017-2-11
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DJI-Ken
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Jason Lane Posted at 2017-2-11 05:40
Hi Ken. Any news? More people seem to be having this issue.

There is firmware coming in the next week or two that will resolve VPS altitude errors.
2017-2-12
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Jason Lane
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DJI-Ken Posted at 2017-2-12 17:18
There is firmware coming in the next week or two that will resolve VPS altitude errors.

Hi Ken. Thanks for the update.

Are you saying that the engineers think this issue is related to the VPS errors? I actually don't find that likely...

For one thing, none of my screen recordings during these RTH events show the tell-tale 0.1m VPS reading that causes the Mavic to rise up. All the sensor readings on my screen look to be functioning 100% during these errant RTH events.

Secondly, a faulty VPS reading surely wouldn't account for the Mavic returning below the set RTH altitude, would it? Like in the video I posted above where it headed home at 17m instead of 30m. And 17m is even below the minimum set-able RTH altitude of 20m.

BTW, I've had several more occasions where my Mavic has RTH'ed at an incorrect altitude, but I've never had any of the symptoms associated with the VPS problems (ie. rising on its own, or auto-landing from altitude).

I'll certainly do some testing with the new firmware when it comes out, but I don't really see how this RTH altitude problem could be attributed to the VPS issues.
2017-2-12
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DJI-Ken
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Jason Lane Posted at 2017-2-12 18:04
Hi Ken. Thanks for the update.

Are you saying that the engineers think this issue is related to the VPS errors? I actually don't find that likely...

If the firmware coming out does not resolve it then you will have to contact support and send it in for evaluation.
Let's see what the firmware does for you.
2017-2-13
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fansa41d3309
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I've had this issue since the first day I purchased my mavic. I've never had it work despite giving it at least 20 attempts in different locations. My RTH altitude is set at 200 and I'm forced to cancel RTH when it goes over 320.
2017-2-13
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Jason Lane
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DJI-Ken Posted at 2017-2-13 06:46
If the firmware coming out does not resolve it then you will have to contact support and send it in for evaluation.
Let's see what the firmware does for you.

I hope I'm not speaking too soon, but it seems like the new firmware may have fixed the problem. I've been out flying twice with the new firmware, and I tested RTH many times. The Mavic seemed to go to the correct altitude each time. Fingers crossed it stays that way!
2017-2-23
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Griffith
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Jason Lane Posted at 2017-2-23 07:00
I hope I'm not speaking too soon, but it seems like the new firmware may have fixed the problem. I've been out flying twice with the new firmware, and I tested RTH many times. The Mavic seemed to go to the correct altitude each time. Fingers crossed it stays that way!

And now you have gained some experience in situations where something goes awry, :-).  I t will serve you well in the future.
2017-2-23
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DJI-Ken
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Jason Lane Posted at 2017-2-23 07:00
I hope I'm not speaking too soon, but it seems like the new firmware may have fixed the problem. I've been out flying twice with the new firmware, and I tested RTH many times. The Mavic seemed to go to the correct altitude each time. Fingers crossed it stays that way!

That's great, let me know if you experience otherwise.
2017-2-23
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JohnnieYaz
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I guess we should test our RTH with each release of software. I never use RTH because to me it's for a emergencies only. I have tested it when I first received the Mavic, and it was spot on. I have mine set a 40m and if it went over 400" I would have to file this error with the FAA as a sUAS licenced operator..
2017-2-23
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fans90d4f438
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do firmware updates reset all settings back to default? Im positive I had increased my minimum RTH altitude, but after the update last week, it appears to have gone back to the default RTH altitude
2017-2-23
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EastyT
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I had a similar experience yesterday.  I was flying around my house and have a max altitude set to 400' and a RTH altitude at 120' due to large pine trees.  The RTH function has worked perfectly since I got my drone and the firmware has been updated since before my first flight.  Yesterday, after hovering and confirming the home point a flew around a bit and then took the Mavic to 400' almost directly above the home point.  I then back it off about 50' horizontally and executed the RTH.  The Mavic started towards me, stopped, backed up about 15' and the went up about 10' (above the max. altitude).  I then came forward again and repeated the backing up and rising about 3 times until I stopped it and it had reached 440'.  I manually brought it home with no incident.

Another data point is that the RTH heading was directly at the setting sun which was low in the sky, but very bright on a clear day.  This is the first time it has failed for me.  There were no errors or obstacle warnings, just executed the RTH and this behavior started on it's own.  Here is a Google Earth representation of what happened:



Any Ideas?
2017-2-23
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geofox784
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EastyT Posted at 2017-2-23 13:04
I had a similar experience yesterday.  I was flying around my house and have a max altitude set to 400' and a RTH altitude at 120' due to large pine trees.  The RTH function has worked perfectly since I got my drone and the firmware has been updated since before my first flight.  Yesterday, after hovering and confirming the home point a flew around a bit and then took the Mavic to 400' almost directly above the home point.  I then back it off about 50' horizontally and executed the RTH.  The Mavic started towards me, stopped, backed up about 15' and the went up about 10' (above the max. altitude).  I then came forward again and repeated the backing up and rising about 3 times until I stopped it and it had reached 440'.  I manually brought it home with no incident.

Another data point is that the RTH heading was directly at the setting sun which was low in the sky, but very bright on a clear day.  This is the first time it has failed for me.  There were no errors or obstacle warnings, just executed the RTH and this behavior started on it's own.  Here is a Google Earth representation of what happened:

It was facing toward the sun? Willing to bet the obstacle avoidance mistook the sun for an obstacle (common problem)  and thus tried to "go over it"
Can you upload to happydrones and post a link? That should have a bunch of usefull data.
2017-2-23
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Jason Lane
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EastyT Posted at 2017-2-23 13:04
I had a similar experience yesterday.  I was flying around my house and have a max altitude set to 400' and a RTH altitude at 120' due to large pine trees.  The RTH function has worked perfectly since I got my drone and the firmware has been updated since before my first flight.  Yesterday, after hovering and confirming the home point a flew around a bit and then took the Mavic to 400' almost directly above the home point.  I then back it off about 50' horizontally and executed the RTH.  The Mavic started towards me, stopped, backed up about 15' and the went up about 10' (above the max. altitude).  I then came forward again and repeated the backing up and rising about 3 times until I stopped it and it had reached 440'.  I manually brought it home with no incident.

Another data point is that the RTH heading was directly at the setting sun which was low in the sky, but very bright on a clear day.  This is the first time it has failed for me.  There were no errors or obstacle warnings, just executed the RTH and this behavior started on it's own.  Here is a Google Earth representation of what happened:

It's fairly common for the low sun to trigger obstacle avoidance, but one thing about your report does sound strange: The fact that the Mavic moved backwards. As far as I know, the only situation when a Mavic is supposed to move backwards on its own is in ActiveTrack and only if you have Backwards Flying for ActiveTrack enabled. I've never heard of a Mavic flying backwards otherwise. In all other accounts I've read of the sun causing RTH issues, the Mavic would ascend, but never move backwards.
2017-2-23
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EastyT
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geofox784 Posted at 2017-2-23 18:10
It was facing toward the sun? Willing to bet the obstacle avoidance mistook the sun for an obstacle (common problem)  and thus tried to "go over it"
Can you upload to happydrones and post a link? That should have a bunch of usefull data.

I have an account on healthydrones.com and the flight has been uploaded and that's where the google earth picture came from in my original post.  How do I link to this flight?  Do I download the data in CSV format?  Thanks.
2017-2-24
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geofox784
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EastyT Posted at 2017-2-24 07:06
I have an account on healthydrones.com and the flight has been uploaded and that's where the google earth picture came from in my original post.  How do I link to this flight?  Do I download the data in CSV format?  Thanks.

Just copy the URL when you have the flight selected
2017-2-24
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Jason Lane
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EastyT Posted at 2017-2-24 07:06
I have an account on healthydrones.com and the flight has been uploaded and that's where the google earth picture came from in my original post.  How do I link to this flight?  Do I download the data in CSV format?  Thanks.

2017-2-24
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EastyT
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Thanks for the instructions for creating the sharing link.  Here it is:
http://healthydrones.com/main?share=DkTlIb

I appreciate your insight.
2017-2-24
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Jason Lane
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EastyT Posted at 2017-2-24 20:07
Thanks for the instructions for creating the sharing link.  Here it is:
http://healthydrones.com/main?share=DkTlIb

Can you change the share settings so that we can zoom the map? It's hard to see the various data points without zooming in. Also, a screen recording of the flight playback in the GO app might be useful, too.
2017-2-25
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