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Spark fly away = lost drone HELP!
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23702 181 2017-7-9
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Jazzflask
lvl.2
Flight distance : 110446 ft
United Kingdom
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Can anyone help me? I was flying my Spark yesterday from my back garden (launched over 20 flights from same spot with no issue) and the Spark flew away and I have lost it.

I took off with a full GPS signal with about 19 satellites pinging a signal, RTH point updated and started to ascend into the sky, about 30m up I received a "compass error" message, the drone flipped into OPTI mode for a few seconds and then ATTI mode and proceeded to fly away and I could do nothing to stop it.

I live in a residential area on the edge of the countryside so I took off from my back garden and usually fly over some fields around my house.

I had the video recording at the time and the last communication I had with the Spark it was flying over the top of a farm. I would love to try and find it but the last GPS location was just n hing my house so the Find my drone function is useless and all I have to go on is the direction it was flying over the farm on the video.

I would appreciate thoughts on why this happened and how could I set a search area to look for it. It had 80% battery when it lost contact. Would the drone auto land at this point or just keep flying until the battery depleted to a critical level?

Gutted!

I have synced my flight logs and sent in an email to DJI tech support.

My email address is jazzflask@gmail.com.


Thoughts, advice and other words of wisdom appreciated! I hope DJI h ok me out with this one.


2017-7-9
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hallmark007
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Sorry to hear that. If you want to find out what might have happened you can click on link below, follow instructions upload your log , and then come back here and post the link. We might be help.

http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/Upload/
2017-7-9
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Jazzflask
lvl.2
Flight distance : 110446 ft
United Kingdom
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hallmark007 Posted at 2017-7-9 02:09
Sorry to hear that. If you want to find out what might have happened you can click on link below, follow instructions upload your log , and then come back here and post the link. We might be help.

http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/Upload/

Hey hallmark007,

Thanks for the advice. I have uploaded as instructed and the link is as follows:

https://app.airdata.com/main?fli ... amp;page_id=GENERAL

Many Thanks
Gavin
2017-7-9
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hallmark007
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Jazzflask Posted at 2017-7-9 03:09
Hey hallmark007,

Thanks for the advice. I have uploaded as instructed and the link is as follows:

It looks like you picked up some compass problems on the ground, if you launch near rebar concrete or metal , it can seriously effect your compass, one of first warnings was IMU heading, meaning that basically your compass was heading in a different direction than gps i.e. Where you were pushing the sticks, it went into Atti mode drifting on the wind almost impossible to control .

Your flight log ends with 80% battery, but either your aircraft landed or as I suspect continued until battery got to low and landed, your AC was also near its max distance so should not be very far from last coordinates which are marked on your playback log in your app bottom of page.
2017-7-9
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Jazzflask
lvl.2
Flight distance : 110446 ft
United Kingdom
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I was hoping it would land but as you say probably kept going until the battery was low. I would go in search in the direction it was heading but not sure how far it would have gone before landing.
2017-7-9
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Lok Mavic
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Flight distance : 1286841 ft
United Kingdom
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Looked like it drifted to north east. Swiping the area probably will give you a chance to find it even though to be honest it is pretty slim. Maybe it's on someone's backyard.
2017-7-9
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Jazzflask
lvl.2
Flight distance : 110446 ft
United Kingdom
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Also I was no where near metal or concrete so I am pretty mystified to what happened here. There was no controlling it to being it back in, it was off and not coming back.

I will have a look around the area it went in but it's anyone's guess to how far in the North East Dorection it went.

Just a thought but why would the drone not have a GPS tracker for situations like this? Surely the drone could keep pinging its location until the battery ran out.... a bit like your phone does when it's lost?
2017-7-9
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hallmark007
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Jazzflask Posted at 2017-7-9 09:00
Also I was no where near metal or concrete so I am pretty mystified to what happened here. There was no controlling it to being it back in, it was off and not coming back.

I will have a look around the area it went in but it's anyone's guess to how far in the North East Dorection it went.

It does have find my drone, gps tracker no.
2017-7-9
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lfkiter
lvl.3
Flight distance : 111942 ft
United States
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Jazzflask, sorry that you lost your Spark, it seems like DJI needs to address these issues. I know they sell hundreds of thousands of these units and only a very small percentage are having issues but this shouldn't be happening at all. It sounds to me like you did everything correct, had strong GPS when you took off, and then it just goes haywire. Now you have to jump through all of these hoops to get some sort of resolution and it causes stress in your life. Does the Mavic or Phantoms have these fly away issues?? Loosing GPS mid flight? If they don't, I think I'm going to sell my Spark and upgrade to Mavic. The fear and anxiety of my Spark just flying away is a bit much. I want something I can rely on.
2017-7-9
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Nixtoo
Second Officer
Flight distance : 6562 ft
United Kingdom
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Will you  forum if you get anywhere with DJi? I'm very worried my new drone may fly off?
2017-7-9
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GCBrent
lvl.4
Flight distance : 66286 ft
Australia
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I had a compass issue while I was standing on a metal foot bridge over a waterfall. Took off anyway and flew over/down the waterfall and the valley and brought it back no problem. I also didn't have enough satellites so took off in atti mode. Now while this sounds like a lapse in judgement, I have years of experience with drones but also wanted to point out that perhaps it isn't because of the apparent compass error but perhaps a certain set of circumstances that include compass error. If I didn't have any issues with my flight, in dense jungle, metal around, errors abound, then why did he take off in a field and have a fly away?
2017-7-9
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Sparky Tim
lvl.3
Flight distance : 442011 ft
United States
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I used a label printer to print my phone number and stuck it under the battery. There are still good people out there. I've had another drone fly off with a GoPro on it. Didn't have any ID on it. Don't want to repeat that experience.
2017-7-9
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Jazzflask
lvl.2
Flight distance : 110446 ft
United Kingdom
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Hey everyone,

I have just been out for 3 hours looking foat the drone.

I started with the farm is lost signal over to ask permission to search the fields behind their building in  North East drop cone search pattern. I also took a friend with me to try and divide and conquer, supported by my Nikon binoculars. We really did try to be strategic with our search and ensure we remained targeted. Unfortunately I had no luck and remain droneless on my 1.5 week old investment.

I am disappointed with this situation because I did my research and DJI seemed to be the right choice for an amateur drone enthusiast.

Hopefully DJI will provide me with some positive news on my flight record and provide some wisdom on where my drone could be from the data.

Will keep you posted!
2017-7-9
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hallmark007
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GCBrent Posted at 2017-7-9 11:48
I had a compass issue while I was standing on a metal foot bridge over a waterfall. Took off anyway and flew over/down the waterfall and the valley and brought it back no problem. I also didn't have enough satellites so took off in atti mode. Now while this sounds like a lapse in judgement, I have years of experience with drones but also wanted to point out that perhaps it isn't because of the apparent compass error but perhaps a certain set of circumstances that include compass error. If I didn't have any issues with my flight, in dense jungle, metal around, errors abound, then why did he take off in a field and have a fly away?


Before take off a simple exercise to check compass heading, left hand corner map small red triangle if it's pointing in the same direction as AC heading then compass is ok, if it's not then as soon as you are airborne you are likely to have problems with compass heading on different course to gps, gps basically gps gives up and AC goes into Atti mode, and conflicting message coming from controls, for those with experience flying in Atti it's not such a big shock, if you've never done it before small stick movements will have almost no effect on aircraft drifting on wind and it's own propulsion and it will move fast, having remote will help as opposed to phone, but if you have no experience you can forget about it.

There are lots of small tips like the one I've mentioned which help avoid these sort of problems, but it's a pity dji don't mention these in their manual.
2017-7-9
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Phuong Do
Second Officer
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hallmark007 Posted at 2017-7-9 15:45
Before take off a simple exercise to check compass heading, left hand corner map small red triangle if it's pointing in the same direction as AC heading then compass is ok, if it's not then as soon as you are airborne you are likely to have problems with compass heading on different course to gps, gps basically gps gives up and AC goes into Atti mode, and conflicting message coming from controls, for those with experience flying in Atti it's not such a big shock, if you've never done it before small stick movements will have almost no effect on aircraft drifting on wind and it's own propulsion and it will move fast, having remote will help as opposed to phone, but if you have no experience you can forget about it.

There are lots of small tips like the one I've mentioned which help avoid these sort of problems, but it's a pity dji don't mention these in their manual.

Can you please make a thread with those small tips? That will surely help newbies like us. Thanks.
2017-7-9
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Jazzflask
lvl.2
Flight distance : 110446 ft
United Kingdom
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I calibrated the drone before take off to assure the compass and gps were all good. I have practiced flying the drone quite a lot using line of sight rather than relying on GPS and was able to control it.

What happened on Saturday, the drone would not respond to me as I was commanding and it flew off unfortunately.

Mu brother has a Mavic, so I am now t brand new to drones with my spark. He had an incident the first day he had his Mavic and it landed in a river, never to be seen again too. DJI gave him excellent customer service in dealing with the stressful situation.
2017-7-9
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MAVICDLNM
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Jazzflask Posted at 2017-7-9 22:38
I calibrated the drone before take off to assure the compass and gps were all good. I have practiced flying the drone quite a lot using line of sight rather than relying on GPS and was able to control it.

What happened on Saturday, the drone would not respond to me as I was commanding and it flew off unfortunately.

Classic fly away case.  I can’t really tell what went wrong based on your flight log at healthydrone.com, but based on the direction is probably heavy wind draft it away.  Unless DJI can spot any problem during your log, they probably go to offer you 30% off discount to get a new instead.
2017-7-10
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Jazzflask
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Is there any way of telling if it would have auto landed when it lost all reception or would it just drift at the altitude it was at and auto land when the battery was critically low?
2017-7-10
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GCBrent
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hallmark007 Posted at 2017-7-9 15:45
Before take off a simple exercise to check compass heading, left hand corner map small red triangle if it's pointing in the same direction as AC heading then compass is ok, if it's not then as soon as you are airborne you are likely to have problems with compass heading on different course to gps, gps basically gps gives up and AC goes into Atti mode, and conflicting message coming from controls, for those with experience flying in Atti it's not such a big shock, if you've never done it before small stick movements will have almost no effect on aircraft drifting on wind and it's own propulsion and it will move fast, having remote will help as opposed to phone, but if you have no experience you can forget about it.

There are lots of small tips like the one I've mentioned which help avoid these sort of problems, but it's a pity dji don't mention these in their manual.

Great tip! Thanks!!!
2017-7-11
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hallmark007
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Phuong Do Posted at 2017-7-9 17:02
Can you please make a thread with those small tips? That will surely help newbies like us. Thanks.

https://forum.dji.com/forum.php? ... &fromuid=260008
2017-7-11
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joakim-sp
lvl.1
Flight distance : 35735 ft
Denmark
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I had the same problem. My Spark just flew away and crashed into a tree. It started well but after 10 seconds in the air it just flew away. I then lifted my fingers from the IPhone and hoped it would stop. But it didn't. The spark just went away from me.
2017-7-11
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Sparkantti
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This sounds like a common problem with the spark. I lost mine on the second day in similar situation. Everything seemed fine until it bugged out and stopped responding. Nowhere to be found. I thought it should return home if disconnected. I hope dji will do the right thing. Doesn't seem to be a user mistake. If these are, then definitely not a beginner selfie drone.
2017-7-11
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Jazzflask
lvl.2
Flight distance : 110446 ft
United Kingdom
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Hi All,

DJI came back to me and have asked for details of what happened, my remote serial no etc and also to email them my flight log. This is all been sent to one of their analysts to decipher what went wrong. Will let you know how I get on.
2017-7-12
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Jazzflask
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Sparkantti Posted at 2017-7-11 16:05
This sounds like a common problem with the spark. I lost mine on the second day in similar situation. Everything seemed fine until it bugged out and stopped responding. Nowhere to be found. I thought it should return home if disconnected. I hope dji will do the right thing. Doesn't seem to be a user mistake. If these are, then definitely not a beginner selfie drone.

Did you report this to DJI along with your flight logs? What was the outcome?
2017-7-12
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Sparkantti
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Jazzflask Posted at 2017-7-12 03:26
Did you report this to DJI along with your flight logs? What was the outcome?

Yes, but probably the report went to wrong place. I need to find the right way to report it. No answers yet.
2017-7-12
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fans13280e8f
lvl.3
Flight distance : 19849 ft
United States
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this also happened to me the drone took off fine and out of nowhere received compass error, drone connection to phone was lost never found the drone. DJI requested logs and ended up replacing the drone for me.
2017-7-17
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Jazzflask
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I submitted my flight records last Tuesday to DJI for analysis. Hope to get a response soon. I was just getting into the features of the Spark after waiting 5 weeks on a preorder and lost it. I did some calculations on where I thought it might be but no luck. I estimated it drifted 1.5 - 2 miles based on the battery when I lost communication.
2017-7-17
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djiuser_1hm6YdD
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United States
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I had this happen to me tonight! Fortunately for me, the drone came with in blocks back to the house point and landed in someone's yard, after J was a mile down the road searching a bean field for it haha.


But what I'm curious about is now is my drone faulty? Was it due to me using my phone (remote comes in tomorrow). Trying to figure out if this was a user error or if I should replace. Also trying to see how to avoid this happening again.
2017-7-19
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CasanovaRecords
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Flight distance : 44472 ft
United States
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This happen to me also, but I was able to re-gain control of the Spark and landed safety on my neighbor yard.
2017-7-20
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Dave Kent
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United States
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I believe there's maps in the Spark app ...zoom in on the arrow location and if you updated your maps before you flew and zoomed in on the area you were going to fly.
Just zoom in on your map and were the arrow is located is were your drone is located.. within 3 feet /go back and track it.
If you didn't update your maps before you flew ,update them (zoom in all the way were the arrow is) before you go out to find for your drone.   good luck
2017-7-20
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Cavids
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I just got my spark today.  First off I am a very experienced drone pilot, I have had dji drones for over 3 years.  Almost all were built by me, and i have does lots of tuning  and experimentation with naza and other flight controllers.  Honestly I still mostly use naza.   Anyway, set my spark up and took it to the middle of my street, first with cel phone only, it did fine, then hooked up the remote, and at first it was fine then on the next flight it was fine, then dropped gps and had a flyaway to the bushes across the street.  Zero control, tried like crazy to just make the thing come down and nothing.  Reset and went again, two flights latter same thing.   So I came home and did a IMU calibration, and I plan on doing a Compas calibration.  After thinking alot I am guessing most people are not performing a GPS calibration as part of their initial setup.  I honestly did not even think about it as it was nowhere in the manual or any of the dji videos.  But if you think about it china is on the oposite hemoshpere so it makes sense that it needs it.  anyway, i will try again tomorrow and see if that helps.  However if I get any signs that it might do this again it is back in the box and back to Amazon.  Thank God for amazon prime!!!
2017-7-20
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fans9fb836df
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Canada
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I lost my Spark on July 8th while in Italy. It flew perfectly for the first 3 days that I had it. My flyaway log is almost exactly as all of the reports and the log from jazzflask. I'm on my 3rd week waiting for a positive response. The copter had a mind of its own and pushing sticks changed nothing as I watched it fade away.
ve2aed@gmail.com
2017-7-22
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CasanovaRecords
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This morning when i was flying  03:24  into my flight. I got a warning: "Compass Error. Exit P-GPS Mode"  immediate follow by "Current RTH route will pass a No-Fly Zone. Pay attention to the aircraft's position to avoid RTH failure. Then SPARK took off on a run away mode, I lost control to it, I immediate started running after it, I was able to gain control 03:29 flight time.  As soon I gained control a got several warnings. "In Flight, workingIMUen countersheading exception, please switch to atti mode if craft behave abnormally" follow by another warning: "Compass Error. Exit P-GPS Mode"  i was thinking today I am going to lose my SPARK. Screenshots
2017-7-26
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CasanovaRecords
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CasanovaRecords Posted at 2017-7-26 03:49
This morning when i was flying  03:24  into my flight. I got a warning: "Compass Error. Exit P-GPS Mode"  immediate follow by "Current RTH route will pass a No-Fly Zone. Pay attention to the aircraft's position to avoid RTH failure. Then SPARK took off on a run away mode, I lost control to it, I immediate started running after it, I was able to gain control 03:29 flight time.  As soon I gained control a got several warnings. "In Flight, workingIMUen countersheading exception, please switch to atti mode if craft behave abnormally" follow by another warning: "Compass Error. Exit P-GPS Mode"  i was thinking today I am going to lose my SPARK. Screenshots

Flight Record
2017-7-26
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julian46.gmail
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Canada
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Hello all - Gavin (Jazzflask) - thanks for uploading that flight data and putting the link to that site (just joined - will get a Spark soon but waiting till the recent issues to be addressed properly).

In your flight log, there seemed to be quite a few of these (exiting from GPS mode to ATTI mode) warnings even when flying in the air - do you see these warnings in the APP pop up ? - don't mean to sound critical but If it was me I would have not kept flying and brought it in for a landing to re-calibrate or move to a new location.  Maybe just one warning ok keep going, but they appear in the log about have a dozen times.
(it was having issues - if there isn't there should also be an audio alert or vibration to bring it to your attention - because we are not always looking at the screen)

Julian

Warning:Abnormal compass function or GPS signal detected. Aircraft switched to ATTI mode.
2017-7-26
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juxtapose7
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Flight distance : 161 ft
United States
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I had the same issue, I was on a beach and took it up and went up about 100 ft. I flew it outwards a bit and then GPS compass error and it just started flying away in a straight line.. I couldn't even chase after it was it was going towards a forest.

To be honest, im scared of using this drone ever again.
2017-7-26
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Tviscomi
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juxtapose7 Posted at 2017-7-26 06:06
I had the same issue, I was on a beach and took it up and went up about 100 ft. I flew it outwards a bit and then GPS compass error and it just started flying away in a straight line.. I couldn't even chase after it was it was going towards a forest.

To be honest, im scared of using this drone ever again.

Well maybe today's FW update might help
2017-7-26
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ImHereToCrash
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Tviscomi Posted at 2017-7-26 06:10
Well maybe today's FW update might help

ya, we will just have to see if DJI managed to address these issues without mentioning it in change logs.  

im just waiting for my money to get back to me so i can decide
2017-7-26
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Tviscomi
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I'm not doubting that there may have been a legit malfunction with your flight.  With that said,  you do realize that these Sparks use WIFI...correct?  You were flying in an area that looks like there could have been tons of interference.  Not to mention you were 500+ feet up.
2017-7-26
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fans681e4976
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CasanovaRecords Posted at 2017-7-26 03:49
This morning when i was flying  03:24  into my flight. I got a warning: "Compass Error. Exit P-GPS Mode"  immediate follow by "Current RTH route will pass a No-Fly Zone. Pay attention to the aircraft's position to avoid RTH failure. Then SPARK took off on a run away mode, I lost control to it, I immediate started running after it, I was able to gain control 03:29 flight time.  As soon I gained control a got several warnings. "In Flight, workingIMUen countersheading exception, please switch to atti mode if craft behave abnormally" follow by another warning: "Compass Error. Exit P-GPS Mode"  i was thinking today I am going to lose my SPARK. Screenshots

Hello that happen to me yesterday too. But after few second i do had the control again. And the compass error does happens one time in 2 flights..
2017-7-26
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