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POLL** Spark fell from the Sky ***POLL
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3444 81 2017-8-3 05:35:58
SparkPilot
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Indonesia
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I was flying my Spark on the beach today. The first flight was uneventful. Brought the drone back to where I was and landed. After a few minutes, took off again to take the drone over water. At about 10m distance, the drone suddenly dropped into the sand (luckily) not water. I am trying to get the sand grains out completely before attempting to fly again. With the Spark switched off, tried to turn the props but they were getting stuck because of the sand. Carefully blowing on them to remove the sand seems to have worked, but have not tested the drone again.

I am now hesitant to venture further out with the Spark (assuming I can get it going again). Any ideas?
2017-8-5 00:57:34
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bkzg
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Hong Kong
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The title of the poll is about fall from the sky but no options is about it? What is it for?
2017-8-5 08:40:57
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fansd8e80c3c
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Flight distance : 14453
Brazil
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Never had issues with the drone itself, but DJI software really needs a polish, today flying I got my aircraft disconnected, but I was still able to see drone camera and control it via RC, RTH button went gray then I had to manually land...
2017-8-5 13:08:53
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$gambino$
Intern Pilot
Flight distance : 476701
United States
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Hit rth on remote didnt work?
2017-8-5 15:34:46
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fansf2304bca
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Chile
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Some people say that the number of this falling from the sky cases are minor. Now I wonder. If this would be really true, DJI would replace the drones. May be they don't send a new one because it would be very costly for them because it is happening to so many people. I'm really concerned about this.
2017-8-5 16:05:38
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JoeCec
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United States
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fansf2304bca Posted at 2017-8-5 16:05
Some people say that the number of this falling from the sky cases are minor. Now I wonder. If this would be really true, DJI would replace the drones. May be they don't send a new one because it would be very costly for them because it is happening to so many people. I'm really concerned about this.

Sadly you have to physically send in the Unit for DJI refresh to replace the drone... Of any kind... so if they're falling out of the sky into water or they fly away and the owner can't find it then there's nothing to replace. With that being said, there's a strong possibility that a majority of the fly away reports are a case of operator error.

BUT

The Spark only has one IMU and one Compass, unlike the Mavic Pro which has a dual IMU and Compass setup. So it could also be a hardware issue.
2017-8-5 19:25:24
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Danielvdhurk
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Netherlands
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Spark did not loose connection but just fell from sky in sports mode from 1 meter high (guessing it had to do with not updating that particular battery)
2017-8-6 12:57:23
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Charles Adams
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Flight distance : 61878
United States
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If this ever happens to me (and I am able to retrieve the ac) I am going to grab every file, log and record, then offer DJI everything (including equipment) so they can do forensic analysis.  I am not convinced that the fly-aways are a DJI problem, but I now believe that at least SOME drops are equipment or software.
2017-8-6 15:35:34
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Euro7r
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Canada
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I have flown the Spark say 13-14 times and today I was up say 50m and it decides to disconnect on me.  App no response and the drone literally with the propellers spinning slowly dropped from the air.  I luckily managed to catch it when it was almost in reaching distance and force landed the drone....

2017-8-6 22:08:53
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Jimmyeao
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Flight distance : 2013
United Kingdom
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I don't think the poll is worded/explained very well, are you asking what issues people have experienced, or what happened when their spark fell from the sky?
Has anyone looked at the correlation between air (and AC) temperature and incidents, checks for no fly zones, wind conditions (motor overload?), and if this is on the first battery or subsequent flights? Polls like this are subjective and potentially misleading as they do not fully capture all the data needed to arrive at a conclusion. I think we have to let Dji have the raw data logs and let them do their analysis - they can then advise us on the root cause in each case and maintain customer confidence, or recall if necessary..
2017-8-7 00:31:40
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Jimmyeao
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United Kingdom
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If people are voting based on what happened when it fell from the sky, you have over a 50% failure rate...
2017-8-7 00:32:18
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Retroglide08
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United Kingdom
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Jimmyeao Posted at 2017-8-7 00:32
If people are voting based on what happened when it fell from the sky, you have over a 50% failure rate...

Had my first short flight yesterday and was very apprehensive. The worry definitely took the edge of the exciting first flight experience. Hadn’t read or heard anything until after my Spark had arrived.  Hope it’s possible to rectify and sorted soon.
2017-8-9 09:13:42
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Retroglide08
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United Kingdom
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Charles Adams Posted at 2017-8-6 15:35
If this ever happens to me (and I am able to retrieve the ac) I am going to grab every file, log and record, then offer DJI everything (including equipment) so they can do forensic analysis.  I am not convinced that the fly-aways are a DJI problem, but I now believe that at least SOME drops are equipment or software.

When you look at all the different models of phones that can be used along with all the different other apps that are installed on these phones. There are so many variables for anything within that phone to perhaps interfere with the DJI app/Spark I guess. Hence the the problem finding out the cause
2017-8-9 09:24:00
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fans5d9349b7
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United Kingdom
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Retroglide08 Posted at 2017-8-9 09:24
When you look at all the different models of phones that can be used along with all the different other apps that are installed on these phones. There are so many variables for anything within that phone to perhaps interfere with the DJI app/Spark I guess. Hence the the problem finding out the cause

I believe the Spark shutdowns are battery based. It wouldn't make sense for the Spark itself to be able to turn off the battery. There would be no code in the software to do this as it serves no purpose. The battery should only turn off via the button press or it's own "intelligence". When my Spark shut down in mid air, the battery turned itself off - wether it's a thermal problem or a problem in its own firmware.
2017-8-9 13:47:51
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Jimmyeao
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United Kingdom
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Retroglide08 Posted at 2017-8-9 09:13
Had my first short flight yesterday and was very apprehensive. The worry definitely took the edge of the exciting first flight experience. Hadn’t read or heard anything until after my Spark had arrived.  Hope it’s possible to rectify and sorted soon.

On the plus side, I have had ~40 flights now with no major dramas - I lost compass once, but as I was flying in the presence of a lot of metal and concrete, not really a surprise. The trick is not to panic, work out which way your drone is facing and fly it back manually.  It did start to drift off when it lost compass, but I was still able to compensate and fly it back.
2017-8-11 07:24:36
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HoracioChavez
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Flight distance : 1953
Mexico
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Option 3. My Spark fell from sky, my log ends at 299.9 ft high. Simply my spark turned off and fell to the ground..  I leave you to the imagination what happens when it falls from almost 100 meters.
2017-8-11 08:04:01
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Retroglide08
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United Kingdom
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Jimmyeao Posted at 2017-8-11 07:24
On the plus side, I have had ~40 flights now with no major dramas - I lost compass once, but as I was flying in the presence of a lot of metal and concrete, not really a surprise. The trick is not to panic, work out which way your drone is facing and fly it back manually.  It did start to drift off when it lost compass, but I was still able to compensate and fly it back.

Have had a couple more flights up to last evening and really enjoyed it. One sill mistake I made was to go to a huge decommissioned military runway. Masses of open ground. Took off and 200ft up all was ok until I had a compass warning. I quickly and calmly brought it down and then realise I had been standing......I’ll let THIS PICTURE explain.
2017-8-11 08:51:02
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scottychop1
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Flight distance : 766
United States
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My spark hit the deck today.    Third flight.  Super bummed.  It was hovering at 10 feet and then all power lost.  No warnings.  Nothing.  I was flying with the controller and phone.  
2017-8-11 09:48:23
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HoracioChavez
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Mexico
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scottychop1 Posted at 2017-8-11 09:48
My spark hit the deck today.    Third flight.  Super bummed.  It was hovering at 10 feet and then all power lost.  No warnings.  Nothing.  I was flying with the controller and phone.

This Happened to me but at 299.9 ft high. Drone is completely broken but turn on yet.
2017-8-11 09:47:50
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connor1059
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United States
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Had the spark hovering at about 50 feet. All of a sudden the battery popped out the back and the drone fell onto the pavement.
2017-8-13 14:54:38
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connor1059
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United States
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Had the spark hovering at 50 feet. All of a sudden the battery popped out the back and the drone fell 50 feet onto pavement. had to send it in to be repaired
2017-8-13 14:55:13
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Bradbury
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France
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I don't own a Spark yet, but I saw this line in the manual (top of page 47).

To perform the CSC [Combination Stick Command] midair in case of an emergency, hold for 1.5 seconds to stop the motors mid-flight. Stopping the motors mid-flight will cause the aircraft to crash.

Maybe it's not very likely that someone would hold the sticks like this for 1.5 seconds while flying, but I guess it could happen...
2017-8-15 02:38:51
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Thor1
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Canada
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Bradbury Posted at 2017-8-15 02:38
I don't own a Spark yet, but I saw this line in the manual (top of page 47).

To perform the CSC [Combination Stick Command] midair in case of an emergency, hold for 1.5 seconds to stop the motors mid-flight. Stopping the motors mid-flight will cause the aircraft to crash.

we have concluded in another thread that this action would likely show a warning in the flight logs. but it is a good theory.
2017-8-15 02:57:00
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JoeCec
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United States
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connor1059 Posted at 2017-8-13 14:55
Had the spark hovering at 50 feet. All of a sudden the battery popped out the back and the drone fell 50 feet onto pavement. had to send it in to be repaired

That's interesting. Did the locking mechanism break?
2017-8-15 04:41:17
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DMY
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Philippines
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DJI recently released a video showing how to properly install the Spark battery (you have to push the back of the battery while holding the two rear motor arms). This is a very good advise since I was previously encountering difficulties holding the sides of the batteries while pushing it in (the wrong way as shown in the video). Now I am getting a more solid click following this procedure. (I also own a Mavic Pro and the battery is easy to install and gives a solid click when it locks).

Improperly installed batteries may still power up the drone and allow take off (because the contacts of the battery and the drone may still touch/connect), but the battery can be ejected while in flight and cause the drone to lose power and drop.

2017-8-17 00:11:27
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JoeCec
Student Pilot
United States
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It's a sad day when a company has to tell the consumer how to install a battery.... And that's NOT a knock on DJI! You need to know what you're DOING!!
2017-8-17 03:45:24
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DMY
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JoeCec Posted at 2017-8-17 03:45
It's a sad day when a company has to tell the consumer how to install a battery.... And that's NOT a knock on DJI! You need to know what you're DOING!!

Yes, it is probably a sad day for DJI because some of their drones are falling out of the sky (battery first) because of the design. The way the battery is fitted is probably good for phones that are not meant to fly, but not for drones. Putting it at the bottom and with that kind of locking system - a small mistake, and it's goodbye Spark!

So they owe it to the consumers to show a better way of ensuring proper battery installation.  They should not be sad they have to do it, they should be sorry.

I was just sharing about the DJI installation video that I saw. It does not mean I did not know what I was doing (my batteries are locked tight and are not falling). DJI just showed a better way of doing it and ensuring it stays in place.
2017-8-17 05:12:24
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Thor1
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Canada
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DMY Posted at 2017-8-17 05:12
Yes, it is probably a sad day for DJI because some of their drones are falling out of the sky (battery first) because of the design. The way the battery is fitted is probably good for phones that are not meant to fly, but not for drones. Putting it at the bottom and with that kind of locking system - a small mistake, and it's goodbye Spark!

So they owe it to the consumers to show a better way of ensuring proper battery installation.  They should not be sad they have to do it, they should be sorry.

i always just give my battery a light tug to make sure it wont fall out.

When i remove the battery i don't just Pull on the release sliders, i hold the battery in to the drone when i pull so the locking mechanisms on the battery do not break since they are so small.
2017-8-17 05:17:05
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DMY
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United States
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Sharing the DJI Spark Battery installation video:
2017-8-17 05:41:13
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DMY
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United States
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Thor1 Posted at 2017-8-17 05:17
i always just give my battery a light tug to make sure it wont fall out.

When i remove the battery i don't just Pull on the release sliders, i hold the battery in to the drone when i pull so the locking mechanisms on the battery do not break since they are so small.

That's good input, Thor1. Holding down the batteries while pulling it backwards will ensure smooth slide and prevent damage to the contacts and the lock (pulling it up while holding the release slider may break the small connectors and lock).
2017-8-17 06:13:36
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Thor1
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Canada
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DMY Posted at 2017-8-17 06:13
That's good input, Thor1. Holding down the batteries while pulling it backwards will ensure smooth slide and prevent damage to the contacts and the lock (pulling it up while holding the release slider may break the small connectors and lock).

i agree. i usually hold it forward with one finger and use my middle finger and thumb to pull the sliders to prevent damage.

hope this helps anyone
2017-8-17 07:07:29
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fansf2304bca
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Chile
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fans5d9349b7 Posted at 2017-8-9 13:47
I believe the Spark shutdowns are battery based. It wouldn't make sense for the Spark itself to be able to turn off the battery. There would be no code in the software to do this as it serves no purpose. The battery should only turn off via the button press or it's own "intelligence". When my Spark shut down in mid air, the battery turned itself off - wether it's a thermal problem or a problem in its own firmware.

This makes sense 100%. It is the battery!.
2017-8-17 13:52:37
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Phuong Do
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Vietnam
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fansf2304bca Posted at 2017-8-17 13:52
This makes sense 100%. It is the battery!.

I thought so from the beginning but DJI proved it is not.There are at least 2 cases that I know with real falling issue has been repaired and sent back.They confirmed DJI did not even care to touch the battery,they only changed/repaired the Spark with nee SN number.
If it is the battery issue,do you think they will ignore the battery like that?
2017-8-17 15:44:31
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DMY
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Philippines
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Phuong Do Posted at 2017-8-17 15:44
I thought so from the beginning but DJI proved it is not.There are at least 2 cases that I know with real falling issue has been repaired and sent back.They confirmed DJI did not even care to touch the battery,they only changed/repaired the Spark with nee SN number.
If it is the battery issue,do you think they will ignore the battery like that?

There may be other reasons, but I think some cases (like the one reported in this forum) could be due to improper battery installation. If it is properly seated, I don't think the battery will just fall off the Spark.

At least we remove one possible cause of failure if we ensure the battery is properly installed. I think that this was the reason why DJI released the new installation video (they may have found out that improper installation could have caused some of the power loss).
2017-8-17 16:29:07
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Charles Adams
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United States
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DMY Posted at 2017-8-17 16:29
There may be other reasons, but I think some cases (like the one reported in this forum) could be due to improper battery installation. If it is properly seated, I don't think the battery will just fall off the Spark.

At least we remove one possible cause of failure if we ensure the battery is properly installed. I think that this was the reason why DJI released the new installation video (they may have found out that improper installation could have caused some of the power loss).

It's wise for the user to check on and eliminate as many possible causes as can be controlled in pre-flight checks.  Though I've seen at least one video where the drone drops, and power is still evident because leds are still operational.

Still, I'll be checking to ensure my battery is properly attached and my propellers are in good condition and all the other checks.
2017-8-17 16:40:45
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video.jdinges
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United States
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fans5d9349b7 Posted at 2017-8-4 23:41
This happens to everyone. But we are talking about the random shut downs that are happening. Mine shut down and fell to the floor from just a few meters away. With a solid connection. When I picked it up, I had to turn it back on with the button press sequence. And the battery was still at 70%.

Even if it wasn't damaged you should return it immediately.  And hound the hell out of DJI until they come up with an explanation.  
2017-8-17 22:25:44
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video.jdinges
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United States
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Imagine someone dropping a lithium ion battery on your head from a skyscraper and that is the seriousness this major "falling from the sky" issue.  
2017-8-17 23:31:26
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fans5d9349b7
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United Kingdom
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For anyone interested, this is what it looks like falling out the sky. 70% battery, 2 minute flight. iPhone as remote, excuse the poor video quality and sound:  https://youtu.be/Fe95m_Jqt70
2017-8-18 00:41:21
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JoeCec
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United States
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Just pre-flight your drone, give a little tug on the battery prior to flight (not on the release tabs) and have fun.
2017-8-18 08:47:11
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SparkPilot
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United Kingdom
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SparkPilot Posted at 2017-8-5 00:57
I was flying my Spark on the beach today. The first flight was uneventful. Brought the drone back to where I was and landed. After a few minutes, took off again to take the drone over water. At about 10m distance, the drone suddenly dropped into the sand (luckily) not water. I am trying to get the sand grains out completely before attempting to fly again. With the Spark switched off, tried to turn the props but they were getting stuck because of the sand. Carefully blowing on them to remove the sand seems to have worked, but have not tested the drone again.

I am now hesitant to venture further out with the Spark (assuming I can get it going again). Any ideas?

Update: I have now been flying the Spark without any further incidence. I reckon that on my second flight that day, there was compass interference from the deck chair that I was operating from. It had a metal frame.

I have been avoiding launching the drone from anywhere near metal and so far no more falling out of the sky!
2017-8-19 01:54:29
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