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Spark flew away while following me
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ocean224
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While commanding my Spark under gesture contol yesterday, I was having it follow me for quite a while when all of a sudden it took off vertically and got eaten by a tree. I really don't know if I will be able to recover it. Question is: What would make it do such a thing? If I can't recover it, I will be out of luck since I was not using the RC and there is no data recorded.
2017-8-24
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Dirk52
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Sounds like a RtH bug. (normally in gesture control only there is no rth)
Maybe the one with the same problem will say something about it here. There was a thread about it a few weeks ago.
2017-8-24
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Charles Adams
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Not that this helps you, but I never perform gesture controls without a means of remote controlling it on hand (which I agree defeats the purpose of the gesture control).  This is because I don't yet trust the craft to behave, your case being a prime example.

Is your spark irretrievable? Too high up in the tree to safely retrieve?

DJI Moderators will have to address the possibilities of exercising any warranty.  Can you get a picture of the drone, using a ground based camera?

An important thing to consider:  Why did this happen?  Without logs, it's challenging to make that determination.  Were you flying in an environment with a lot of buildings or structures?
2017-8-24
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S-e-ven
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https://forum.dji.com/thread-106790-1-1.html
2017-8-24
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ix3lplix
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You mentioned that it was following you for quite a while. How far were you from your original launch point?

I think I remember reading that the aircraft is still bound to the same home point that it recorded when you first launched. If you traveled far enough from that location without resetting a new home point, this could have triggered a RTH. Maybe your RTH altitude was not set high enough to make it over the trees which is why it hit them on the way back.
2017-8-24
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ocean224
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Charles Adams Posted at 2017-8-24 06:40
Not that this helps you, but I never perform gesture controls without a means of remote controlling it on hand (which I agree defeats the purpose of the gesture control).  This is because I don't yet trust the craft to behave, your case being a prime example.

Is your spark irretrievable? Too high up in the tree to safely retrieve?

Yes, it's pretty high up. Maybe 35-40 feet. I don't have the equipment to take a photo. Lesson learned, gesture control isn't what it's cracked up to be. And yes, it happened in an urban area. 2 story buildings and trees. If we get some wind, it will probably come down. It looks like it is just barely caught on the branch. Im going to build a 40' pole out of 1/2" conduit when I get home and try to coax it loose. I  even purchased DJI care refresh, but I think I need a body to make a claim.
2017-8-24
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Charles Adams
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ix3lplix Posted at 2017-8-24 06:49
You mentioned that it was following you for quite a while. How far were you from your original launch point?

I think I remember reading that the aircraft is still bound to the same home point that it recorded when you first launched. If you traveled far enough from that location without resetting a new home point, this could have triggered a RTH. Maybe your RTH altitude was not set high enough to make it over the trees which is why it hit them on the way back.

The way the issue was described, I interpreted that the spark flew up into the tree.  I'm envisioning that this pilot started in a location using gesture control, and then walked far enough AND used enough battery to have required RTH...  at which time the drone elevates into the tree.

If I'm right, this was absolutely normal and expected drone behavior (no offense to the pilot intended).
2017-8-24
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Oracle Miata
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The above post is correct.  If you traveled maybe 50 meters from where you launched you will have issues.
2017-8-24
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hallmark007
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ocean224 Posted at 2017-8-24 06:50
Yes, it's pretty high up. Maybe 35-40 feet. I don't have the equipment to take a photo. Lesson learned, gesture control isn't what it's cracked up to be. And yes, it happened in an urban area. 2 story buildings and trees. If we get some wind, it will probably come down. It looks like it is just barely caught on the branch. Im going to build a 40' pole out of 1/2" conduit when I get home and try to coax it loose. I  even purchased DJI care refresh, but I think I need a body to make a claim.

You will need AC to make a refresh claim , I suggest you try get some help getting it down, there will be record in your spark as to what happened.
Good luck
2017-8-24
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ocean224
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Agreed, pilot error. I believe I was low on power and triggered RTH. This may prove to be an expensive lesson.
2017-8-24
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Charles Adams
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ocean224 Posted at 2017-8-24 07:34
Agreed, pilot error. I believe I was low on power and triggered RTH. This may prove to be an expensive lesson.

I hope the pilot can retrieve it.  There have been complaints by other individuals where the pilot was really being ignorant.  I don't think THIS was such a case.  If this happened as I envision, this is a fairly innocent (hopefully not costly) flight mistake.
2017-8-24
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HomePoint
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If you know which tree it is in, then at whatever cost I am sure you should be able to recover it, or is it in a group of trees that are impossible to know where it is?
2017-8-24
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Sparky_17
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Sounds like the RTH was triggered, possibly due to battery reaching 30%.
2017-8-24
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Charles Adams
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IF this is in fact what happened, I'm wondering if there shouldn't be an enhancement request for this behavior.

For everyone's critique:

If in gesture mode, the software could/should assume that it is within a short distance of the "home point", and if RTH is engaged, should land in location.  This is because "gesture mode" implies that there is close proximity to the pilot, who is piloting the craft with physical body gestures.  In this use case, "home point" will always be in close proximity to the craft.  Even if the user walks some distance away, and the craft follows, it seems to be a safe assumption for the software that "home point" is quite local.

Just some thoughts...  open to critique and criticism.
2017-8-24
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ocean224
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HomePoint Posted at 2017-8-24 07:53
If you know which tree it is in, then at whatever cost I am sure you should be able to recover it, or is it in a group of trees that are impossible to know where it is?

I can see it. Gonna make a drone retriever when I get home.
2017-8-24
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Flying Wolf_NOL
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Charles Adams Posted at 2017-8-24 08:09
IF this is in fact what happened, I'm wondering if there shouldn't be an enhancement request for this behavior.

For everyone's critique:

I agree with this totally.  I always set my RTH altitude at the max 120 meters (so if it has to return home, it will be well above any obstructions). However, in gesture mode, it 'should' always be close to the user. Just have it land (or hover at the last altitude) landing could be an issue if it is following you over a foot bridge, for example,  or through water.. I know those are unlikely scenarios, just trying to think through any possible issues.  

I've only used gesture mode once to kind of 'try it out'.   I actually wish that it would have been left off of the craft. It gives it a 'toyish' reputation, when it's anything but a toy. It has also caused more than one customer to have a very bad experience which (if it were me) would cause me to think long and hard before purchasing another DJI product.

In any case, best of luck to the OP. I hope you get your spark back.  Having crashed on UAV myself, I know that feeling one gets in the pit of your stomach. It isn't pleasant.
2017-8-24
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ocean224
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Flying Wolf_NOL Posted at 2017-8-24 08:33
I agree with this totally.  I always set my RTH altitude at the max 120 meters (so if it has to return home, it will be well above any obstructions). However, in gesture mode, it 'should' always be close to the user. Just have it land (or hover at the last altitude) landing could be an issue if it is following you over a foot bridge, for example,  or through water.. I know those are unlikely scenarios, just trying to think through any possible issues.  

I've only used gesture mode once to kind of 'try it out'.   I actually wish that it would have been left off of the craft. It gives it a 'toyish' reputation, when it's anything but a toy. It has also caused more than one customer to have a very bad experience which (if it were me) would cause me to think long and hard before purchasing another DJI product.

Yes, i think it should just hover. In any case I was just playing with gesture mode and I'm through with it now. It is toyish and not really useful as far as I can see, although someone may have a use for it.
I think I have a good chance to recover the Spark.
Thanks for all the comments.
2017-8-24
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Charles Adams
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I think that there are valid use cases for gesture control, just none that I heavily rely on.  I know the intent is for "ease of use" and a whole new world of "selfies".  I find there to be practical application in launching and landing in difficult terrain (say a boat, or up in my mountain property where there isn't a lot of flat ground).  I'd like to see palm launch be 100% reliable, for these corner cases.
2017-8-24
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Montfrooij
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Flying Wolf_NOL Posted at 2017-8-24 08:33
I agree with this totally.  I always set my RTH altitude at the max 120 meters (so if it has to return home, it will be well above any obstructions). However, in gesture mode, it 'should' always be close to the user. Just have it land (or hover at the last altitude) landing could be an issue if it is following you over a foot bridge, for example,  or through water.. I know those are unlikely scenarios, just trying to think through any possible issues.  

I've only used gesture mode once to kind of 'try it out'.   I actually wish that it would have been left off of the craft. It gives it a 'toyish' reputation, when it's anything but a toy. It has also caused more than one customer to have a very bad experience which (if it were me) would cause me to think long and hard before purchasing another DJI product.

Indeed RTH and, or in combination with, the gesture modes seem to cause many accidents.
I must say I like the idea of an algorithm flying perfectly around my subject, but have yet to find out if it works for me.
2017-8-24
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ocean224
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Conduit drone retriever........fail. Too heavy. Called an arborist to climb the tree.
2017-8-24
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Jeff7577
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There is no RTH when in gesture mode with no phone or RC connected, there is no home point.
2017-8-24
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Jeff7577
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Yeah, there is no reason for it to ever RTH in gesture. If it goes into low battery it just lands.
2017-8-24
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Charles Adams
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Jeff7577 Posted at 2017-8-24 16:24
There is no RTH when in gesture mode with no phone or RC connected, there is no home point.

You certain?  It may be worth a test (a reason for me to go fly).  I know that the manual does cover use cases involving both gesture mode and phone, so I know that a phone can play a role when using gesture mode (and in fact improves one of the features).  I may go for a walk and talk my friend sparky.
2017-8-24
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DJI Elektra
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Flight performance can be affected by environment.
Here are some advice
1.Please fly in a wide place and pay attention to things like,plant, high voltage lines,metal. Those things will let the compass go wrong.  
2.Not to wear dark clothes, or clothes may absorb infrared light.
3.The Gesture mode may not perform well when the aircraft flies over surfaces without texture, in extremely bright surfaces, or in heavy winds.
2017-8-25
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ocean224
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DJI Elektra Posted at 2017-8-25 02:42
Flight performance can be affected by environment.
Here are some advice
1.Please fly in a wide place and pay attention to things like,plant, high voltage lines,metal. Those things will let the compass go wrong.  

Elektra,
Can you please clarify the RTH issue? Is there RTH in gesture mode or not?
Thank you
2017-8-25
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fans99d24711
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ocean224 Posted at 2017-8-24 07:34
Agreed, pilot error. I believe I was low on power and triggered RTH. This may prove to be an expensive lesson.

Maybe not. Mine took a pretty nasty fall and no damage other than a couple of props. They are pretty tough.
2017-8-25
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FatherXmas
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ocean224 Posted at 2017-8-24 15:10
Conduit drone retriever........fail. Too heavy. Called an arborist to climb the tree.

Or a tree climbing neighbor kid.
2017-8-25
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Spaners
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In the DJI video I watched they did recommend having the drone connected to a mobile device when using gesture mode. Not that this would excuse what happened on DJI,s part.
If it is the case that it went into a RTH failsafe mode because of the distance travelled from a home point or a low battery warning then this action should have been noted in the manual.
My boss would sac me if we sent out a machine with this many inconsistancys and ommisions
2017-8-25
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Spaners
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I really must read back my posts before I post them, my spelling is just sinful
2017-8-25
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LouisP
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ocean224 Posted at 2017-8-24 15:10
Conduit drone retriever........fail. Too heavy. Called an arborist to climb the tree.

I once had a Parrot drone stuck up high in a tree for three days.  I wound up paying a guy with a buckt truck $50 to get it for me.  Might be worth paying for someone so that you can use the DJI refresh.
2017-8-25
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ocean224
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Well, I coaxed it down. It's now off to be "refreshed" It landed onto concrete sidewalk. The gimbal is badly damaged. At least I have the "body" to return to DJI.
2017-8-26
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Indi91
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On side note, please do keep watch on the indicator lights, if it blinking red, bring it down immediately.
2017-8-26
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Charles Adams
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ocean224 Posted at 2017-8-26 03:46
Well, I coaxed it down. It's now off to be "refreshed" It landed onto concrete sidewalk. The gimbal is badly damaged. At least I have the "body" to return to DJI.

Congrats!  Hope this doesn't discourage you from flying.
2017-8-26
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ocean224
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Charles Adams Posted at 2017-8-26 04:02
Congrats!  Hope this doesn't discourage you from flying.

Heck no! Just a minor setback with the Spark. I have other stuff to fly until I get it back. There is soooooo much to learn.
Thanx
2017-8-26
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ocean224
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Indi91 Posted at 2017-8-26 04:02
On side note, please do keep watch on the indicator lights, if it blinking red, bring it down immediately.

Will do! But, DJI electra has yet to respond to the RTH thing. Is there RTH or isn't there RTH when flying in gesture mode with no RC or device?  It will probably take me at least a month to get my Spark back to test this.  
2017-8-26
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ocean224
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LouisP Posted at 2017-8-25 14:58
I once had a Parrot drone stuck up high in a tree for three days.  I wound up paying a guy with a buckt truck $50 to get it for me.  Might be worth paying for someone so that you can use the DJI refresh.

In this part of the world they want $270.00 for a bucket truck rescue.
2017-8-26
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Charles Adams
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In another thread, I posted results of my RTH tests.  One of those tests was specific to THIS use case.  Not using any RC or phone, I flew my craft using only gestures.  I palm launched, I made the craft go away and follow, and then I walked some distance away.  I let the batteries run down until the RTH functionality was triggered.  The craft did in fact ascend to RTH height, did in fact fly back to original launch location, and descend there.

Whether or not this is intended, this is the current behavior.  I would prefer that this behavior be changed such that craft in gesture mode always assumes it is within close proximity of launch point, regardless of distance traveled, and that it descend in place.
2017-8-26
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ocean224
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Charles Adams Posted at 2017-8-26 06:52
In another thread, I posted results of my RTH tests.  One of those tests was specific to THIS use case.  Not using any RC or phone, I flew my craft using only gestures.  I palm launched, I made the craft go away and follow, and then I walked some distance away.  I let the batteries run down until the RTH functionality was triggered.  The craft did in fact ascend to RTH height, did in fact fly back to original launch location, and descend there.

Whether or not this is intended, this is the current behavior.  I would prefer that this behavior be changed such that craft in gesture mode always assumes it is within close proximity of launch point, regardless of distance traveled, and that it descend in place.

Thanks Charles, I wonder why DJI is so silent on this? This is what must have happened to me to the best of my recollection of events leading up to my tree grab.
2017-8-26
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Charles Adams
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ocean224 Posted at 2017-8-26 07:17
Thanks Charles, I wonder why DJI is so silent on this? This is what must have happened to me to the best of my recollection of events leading up to my tree grab.

To be fair, I don't think anybody has directly asked DJI (or moderators) about their knowledge and expertise for this use case.  Let's rectify that:

DJI Moderators:  We have reviewed and tested a use case involving flying with just gestures (no RC and no phone), and we have encountered some concerning behavior.  I think it would be better if this behavior were updated (described elsewhere in this conversation).  But there are questions:

What role does gps and compass have on the craft when flying in gesture mode?  Is it possible that gps and compass disruptions will impact the flight?
2017-8-26
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ocean224
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Charles Adams Posted at 2017-8-26 07:21
To be fair, I don't think anybody has directly asked DJI (or moderators) about their knowledge and expertise for this use case.  Let's rectify that:

DJI Moderators:  We have reviewed and tested a use case involving flying with just gestures (no RC and no phone), and we have encountered some concerning behavior.  I think it would be better if this behavior were updated (described elsewhere in this conversation).  But there are questions:

+1 And I did ask DJI Elektra to respond to thid issue.
2017-8-26
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