Please select Into the mobile phone version | Continue to access the computer ver.
Spark flyaway, no resolution from DJI
474 17 2017-10-29 05:29:12
Uploading and Loding Picture ...(0/1)
o(^-^)o
fansb1819879
lvl.1
Flight distance : 1789
United Kingdom
Offline

Just wanted to share yet another Spark flyaway case and (missing) experience that I had with DJI support.

Flyaway.


In short I lost my new drone somewhere in a Finland forest on September 3, 2017 after it showed "Aircraft disconnected" error and lost control with my RC. Before the flight I checked that the drone is 100% charged, compass is calibrated, home position is recorded and everything is green. Both the drone and RC were upgraded to the latest software versions to date. As a take of point I chose a hill that was well above all the trees, had a good eye view over the area and there was no sources of interferences in sight.

So after a few minutes since the take of the drone showed a compass error and switched to ATTI mode. I turned the drone back to me but as the drone was responding well in I continued the flight (huge mistake). After another few minutes all of the sudden it unconnected from my remote and I wasn't able to regain the control back. After that the drone started landing in the forest. Find my drone was showing completely wrong location, flight record in the DJI mobile app was also not showing most of the drone route as well as it's last known location so I never managed to find the drone on my own. After I took a look at the full flight logs from my PC it turned out that in app flight log ended just at the very same location where compass error occured.

Lesssons learned:
- Stop the flight immediately after the compass error occures and get the drone back to the home position manually

Problems that I wanted to address with the DJI support:
- There were no weak signal or other errors that would suggest to stop the flight.
Yes, I did continue the flight after the compass error, but I would never do that if there were any signs suggesting that the drone can lose control so fatally.

- Find my drone data was misleading.
That was a complete surprise for me as I've never seen such information before. Again, the last known location of the drone as well as the in app flight log were completely useless as both of them were not showing the full flight data (images attached) although the drone had a strong GPS connection through the whole flight.

DJI support


I contacted the DJI support team and opened a ticket immidiately (case number: CAS-966404-J2Y0V4). After a slow chat with them with a few requests to provide more data such as full flight records, model of the aircraft and its serial numbers, proof of purchase etc I received a following email on October 3:

"Dear Aleksandr,
The status of the analysis under case CAS-966404-J2Y0V4 has been done.
As of now your case was forwarded to our engineers and waiting for final result. One of them will send an email regarding the final result of your analysis. This may take sometime for final result as our engineers are very cautious in the analysis.
We hope for your patience in regards with this matter."

And by this time (October 29) I've never got a single message from DJI ever since. Yes, as you can see from the email the support did ask for patience. But it's nearly 2 months since the accident and after a few attempts to check with them on the status of my case I never received any follow ups from the team, ie DJI completely ignored my last 3 messages which is the main reason why I want to escalate the case here on the forum.

Conclusion:


I used to trust DJI reputation, but unfortunately the fact that I lost my drone so easily due to lost signal as well as the quality of support that I received so far suggests that I should reconsider my opinion about the company. It's almost 2 months since the accident and the fact that I haven't received any resolution from DJI so far suggests that the company is not interested in providing any support for the customers who spent almost 800 euros on their product, so that's a thing to take in mind for anyone who is considering to buy Spark from DJI.

In the end I really hope that no one will end up in the same situation as myself.

Flight data


Flight log - http://www.phantomhelp.com/logviewer/5EEI17M30Q870X6ULMVM/
In app flight log and "find my drone" screenshots are attached to the post.



Flight record

Flight record

Find my drone

Find my drone
2017-10-29 05:29:12
Use props
Ryan's Sparky
Second Officer
Flight distance : 29740
Norway
Offline

wow what a bummer! that would be my worst nightmare!  even tho this is the cheap dji it is still an expensive piece of kit and a lot of money to loose. I hope you get it sorted and hopefully a replacement ASAP
2017-10-29 05:50:58
Use props
jyc
lvl.4
Flight distance : 258219
Indonesia
Offline

It's ridiculous that you get no answer to your messages. Let's hope your post here helps the situation.
2017-10-29 06:26:14
Use props
hallmark007
Captain
Flight distance : 584293
  • >>>
Ireland
Offline

Your phantomhelp log is incomplete so difficult to say exactly what happened. You mention you calibrated compass Why? was there a problem with it.
I agree with compass problem you should always try to land ASAP, I can see where you where bringing AC closer to home at about 40 metres from home you seemed to make very little stick movements I’m guessing that at 220 metres height it was difficult to see AC it then continued to drift further away  at that altitude wind can be a lot stronger than we think.
I presume you lost radio contact due to being out of range because up to end of your phantomhelp log you had no radio signal problems.

Hopefully they will come to a decision soon, I’ve seen these go both ways some get warranty and others get 30% discount.
Try contacting a moderator here they will escalate your case for you.
2017-10-29 06:55:01
Use props
Wachtberger
Captain
Flight distance : 26052
Germany
Offline

While I agree that the non-responsiveness of DJI Support is unusual and unacceptable in this case, I can however also see three clear pilot errors in the logfile. The first you correctly identified yourself, this was not to immediately land the AC while it was still under your control when the compass error occurred and it had switched into ATTI mode and with many additional error messages coming up a bit later. Deciding to continue flying in such a scenario is not a good decision. The second error was to fly so high under these conditions and the third was to let it fly so far. If you flew in 2,4 Ghz mode you were at the limit of the RC range but more likely you flew in 5,8 Ghz mode (which is the default) and thus were clearly out of range. This also explains why the logfile stops at this point. You had lost connection. And since the AC was in ATTI mode, RTH could not kick in. Thus the AC did exactly what it is supposed to do in such a situation, it has landed where it was at that moment. "Find my drone" of course could not function either because your RC and App had not received any GPS data of most of the flight.  In summary the whole case is definitely far from qualifying to be a "Flyaway".
Nevertheless I sincerely hope that one of the moderators here will take up your case and escalate it. And I sincerely hope that a generous solution of the case will be offered to you.
2017-10-29 09:29:54
Use props
fansb1819879
lvl.1
Flight distance : 1789
United Kingdom
Offline

Thanks for your responses guys! I will contact the moderators and I hope that it will help to receive any resolution from DJI support.

@Wachtberger, @hallmark007 your analysis are spot on. There are few things that I want to note though:

    >I presume you lost radio contact due to being out of range because up to end of your phantomhelp log you had no radio signal problems.

That's also my guess. And my main concern is that I haven't received any "Low Signal"/"Weak Image Transmission"/"Out of range" errors which would suggest that I need to stop the flight immediately and turn the drone back.

    >If you flew in 2,4 Ghz mode you were at the limit of the RC range but more likely you flew in 5,8 Ghz mode (which is the default) and thus were clearly out of range.

Yeah, it was set by default and I did learn about this difference afterwards from reading the forum. However, there was no iformation about such difference in terms of the flight range in the instructions that I've received with my UK Flight More Combo.

    >"Find my drone" of course could not function either because your RC and App had not received any GPS data of most of the flight. In summary the whole case is definitely far from qualifying to be a "Flyaway".

Looking at the full flight log, I believe that both RC and the app did receive the GPS data up until the signal loss point. What I'm wondering though is that if you compare the full flight log from the link to the "Find my drone" screenshot, you can see that the GPS data from the "Find my drone" ends much earlier than from the full log and that was really misleading and didn't allow me to proceed with a search for the lost drone.
2017-10-29 13:57:13
Use props
fans0c10c3ea
lvl.2
United States
Offline

I also worry that this may happen to me someday. So I took out an insurance plan with state farm. $50 a year will protect me from flyway's or any damage including my crystalsky. This covers up to $5000 US. I sure hope DJI helps you out here. If they do buy some insurance.
2017-10-29 14:16:01
Use props
$gambino$
Second Officer
Flight distance : 476701
United States
Offline

See touchy subject wachtberger because sometimes u can recieve a compass error and it corrects itself or the drone goes into atti mode like it has a few times on my mavic or p4p i still continue to fly yes should he have landed? probably but I'm just saying it doesn't necessarily mean that you should land right away. Maybe because for him he new to the hobby he should have landed right away. but I guess if you are experienced and you know how to deal with these situations it's different
2017-10-29 14:41:41
Use props
hallmark007
Captain
Flight distance : 584293
  • >>>
Ireland
Offline

fansb1819879 Posted at 2017-10-29 13:57
Thanks for your responses guys! I will contact the moderators and I hope that it will help to receive any resolution from DJI support.

@Wachtberger, @hallmark007 your analysis are spot on. There are few things that I want to note though:

It’s not 100% clear that you lost signal, but the distance you were at would leave one to believe that signal was lost and transmission, if you have gps and lose signal AC will return home you didn’t have gps so this cannot happen, if at the same time you lose transmission radio and no gps, you won’t receive warnings and your AC will continue to drift until it reaches critical battery and land.
2017-10-29 16:20:39
Use props
DJI Mindy
Administrator
Offline

Sir, we are so sorry for the unpleasant experience and having kept you waiting for the data analysis for such a long time.
The data analysis has been finished and we will have someone to contact you about the result very soon.
We care much about your feedback and will forward to our management department to investigate why it takes so long and improve our customer service to make your experience with us better in the future.
We sincerely apologize again for long wait.
2017-10-29 19:18:35
Use props
Todd in Chicago
lvl.4
Flight distance : 47243
United States
Offline

fans0c10c3ea Posted at 2017-10-29 14:16
I also worry that this may happen to me someday. So I took out an insurance plan with state farm. $50 a year will protect me from flyway's or any damage including my crystalsky. This covers up to $5000 US. I sure hope DJI helps you out here. If they do buy some insurance.

Interesting.....I use AAA, I wonder if they have something similar.

Seems like a good idea.

Cheers...

Todd in Chicago
2017-10-29 20:47:31
Use props
Wachtberger
Captain
Flight distance : 26052
Germany
Offline

fansb1819879 Posted at 2017-10-29 13:57
Thanks for your responses guys! I will contact the moderators and I hope that it will help to receive any resolution from DJI support.

@Wachtberger, @hallmark007 your analysis are spot on. There are few things that I want to note though:

Let's hope that the data analysis of DJI will provide more or better explanations than I am able to give. DJI Mindy has taken up your case now and I trust that you will receive feedback soon. Please let us know the outcome, I cross my fingers!
2017-10-29 23:34:28
Use props
Wachtberger
Captain
Flight distance : 26052
Germany
Offline

$gambino$ Posted at 2017-10-29 14:41
See touchy subject wachtberger because sometimes u can recieve a compass error and it corrects itself or the drone goes into atti mode like it has a few times on my mavic or p4p i still continue to fly yes should he have landed? probably but I'm just saying it doesn't necessarily mean that you should land right away. Maybe because for him he new to the hobby he should have landed right away. but I guess if you are experienced and you know how to deal with these situations it's different

I agree Gambino but it remains very risky. At least I definitely would not feel experienced enough to dare it, also given the landscape the flight had taken place in. And if a flight already starts with a serious error message I consider it wiser to land immediately and get the systems back on go before continuing.
2017-10-29 23:40:54
Use props
Viking-Pilot
Captain
Flight distance : 272266
Spain
Offline

How sad and frustrating situation, I guess this is the worst nightmare of every drone enthusiast you are living and experiencing in first person...No matter who's error it was i hope you get this solved in a fair way and ASAP. God luck with that mate.
2017-10-30 00:04:51
Use props
Viking-Pilot
Captain
Flight distance : 272266
Spain
Offline

Wachtberger Posted at 2017-10-29 09:29
While I agree that the non-responsiveness of DJI Support is unusual and unacceptable in this case, I can however also see three clear pilot errors in the logfile. The first you correctly identified yourself, this was not to immediately land the AC while it was still under your control when the compass error occurred and it had switched into ATTI mode and with many additional error messages coming up a bit later. Deciding to continue flying in such a scenario is not a good decision. The second error was to fly so high under these conditions and the third was to let it fly so far. If you flew in 2,4 Ghz mode you were at the limit of the RC range but more likely you flew in 5,8 Ghz mode (which is the default) and thus were clearly out of range. This also explains why the logfile stops at this point. You had lost connection. And since the AC was in ATTI mode, RTH could not kick in. Thus the AC did exactly what it is supposed to do in such a situation, it has landed where it was at that moment. "Find my drone" of course could not function either because your RC and App had not received any GPS data of most of the flight.  In summary the whole case is definitely far from qualifying to be a "Flyaway".
Nevertheless I sincerely hope that one of the moderators here will take up your case and escalate it. And I sincerely hope that a generous solution of the case will be offered to you.

I like your analysis, it's very thorough and deep going and very good reasoning...
I do hope for the best resolution for this case.
2017-10-30 00:41:11
Use props
DJI Mindy
Administrator
Offline

Our supervisor should have contacted you about the data analysis and further resolution, hope everything goes smoothly.
Please keep us updated if you need any further assistance.
2017-10-30 21:22:03
Use props
fansb1819879
lvl.1
Flight distance : 1789
United Kingdom
Offline

Thanks everyone! My case was escalated and I was contacted by support team and received the following email:

“Flight time:04/09/2017  00:12:28(utc+8)
last point:60.3198967 24.4377974
SN:0BMCE5T001039J
1.The aircraft was controlled by pilot in GPS mode.
2.Compass navigation bias was too large, the aircraft lost control during flight;
4.T=05:09,H=226m,d=159.4m,flight record interrupt.
Conclusion: Compass error. Warranty.”


As a result I received a promo code and I just placed a replacement order.
I'm really happy with a way how everything were resolved and I'll make sure to be much more accurate the next time I send my new drone to flight

2017-10-31 13:11:57
Use props
DJI Thor
Administrator
Offline

fansb1819879 Posted at 2017-10-31 13:11
Thanks everyone! My case was escalated and I was contacted by support team and received the following email:

“Flight time:04/09/2017  00:12:28(utc+8)last point:60.3198967 24.4377974SN:0BMCE5T001039J1.The aircraft was controlled by pilot in GPS mode.2.Compass navigation bias was too large, the aircraft lost control during flight;4.T=05:09,H=226m,d=159.4m,flight record interrupt.Conclusion: Compass error. Warranty.”

We are really glad to hear this good news. Hope you can receive the drone soon.
2017-10-31 21:18:31
Use props
Advanced
You need to log in before you can reply Login | Register now

Credit Rules