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And it happened! My Spark flew away!
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choban
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A few days ago I commented on a couple of threads here where I shared my experience of almost losing my drone. Everything was fine and then I received a bunch of errors and my Spark started drifting away and image transmission was terrible. I ran towards it and managed to regain control and flew it back to my position.

Unfortunately this time I wasn't that lucky. Same errors popped up just a few minutes after I took off (I was at the maximum altitude of 120 m). At that point, video transmission started breaking up and I wasn't able to control it anymore. At some point, I regained some controls but soon after it was completely disconnected. I watched it drifting sideways and then it was gone where I couldn't see it anymore.

Here's my final log: http://phantomhelp.com/logviewer/TAY6Q46ROMRVOTQIAJFA/
2017-12-7
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choban
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Just for comparison, here's again my log from that other flight. Same errors, same image transmission issues and same drone behaviour but it was a different location.

http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/UJAXRCIIPU4MP239BRR1/
2017-12-7
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Viking-Pilot
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That's terrible, I hope you find your drone again with no damage...or you get it covered by guarranty
2017-12-7
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choban
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Viking-Pilot Posted at 2017-12-7 08:29
That's terrible, I hope you find your drone again with no damage...or you get it covered by guarranty

Thank you! Well, I was looking for it for two hours, but since it was already too high up when it got disconnected, I don't really know where to look. Also, there are a lot of snow patches in this area and my Spark is white. I will try again tomorrow!

Btw. I bought it just a week ago from Amazon. Anyone knows if they can help with this maybe?
2017-12-7
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hallmark007
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Last known coordinates. 49.38665776        8.71252882

Looking at your log, it looks like you took off close to concrete buildings and take off was from either concrete path or dirt track.
Both of these particularly rebar concrete can have an adverse effect on your compass, can you let us know if you calibrated your compass lately?
2017-12-7
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choban
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hallmark007 Posted at 2017-12-7 08:35
Last known coordinates. 49.38665776        8.71252882

Looking at your log, it looks like you took off close to concrete buildings and take off was from either concrete path or dirt track.

Thank you for your help. When it got disconnected I've seen it drifting further away. I went to the last known coordinates and started my search from there in direction of where it drifted away, but no luck.

I took off from a dirt (small rocks) path and that building was approximately 10 meters away. That's still too close?

Last time when I calibrated my compass was last week when I was in the middle of nowhere. I wanted to calibrate it again but then I read that you should only do this when the app is asking you to calibrate.
2017-12-7
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Viking-Pilot
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choban Posted at 2017-12-7 08:33
Thank you! Well, I was looking for it for two hours, but since it was already too high up when it got disconnected, I don't really know where to look. Also, there are a lot of snow patches in this area and my Spark is white. I will try again tomorrow!

Btw. I bought it just a week ago from Amazon. Anyone knows if they can help with this maybe?

I think you should open a case and let the moderators follow up your  case.
2017-12-7
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hallmark007
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choban Posted at 2017-12-7 08:43
Thank you for your help. When it got disconnected I've seen it drifting further away. I went to the last known coordinates and started my search from there in direction of where it drifted away, but no luck.

I took off from a dirt (small rocks) path and that building was approximately 10 meters away. That's still too close?

There is no real need to ever calibrate your compass unless your app tells you. This is not to say this caused your problems.
On those last coordinates your AC was travelling at 14mph with still 50% battery so it would have continued on for approx 5/6 minutes at this speed before going into forced landing it would have drifted almost straight on the wind, but it will not be easy to find.

If you haven’t already , you should contact dji support and start a case, I have seen warranty offered for similar and also refused with offer of 30% discount, it does help if you have your Aircraft.
Good luck.
2017-12-7
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choban
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hallmark007 Posted at 2017-12-7 08:54
There is no real need to ever calibrate your compass unless your app tells you. This is not to say this caused your problems.
On those last coordinates your AC was travelling at 14mph with still 50% battery so it would have continued on for approx 5/6 minutes at this speed before going into forced landing it would have drifted almost straight on the wind, but it will not be easy to find.

Thanks! I already opened a case and now just hoping for the best! I also have a DJI Care Refresh, but that's not really helping in this situation. I will try again tomorrow to find it. It cannot really be that far because it went towards the hill, but as I mentioned before, it's really difficult to see a white drone in the area covered with patches of snow...
2017-12-7
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CabinPete
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Maybe it’s just me but the issues with Sparks seem to be getting a little out of hand.
I would think if there aren’t any warnings at takeoff and the initial flight is fine then starts giving warnings, disconnects, flys away, seems to be some sort of hardware issue with the drone.
I have seen some were replaced due to a fly away and  the drone was lost. This would indicate to me that DJI was able to see a component failure, or at least know the reason to offer a free replacement.
Unfortunately, short of a lawsuit were a component was found to be defective, we will never know.
I don’t ever see DJI issuing a recall do to a defective component. They would all have a date code and isolating to a bad batch is certainly possible but I think they will just play the odds and replace do to a failure on a case by case basis throwing an occasional bone.
Thoughts? I’m not looking for an argument or trolling, I have a Spark waiting to be opened on 12/25 and I’m starting to loose confidence in this product.
2017-12-7
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Locationscout_B
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CabinPete Posted at 2017-12-7 09:29
Maybe it’s just me but the issues with Sparks seem to be getting a little out of hand.
I would think if there aren’t any warnings at takeoff and the initial flight is fine then starts giving warnings, disconnects, flys away, seems to be some sort of hardware issue with the drone.
I have seen some were replaced due to a fly away and  the drone was lost. This would indicate to me that DJI was able to see a component failure, or at least know the reason to offer a free replacement.

Hi, could it be that at your flying spot where some or more interferences through to the nearby (not unfamous) Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Sciences and European Molecular Biology Laboratory?
I think both they have a lot of radio signal emmiting stuff, partly unshielded. How did you find that place?
2017-12-7
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choban
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Locationscout_B Posted at 2017-12-7 10:21
Hi, could it be that at your flying spot where some or more interferences through to the nearby (not unfamous) Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Sciences and European Molecular Biology Laboratory?
I think both they have a lot of radio signal emmiting stuff, partly unshielded. How did you find that place?

Some of my friends are flying there for years with their Mavics and Phantoms without any problems at all. I found it by working there .

And this is not the first time I encountered this same problem. If you check my 2nd post here you can find another log from a different location and as you can see, almost identical errors but that time I managed to regain connection by running towards my Spark and then flying it back home...
2017-12-7
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choban
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Last night I spend additional 3 hours searching the area but had no luck finding it. I was thinking that maybe it would be easier to spot it with a strong flashlight in the night than trying to find it during the day (see below how this area looks at the moment) It would've been great if Sparks had some reflective paint sections so that you can easily spot them. If I ever get it back, I'll be definitely putting some reflective tape on...

2017-12-7
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DJI Elektra
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choban Posted at 2017-12-7 08:24
Just for comparison, here's again my log from that other flight. Same errors, same image transmission issues and same drone behaviour but it was a different location.

http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/UJAXRCIIPU4MP239BRR1/

Hi, sir. Did you contact our support and start a case? Please provide the data to them and they will help you find the reason. Sorry for your lost, hope it can be solved soon.
2017-12-7
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djiuser_Kf4iPA3
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Just a sidenote, that is exactly the reason why I chose to buy a red spark... something that was the least likely to blend in the environment.
Not saying it would have helped in your case, though.
2017-12-8
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choban
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DJI Elektra Posted at 2017-12-7 22:33
Hi, sir. Did you contact our support and start a case? Please provide the data to them and they will help you find the reason. Sorry for your lost, hope it can be solved soon.

Yes, that was the first thing I did. My case is now opened (CAS-1283478-P0K8L4). I would really appreciate if you could help me speed things up. I know this is not your problem but my main reason for getting this drone is our upcoming trip to New Zealand (in two weeks). So it would be great to know DJI's decision as soon as possible.

Also, in another thread, you asked me if my drone was functioning fine after my first incident a few days ago. So this is my first flight outdoors after that, and it seems that we have an answer to that, unfortunately.
2017-12-8
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DJI Elektra
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choban Posted at 2017-12-8 01:42
Yes, that was the first thing I did. My case is now opened (CAS-1283478-P0K8L4). I would really appreciate if you could help me speed things up. I know this is not your problem but my main reason for getting this drone is our upcoming trip to New Zealand (in two weeks). So it would be great to know DJI's decision as soon as possible.

Also, in another thread, you asked me if my drone was functioning fine after my first incident a few days ago. So this is my first flight outdoors after that, and it seems that we have an answer to that, unfortunately.

Thanks for your patience. I just checked your case, it is under warranty. I think our support will inform you the result later. Any problem, please inform us.
2017-12-10
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choban
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DJI Elektra Posted at 2017-12-10 02:58
Thanks for your patience. I just checked your case, it is under warranty. I think our support will inform you the result later. Any problem, please inform us.

Thank you for checking this for me! I am now not sure if you are saying that it will be covered under warranty or you are just saying that my 10 days old Spark is under warranty and your support team will inform me about their decision whether it will be covered under warranty or not?

Hoping for a positive outcome.
2017-12-10
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Kardiuz
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@ choban
I also lost my Spark today during a short nature hike with my son.
I got weak gps signl and decided to return to home. Spark raised to the predefined rth height 50m and started tomgo back to us. After a while I got some more messages on the screen and then the aircraft went into Atti mode and set away in a quite high speed in another direction. No joystick movement on the rc helped, I estimet distance to be 100m at that time.
It flew away over the trees leaving myself and a very disappointed son alone.
How did you upload the flight log?
I want to know what really happned and hope Dji can support here.
We use a Ipad Mini connected via wifi to rc and software is the latest 4.18.
Hope you get your case solved within soon.
Best regards
Mattias
2017-12-10
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Gunship9
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Kardiuz Posted at 2017-12-10 10:21
@ choban
I also lost my Spark today during a short nature hike with my son.
I got weak gps signl and decided to return to home. Spark raised to the predefined rth height 50m and started tomgo back to us. After a while I got some more messages on the screen and then the aircraft went into Atti mode and set away in a quite high speed in another direction. No joystick movement on the rc helped, I estimet distance to be 100m at that time.

Do these aircraft try to autopilot back to home without a GPS or with compass errors?  Seems like that would be impossible.  If the stick movement isn't helping, ground the aircraft.  Better to land it (crash it) where it is than to keep applying stick commands to fly further from yourself until the radio link is out of range.  

At 300 meters the Spark is a dot.  I doubt if the pilot knows what stick movement is needed to get it headed back since he could be side on to it, head on to it, or looking at its rear.  Better to ground it and go get it.  I have to keep my RC airplanes close to me to ensure I know what direction it is facing so I can direct it correctly.
2017-12-10
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Gunship9
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CabinPete Posted at 2017-12-7 09:29
Maybe it’s just me but the issues with Sparks seem to be getting a little out of hand.
I would think if there aren’t any warnings at takeoff and the initial flight is fine then starts giving warnings, disconnects, flys away, seems to be some sort of hardware issue with the drone.
I have seen some were replaced due to a fly away and  the drone was lost. This would indicate to me that DJI was able to see a component failure, or at least know the reason to offer a free replacement.

It is kinda just you and kinda just pilots flying it so far away that they can't control it when the autopilot gives them back full control.  They are flying beyond VLOS without any RC pilot skills.  Doomed as soon as the GPS error appears.  

Fly closer to yourself for drone safety.
2017-12-10
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choban
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Hi Mattias, I am very sorry to hear that. It's similar to my case and I know the feeling. I hope DJI will replace it under warranty.

You should definitely upload your log here and someone with more experience will probably explain in details what actually happened. Also, contact DJI support to report this and they will open a case for you.

To upload your log, go to this page: http://phantomhelp.com/logviewer/Upload/ - there are some details on this webpage on where to find it on your phone.
2017-12-10
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Kardiuz
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choban Posted at 2017-12-10 10:41
Hi Mattias, I am very sorry to hear that. It's similar to my case and I know the feeling. I hope DJI will replace it under warranty.

You should definitely upload your log here and someone with more experience will probably explain in details what actually happened. Also, contact DJI support to report this and they will open a case for you.

Thanks a lot, I will try to do this and also contact DJI.
I really tried to lower the drone but it did not respond at all, only flew away in high speed in Atti mode. Tomorrow I will go there and search again.
2017-12-10
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choban
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Kardiuz Posted at 2017-12-10 11:19
Thanks a lot, I will try to do this and also contact DJI.
I really tried to lower the drone but it did not respond at all, only flew away in high speed in Atti mode. Tomorrow I will go there and search again.

Definitely open a case as soon as possible.

Maybe I'm wrong but it is possible that you weren't able to control your Spark because it was already in RTH mode. Then because of all errors it didn't know where home is and flew away instead.
I guess the best reaction would've been to cancel RTH and fly it manually in ATTI mode. This is easy to say, but when you don't have experience and if you're not expecting such behaviour it's quite difficult to do the right thing.

I guess your log will tell us more about what happened.
2017-12-10
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SeanGalbraith
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Were you using the remote, and if so, did you try to use the Return to Home button when it started to go wrong?

2017-12-10
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choban
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Gunship9 Posted at 2017-12-10 10:41
It is kinda just you and kinda just pilots flying it so far away that they can't control it when the autopilot gives them back full control.  They are flying beyond VLOS without any RC pilot skills.  Doomed as soon as the GPS error appears.  

Fly closer to yourself for drone safety.

I could've saved it if only my connection was reliable. I had it in my VLOS when connection died completely and I was just watching it drift away at 150 m away from me.

You cannot really blame pilots if they fly more than 200 m. DJI is advertising this thing to be able to fly up to 2000 m.
2017-12-11
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Range30
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sooooo sorry to hear that. That's never a good feeling!
2017-12-11
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choban
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SeanGalbraith Posted at 2017-12-10 16:17
Were you using the remote, and if so, did you try to use the Return to Home button when it started to go wrong?

Yes, I did use a remote. My Spark was never more than 250 meters away, but as soon as errors started popping up I also lost image transmission. It was coming back for just fractions of a second but that wasn't enough for me to steer it back while it was drifting away. When I finally managed to fly it closer to me where I could see it's position, the connection just died completely...
2017-12-11
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Kardiuz
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choban Posted at 2017-12-10 11:57
Definitely open a case as soon as possible.

Maybe I'm wrong but it is possible that you weren't able to control your Spark because it was already in RTH mode. Then because of all errors it didn't know where home is and flew away instead.

Thanks coban for the guidance to retrieve the log file. You can find it below.
Appreciate if someone here that is used to review log files could have a look and comment.

http://www.phantomhelp.com/logviewer/3101ZV8NYDTRYKSDJAH5/#

Constructive critiscism is welcome and something I can learn from.

I was out looking for the Spark today but as it had come some powder snow on the ground it was hard to see our little white Spark. Had to go home without finding it today but will try again tomorrow when the snow has gone.

I have opened a case now at DJI.

Here is the link to the log file.
http://www.phantomhelp.com/logviewer/3101ZV8NYDTRYKSDJAH5/#
2017-12-11
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choban
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Kardiuz Posted at 2017-12-11 04:20
Thanks coban for the guidance to retrieve the log file. You can find it below.
Appreciate if someone here that is used to review log files could have a look and comment.

Looks really similar to my case. The only difference is that your Spark was in RTH mode when things went sideways. I am sure that some people will say things like "oh, you should've cancelled RTH and fly it back manually" but to know this you really need to have lost of experience and you need to know that Spark cannot come back home in ATTI mode.

I would be really disappointed if they decide not to offer us replacements...but in the end, what can we do.
2017-12-11
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Gunship9
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choban Posted at 2017-12-11 00:21
I could've saved it if only my connection was reliable. I had it in my VLOS when connection died completely and I was just watching it drift away at 150 m away from me.

You cannot really blame pilots if they fly more than 200 m. DJI is advertising this thing to be able to fly up to 2000 m.

To be connected at up to 2000m (without interference, clear area, no obstructions).  Not that you can fly it there.  My Spektrum 7 channel RC can maintain connection up to 4 miles.  But they don't claim I can fly an aircraft that far out.  Servos would move that far out though.

You do have a point that the RC connection should be more robust or default to not connecting in busy radio environments.  You are out of luck if you lose radio connection and have already have a GPS fault.  Welcome to the world of the model aircraft hobbyist.  Models have been flying away since the 1950's (normally crash nearby).
2017-12-11
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Gunship9
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choban Posted at 2017-12-11 05:57
Looks really similar to my case. The only difference is that your Spark was in RTH mode when things went sideways. I am sure that some people will say things like "oh, you should've cancelled RTH and fly it back manually" but to know this you really need to have lost of experience and you need to know that Spark cannot come back home in ATTI mode.

I would be really disappointed if they decide not to offer us replacements...but in the end, what can we do.

Does the software allow RTH to be initiated when the GPS has already faulted?  I thought it would say not allowed.
2017-12-11
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Kardiuz
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Gunship9 Posted at 2017-12-11 10:18
Does the software allow RTH to be initiated when the GPS has already faulted?  I thought it would say not allowed.

In my flight log file it seems I did have a stable gps signal, (16 satellites) when entering RTH, please correct me if I have interpreted wrongly.
2017-12-11
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choban
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Gunship9 Posted at 2017-12-11 10:18
Does the software allow RTH to be initiated when the GPS has already faulted?  I thought it would say not allowed.

Not sure, but you're probably right. Based on his log, it seems that he initiated RTH long before any error messages.
2017-12-11
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Kardiuz
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Gunship9 Posted at 2017-12-11 10:18
Does the software allow RTH to be initiated when the GPS has already faulted?  I thought it would say not allowed.

Sorry Gunship9, I realize I may have mislead  you when I wrote "I got weak gps signl and decided to return to home" futher up this thread. Everything happened so quickly and I apparently was wrong about the timing of the individual events (rth vs "weak gps signal").
My apologies.
2017-12-11
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CabinPete
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Gunship9 Posted at 2017-12-10 10:41
It is kinda just you and kinda just pilots flying it so far away that they can't control it when the autopilot gives them back full control.  They are flying beyond VLOS without any RC pilot skills.  Doomed as soon as the GPS error appears.  

Fly closer to yourself for drone safety.

Fair enough
2017-12-11
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DJI Elektra
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choban Posted at 2017-12-10 06:30
Thank you for checking this for me! I am now not sure if you are saying that it will be covered under warranty or you are just saying that my 10 days old Spark is under warranty and your support team will inform me about their decision whether it will be covered under warranty or not?

Hoping for a positive outcome.

Our support team will inform you the good news. Please wait patiently. You can inform us if you do not receive the news for a long time.
2017-12-12
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DJI Elektra
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Kardiuz Posted at 2017-12-10 10:21
@ choban
I also lost my Spark today during a short nature hike with my son.
I got weak gps signl and decided to return to home. Spark raised to the predefined rth height 50m and started tomgo back to us. After a while I got some more messages on the screen and then the aircraft went into Atti mode and set away in a quite high speed in another direction. No joystick movement on the rc helped, I estimet distance to be 100m at that time.

Hi, sir. Did you find your drone? Please contact our support and start a case first: http://www.dji.com/support. You can provide the flight record to our support and they will help you find the reason.  
2017-12-12
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Jos A
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I would like to know , which phone and version of the app.
2017-12-12
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choban
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Jos A Posted at 2017-12-12 04:30
I would like to know , which phone and version of the app.

I was using LG G6 with the latest app, without OTG cable.

Just this morning I was wondering if there's a possibility that my watch was causing these problems. I cannot be 100% sure but it seems that every time I had it on me there were some issues.

It's Garmin Fenix 5...
2017-12-12
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