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Yet another fly away .. Spark long gone, after new firmware!
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DJI_Zine
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Here is the tragic story of my LOST DJI SPARK, the day after the firmware was updated!  :-(

On Tuesday I charged my batteries and controller, then was prompted to update the firmware on the Spark and all three batteries.  I then took it to the local park, where it kept losing connections (never had this issue before), and would not return to the Home Point? Also had new error messages appear on the iPhone DJI Go app 'weak image transmission signal' when using the OTG cable.


I subsequently disconnected the OTG Cable and reset the app, controller and spark. This seemed to help with the 'weak image transmission signal' error, but I still kept having issues with the Spark disconnecting, and still would not RTH point???


I recharged all batteries and tested the spark again in my backyard, and seemed better, so drove to a larger park away from all wifi and cell signals to see if this was causing issues, even though I'd never previously had these issues!


During the first test, I kept the drone close and all seemed fine, so I changed the battery, set the RTH Point and did another test flight, flying the spark straight up, again within line of sight, so I could get a picture of me and the dogs, as the sun was setting.

The Spark was directly above when suddenly I lost connection to the Spark! The Controller started to beep, indicating the RTH function had been enabled, but suddenly the Spark accelerated away from me and the RTH point?
I chased after the Spark to try and reestablish the connection, and it did for a brief moment, but was horrified to see that the Spark had climbed to an altitude of 450m??? ... I frantically pressed the RTH button on the controller, and on the iPhone, DJ Go app, as well as using the controller to lower the Spark, but nothing would work?
The drone kept gaining altitude, and by this time it was well out of my line of sight.


In a panic, I got in my car to try and locate the Spark, based on the last coordinates, but having spent a number of hours searching, I failed to locate the little Spark?  ;-(


I then came home to download the DJI log and upload to 'airdata.com' to retrace the steps and was horrified to see that the Sparkcontinued to fly AWAY from the RTH Point, and the last known location was at a height of 450m with 29% battery.
I can only assume that the kept climbing until the battery died, then fell from the sky? Or hopefully, it did finally land safely?


I am incredibly angry that the Lastest Firmware caused issues with the DJI Spark, and until now I have had zero issues with the Spark!


I have put in a claim through the DJI Refresh Care service (Case Number:CAS-1357839-W5X1J8), but I don't believe I should have to pay as the error was due to the issues with the latest firmware, which apparently is causing an issue with a number of other Spark Users.
Why have the DJI technicians messed with the RTH function, esp when I've never ever had an issue with it???


Not only have I lost the Spark, but also the propeller guards, battery and micro sd card, along with the video footage!!! As such, DJI should ideally cover all cost.


See below for flight path, including errors and height:


First Flight - OK

First Flight - OK


Second Flight - Fly away

Second Flight - Fly away

2017-12-28
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hallmark007
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Airdata logs are not really that good particularly free ones you need to upload your log to link below and follow instructions come back here and post link,you might get some help finding out what happened

http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/Upload/
2017-12-28
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DJI Susan
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Hi Zine, I'm sorry to read your post. I've checked your case, and only find several screenshots. Could you refer the video(since 1:10) and export the Flight Controller LOG Data for further assistance? We'd like to look into it.

2017-12-28
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fans786d5709
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So guys im experiencing similar issues with the “weak image transmission signal”.. i used to be able to fly the spark using the OTG cable and no wifi.. the distance i could fly would be over 3500 feet.. now it is connected via the cable and wifi will be off on my phone (so i know its not connected via wifi).. and at around 1000 feet it will lose connection and return home. Hows it show connection via wifi with my wifi off on ny phone?
2017-12-29
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Tviscomi
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fans786d5709 Posted at 2017-12-29 10:01
So guys im experiencing similar issues with the “weak image transmission signal”.. i used to be able to fly the spark using the OTG cable and no wifi.. the distance i could fly would be over 3500 feet.. now it is connected via the cable and wifi will be off on my phone (so i know its not connected via wifi).. and at around 1000 feet it will lose connection and return home. Hows it show connection via wifi with my wifi off on ny phone?

Your issue is entirely different than the OP.
2017-12-29
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fans786d5709
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Any idea whats goin on with the symptoms i listed with my spark though?
2017-12-29
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Kloo Gee
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Sorry to hear of your experience.  Would it be possible for you to upload your logs to the phantomhelp website so that we can all try to learn from your experience?

Go to http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/Upload/
Follow the directions and then post the resulting URL here.

2017-12-29
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Tviscomi
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fans786d5709 Posted at 2017-12-29 10:15
Any idea whats goin on with the symptoms i listed with my spark though?

Simply put...the WIFI transmission/signal on the Spark sucks!  Other than that please read the 5,000 threads on this forum in regards to your issue.
2017-12-29
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S.J
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i think your firmware was not installed properly. Also i have so many image transmission problems but never it has anything to do with RTH. You have to upload your flight data for a detailed review.
2017-12-29
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Shade220
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hallmark007 Posted at 2017-12-28 15:48
Airdata logs are not really that good particularly free ones you need to upload your log to link below and follow instructions come back here and post link,you might get some help finding out what happened

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

Thanks for the link.  When the log is loaded at that link, does it become public for critique, or is there some program for me to view what happened during a flight? Asking as would like to learn from some mistakes.   Looking at my log in Excel, seems the drone was switching between Sport and Atti mode for some reason.
2017-12-29
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hallmark007
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Shade220 Posted at 2017-12-29 10:34
Thanks for the link.  When the log is loaded at that link, does it become public for critique, or is there some program for me to view what happened during a flight? Asking as would like to learn from some mistakes.   Looking at my log in Excel, seems the drone was switching between Sport and Atti mode for some reason.

You can view it yourself no one else will see it unless you post link.
2017-12-29
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DJI_Zine
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hallmark007 Posted at 2017-12-28 15:48
Airdata logs are not really that good particularly free ones you need to upload your log to link below and follow instructions come back here and post link,you might get some help finding out what happened

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

Thanks. I'll upload now, hopefully can gain some insight as to what happened with the DJI Spark?
2017-12-29
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_zine
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DJI Susan Posted at 2017-12-28 18:39
Hi Zine, I'm sorry to read your post. I've checked your case, and only find several screenshots. Could you refer the video(since 1:10) and export the Flight Controller LOG Data for further assistance? We'd like to look into it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngEHdAlAh9A&t=1s

Thank you for your response.

I have uploaded the flight log, enabling you to analyse the flight.
2017-12-29
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hallmark007
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DJI_Zine Posted at 2017-12-29 13:36
Thanks. I'll upload now, hopefully can gain some insight as to what happened with the DJI Spark?

You will find looking at these logs subjectively can give you some real helpful information.
2017-12-29
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_zine
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Kloo Gee Posted at 2017-12-29 10:17
Sorry to hear of your experience.  Would it be possible for you to upload your logs to the phantomhelp website so that we can all try to learn from your experience?

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

Interesting, though doesn't tell me much more than the other site

http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/UV6IRPE4P7Z8PEYVB4NN/

Noticed the following:
3m 42.8s        Go Home        18satellites        547.9ft        2.0ft        2.8mph        176.1ft        61%        10.871V        3.624V        3.624V        3.624V        0V        Aircraft is returning to the Home Point. Minimum RTH Altitude is 20m. You can reset the RTH Altitude in Remote Controller Settings after cancelling RTH.

Last connection before flyaway:
4m 11.3s        Go Home        18satellites        697.2ft        0ft        2.6mph        302.9ft        55%        10.844V        3.615V        3.615V        3.615V        0V        Command Timeout

Last communication received:
6m 21s        Auto Landing        17satellites        1,597.1ft        2.3ft        11.2mph        2,288.0ft        29%        10.532V        3.511V        3.511V        3.511V        0V        The remaining battery is only enough for RTH. Return home now.
2017-12-29
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_zine
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Unless you are able to analyse further?

Thanks
Ian
2017-12-29
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_zine
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fans786d5709 Posted at 2017-12-29 10:01
So guys im experiencing similar issues with the “weak image transmission signal”.. i used to be able to fly the spark using the OTG cable and no wifi.. the distance i could fly would be over 3500 feet.. now it is connected via the cable and wifi will be off on my phone (so i know its not connected via wifi).. and at around 1000 feet it will lose connection and return home. Hows it show connection via wifi with my wifi off on ny phone?

Just be thankful that it did RTH ...
2017-12-29
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_zine
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hallmark007 Posted at 2017-12-29 14:01
You will find looking at these logs subjectively can give you some real helpful information.

Lets hope.

http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/UV6IRPE4P7Z8PEYVB4NN/

2017-12-29
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Tviscomi
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_zine Posted at 2017-12-29 14:15
Interesting, though doesn't tell me much more than the other site

http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/UV6IRPE4P7Z8PEYVB4NN/

Thanks for sharing the log from this unfortunate event.  I'm anxious to see what DJI has to say,
2017-12-29
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_zine
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Tviscomi Posted at 2017-12-29 14:28
Thanks for sharing the log from this unfortunate event.  I'm anxious to see what DJI has to say,

I too am extremely anxious to see what DJI has to say.

What did you make of the flight log? ... Can't understand why it would fly upwards, even though it stated 'returning to home'?
2017-12-29
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Tviscomi
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_zine Posted at 2017-12-29 15:18
I too am extremely anxious to see what DJI has to say.

What did you make of the flight log? ... Can't understand why it would fly upwards, even though it stated 'returning to home'?

Yeah I don't get it.  I see a Forced Landing @ 3.5.8 then back into Sport mode.  @3.42 a RTH is activated with a min altitude of 20 meters (60ish feet).  After that the thing basically just flew off away from you.
2017-12-29
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Rocketmans
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Got the same problem after firmware update just fly's upward with no response did get mine back , have called waiting on fix waiting to hear back since I could lose drone you would think it would be a priority
2017-12-29
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rimza
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S.J Posted at 2017-12-29 10:31
i think your firmware was not installed properly. Also i have so many image transmission problems but never it has anything to do with RTH. You have to upload your flight data for a detailed review.

DJI Assistant 2 or DJi GO 4 app will inform to reinstall firmware in-case firmware installation is unsuccessful.
2017-12-29
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rimza
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I may have missed/overlook or do not realize it but  is there actually a case resolution being  reached for these unique flyaway case/s within the forum itself by DJI reps themselves. I.e for example:

a) DJI interpretation and explanation on the flight log or black box data in the forum. ( though I understand and respect the user forum members whom are actively engaged on these issues)
b)  and case/s whereby these flyaways are resolve by user getting a replacement spark or whatever the final settlement is?

or these discussion/s are only restricted to the user that open the ticket?
2017-12-29
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S.J
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rimza Posted at 2017-12-29 15:51
DJI Assistant 2 or DJi GO 4 app will inform to reinstall firmware in-case firmware installation is unsuccessful.

no, it will not !!
2017-12-30
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Conrod
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Ian,

I'm very sorry to read this - you must be absolutely gutted.

I bought my Spark in November, but I haven't flown it yet. When I realised that it couldn't be manually put into ATTI mode for learning emergency manoeuvring, I bought a cheap non-GPS drone to practice those skills. Since then the increasing incidence of flyaways that don't appear to be due to pilot error, and now the situation with Android phones and OTG support have resulted in my decision to keep my Spark grounded over winter until things settle down.

I'm also keen to understand how to interpret the Spark logs, and I'm treating all the logs that are uploaded as useful learning material - so I'll state upfront that I'm no expert on this!

That said, looking at your log, there are three areas that intrigue me.

Firstly, there's the message right at the start regarding battery temperature. It seems to be a warning rather than an error though, as otherwise I assume that it would have prevented take-off. However, this seems to have thrown off the battery monitoring, as over the first four seconds the voltage/%age dropped from 12.6v/99% to 11.5v/98% - that doesn't look right at all, but is presumably a result of the reported temperature issue

However, at 6m18s the percentage suddenly drops from 48% to 30%, whereas the physical voltage only dropped from 10.68v to 10.55v - again, that doesn't look right. Three seconds later at 6m21s it gives the message "The remaining battery is only enough for RTH. Return home now". So to my inexpert eye, the battery management system looks to have gone haywire - and that was one of the main features of the new firmware you updated to.

The second thing is the message at 27.6s - "Motor Overloaded. Aircraft will decelerate to ensure safety". It had been gently accelerating from 1.8 to 3mph before that message, and continued to do so afterwards, gradually accelerating to 8mph. So it doesn't appear to have decelerated. However, this is presumably a relative speed, so was the Spark perhaps battling with a strong wind?

The third thing is the significant altitude data discrepancy between the IMU and the VPS. The latter never goes above 10.8ft, despite the craft reaching 1596ft according to the IMU data. So to me there seems to be a VPS sensor issue. Does the Spark use the VPS reading to try to rise to a certain altitude before commencing descent? If so, as the VPS altitude stayed at around 3ft this might explain why the craft kept on ascending to 1596ft.

But as I said, I'm an absolute beginner at studying these logs, so I'd welcome further comments from people much more expert than me!

Again, my sympathies Ian, and I hope DJI see you OK on this one. Please keep us posted.

Alan
2017-12-30
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Wachtberger
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Have there been clouds or mist? I am asking because there is constantly a VPS altitude value presented, also where it should be zero.
2017-12-30
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_zine
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Conrod Posted at 2017-12-30 01:45
Ian,

I'm very sorry to read this - you must be absolutely gutted.

Hi Alan

Thanks for your response.

I am truly gutter, esp. this time of the year, as I finally have the time to fly and take some winter footage.

I'll let you know what DJI say's.
2017-12-30
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_zine
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Wachtberger Posted at 2017-12-30 02:08
Have there been clouds or mist? I am asking because there is constantly a VPS altitude value presented, also where it should be zero.

No clouds or mist ... clear day
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_zine
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Tviscomi Posted at 2017-12-29 15:26
Yeah I don't get it.  I see a Forced Landing @ 3.5.8 then back into Sport mode.  @3.42 a RTH is activated with a min altitude of 20 meters (60ish feet).  After that the thing basically just flew off away from you.

I know ... Strangest thing?
2017-12-30
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_zine
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rimza Posted at 2017-12-29 15:51
DJI Assistant 2 or DJi GO 4 app will inform to reinstall firmware in-case firmware installation is unsuccessful.

The firmware successfully updated. I never received an error message when updating.
2017-12-30
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_zine Posted at 2017-12-29 14:15
Interesting, though doesn't tell me much more than the other site

http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/UV6IRPE4P7Z8PEYVB4NN/

What day and time was your flight?  The log appears to be marked as 4:25pm on Dec 27th.  Is that correct?

If so, you chose a pretty challenging situation to choose to fly your Spark up real high where the weather conditions can be much different than at ground level. It looks like you flew up to 590ft right at the end of twilight.  I don't know the regulations in the UK real well, but here in the US, we aren't allowed to go above 400ft and are only supposed to fly up to 30 minutes past sunset.   

https://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/EGLC/2017/12/27/DailyHistory.html?req_city=Gravesend&req_state=KEN&req_statename=United+Kingdom&reqdb.zip=00000&reqdb.magic=52&reqdb.wmo=03784


Wind Speed        11 mph
Max Wind Speed        23 mph                  
Max Gust Speed        40 mph                  
Visibility        5.8 miles                  
Events        Rain , Snow

Sun Rise Time  8:06       
Sun Set Time  15:56 (3:56 PM)       

3:20 PM        39.2 °F        29.8 °F        32.0 °F        75%        29.30 in        6.2 mi        WNW        18.4 mph        32.2 mph        N/A                 Partly Cloudy
3:50 PM        39.2 °F        29.8 °F        32.0 °F        75%        29.33 in        6.2 mi        WNW        18.4 mph        -        N/A                 Unknown
4:20 PM        39.2 °F        30.2 °F        30.2 °F        70%        29.36 in        6.2 mi        WNW        17.3 mph        -        N/A                 Unknown
4:50 PM        39.2 °F        31.6 °F        30.2 °F        70%        29.36 in        6.2 mi        WNW        12.7 mph        24.2 mph        N/A                 Unknown
5:20 PM        39.2 °F        30.5 °F        26.6 °F        61%        29.39 in        6.2 mi        WNW        16.1 mph        27.6 mph        N/A                 Unknown

2017-12-30
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Kloo Gee
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Having looked at the logs in detail, I believe the fateful event occurred at 222.8 seconds (3m 42.8s).  
I am definitely not an expert at interpreting the logs, so I will happily take corrections if I've misinterpeted anything.

It is at that point that the aircraft changed from SPORT to GO HOME mode.  At this point it was at an altitude of 547.9ft (167m) and was 176.1ft (53.7m) from the home point.  Because the aircraft is between 20-100m away from the set home point, it will try to come back home at the RTH Altitude with the obstacle avoidance sensors on and will max out at around 12-14mph if my memory serves correctly.  

Unfortunately for the Spark, I believe it was trying its best to come back home, but due to the strong WNW wind that was blowing faster than the 12-14mph it had available to it, it was getting blown backwards.  I say this because during this time it shows a Yaw angle between -110 and -80.  If I'm interpreting that correctly, I believe that translates to a compass heading between 240-280 degrees (which would be facing right into the wind).  During this same time, the speed only averages about 3mph and differentiates from 0-7mph.   With a stiff wind in its face



Questions I don't have answers for:- Did you manually put it in RTH mode at this point or was it automatically triggered by the Spark?
     * Based on what I see, I assume you manually put it in RTH.
- Why is both IMU Altitude and VPS Altitude showing values?  I would expect VPS Altitude to show 0 once it gets above a certain height.
- Why was there a forced landing at 185.8 through 206.3 seconds into the flight?
     * Is it possible there was at least a small cloud or some water vapor got on the downward sensors?
     * Did you manually switch it back to Sport mode to get it out of this mode?  I know some that have got stuck in fog have used Sport mode to get out of it.
- Why does the altitude rise rapidly while in GO HOME mode?  There are not RC inputs that could have caused this.
     * Is it possible that RTH was reading the VPS altitude as its actual altitude instead of the IMU/barometer height and because of this it kept trying to raise up to the RTH Altitude setting of 20m?

I think this last question is the biggest question and potential explanation for why it just kept going higher and higher!

Thoughts?  Am I interpreting any of the log details incorrectly?

If I'm interpreting correctly, I think the best potential for this flight to be saved would have been to manually point it towards home put it in Sports mode and do full speed forward and down (i.e. left stick full back and right stick full forward).  

However, the big question still is why did it keep going higher and higher!  That is something only DJI would be able to answer.

2017-12-30
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Rocketmans Posted at 2017-12-29 15:48
Got the same problem after firmware update just fly's upward with no response did get mine back , have called waiting on fix waiting to hear back since I could lose drone you would think it would be a priority

Rocketmans,

Would it be possible to post your logfile to the PhantomHelp website like Zine did?  If you had the same behavior where it just went higher and higher, I'm curious if we see the same in the logs as we see in Zine's with the IMU Altitude and VPS Altitude.

Thanks!
2017-12-30
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fansc99f2447
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Excellent hypothesis. I hope your analysis gets to DJI.
2017-12-30
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fansc99f2447
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Looked like it was pretty cold. What happens if the downward sensor gets condensation?  Does it get a false ground level reading and try to fly upward away from the "phantom" ground?
2017-12-30
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_zine Posted at 2017-12-30 08:15
The firmware successfully updated. I never received an error message when updating.

Hi Zine.
Looking at your log some very strange stuff going on, Kloo has covered a lot of it there is however a large chunk of log missing almost two minutes when downlink was lost , in this period your Aircraft could have been responding to your stick controls the fact that you were out of VLOS and had missing downlink it’s almost impossible to say why Aircraft flew up so high and so far before trying to auto land.

Regarding forced landing why this happened , just lately I have seen a lot of cases where Forced Landing has been initiated for what seems no reason, but having looked at a lot of other cases here lately and having the same issue myself, but with most of the logs I’ve seen so far there has been a problem with false VPS readings.
By switching to sport mode you managed to cancel forced landing, after this as I said you lost downlink so no recorded log on PH approx 2 minutes, your Aircraft went into auto land from almost 2500 ft distance and 1500 ft altitude simply because it would never have made it home.

You said you checked last coordinates so no point telling you where these are, Kloo has a point though flying at 4.30 gmt during one of the shortest days of the year there is no way you had enough light to see AC as small as spark, and although you lost downlink you would still have had control of sticks and I just wonder was if disorientation wasn’t a factor in what looks a very strange flight.

I’m thinking this will be for dji to sort out, I wish you luck and hopefully you will get a warranty.
2017-12-30
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Kloo Gee Posted at 2017-12-30 14:37
Having looked at the logs in detail, I believe the fateful event occurred at 222.8 seconds (3m 42.8s).  
I am definitely not an expert at interpreting the logs, so I will happily take corrections if I've misinterpeted anything.

Hi Kloo

Thank you for the detailed response.

I do understand what you were saying, but when the spark was RTH point, it should have descended irrespective of the wind direction and wind speed (even if it was being blown away), though none of the log error messages stated strong winds when it was in RTH mode?

I did receive a 'warning: command timeout' message @ 4:13, which I suspect was the major issue? As the Spark veered off course from that point.




But am totally perplexed as to why the Spark gained such a high altitude, esp as I was pressing down on the controller?

I'm yet to hear back from DJI, though suspect they might be on holidays?

I just want my Spark back ... or a reliable replacement.

Though in future, I will be holding out on updating the firmware for as long as possible.
2017-12-30
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Kloo Gee Posted at 2017-12-30 14:54
Rocketmans,

Would it be possible to post your logfile to the PhantomHelp website like Zine did?  If you had the same behavior where it just went higher and higher, I'm curious if we see the same in the logs as we see in Zine's with the IMU Altitude and VPS Altitude.

I would also be keen to see the log.

The fail-safe should be to descend immediately, to ascend to ridiculous altitudes. ... Though slightly impressed to see the Spark could fly so high.

Mind you, that is above the legal height, at least in the UK. If I was to get caught, would I be prosecuted, or DJI, given it was due to a malfunction? ... Maybe I shouldn't open that can of worms!
2017-12-30
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_zine
lvl.3
Flight distance : 15094
United Kingdom
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hallmark007 Posted at 2017-12-30 15:30
Hi Zine.
Looking at your log some very strange stuff going on, Kloo has covered a lot of it there is however a large chunk of log missing almost two minutes when downlink was lost , in this period your Aircraft could have been responding to your stick controls the fact that you were out of VLOS and had missing downlink it’s almost impossible to say why Aircraft flew up so high and so far before trying to auto land.

Hi hallmark007

I am very familiar with the controls, as I've done many flights over the past few months, and always fly using the map and waypoint on my iPhone 7 plus.

The only time I fly by sight is when it is low, ie. Landing / Near obstacles or if I lose connection, ie. app crashes, or disconnects.

In relation to the daylight, I was up high on a hilltop, and whilst the sun was setting I still had ample light to see.
These are screenshots taken from Spark on the previous flight, 5 min before this final flight, as downloaded from airdata.com ... not enhanced in any way.



2017-12-30
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