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My Spark just flew away.... WTF!
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3258 74 2018-1-1
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ADDvanced
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Flight distance : 76204 ft
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Hi.  The Spark is/was my first drone.  I have 69 flights under my belt, with almost 6 hour of flight time.  Most of the time I fly above my property, from my yard.  I have not had any issues at all, until 2 days ago.  It launched normally, I had 9 satellites, home point was recorded, nothing out of the ordinary, and I flew it about 250 ft away, at which point I started getting hit with errors and pop ups in the DJI app, compass stuff, IMU, it just went totally haywire and wouldn't respond.  I watched as it flew off, and frantically tried to regain control from the RC, but it wouldn't respond!   In less than 15 seconds, the drone disconnected and was gone, no idea where it went.

I immediately grabbed my car keys and started driving around, looking for it in the sky and hoping my RC controller would reconnect.  I got home, I went into itunes and exported the flight log, then imported it into google earth.  Unfortunately it shows the same info that the DJI app shows; and the video I have captured happens AFTER the flight log ends.  I did purchase the DJI Care warranty, but from what I understand is that it only covers damaged drones, not ones that just 'left'.  

What should I do?  

Here is my exported .csv

http://www.sharecsv.com/s/4cadb7 ... _%5B14-34-57%5D.csv
2018-1-1
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hallmark007
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You need to upload log to link below.

http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/Upload/
2018-1-1
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ADDvanced
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hallmark007 Posted at 2018-1-1 16:07
You need to upload log to link below.

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

http://www.phantomhelp.com/logviewer/PYWIMR44L9Q8LHPV66DM/#

What do you think?
2018-1-1
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DJI Mindy
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Hi ADDvanced, we are so sorry for your loss, please contact our support in working hours to start a ticket for data analysis, the team will do their best to find out the reason and then the corresponding resolution will be provided, good luck.
2018-1-1
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Shade220
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Canada
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Had something similar happen with the drone switching between sport to atti mode for no apparent reason.  Could it be the cold weather is messing up the sensors on the drone?
2018-1-1
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Enri
Second Officer
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Looks the pilot never switched to Sport mode....this is what I am beginning to be scared of....he tried to regain control but errors screwed everything...
2018-1-2
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WazzyP
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I've had similar issues (compass, etc) which have resulted in the aircraft switching to ATTI mode mid flight. Thankfully I have always managed to land the aircraft as I've kept it close and within sight. The Spark can be difficult to control in ATTI mode if it's windy, especially for us new pilots.

DJI were very supportive and replaced a faulty GPS module free of charge. Sadly I'm still having the same issue and am going to log another support call.

Good luck getting it resolved.
2018-1-2
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Wachtberger
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Error messages started at 2m 24.3s into the flight, why did you not land immediately?
2018-1-2
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nixuspix
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Where can we see the stick movements on this log, please? Just curious to analize it? Or ot should be another app?
2018-1-2
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Wachtberger
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nixuspix Posted at 2018-1-2 08:14
Where can we see the stick movements on this log, please? Just curious to analize it? Or ot should be another app?

You have to download the CSV file that is available with the flightrecord on the phantomhelp page. But don't ask me how to read it ;-) (I can't yet).
2018-1-2
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nixuspix
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Wachtberger Posted at 2018-1-2 08:18
You have to download the CSV file that is available with the flightrecord on the phantomhelp page. But don't ask me how to read it ;-) (I can't yet).

Thanks a lot
2018-1-2
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ADDvanced
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Wachtberger Posted at 2018-1-2 07:09
Error messages started at 2m 24.3s into the flight, why did you not land immediately?

Do you think I didn't try to do so?  It wasn't responding.  I could see footage but it wouldn't respond to inputs, it acted like it had AI.
2018-1-2
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hallmark007
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ADDvanced Posted at 2018-1-1 17:03
http://www.phantomhelp.com/logviewer/PYWIMR44L9Q8LHPV66DM/#

What do you think?

Hi ADDvanced been travelling all day from Sweden to Ireland will have a look at those tomorrow.
2018-1-2
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ADDvanced
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So I tried to find it again today, with no luck.   I was wandering around with rapidly dwindling light, and my phone kept dying.  

Here are my questions:

1.  Is there a way to get GPS coordinates from this flight log?  Having a last known GPS location would be extremely helpful.

The last entry in the log says 294.6 ft above the ground.  Mike, from PhantomHelp.com, told me that at that point, the drone would hover for 3 seconds, then descend.  

2. Given that this thing has a yaw error/atti mode/no GPS/was traveling 17mph; do you guys think it actually hovered for 3 seconds, or do you think it continued on it's current trajectory?

3.  What is the rate of descent for the DJI spark, when it disconnects?

I am hoping that if I find the last known coordinates to the drone, the answer to if it will hover in place (I'm guessing not), and the rate of descent, I could then do some simple math to calculate where it might have gone down.

It's currently in a 40 acre plot of undeveloped land, and we have snow forecast for this Sunday.  I'm taking off tomorrow afternoon to go hunting for it again, this time with a handwarmer taped to the back of my phone.

Thanks in advance!



2018-1-2
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hallmark007
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ADDvanced Posted at 2018-1-2 15:57
So I tried to find it again today, with no luck.   I was wandering around with rapidly dwindling light, and my phone kept dying.  

Here are my questions:

43.31788942        -88.27309933

Coordinates above , still moving at 17mph it would stay moving on the wind until 10% battery unless there was an obstacle that it might hit, if not it would have almost 7 minutes more flying before it would land, so it could be 5/6 miles further than those coordinates.
2018-1-2
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ADDvanced
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hallmark007 Posted at 2018-1-2 16:26
43.31788942        -88.27309933

Coordinates above , still moving at 17mph it would stay moving on the wind until 10% battery unless there was an obstacle that it might hit, if not it would have almost 7 minutes more flying before it would land, so it could be 5/6 miles further than those coordinates.

The guy at Phantom Help said the Drone would auto land once it became disconnected from the RC.  

One of you two are correct... I'm not sure which.
2018-1-2
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ADDvanced
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Okay, so I calculated the time it would take to descend from it's last altitude by using the vertical rate for auto landing descent in the user manual, which is 9.8ft/sec.  So from 294 ft, it would take 30 seconds to land.  +3 seconds, and had 33 seconds.

I knew it was traveling at 17.8mph, so 17.8mph X 33 seconds = a distance of .163166 miles from the last known GPS coordinates.

I then used the last GPS and one ~ 30 seconds before it to calculate a bearing of 146 degrees

Then I found a GPS + Distance + Bearing calculator online, and it spit out some new coordinates for me to check out tomorrow.   Wish me luck.

Cheers!
2018-1-2
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Cookster670
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ADDvanced Posted at 2018-1-2 17:21
The guy at Phantom Help said the Drone would auto land once it became disconnected from the RC.  

One of you two are correct... I'm not sure which.

On two occasions I've had the spark lose connectivity (flying in bad area..over a hill..etc).  Both times it did a RTH, (not land).   So I don't think it's correct that it will autoland unless it's low on battery.
2018-1-2
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Todd in Chicago
Second Officer
Flight distance : 513757 ft
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I did some very crude number crunching, and if Hallmark is right, when battery *might* be around 10%, I have it at 19,807 ft from home position, which based on the path would be just about in the middle of Wissota sand and gravel.....which is a long way away.

Best of luck to you!

Cheers...

Todd in Chicago
2018-1-2
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ADDvanced
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Can someone tell me if witll auto land or RTH?  I don't knwo what hte default setting is/was.
2018-1-2
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Todd in Chicago
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Im pretty sure it can't return to home if it was in ATTI mode, because it is no longer sure which direction hone is.  Based on what Hallmark was saying is basically it will just keep going until battery hits 10% and will then just autoland ehere it is.  Really sorry about your situation.

Cheers...

Todd in Chicago
2018-1-2
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ADDvanced
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Are you sure?  That thing is gone, if so.  Once it loses connection wtih the RC and it is in atti mode, why wouldn't it just auto land at that point?
2018-1-2
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Range925
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I hope dji techs can resolve the issue and possibly send you another if it was a hardware malfunction. Good luck!
2018-1-2
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ADDvanced
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Does anyone know FOR SURE what happens when you lose GPS / Compass in ATTI mode?   Does it fly until the battery runs out or does it auto land?

I've heard both and this makes a huge difference to me.
2018-1-2
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WazzyP
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ADDvanced Posted at 2018-1-2 22:28
Does anyone know FOR SURE what happens when you lose GPS / Compass in ATTI mode?   Does it fly until the battery runs out or does it auto land?

I've heard both and this makes a huge difference to me.

If you lose GPS / Compass and the drone goes into ATTI mode it will not auto land. I cannot however comment about what would happen if it is in ATTI mode and loses connection with the remote.

You mentioned you were unable to control it? Can you confirm you lost connection between the drone and the remote? I ask because in ATTI mode it can appear you've lost control as the GPS no longer holds the drone in position. As a result the drone "blows in the wind" and often moves in a direction different to what you expect, and what you are doing on the controller.
2018-1-2
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hallmark007
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ADDvanced Posted at 2018-1-2 21:56
Are you sure?  That thing is gone, if so.  Once it loses connection wtih the RC and it is in atti mode, why wouldn't it just auto land at that point?

There are a few reasons it would auto land if it calculated there was not enough battery to get home, it would need to have gps to do this.
Other being if it reached 10% critical battery.
2018-1-3
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Todd in Chicago
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hallmark007 Posted at 2018-1-3 05:41
There are a few reasons it would auto land if it calculated there was not enough battery to get home, it would need to have gps to do this.
Other being if it reached 10% critical battery.

This sounds about right.  The forced auto-land is a last ditch effort and dangerous maneuver.  It is coming down where it is without regard for anything else.  It's when the logic feels there is no alternative.

Back to OP's original question, which I do not know the answer to but it seems to make sense, is you don't want emergency autoland to come on just when you lose connection....these things would be dropping all over the place!  LOL....

I think the behavior for when the AC loses connection to the RC is to hover, and of course when you are in ATTI mode, that doesn't work so well.  My statements here are based on a little actual knowledge and what would seem to make sense.

Cheers...

Todd in Chicago
2018-1-3
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ADDvanced
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So nobody actually knows?  We are all just guessing, in a forum full of Spark enthusiasts?  
2018-1-3
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ADDvanced
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WazzyP Posted at 2018-1-2 23:02
If you lose GPS / Compass and the drone goes into ATTI mode it will not auto land. I cannot however comment about what would happen if it is in ATTI mode and loses connection with the remote.

You mentioned you were unable to control it? Can you confirm you lost connection between the drone and the remote? I ask because in ATTI mode it can appear you've lost control as the GPS no longer holds the drone in position. As a result the drone "blows in the wind" and often moves in a direction different to what you expect, and what you are doing on the controller.

Yes, confirmed, no control.  The drone disappeared for a while, then showed up again with video, but it was not responding to inputs.
2018-1-3
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hallmark007
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Todd in Chicago Posted at 2018-1-3 06:47
This sounds about right.  The forced auto-land is a last ditch effort and dangerous maneuver.  It is coming down where it is without regard for anything else.  It's when the logic feels there is no alternative.

Back to OP's original question, which I do not know the answer to but it seems to make sense, is you don't want emergency autoland to come on just when you lose connection....these things would be dropping all over the place!  LOL....

If your Aircraft is in Atti mode it cannot hover or even try to hover in order to hover you must have gps, it’s gps that holds position and only if your close to the ground ie 30ft VPs can be used to hover and this clearly was not the case.
Your Aircraft will maintain its altitude using barometric pressure sensors, but will drift on the wind.
2018-1-3
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hallmark007
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ADDvanced Posted at 2018-1-3 06:53
So nobody actually knows?  We are all just guessing, in a forum full of Spark enthusiasts?

It is not guessing we all know what happens when you lose gps , your Aircraft will drift on the wind but you can still control with controller.
If you lose Radio control signal it will do the very same if still no gps. If you have gps and lose Radio signal your Aircraft using RC will hover for 3 seconds and then RTH if using phone only your aircraft will hover for 20 seconds before RTH .

2018-1-3
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hallmark007
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ADDvanced Posted at 2018-1-1 17:03
http://www.phantomhelp.com/logviewer/PYWIMR44L9Q8LHPV66DM/#

What do you think?

Why would a compass error disable GPS?
Orientation (compass data) and position (GPS data) are different but related.
When the Spark is moving and getting position information from the GPS that tells the Spark that it is travelling in a different direction from what it's getting from compass data, The Spark programming can't work with the data conflict.
The solution is to drop data from one source and since the Spark can't fly without a compass but can without GPS, it's the GPS data that gets dropped.

There have been some compass problems with Spark lately or your issue may have been related to something you did.
I'd be curious about when and where you calibrated it and where you launched from as these may be relevant factors.

If you can let me know about calibration and launch I will have a look at your log.
2018-1-3
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ADDvanced
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hallmark007 Posted at 2018-1-3 07:08
It is not guessing we all know what happens when you lose gps , your Aircraft will drift on the wind but you can still control with controller.
If you lose Radio control signal it will do the very same if still no gps. If you have gps and lose Radio signal your Aircraft using RC will hover for 3 seconds and then RTH if using phone only your aircraft will hover for 20 seconds before RTH .

But with the compass/yaw/imu errors, there is NO POSSIBLE WAY it can RTH.    Some people have said in that situation, where the drone doesn't know where it is, it would autoland after 3 seconds of no connection.  Mike from phantomhelp stated this, yet I am hearing conflicting info about what it does in this situation.
2018-1-3
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hallmark007
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ADDvanced Posted at 2018-1-3 07:28
But with the compass/yaw/imu errors, there is NO POSSIBLE WAY it can RTH.    Some people have said in that situation, where the drone doesn't know where it is, it would autoland after 3 seconds of no connection.  Mike from phantomhelp stated this, yet I am hearing conflicting info about what it does in this situation.

Well you can see from earlier on in your flight when you first picked up magnetic yaw your Aircraft never attempted to auto land so this should clear up that notion.
2018-1-3
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Wachtberger
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ADDvanced Posted at 2018-1-3 07:28
But with the compass/yaw/imu errors, there is NO POSSIBLE WAY it can RTH.    Some people have said in that situation, where the drone doesn't know where it is, it would autoland after 3 seconds of no connection.  Mike from phantomhelp stated this, yet I am hearing conflicting info about what it does in this situation.

I cannot help with own experience because it has not yet happened to me (and hopefully never will). But I have seen quite many cases posted in this forum by now and in not a single one with a scenario like yours there has been autolanding. (edited)
2018-1-3
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ADDvanced
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But it still was connected to the RC....
2018-1-3
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hallmark007
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ADDvanced Posted at 2018-1-3 07:41
But it still was connected to the RC....

I understand that, but it doesn’t show in your flight log that it disconnects from controller at end of log either all it shows is downlink was shut off. This also happened periodically throughout your flight.
2018-1-3
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hallmark007
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ADDvanced Posted at 2018-1-3 07:41
But it still was connected to the RC....

I’m not saying it didn’t auto land simply because I have know way of knowing this and if this was the procedure I would find it strange that we haven’t seen before.

If this was the case it should make it easier to try finding, it certainly would be my first location to begin searching just in case.
2018-1-3
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ADDvanced
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DJI Mindy Posted at 2018-1-1 18:15
Hi ADDvanced, we are so sorry for your loss, please contact our support in working hours to start a ticket for data analysis, the team will do their best to find out the reason and then the corresponding resolution will be provided, good luck.

I just got off with them, my case number is CAS-1371673-Z5K6W7
2018-1-3
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djiuser_yxfdr03
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I just had my first flyaway too after maybe 35-40 flawless flights. I launched and it hovered for maybe 3 seconds then took off in a slightly clockwise half circle gaining speed until it started to cartwheel on the snow and I was able to get to it. It was safe. Dusted off the snow and flew perfect next 4 times...weird.
2018-1-3
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