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Mavic Air: constant compass calibration fails
31448 176 2018-2-6
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RocdOrsay
lvl.1
Switzerland
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I got my MA 3 weeks ago in Switzerland and did a IMU and a compass calibration. I flew it a number of times at 0°C without any problem. Now I went to the South of France, and since then the Compass Error occurs everytime I switch on the aircraft. I need to start compass calibration at least 5 times before I get the green ok message. During flight, the compass calibration error comes back after a few minutes, but I can finish the flight without problems. Calibration is done in various free fields, no tension lines, cars, watches and smartwatches and away from the controller.

It is a mystery to me that in Switzerland it worked fine, and now in France the problem occurs every time. My MA might be one of the first built, as I ordered it right after it came out. Hope DJI will find a solution, there seem to be a number of MA concerned...
2018-3-15
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SeanGalbraith
Second Officer
Flight distance : 213753 ft
Canada
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Was out flying at the beach today and got calibration errors each time I went to fly (including within 2 minutes of having just landing to switch out batteries). Calibration was successful on each first try at least.
2018-3-15
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SeanGalbraith
Second Officer
Flight distance : 213753 ft
Canada
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The response from support to my ticket was "it shouldn't do that, send it in", basically.
2018-3-15
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PhotoJoseph
lvl.2
Flight distance : 56729 ft
United States
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The instructions say to hold it 1 meter off the ground. I had this problem today; took me a dozen tries to get it to work. I ended up holding it quite high above my head to make it work. I think there was metal reinforcement under the ground I was on so that makes sense. Get it as high as you can next time!
2018-3-15
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SeanGalbraith
Second Officer
Flight distance : 213753 ft
Canada
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Its more about the need to have to do this literally every time I go to fly, including if I'm just changing the battery. This never once happened with my Spark, and I'm flying in the same location.
2018-3-15
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Aaron Jayjack
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United States
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ajayjack Posted at 2018-3-8 07:56
I don't have any smartwatch on.  I do have a G-Shock Rangeman watch though.  I guess I will give it a shot with no watch on.  Hopefully I don't need to strip down naked for this thing to not require calibration, though.

Launched my Mavic Air today with no watch on and did not have to compass calibrate.
2018-3-15
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Buzzyone
Captain
Flight distance : 2200075 ft
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SeanGalbraith Posted at 2018-2-6 08:23
I've managed to calibrate it twice (at not exactly the same spot, but like next door to it - and I've tried to calibrate there again today and it failed repeatedly), and it has never held calibration.. even within seconds after landing when I switched batteries.

Its beyond me why the Spark has no problems, but this one does. Maybe, as you said, I got a defective unit.

The only DJI drone I have had this issue with was my Phantom 3 and that turned out to be a faulty compass. Does it hover OK or does it start to start to spiral with increasing rotations? This is usually an indication of a dud compass.

Some Mavics I have had in demonstrate this behavior if the compass has been damaged in a crash.

My Air needed a calibration when I got it, one compass calibration later its been fine ever since. You might have a faulty Air.
2018-3-15
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SeanGalbraith
Second Officer
Flight distance : 213753 ft
Canada
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Once its calibrated, it flies as expected, no problem (or no problem that I've ever seen).  I think you might be right about the faulty Air, but it seems to be a not-uncommon thing from the other posters here.
2018-3-15
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sethbob
lvl.1
United States
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SeanGalbraith Posted at 2018-3-15 18:24
Once its calibrated, it flies as expected, no problem (or no problem that I've ever seen).  I think you might be right about the faulty Air, but it seems to be a not-uncommon thing from the other posters here.

Did you end up sending yours in? I'm having the same issue. It fails literally every.single.time I fly it for the first 8-10 times I try to calibrate. I was super stubborn today and refused to move from the first spot it failed since I KNEW there was no chance of any ferromagnetic BS around me.

I spun that thing around and around and after the 8-10 fails it finally calibrated. It's to the point where I don't even want to bother flying it because I get so angry trying to calibrate. Part of me wants to throw the thing in the mud when it fails constantly.

I travel a ton, so I'm always carrying it near my computer/ipad/Canon Camera, and other gear... but what the hell is the point of a collapsable drone that I have to carry in a completely separate bag than all my other stuff?
2018-3-18
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SeanGalbraith
Second Officer
Flight distance : 213753 ft
Canada
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No, I haven't sent it in yet.
2018-3-18
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djiuser_QLlAJBkPUkCz
lvl.2
Flight distance : 143035 ft
Brazil
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SeanGalbraith Posted at 2018-3-18 19:35
No, I haven't sent it in yet.

I have the same problem with Compass number 2 always with error. Send to DJI under warranty and return with the same problem. I do not have success calibration no matter my location. Very desapointed and affraid flying with the Mavic Pro Platinum. The problem is that I live in Brazil but buy the Mavic in USA, so I need to send the drone to USA for repair. Very very sad with this broken Mavic that they sold to me.
2018-3-20
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Javier Gómez Mora
New

Colombia
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Same thing  for me. Mavic Air require compass calibration each time I power on it..... :/ It's crazy...
2018-3-20
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SeanGalbraith
Second Officer
Flight distance : 213753 ft
Canada
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I really hope that DJI is paying attention to this and is working on a solution.
2018-3-21
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fans03e73c37
lvl.1
Flight distance : 3888 ft
United States
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Any good news on this problem yet?
2018-3-21
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djiuser_QLlAJBkPUkCz
lvl.2
Flight distance : 143035 ft
Brazil
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fans03e73c37 Posted at 2018-3-21 09:08
Any good news on this problem yet?

I found the definitive solution to this problem. The problem that causes this interference in Compass 2 is that some part of the Mavic next to the gimball (compass 2 is exactly above the gilmball) is magnetized and needs to be demagnetized. it is very simple to do demagnetization, need two powerful magnets and put one against the other (when they repel) and pass these magnets across the front of the drone, especially in the gimball but without touching the drone. Solved the problem in five minutes. See the picture and watch the video.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nQdLh4xwnGY
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2018-3-22
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elmzarcega
lvl.1
Singapore
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im having the same issue with my Mavic Air... ive flown once only which prompted me to do compass calibration. But the next flight, i totally cannot get this compass to calibrate. Very frustrating..!!!
2018-3-24
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SeanGalbraith
Second Officer
Flight distance : 213753 ft
Canada
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djiuser_QLlAJBkPUkCz Posted at 2018-3-22 20:44
I found the definitive solution to this problem. The problem that causes this interference in Compass 2 is that some part of the Mavic next to the gimball (compass 2 is exactly above the gilmball) is magnetized and needs to be demagnetized. it is very simple to do demagnetization, need two powerful magnets and put one against the other (when they repel) and pass these magnets across the front of the drone, especially in the gimball but without touching the drone. Solved the problem in five minutes. See the picture and watch the video.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nQdLh4xwnGY

Very interesting. And you think this would also work for the Mavic Air?
2018-3-25
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SeanGalbraith
Second Officer
Flight distance : 213753 ft
Canada
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Went out for another short fly today and, as happens every time, I needed to calibrate my compass first. Before doing so, I remembered to take a screen shot of the settings beforehand.

According to this, Compass 1 had a bit of Excellent (not much, but some). Strange that it would need to be calibrated, isn't it?

2018-3-26
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kon_jelly
lvl.1
United States
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Went to fly this morning and spent 20 minutes calibrating the compass. Every single time I try and fly the Air I have to calibrate, and it always takes at least 15 tries to successfully calibrate (this morning was especially bad). I think I've calibrated the Spark compass maybe twice in a year? But on the Air? Every. Damn. Time.
2018-3-29
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nywrecker
First Officer
Flight distance : 771759 ft
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I have the same problem with my Air. It asks me almost every time I power it to calibrate compass. It takes me an average of 3 calibration runs befiore it likes it.
2018-3-29
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nywrecker
First Officer
Flight distance : 771759 ft
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am not near any metals/magnetic sources.
2018-3-29
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WebParrot
Captain
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SeanGalbraith Posted at 2018-2-6 08:23
I've managed to calibrate it twice (at not exactly the same spot, but like next door to it - and I've tried to calibrate there again today and it failed repeatedly), and it has never held calibration.. even within seconds after landing when I switched batteries.

Its beyond me why the Spark has no problems, but this one does. Maybe, as you said, I got a defective unit.

It seemed strange to me, but I found that removing my wrist watch solved a similar issue for me.  Then I realized there was a small magnet in the wrist band!  Not saying your circumstance is the same.  Just look around for something the "could" cause magnetic interference.  Your Air may have sensors that are more sensitive than those of the Spark.
2018-3-29
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fans352a9e6a
New
Flight distance : 102 ft
United States
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I have the same problem with my Mavic Air. It is incredibly frustrating. You know what I’ve done to fix it twice? Reboot my iPhone 7 Plus. Moving it further away didn’t help, restarting drone and controller didn’t help. Nope, I have to reboot my phone every time I want it fly my $800 drone. Fancy stuff.
2018-4-11
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SeanGalbraith
Second Officer
Flight distance : 213753 ft
Canada
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I recently bought a couple magnets to try and do the de-magnetizing thing linked in a YouTube video above. I'm not sure, though, where in the body the compass is located. Anyone know?
2018-4-11
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GLJones
lvl.3
Flight distance : 41381 ft
United States
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Flown my Air about 30 times now and the only time it ever asked me to calibrate the compass was when I tried to launch off the back trunk of the car.  Sounds like you guys have some serious local interference, a magnetic or RF issue nearby (watch, magnet, phone) or a bad compass. Hope you sort it out. It isn’t the Air design as most are working correctly. Hope you didn’t get a dud.  
2018-4-11
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a men
lvl.2
Flight distance : 26260 ft
Belgium
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Same issue for me.
Each flight requires a compass calibration ... Each battery change requires a compass calibration.
Very dangerous by the way, the first minutes of flight my mavic air is not stable and goes alone.

10 minutes of preparation for each flight, it is practical for a drone of a autonomy of 15 minutes at best ...


DJI: thank you for proposing a solution quickly.
2018-5-3
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pjotrvs
lvl.1
Flight distance : 11253 ft
Netherlands
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I found a solution to the compass calibration error after reading some posts elsewhere on the DJI forum:

1. Upgrade to latest firmware

2. Reset to factory default settings

3. Switch the tablet and also my phone to Flight Mode.

This worked for me: no calibration error. It looks like the error message is not really related to the compass, but to Wifi or GSM signal interference...
2018-5-3
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kmastro66
lvl.4
United States
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Same problem here on a 3 week old MA so it appears the latest firmware doesn't address the issues.  I could go 200 miles away on my old Phantom 3 Standard and not have to re-calibrate but have to re-calibrate every time and from the exact location with this $1,000 drone. (Purchased the Fly More Combo).  This is BS and doesn't seem to be a priority with DJI.
2018-5-9
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dwin1977
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Flight distance : 2001299 ft
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John TC Posted at 2018-3-6 13:52
I am guilty on not reading after the 6th post.... but....     I got the issue of calibrating the compass because of my Samsung Gear S3 Sport watch...   it generates so much magnetic interference that it freak outs the compass...   are you wearing any smartwatch when doing the calibration?

Really? I have had some serious video glitches. I wear my watch! I wonder. You may have accidentally gave me a new test!
2018-5-9
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dwin1977
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dwin1977 Posted at 2018-5-9 16:51
Really? I have had some serious video glitches. I wear my watch! I wonder. You may have accidentally gave me a new test!

Nope. That didn't help but it was a good idea.
2018-5-9
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MAIRDA
lvl.3
Brazil
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Has someone come up with a final answer to this problem?  I bought a Mavic Air because it is lighter and packs smaller than my Mavic Pro. I tested it in my back yard in Oregon twice and it worked fine, very responsive, etc.  Then I pack it for my first overseas travel with it (my Mavic Pro has traveled and flown in several countries and remote pacific islands).  I was in this ideal location, in an Island in south Brazil and the POS thing would not calibrate.  No, I was not close to a car, a watch, or anything.  I was on a beach, in the middle of it. Far from houses, cars, etc.  And it would simply not calibrate.  After trying many times I gave up.  Now I'm on another town, still in Brazil, and decided to try to calibrate it again. No success.  It has the lasted firmware.  Also, each time I connect it, it seems like it is connecting for the first time.  Something is wrong with this POS.
2018-5-13
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MAIRDA
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MAIRDA Posted at 2018-5-13 06:46
Has someone come up with a final answer to this problem?  I bought a Mavic Air because it is lighter and packs smaller than my Mavic Pro. I tested it in my back yard in Oregon twice and it worked fine, very responsive, etc.  Then I pack it for my first overseas travel with it (my Mavic Pro has traveled and flown in several countries and remote pacific islands).  I was in this ideal location, in an Island in south Brazil and the POS thing would not calibrate.  No, I was not close to a car, a watch, or anything.  I was on a beach, in the middle of it. Far from houses, cars, etc.  And it would simply not calibrate.  After trying many times I gave up.  Now I'm on another town, still in Brazil, and decided to try to calibrate it again. No success.  It has the lasted firmware.  Also, each time I connect it, it seems like it is connecting for the first time.  Something is wrong with this POS.

UPDATE:  I was never able to fly my Mavic Air in Brazil, due to the calibration problem (would never calibrate). Upon returning to the United States I decided to check things up before returning this POS to DJI. I turned the Mavic Air on, then the remote, then the phone app. On my phone app screen it read something like this:  your Mavic Air is on a different wi-fi setting from another country. Please try again later. Without doing anything the Mavic Air lights went from blinking green to blinking yellow and then back to green in less than 30 seconds.  Then it took off without needing to calibrate anything.  

IN OTHER WORDS: In my case it was not a calibration issue, it was a internet/wi-fi issue.  Whatever interfered with the phone created the problem when it communicated with the remote control and the Mavic Air. Anyone know what is this problem and what to do to prevent this from happening again when traveling abroad next?
2018-5-18
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arg_tigger
lvl.3
Flight distance : 153753 ft
Argentina
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MAIRDA Posted at 2018-5-18 06:49
UPDATE:  I was never able to fly my Mavic Air in Brazil, due to the calibration problem (would never calibrate). Upon returning to the United States I decided to check things up before returning this POS to DJI. I turned the Mavic Air on, then the remote, then the phone app. On my phone app screen it read something like this:  your Mavic Air is on a different wi-fi setting from another country. Please try again later. Without doing anything the Mavic Air lights went from blinking green to blinking yellow and then back to green in less than 30 seconds.  Then it took off without needing to calibrate anything.  

IN OTHER WORDS: In my case it was not a calibration issue, it was a internet/wi-fi issue.  Whatever interfered with the phone created the problem when it communicated with the remote control and the Mavic Air. Anyone know what is this problem and what to do to prevent this from happening again when traveling abroad next?

Interesting, bought my Mavic Air a month ago, flew it a at least 6 times in the US and had no issues with it and even calibrated the compass several times and each time worked on the first try.

Flew to my home country Argentina this past weekend and brought it with me and tried flying it already several times in different sports with no metals close by nor smart watches, even my iPhone on Airplane mode and every time I cannot fly it cause the compass won't calibrate. Every time the first step with the drone horizontally gives a green light but on the second step tried doing so with both the drone facing down and also vertically and it won't work. The compass screen on my app shows as the attached picture:

I'm not able to make it go lower than 700s doesn't matter where I stand.

Any clues on how to do a hard reset? thinking that because the location is far away from where I first flew it its making the Mavic Air go crazy, maybe because of being located on the south region of the world?

Any help from an engineer from DJI?!?!?!? can't believe no one has a solution for this yet.
2018-6-3
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SeanGalbraith
Second Officer
Flight distance : 213753 ft
Canada
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Since starting this thread, I have managed to fly a total of 1 time without requiring at least one compass calibration first.
2018-6-3
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GDL
First Officer
Flight distance : 1498789 ft
Hong Kong
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Looks like there is problem to calibrate compass on the south side of earth. I think DJI need to check and provide solutions.
2018-6-3
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Leoncio
lvl.1
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The same here I went to Moab Utah and I have the same problem with my Mavic Air. It is incredibly frustrating, I couldn't calibrate the drone. everything change since I updated to the latest firmware, Every time requires a compass calibration .
2018-6-3
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fans8e10d505
lvl.1

United States
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My Mavic pro will NOT calibrate.  Constant compass error.  This is new. I used to have no problem in the same area.  Now I get an almost constant compass error alert.  WTH is the problem?
2018-6-5
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fans8e10d505
lvl.1

United States
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Thinking the latest firmware has messed up the ability to calibrate correctly.  Very frustrating
2018-6-5
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bradzilla
First Officer
Flight distance : 40157 ft
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Canada
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Ive seen different videos on youtube on how to calibrate, one way says to rotate by holding the drone then turn 90 degrees and rotate it again, spinning your body in place. So essentially, you are "hand flying" the drone in circles around your body. The other way (which I have been using) is to turn the drone in place by walking around it, then again for the 90 degree turn. (walking around the drone while spinning it in place).  Maybe this might help you with calibrating.
2018-6-5
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SeanGalbraith
Second Officer
Flight distance : 213753 ft
Canada
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The problem isn't in how to calibrate (the on-screen instruction show what you describe pretty clearly). Its that every.single.damn.time.I.turn.the.Air.on it has to be re-calibrated. Including a minute after landing for a battery switch. And 9 times out of 10 the first time the calibration instructions are followed, it fails and multiple attempts need to be tried.
2018-6-5
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