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Flying the Spark in Fog
1320 23 2018-3-24
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Hawkeye55
lvl.1
Flight distance : 13110 ft
United States
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I wanted to share my experince attempting to fly my Spark in the fog.  We are in NC mountains in heavy snow.  The snow quit and if was very very foggy.  I didn't give it much thought.  It was a bad experience.  On the first attempt I took it up about 50 ft..  It acted strangly and was not consistently responding to the remote.  I got a bottom sensor failure warning.  I was able to land it although it acted strangely.   I was not smart enough to stop so I restarted everything and tried again.  The second flight was worse.  It went up and started basically going crazy.  I tried to bring it in.  I was clearly not in control.  It landed on the gable porch roof in a light crash fashion and the props overload and it quit.  It was in about 5 inches of snow.  I went out a window to retrieve it and lost my footing and was saved when my foot caught the gutter about 2 ft. below me.  If not for the gutter, I would have fallen about 8 ft.  
I learned two lessons.  Don't fly this thing in fog as it is clearly not designed for such.  Don't go out on a snowy roof for the #$$@ thing, get the broom!!

Seriously, the fog made the Spark behave very strangely.  Hope to save someone else here from making this mistake.

Hawk

2018-3-24
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flydav
lvl.4
Flight distance : 184226 ft
Italy
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I believe it's a well known issue, fog and clouds trigger the proximity sensor and the spark thinks it should land on those.
2018-3-24
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flydav
lvl.4
Flight distance : 184226 ft
Italy
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I believe it's a well known issue, fog and clouds trigger the proximity sensor and the spark thinks it should land on those things.
I'm fairly new on drones and this forum as well and I'm trying to read as much as possible here to avoid doing stuff I shouldnt do with my spark. I suggest you do the same it could have saved you the time and struggle of this bad experience you just had.

P.S Why do I have only 2 minutes to edit a post?!?!?
2018-3-24
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marlowe
Second Officer
Flight distance : 300932 ft
United States
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Try reading the manual - p. 46: "Do not use the aircraft in...fog."
2018-3-24
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Hawkeye55
lvl.1
Flight distance : 13110 ft
United States
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marlowe Posted at 2018-3-24 16:31
Try reading the manual - p. 46: "Do not use the aircraft in...fog."

Truthfully, the paperwork that came with the drone was tiny and not well written unless I missed something.  I have learned by reading here and some great youtube videos.  No argument with your advice though.  It's actually the first mistake I have made with it.  I have been very cautious.   
Thank you
2018-3-24
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EMTDad
lvl.4
Flight distance : 247933 ft
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I had the same issue up here in Cleveland, except I was flying it in snow.  (Obviously I know that this is not recommended, but felt it would be a good video).  The bottom sensor was acting up... But the forward facing collision sensor went NUTS!.  I had to disable the obstacle avoidance system in order to get any control over it.
2018-3-24
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The Bash's
Second Officer

United States
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Hey if there wasn't any trial, there wouldn't be any error, you know for us to learn off of... I downloaded the manual then I found this thread https://forum.dji.com/thread-118 ... b7938&pm=custom ... Doesn't mean curiosity won't get me to fly in tricky weather.   
2018-3-24
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Rustic17
Captain
Flight distance : 641755 ft
United States
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Hawkeye55 Posted at 2018-3-24 17:51
Truthfully, the paperwork that came with the drone was tiny and not well written unless I missed something.  I have learned by reading here and some great youtube videos.  No argument with your advice though.  It's actually the first mistake I have made with it.  I have been very cautious.   
Thank you

You can easily download the manual from the DJI Spark downloads section.
2018-3-24
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marlowe
Second Officer
Flight distance : 300932 ft
United States
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Hawkeye55 Posted at 2018-3-24 17:51
Truthfully, the paperwork that came with the drone was tiny and not well written unless I missed something.  I have learned by reading here and some great youtube videos.  No argument with your advice though.  It's actually the first mistake I have made with it.  I have been very cautious.   
Thank you

Yes - you missed a lot. This is not entirely your fault. If DJI is not going to include the user's manual with the product they should at least provide a "start-up" sheet with a link to where you can download it and a statement to "read this first!"

That said -- this is a complex product and the lengthy manual is not an easy read (actually it is too short). It (the English version) could be much better written. I doubt that most people who read thru how RTH works fully understand it.

A lot of the important things you will find on you tube videos should be in the manual.
2018-3-24
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Gunship9
Captain
United States
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I have heard rumors that flying operations and flying safely is complicated.  Lots for a pilot to learn and read.  No cliff notes to learn it all so one has to read a lot.  On the plus side with drones, remotely piloting aircraft allows pilots to learn by trial and error if they are so inclined.  I landed quickly when my lower sensors started complaining about the light fog in the area.  Live and learn.
2018-3-24
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Gunship9
Captain
United States
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flydav Posted at 2018-3-24 16:03
I believe it's a well known issue, fog and clouds trigger the proximity sensor and the spark thinks it should land on those things.
I'm fairly new on drones and this forum as well and I'm trying to read as much as possible here to avoid doing stuff I shouldnt do with my spark. I suggest you do the same it could have saved you the time and struggle of this bad experience you just had.

Only two minutes to edit a post because you are lvl.1

Higher levels can edit more freely.  I think I am supreme commander level now days.
2018-3-24
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Flighty
Captain
Flight distance : 1911181 ft
Croatia
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I flew my Spark in Fog with disastrous results, then read the manual referring to flying in weather conditions,, (Fog),,, now I am very cautious and read the manual quite a lot..
2018-3-25
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KurtVD
Second Officer
Flight distance : 365299 ft
Switzerland
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Gunship9 Posted at 2018-3-24 20:08
I have heard rumors that flying operations and flying safely is complicated.  Lots for a pilot to learn and read.  No cliff notes to learn it all so one has to read a lot.  On the plus side with drones, remotely piloting aircraft allows pilots to learn by trial and error if they are so inclined.  I landed quickly when my lower sensors started complaining about the light fog in the area.  Live and learn.

What do you mean “you heard rumors “? We own one ourselves, why should we rely on rumors?

The DJI drones are objectively some of the easiest drones available today (with that much functionality), someone who’s never flown an RC aircraft before, can buy a Spark and will be able to film aerial videos within an hour after unboxing. Plus it’s quite rugged and can easily survive a crash if you’re not too unlucky.

But this also incites people to take unnecessary risks, just because it’s so easy to control and flies so well. Most crashes happen in these situations, I think.
2018-3-25
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Gunship9
Captain
United States
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KurtVD Posted at 2018-3-25 10:09
What do you mean “you heard rumors “? We own one ourselves, why should we rely on rumors?

The DJI drones are objectively some of the easiest drones available today (with that much functionality), someone who’s never flown an RC aircraft before, can buy a Spark and will be able to film aerial videos within an hour after unboxing. Plus it’s quite rugged and can easily survive a crash if you’re not too unlucky.

"The DJI drones are objectively some of the easiest drones available today (with that much functionality), someone who’s never flown an RC aircraft before, can buy a Spark and will be able to film aerial videos within an hour after unboxing."

Sometimes they can and sometimes "My drone flew away" is posted to the forums.  Continuous successful missions require knowledge about flying and flight safety.  People arguing about reading manuals.  

My theory is the autopilot flies it so well.  They don't.  So as soon as the autopilot is offline or has issues, the crying starts.

2018-3-25
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Jerpie
lvl.4
Flight distance : 191211 ft
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marlowe Posted at 2018-3-24 16:31
Try reading the manual - p. 46: "Do not use the aircraft in...fog."

You made me laugh.
2018-3-25
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marlowe
Second Officer
Flight distance : 300932 ft
United States
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That was my intent. Since both the pilot and the Spark seemed to have survived the ordeal, I thought a bit of humor was in order.
2018-3-25
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KlooGee
Captain
Flight distance : 10174879 ft
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United States
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Thanks for sharing your story.  Hopefully someone else sees this and learns from it so they don't have to fall off of their roof retrieving it.  We've all had to learn something the hard way at many points.  As long as nobody gets hurt or arrested in the process, we can have a good laugh at it later.  Cheers!

p.s. Definitely download the manual from DJI's website:   https://www.dji.com/spark/info#downloads
2018-3-25
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DJI Elektra
Administrator
Hong Kong
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Thanks for sharing your story and reminding other users. Please read our user manual carefully and it includes the things that have a bad influence on VPS.
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2018-3-25
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MJLSTUDIOS
First Officer
Flight distance : 1540131 ft
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United States
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You didn't turn on the fog lights!?
2018-3-26
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flydav
lvl.4
Flight distance : 184226 ft
Italy
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Gunship9 Posted at 2018-3-24 20:10
Only two minutes to edit a post because you are lvl.1

Higher levels can edit more freely.  I think I am supreme commander level now days.

Oh thanks for letting me know... I can't believe it! Ive never had such limitation on any forum I've ever been in the last 20 yrs!!! Honestly I can't understand why one would limit the time a user has to edit his post and then doing it according to his level?! There is always the first time I guess!
2018-3-26
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m1n1s
Second Officer
Flight distance : 319915 ft
United Kingdom
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i had a spot of bother just before xmas when flying on a cloudy day near the cliff edge , the spark got stuck in some light cloud which wasn't visable from where i was stood and tried to land and did some crazy stuff.

when i watched the video back from the sd card later i could see the spark fly into the cloud.

sports mode saved the day and 70% battery left

Sparky no.3 got lucky.........
2018-3-26
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Viking-Pilot
Captain
Flight distance : 2379249 ft
Spain
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Lucky it all ended better than it could have...
2018-3-27
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A CW
Captain
Flight distance : 11526437 ft
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United Kingdom
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Always best to keep you drone away from any form of moisture - including fog!
2018-3-27
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Kerky
lvl.2
Flight distance : 28655 ft
Spain
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Hawkeye55 Posted at 2018-3-24 17:51
Truthfully, the paperwork that came with the drone was tiny and not well written unless I missed something.  I have learned by reading here and some great youtube videos.  No argument with your advice though.  It's actually the first mistake I have made with it.  I have been very cautious.   
Thank you

Tiny, I agree, I downloaded them off the internet and did some reading even before I held the Spark in my hands. But it is quite well written in my opinion, way beyond the usual chinese manual translations.
2018-3-27
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