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"maximum altitude reached" -> crash
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1305 52 2018-5-22
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djiuser_8j5mINicgV31
lvl.2
Flight distance : 38730 ft
Sweden
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I received my Mavic Air a little over a week ago, and it has been a lovely drone to fly so far. I have no complaints about packaging, delivery, or initial setup - it has been a great experience from the beginning. Great work, DJI!

But then, today came the day that put all that to a halt. The drone crashed into a tree, lost a landing gear, took multiple instances of chassi damage, and probably has internal damage as well. Now, I have to go through the RMI process, and I have no idea what will happen.

I am very saddened and disappointed by this and have gone over the scenario multiple times. What I do know is that this was not a pilot error. The whole sequence was as follows:

1. Choose an open location in a park as takeoff and home spot.
2. Liftoff
3. Bring drone to about 4-5m height
4. Start moving around slowly (no sport mode, no auto features, etc)
5. Suddenly, drone starts giving warnings about "maximum flight altitude reached", despite being at 5m. Maximum height is 500, and I have without issue brought the drone up to 80+m just a few days back.
6. Drone starts moving backwards at a about 1m/s
7. Drone stops responding to stick controls - I push forward (the drone is facing me), nothing happens
8. Drone drifts towards a nearby tree
9. I am still trying to get it to move in opposite direction, it remains unresponsive. There is no indication that connection has been lost.
10. Drone reaches critical range of tree, and at this point the obstactle avoidance system should be kicking in (the sensors are facing the tree directly).
11. Sensors do not kick in, there is no obstacle warning. If they do work, they neither stop the drone or initiate obstacle avoidance - drone keeps drifting.
12. Drone drifts into treee foliage, carnage ensues, it falls to the ground. Rear-left arm takes the bulk of the blow, landing gear comes off.

I am wondering if anyone else has had something similar happen to them, and how you dealt with the service afterwards? To me, this is a clear case of multiple software failures in the drone itself - both the loss of control and the failure to avoid a clear obstacle. As such, I believe it should fall under warranty. Yes, I realise in retrospect that I could have tried to force land the drone, but everything unfolded very quickly, I paniced, and did not consider it at the time. I do hope DJI will it the same way.

Thank you very much for any and all feedback!
2018-5-22
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csvan
lvl.2
Flight distance : 38730 ft
Sweden
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Noticed multiple typos and grammatical errors on the second read, apologies for that. This happened very recently and I am still shook up about it.
2018-5-22
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Wachtberger
Captain
Flight distance : 261509 ft
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Very sorry to hear about your crash. If you wish so, you may upload your flightrecord to this site and share the link: http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/Upload/
Some experienced pilots here might be able to interpret it and explain what might have happened.
In any case you should open a formal support case with DJI: https://www.dji.com/support
2018-5-22
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SparksBird
Captain
Flight distance : 10693363 ft
United States
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You need to upload your flight record here  http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/Upload/

Then some should be able to look it over and help determine what happened in detail.
EDIT: looks like Wachtberger beat me to it by a few seconds
2018-5-22
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Landbo
First Officer
Flight distance : 502792 ft
Denmark
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Sorry for your accident. I am very sure there are many who would like to see your flight log uploded here: http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/upload/

Inset afterwards a link in your next post.

Regards Leif.
2018-5-22
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rafkt
lvl.3
Flight distance : 543077 ft
Greece
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Can you upload your flight record here: http://www.phantomhelp.com/logviewer/Upload/ so we can review it and help you?
2018-5-22
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Woe
Captain
Flight distance : 4129268 ft
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Sorry you crashed, hope it all works out for you .
2018-5-22
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csvan
lvl.2
Flight distance : 38730 ft
Sweden
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Thanks for the responses everyone! As requested, here is the flight log:

http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/HKCEEDKZCW53C34QYSTI/
2018-5-22
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IronDrone
lvl.3
Flight distance : 75620 ft
United States
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csvan Posted at 2018-5-22 12:50
Thanks for the responses everyone! As requested, here is the flight log:

http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/HKCEEDKZCW53C34QYSTI/

Probably not a good idea to take off with zero satellites.  Most would recommend 12.
2018-5-22
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csvan
lvl.2
Flight distance : 38730 ft
Sweden
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IronDrone Posted at 2018-5-22 12:58
Probably not a good idea to take off with zero satellites.  Most would recommend 12.

I agree, but I do not believe that explains why the drone stopped responding to controls, or why the sensors failed to stop if from crashing into a tree it was approaching slowly at a direct angle. They have stopped it well out of range of trees before, so I am confident that they work otherwise.
2018-5-22
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Wachtberger
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Flight distance : 261509 ft
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csvan Posted at 2018-5-22 12:50
Thanks for the responses everyone! As requested, here is the flight log:

http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/HKCEEDKZCW53C34QYSTI/

Yes, this is what I somehow suspected. You have had no satellite link at take off and should have seen this in GO 4. Thus you took off in ATTI mode which requires some experience to control the aircraft in that condition. Sorry to contradict you, but this was a very obvious pilot error. Never take off with less than 11 satellites (better more).
Nevertheless you should open your support case with DJI to be sure that there was no additional malfunction.

2018-5-22
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IronDrone
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United States
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csvan Posted at 2018-5-22 13:05
I agree, but I do not believe that explains why the drone stopped responding to controls, or why the sensors failed to stop if from crashing into a tree it was approaching slowly at a direct angle. They have stopped it well out of range of trees before, so I am confident that they work otherwise.

Can't answer about the controls not responding but it went into ATTI mode and I believe the sensors are de-activated in ATTI mode.
2018-5-22
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SparksBird
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Flight distance : 10693363 ft
United States
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csvan Posted at 2018-5-22 13:05
I agree, but I do not believe that explains why the drone stopped responding to controls, or why the sensors failed to stop if from crashing into a tree it was approaching slowly at a direct angle. They have stopped it well out of range of trees before, so I am confident that they work otherwise.

Regardless though taking off with 0 satellites DJI most likely will not offer warranty.  In ATTI mode the drone is going to drift.  Because it has no info on its location is most likely why you got maximum height reached.  Once it thinks its max height is reached it will not allow you to ascend.  The drifting again is due to 0 satellites.  This will not be covered sorry to say as the drifting and crash was due to 0 satellites.  
2018-5-22
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csvan
lvl.2
Flight distance : 38730 ft
Sweden
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Wachtberger Posted at 2018-5-22 13:06
Yes, this is what I somehow suspected. You have had no satellite link at take off and should have seen this in GO 4. Thus you took off in ATTI mode which requires some experience to control the aircraft in that condition. Sorry to contradict you, but this was a very obvious pilot error. Never take off with less than 11 satellites (better more).Nevertheless you should open your support case with DJI to be sure that there was no additional malfunction.

I see, yes that was a clear oversight on my part. Does that explain the lack of response to controls however? I was pushing the forward stick to the max, and drone kept drifting backwards.
2018-5-22
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csvan
lvl.2
Flight distance : 38730 ft
Sweden
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SparksBird Posted at 2018-5-22 13:11
Regardless though taking off with 0 satellites DJI most likely will not offer warranty.  In ATTI mode the drone is going to drift.  Because it has no info on its location is most likely why you got maximum height reached.  Once it thinks its max height is reached it will not allow you to ascend.  The drifting again is due to 0 satellites.  This will not be covered sorry to say as the drifting and crash was due to 0 satellites.

Right, I see that now, but does that also explain why it did not respond to controls?
2018-5-22
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Wachtberger
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Flight distance : 261509 ft
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csvan Posted at 2018-5-22 13:05
I agree, but I do not believe that explains why the drone stopped responding to controls, or why the sensors failed to stop if from crashing into a tree it was approaching slowly at a direct angle. They have stopped it well out of range of trees before, so I am confident that they work otherwise.

You believe it was not responding to controls, but in ATTI mode only 100% stick movements will help you. And if there was wind, you might even need to add sport mode to get any control over the aircraft.
2018-5-22
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M2Wair
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Sorry to read this and I too hope it is resolved quickly and you are back flying in due course. Sadly it is due to pilot error and a crash you will have to chalk down to experience, never take off until you hear 'your home point has been recorded, please check it on the map'
2018-5-22
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Wachtberger
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Flight distance : 261509 ft
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csvan Posted at 2018-5-22 13:14
Right, I see that now, but does that also explain why it did not respond to controls?

See my latest response to that here above. And do not hesitate to open your support case! DJI has much more analytical possibilities and will explain to you what has happened and accept warranty in case there has been any malfuction.
2018-5-22
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csvan
lvl.2
Flight distance : 38730 ft
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Wachtberger Posted at 2018-5-22 13:20
See my latest response to that here above. And do not hesitate to open your support case! DJI has much more analytical possibilities and will explain to you what has happened and accept warranty in case there has been any malfuction.

I see, thank you so much for the help!
2018-5-22
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Wachtberger
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csvan Posted at 2018-5-22 13:22
I see, thank you so much for the help!

You are very welcome, we always try to help each other here. That's what forums are made for.
2018-5-22
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HedgeTrimmer
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United States
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Wachtberger Posted at 2018-5-22 13:15
You believe it was not responding to controls, but in ATTI mode only 100% stick movements will help you. And if there was wind, you might even need to add sport mode to get any control over the aircraft.

I guess I never realized it took a 100% stick movements in ATTI mode to get drone to do whatever pilot was commanding it to do.

One time, I thought my MPP went briefly in to ATTI mode, it seemed like controls were very sensitive.  Now I am wondering what bloody mode it was in?

Sure wasn't Sport mode.  Cause to me, in Sport mode, MPP does fly twice as fast, but it maneuvers like drone weights four times as much.
2018-5-22
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HedgeTrimmer
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IronDrone Posted at 2018-5-22 12:58
Probably not a good idea to take off with zero satellites.  Most would recommend 12.

I was thinking along lines of - if drone can't determine its location, thus preventing you from setting Home Position via GPS; then you don't take off.
2018-5-22
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DJI Diana
Administrator
Flight distance : 2408 ft

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Hi, I'm sorry to hear about the accident. Please contact our support to start a case and send it in for diagnosis: https://www.dji.com/support. If the drone is still in warranty period, the local team will arrange data analysis after they received the package. Thanks!
2018-5-22
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Jim_Ball
lvl.4
Flight distance : 49754 ft
Australia
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IronDrone Posted at 2018-5-22 13:07
Can't answer about the controls not responding but it went into ATTI mode and I believe the sensors are de-activated in ATTI mode.

It is incorrect. I did  indoor flying tests of my MA  with the ATTI mode many times (with less than 3 satellites). All obstacle avoidance sensors worked well (front, back and downwards).  
2018-5-22
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Jim_Ball
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Flight distance : 49754 ft
Australia
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Wachtberger Posted at 2018-5-22 13:15
You believe it was not responding to controls, but in ATTI mode only 100% stick movements will help you. And if there was wind, you might even need to add sport mode to get any control over the aircraft.

I did in-door flying tests in ATTI mode many times (yes, I have a  big almost empty room).  My experience was that the MA was as sensitive to stick movements as in the P-mode.
2018-5-22
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Jim_Ball
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Australia
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IronDrone Posted at 2018-5-22 13:07
Can't answer about the controls not responding but it went into ATTI mode and I believe the sensors are de-activated in ATTI mode.

"I believe the sensors are de-activated in ATTI mode".

Incorrect. I did a number of indoor flying tests in ATTI mode. All obstacle avoidance sensors (front, back, downwards) worked perfectly. The MA automatically stopped when it was 1-2 metres away from the obstacles. Also the drone was very reponsive in the ATTI mode.

Furthermore, if you look at the log, you will see that the drone was in P-GPS mode during the first 13 sec. It switched to the ATTI mode in the last 0.2 sec.

It may not be wise to take off with no satellites. But this should not be the reason for the crash. (It would have been the cause, if the drone had run away and not returned home.)

It seems that something was wrong with the drone as it was not responding to the controller. I think it is way too quick to jump on to the conclusion of "pilot's error"!


2018-5-22
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csvanefalk
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Flight distance : 38730 ft
Sweden
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Jim_Ball Posted at 2018-5-22 19:38
"I believe the sensors are de-activated in ATTI mode".

Incorrect. I did a number of indoor flying tests in ATTI mode. All obstacle avoidance sensors (front, back, downwards) worked perfectly. The MA automatically stopped when it was 1-2 metres away from the obstacles. Also the drone was very reponsive in the ATTI mode.

Thanks for the input! The drone arrived at the DJI Netherlands HQ last week and is currently in "Conducting Damage Assessment", I am looking forward to seeing what the outcome will be.
2018-6-5
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csvanefalk
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DJI Diana Posted at 2018-5-22 18:38
Hi, I'm sorry to hear about the accident. Please contact our support to start a case and send it in for diagnosis: https://www.dji.com/support. If the drone is still in warranty period, the local team will arrange data analysis after they received the package. Thanks!

Hi Diana, thanks for actively helping customers here! My case is CAS-1794646-K1Z7N4, I hope everything will go well
2018-6-5
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QuadKid
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csvanefalk Posted at 2018-6-5 11:40
Hi Diana, thanks for actively helping customers here! My case is CAS-1794646-K1Z7N4, I hope everything will go well

First let me say sorry for your crash. Took a look at your log, I have to agree with most of the above replies, you had virtually no GPS and the flight was loaded with GPS/VPS errors. Took off with no home point recorded and in Atti mode. As far as the controls go, the RC & AC were reacting to your input(s) but without having any initial reference it probably didn't know where it was in the sky and didn't know how to handle the input(s).



2018-6-5
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hallmark007
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Jim_Ball Posted at 2018-5-22 19:38
"I believe the sensors are de-activated in ATTI mode".

Incorrect. I did a number of indoor flying tests in ATTI mode. All obstacle avoidance sensors (front, back, downwards) worked perfectly. The MA automatically stopped when it was 1-2 metres away from the obstacles. Also the drone was very reponsive in the ATTI mode.

I believe you were in opti mode, there is OA in Atti mode.
2018-6-5
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hallmark007
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Hi first sorry you lost your drone. As others have said you were in Atti mode and to get response you need positive stick movements, max height for weak gps/Atti mode 5 metres, correct response was 100% down on left stick to land.
Hopefully your Mavic Air will get repaired soon and won’t cost to much.
Good luck.
2018-6-5
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A CW
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Sorry to read about your crash. Hope you get it fixed soon enough but indeed, this was pilot error. You must wait for a home point to be created on the map and GPS/GLONASS satellites to be received - 11 or more is deemed the minimum prior to even arming the motors. Without a GPS lock the drone went into ATTI mode. I have copied the following from the DJI manual FYI regarding how the drone reacts when in attitude mode. I suggest you read the manual thoroughly before flying the replacement.

2018-6-5
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Wachtberger
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Please keep us briefed about the result of the DJI analysis.
2018-6-5
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AlansDronePics
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Just a point I was curious about.
Once the drone was taking off and flying, albeit erratically, does the flight log or replaying the flight on the phone show satellites increasing in number, at all.
If, say 10 or 20 seconds went by, other satellites must have been detected and added. If not, is this an indication that the GPS unit was actually faulty?

Note, I am not commenting on pilot shortcomings, I am  suggesting the records be examined further to check if the GPS was working.
2018-6-5
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Wachtberger
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AlansDronePics Posted at 2018-6-5 13:12
Just a point I was curious about.
Once the drone was taking off and flying, albeit erratically, does the flight log or replaying the flight on the phone show satellites increasing in number, at all.
If, say 10 or 20 seconds went by, other satellites must have been detected and added. If not, is this an indication that the GPS unit was actually faulty?

The crash occurred 0m 13.2s after take off with zero satellites. No way of getting a stable satellite link within such a limited timeframe. This take off was clearly a ''Systems not ready to go''.
2018-6-5
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hallmark007
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AlansDronePics Posted at 2018-6-5 13:12
Just a point I was curious about.
Once the drone was taking off and flying, albeit erratically, does the flight log or replaying the flight on the phone show satellites increasing in number, at all.
If, say 10 or 20 seconds went by, other satellites must have been detected and added. If not, is this an indication that the GPS unit was actually faulty?


If aircraft is under cover of trees for instance , there is no guarantee that it would gain gps, it had zero satellites at take off it had 4 when crashed. It’s my guess that Aircraft was surrounded by trees and there wasn’t much light , this might also account for no OPTI mode and no VPs .
2018-6-5
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csvanefalk
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hallmark007 Posted at 2018-6-5 13:40
If aircraft is under cover of trees for instance , there is no guarantee that it would gain gps, it had zero satellites at take off it had 4 when crashed. It’s my guess that Aircraft was surrounded by trees and there wasn’t much light , this might also account for no OPTI mode and no VPs .

This was in an open space in broad daylight. There were a handful of scattered trees around. That the aircraft managed to drift into one of them was sheer bad luck - it might as well have started drifting into the open.
2018-6-5
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djiuser_pjJE8TD7uOn1
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Flight distance : 44698 ft
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Hi everyone. Last saturday I had the same situation. No control after 10-15 sec after start. Aircraft has switched itself into sport mode. I tried to land but crashed against the wall. I could have hurt someone. It was scary.
Link to the flight
2018-6-6
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QuadKid
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djiuser_pjJE8TD7uOn1 Posted at 2018-6-6 01:35
Hi everyone. Last saturday I had the same situation. No control after 10-15 sec after start. Aircraft has switched itself into sport mode. I tried to land but crashed against the wall. I could have hurt someone. It was scary.
Link to the flight
https://youtu.be/EoVdu_D-l9Q

Can you upload your flight log for this flight here  http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/Upload/  follow the instructions and post the link to the log back here, maybe we can take a look to see what happened.
2018-6-6
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djiuser_pjJE8TD7uOn1
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Poland
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QuadKid Posted at 2018-6-6 02:00
Can you upload your flight log for this flight here  http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/Upload/  follow the instructions and post the link to the log back here, maybe we can take a look to see what happened.

I also had "Weak GPS signal" but on display "Ready to go". Like you see on video first 10-15 sec was stable, after that MA goes crazy. I try put the log.
2018-6-6
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