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Russian roulette
580 27 2018-6-9
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AlansDronePics
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This is a place where drone users should make clear their feelings about poor drone or software reliability, to DJI.

I accept DJI are going through a rough patch and are doing their best to make things right. However, we operators are expected to be responsible for the safe flight of the drone.
That is fine with me EXCEPT, when the drone fails and causes loss or damage that we cannot control or be responsible for, because of defective software.
It is absurd to expect the problem to go away, just because the software is reinstalled. I appreciate some problems do get corrected that way, but then they come back.
I cannot rely on your product any more. Like other users, I spend more time testing and checking and reinstalling software than I do flying. Every device update, the firmware update, GO 4 update, all these will be tested by responsible users, before we can feel confident to fly safely. At the moment, both my Mavic Pro's are grounded.

Think of it this way. If the drone was a  car, the user would be responsible for safe operation, same as the drone. If the  car brakes fail due to a software fault, the manufacturer is responsible, not the driver. I believe the same rule must apply to DJI.
None of us want trouble, but if the drone flies off, due to a software fault, then kills someone, the legal stakes will be raised and a law suit will follow.
Please DJI, face up to your responsibility and make the software safe and reliable again.

2018-6-9
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Folkestone
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DJI do seem to like to use their paying customers as testers for their software. It is frustrating that a product that worked brilliantly is broken by an update to software especially when it has the potential to cause damage and injury when it goes wrong.
2018-6-9
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We all expect with electronic / technical products whether for fun, hobby, SOHO, business, etc; that we will have to do some amount of maintenance.
However, DJI's firmware and software problems have resulted in hours wasted trying to do maintenance, along with trying to resolve problems.

Like most people here, my off work time is not for doing DJI's work as alpha or beta tester.  DJI needs to realize our time does has value.  
Perhaps if DJI had to reimburse some here for their wasted hours messing around with DJI's firmware and software; DJI would quickly realize it was cheaper to provide reliable firmware and software.

All leave following for pondering.  How much is your personal time worth?  How much time have you wasted messing with DJI's firmware or software problems?  

Would that worth x time, been better spent in dollars on a different product?
2018-6-9
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Folkestone
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HedgeTrimmer Posted at 2018-6-9 10:00
We all expect with electronic / technical products whether for fun, hobby, SOHO, business, etc; that we will have to do some amount of maintenance.
However, DJI's firmware and software problems have resulted in hours wasted trying to do maintenance, along with trying to resolve problems.

The problem is the last part of your post. Who else do we buy from?

Autel which don't have much to offer. Parrot who have no collision sensors. Toys from companies that clone DJI products anyway?

Real competition would be good for the consumer and for DJI themselves as they'd have no choice but to step up their game. At the moment, that's sadly lacking.
2018-6-9
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HedgeTrimmer
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Folkestone Posted at 2018-6-9 10:07
The problem is the last part of your post. Who else do we buy from?

Autel which don't have much to offer. Parrot who have no collision sensors. Toys from companies that clone DJI products anyway?

No argument from me.  Perhaps some company will step up seeing people are willing to spend more to get reliable and stable software to go with quality Drone.
2018-6-9
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hallmark007
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Sometimes I find it strange that no matter what goes wrong with dji drones , that tech people are convinced it is a tech fault and can only be fixed by software/firmware.
While reading much around here, I see what are very evidently crashes and problems which having seen flight logs and opinions of others that these problems are a direct result of errors by the users, but with many users are convinced that bad software/ firmware caused crash, but logs show different.

We have also seen some who were convinced that firmware caused difficulties with their aircraft but seem to have found a practical solution for curing the problem, it seems firmware that is already embedded has somehow been fixed by various different methods none of which are software/ firmware based, this for one seems very strange.

While there is brand new technology in all of dji drones, it may have some problems, and when it does cause a problem we have seen dji honour warranty.
I have not seen any crashes with logs that show that new firmware was the cause of crash, while there are some with problems from well shall we say it could be a software or firmware problems, and for some of those guys who have been in touch with dji, they have been told that there will be a fix but with no indication of releas date.

Your correct it is the pilots responsibility if he takes off with a faulty drone and hits someone or damages property, and there are no exceptions once he takes off he can’t blame dji or anybody else, the only person that will be held responsible is the pilot and this has been ingrained in all aviation whether manned or unmanned.

While you title this Russian Roulette, the truth is the pilot should never take off if he knows there is a problem with his aircraft, and if he does he is clearly culpable.

So what can be done, 1/ if his aircraft is faulty he can and should return for one that works, or he can wait for firmware update.

I have read here where users are complaining that their aircraft has been affected by new firmware but they are Continuing to fly. You used the analogy about cars if the brakes fail it is on the manufacture and that is correct for cars. But it is not correct for SUA and for those who have their drones insured or have completed commercial flying course where you would be clearly told that the only person who can choose to fly is the pilot and if he chooses to fly then he is responsible for that flight.

2018-6-9
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B1houdini
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hallmark007 Posted at 2018-6-9 10:44
Sometimes I find it strange that no matter what goes wrong with dji drones , that tech people are convinced it is a tech fault and can only be fixed by software/firmware.
While reading much around here, I see what are very evidently crashes and problems which having seen flight logs and opinions of others that these problems are a direct result of errors by the users, but with many users are convinced that bad software/ firmware caused crash, but logs show different.

hallmark007 made some very good points.
It is our responsibility to fly with a safe Drone .

Right now I am grounded because I know I have a problem with the C1/C2 buttons not working after a POI. Does it cause the drone not to fly? NO! But there could be other problems affected by it so I am waiting for DJI to address it.
  I do believe that DJI has the responsibility to verify that their updates are tested to the upmost before releasing it. It is not that hard to take a drone out and run it through it's paces to see if it is good to release the update. An update for one drone should be tested on all, Spark, P4 Series, Mavic and I2  
2018-6-9
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Hummingbird.UAV
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Folkestone Posted at 2018-6-9 09:38
DJI do seem to like to use their paying customers as testers for their software. It is frustrating that a product that worked brilliantly is broken by an update to software especially when it has the potential to cause damage and injury when it goes wrong.

Back in the day when the Phantom 3 Pro came out DJI did have a Beta Test Program.  I was part of it for the P3P, P4 and early Mavic Pro.  I got DJI credits for finding and reporting bugs.  That program stopped during the early Mavic days.  DJI may have started a different beta test program but I was not invited to partake, maybe because I complained too much 'cause DJI would not pay out credits due.
My main takeaway was that you don't always have to upgrade.  I still fly my P4 and Mavic Pro using GO 3.1.5, the last version that supported these drones.  The drone firmware is of the same vintage.  I use GO4 with my newer drones but it also works with the old birds.  I'm very familiar with the "bugs" in the old birds and I know what to do when the strike, like flying the P4 FPV and the gimbal goes limp; stop, check altitude, switch to the map and use it to fly home.
2018-6-9
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hallmark007
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B1houdini Posted at 2018-6-9 11:14
hallmark007 made some very good points.
It is our responsibility to fly with a safe Drone .

I believe all drone are being continually beta tested, there are many beta programs available to all users, not to sure if there is one available on MavAir as of yet.
I would think the POI situation could be checked through moderators on whether it is safe to fly or not.
With every new FW/SW we see some problems, having flown dji drones for five years now, you first realise that technology is still very new, but has improved leaps and bounds particularly in the last 2 years , but I believe that small niggling problems will be par for the course for awhile.

After all we still see problems with all tech products phones tablets PC’s laptops, but difference is you won’t lose them from using them, but the risk whether tech problems or pilot problems will always be much greater when flying around the sky, but that is also the part that many get the buzz from.

Hope they sort POI soon.

Tip : you can point your aircraft at a point of interest in active track trace mode and using the roll stick whatever direction you need it will circle and record similar to POI .
2018-6-9
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B1houdini
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hallmark007 Posted at 2018-6-9 11:43
I believe all drone are being continually beta tested, there are many beta programs available to all users, not to sure if there is one available on MavAir as of yet.
I would think the POI situation could be checked through moderators on whether it is safe to fly or not.
With every new FW/SW we see some problems, having flown dji drones for five years now, you first realise that technology is still very new, but has improved leaps and bounds particularly in the last 2 years , but I believe that small niggling problems will be par for the course for awhile.

Great tip.
Never thought of that. Even though I have used Active track to circle people while they were moving.
2018-6-9
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Suren
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I agree with Hallmark on this guys, one cannot get behind the wheel of a car knowing that the brakes are faulty, lives will be lost similar why take the risk of flying your drone knowing that there is an issue with it that could cause harm to a person or even crash. We need to be responsible enough to make the sensible choice and if you make the wrong one live with the consequences.
2018-6-9
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AlansDronePics
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hallmark007 Posted at 2018-6-9 10:44
Sometimes I find it strange that no matter what goes wrong with dji drones , that tech people are convinced it is a tech fault and can only be fixed by software/firmware.
While reading much around here, I see what are very evidently crashes and problems which having seen flight logs and opinions of others that these problems are a direct result of errors by the users, but with many users are convinced that bad software/ firmware caused crash, but logs show different.

The error with you reasoning is that you can't know if the software is fixed or not, after you reinstall as instructed by DJI. Otherwise, I am in agreement with the point you are making.

I am not attempting to make a smart argument with you here, because you are right to say the pilot is responsible if he has issues and still flies. However, If DJI says reinstall or recalibrate, then that should be the reliable solution. Shouldn't it?
At some stage, the pilot must either accept it has been fixed, or never fly the drone again, even though he/she has applied the fix stipulated by DJI.
2018-6-9
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AlansDronePics
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B1houdini Posted at 2018-6-9 11:14
hallmark007 made some very good points.
It is our responsibility to fly with a safe Drone .

The issue that DJI cannot escape from is simply one of trust.
Your drone has a fault, so you correctly decide not to fly.
DJI say the software (firmware, Go 4....) should be reinstalled and you do that.

This is where they are responsible for the correct functioning of the drone. For clarity, I mean a drone that can now be flown properly without pilot errors. But the drone still crashes, or flies off, or fails to function as designed.
I trust you understand the difference. There is no reason for the pilot not to fly it if it is deemed fixed.
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AlansDronePics
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Hummingbird.UAV Posted at 2018-6-9 11:41
Back in the day when the Phantom 3 Pro came out DJI did have a Beta Test Program.  I was part of it for the P3P, P4 and early Mavic Pro.  I got DJI credits for finding and reporting bugs.  That program stopped during the early Mavic days.  DJI may have started a different beta test program but I was not invited to partake, maybe because I complained too much 'cause DJI would not pay out credits due.
My main takeaway was that you don't always have to upgrade.  I still fly my P4 and Mavic Pro using GO 3.1.5, the last version that supported these drones.  The drone firmware is of the same vintage.  I use GO4 with my newer drones but it also works with the old birds.  I'm very familiar with the "bugs" in the old birds and I know what to do when the strike, like flying the P4 FPV and the gimbal goes limp; stop, check altitude, switch to the map and use it to fly home.

I personally respect your choice to upgrade or not. That is not the point of this thread. However, if you decide not to upgrade, DJI would have a perfect way out of any claim, because the updates are there to remove discovered issues. Also to provide features, but that is also not the point of the thread.

Simply put, if DJI fix the drone, it should be fixed. Not as it is now, try this, try that and if it crashes (in the case of no pilot error I stress) then they should be responsible and make things right.
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B1houdini Posted at 2018-6-9 11:50
Great tip.
Never thought of that. Even though I have used Active track to circle people while they were moving.

I can confirm that active track on static objects works very nicely! And you definitely do not need to stay grounded because of the POI problem in my opinion.
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AlansDronePics
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hallmark007 Posted at 2018-6-9 11:43
I believe all drone are being continually beta tested, there are many beta programs available to all users, not to sure if there is one available on MavAir as of yet.
I would think the POI situation could be checked through moderators on whether it is safe to fly or not.
With every new FW/SW we see some problems, having flown dji drones for five years now, you first realise that technology is still very new, but has improved leaps and bounds particularly in the last 2 years , but I believe that small niggling problems will be par for the course for awhile.

If you have a software issue with your non drone tech, like computer, it isn't going to drop out of the sky, perhaps with disastrous or expensive consequences.
Most buyers of DJI drones have worked very hard to buy the device. Some are incompetent and crash, some are experienced and skilled and crash. If the failure was built into the drone by virtue of flaky software, DJI should man up and recompense those victims. If your non-lethal PC fails, (within warranty) you get  a free repair or replacement. The fact it never flew from the desk, into the sea or wild blue yonder shouldn't be a consideration, if you can provide the flight records.
2018-6-9
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davidmartingraf
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Well we can all certainly understand that.
2018-6-9
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AlansDronePics
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Suren Posted at 2018-6-9 11:51
I agree with Hallmark on this guys, one cannot get behind the wheel of a car knowing that the brakes are faulty, lives will be lost similar why take the risk of flying your drone knowing that there is an issue with it that could cause harm to a person or even crash. We need to be responsible enough to make the sensible choice and if you make the wrong one live with the consequences.

No one is suggesting you attempt to fly a drone with issues any more than getting behind the steering wheel of a car with defective brakes.
If DJI say the fix is to reinstall software then it should now be fixed. The same as the garage fixed the brakes and you now drive it. In both cases, a subsequent failure of the same cause as before must be the responsibility of DJI or garage, using the car analogy.
I hope no one is suggesting a drone can be permitted to be more unsafe than a car?
2018-6-9
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[quote]AlansDronePics Posted at 2018-6-9 13:09
If you have a software issue with your non drone tech, like computer, it isn't going to drop out of the sky, perhaps with disastrous or expensive consequences.
Most buyers of DJI drones have worked very hard to buy the device. Some are incompetent and crash, some are experienced and skilled and crash. If the failure was built into the drone by virtue of flaky software, DJI should man up and recompense those victims. If your non-lethal PC fails, (within warranty) you get  a free repair or replacement. The fact it never flew from the desk, into the sea or wild blue yonder shouldn't be a consideration, if you can provide the flight records.[/quote



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AlansDronePics Posted at 2018-6-9 13:02
I personally respect your choice to upgrade or not. That is not the point of this thread. However, if you decide not to upgrade, DJI would have a perfect way out of any claim, because the updates are there to remove discovered issues. Also to provide features, but that is also not the point of the thread.

Simply put, if DJI fix the drone, it should be fixed. Not as it is now, try this, try that and if it crashes (in the case of no pilot error I stress) then they should be responsible and make things right.

I agree and this is exactly the reason why DJI in very exceptional cases does not allow rollback to previous firmware versions as it has been the case with the .400 firmware update for the Mavic Air. I had seen the same happening for Spark at least once. And when this happens, it clearly indicates that DJI is confident to have fixed a serious flight safety related issue and therefore do not allow rollback. We might never learn what that issue was, but I for myself am happy to see that it has been addressed and certainly would not want to rollback. Plus, when DJI does this, the ball is clearly back in their court in terms of accountability.
Edit: But as hallmark007 very correctly points out here below, first of all the responsibility remains with me as pilot on every single flight I do.
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AlansDronePics Posted at 2018-6-9 12:48
The error with you reasoning is that you can't know if the software is fixed or not, after you reinstall as instructed by DJI. Otherwise, I am in agreement with the point you are making.

I am not attempting to make a smart argument with you here, because you are right to say the pilot is responsible if he has issues and still flies. However, If DJI says reinstall or recalibrate, then that should be the reliable solution. Shouldn't it?

If you decide to download FW/SW to your drone and then decide to fly causing damage to others, this is still your responsibility, once you choose to fly you are responsible and should do everything possible to protect people and property, if you crash and injure some person, that persons gripe will be with you not dji, they will sue you not dji, if you choose to sue dji for faulty Aircraft then that’s up to you.

I’ll give you an example, I fly commercially surveying wind turbines, I have a contract with the company who owns the wind turbines, part of my contract will include safety and various checks I supply to guarantee safety to both their property and their staff.

This will include me providing checks both preflight checks site checks and safety equipment I need to carry ou my work as safe as possible, I will give them a copy of my safety checks along with signed contract.
If for some reason I crash and damage their property I will be entirely responsible for this damage even if I have a drone hardware malfunction software malfunction because dji supplied me with faulty FW. But if this is the case then I now have a gripe with dji and I can try to sue them for a faulty drone crash caused by bogus FW, and it is the very same for all pilots they are responsible for flying their aircraft not dji.

If you have real concern regarding bogus FW/SW then it is very easy to test new FW/SW in a safe envoirment there is no harm in doing this and I believe a lot of pilots test new FW all the time.

With my commercial flying now we use DJI PILOT APP it is a very basic app with everything stripped back no bells and whistles and complete data privacy which both protects me and our customers, but checking app is part of our preflight checklist.
2018-6-9
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hallmark007 Posted at 2018-6-9 13:32
[quote]AlansDronePics Posted at 2018-6-9 13:09
If you have a software issue with your non drone tech, like computer, it isn't going to drop out of the sky, perhaps with disastrous or expensive consequences.
Most buyers of DJI drones have worked very hard to buy the device. Some are incompetent and crash, some are experienced and skilled and crash. If the failure was built into the drone by virtue of flaky software, DJI should man up and recompense those victims. If your non-lethal PC fails, (within warranty) you get  a free repair or replacement. The fact it never flew from the desk, into the sea or wild blue yonder shouldn't be a consideration, if you can provide the flight records.[/quote

While you say this and logic may tell you this is right, it’s just not how things work, it’s very similar to sailing Captain is the only person who can make decision to sail and once he does this he is fully responsible for both his crew and passengers safety with no exceptions.
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AlansDronePics
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hallmark007 Posted at 2018-6-9 13:58
While you say this and logic may tell you this is right, it’s just not how things work, it’s very similar to sailing Captain is the only person who can make decision to sail and once he does this he is fully responsible for both his crew and passengers safety with no exceptions.

Untrue!
Zenobia, a RORO ferry, brand new sailed into Larnaca harbour. the vessel developed stability issues because of faulty software.
The ferry left for deeper water and sank just outside.
The captain had made no mistakes, even though he chose to sail the ship. He was not held responsible in any way.
Your choice of example. the proof is there for all to see.
If the drone software is deemed to be fixed by whatever DJI suggest, or do themselves, and no pilot error is involved, DJI are ultimately responsible. I accept the pilot may be the first in line in the blame game and will have to counter claim. But that is the reality.
2018-6-12
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hallmark007
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Again you don’t seem to understand, if the captain noticed a problem and does something about it , that is the correct thing to do, if the captain new before he sailed there was a problem and done nothing about it, then it would be fully down to him.

I believe you are showing no logic here, as someone who is a commercial pilot I’m well aware of my position regarding the law and the protection of people and property.
I have to present a risk assessment before every commercial flight, if I was to put in my assessment that all blame for failure of app and firmware should be taken up with dji, neither I nor any other commercial pilot would get off the ground, and we would be the laughing stock that we deserve.

So the captain of the ship Zenobia noticed there was a computer problem, he sailed to Larnaca correct decision, he done nothing wrong and everything right. That one is simple.
2018-6-12
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AlansDronePics
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hallmark007 Posted at 2018-6-12 14:06
Again you don’t seem to understand, if the captain noticed a problem and does something about it , that is the correct thing to do, if the captain new before he sailed there was a problem and done nothing about it, then it would be fully down to him.

I believe you are showing no logic here, as someone who is a commercial pilot I’m well aware of my position regarding the law and the protection of people and property.

Read your own post. I only replied to it.
2018-6-12
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AlansDronePics Posted at 2018-6-12 14:18
Read your own post. I only replied to it.

Well why the need to bring up the whole ship thing up, and in my post I clearly said the captain of the ship is both fully responsible for his crew and passengers, and in your example that’s what he did. But for some reason you said in you opening line UNTRUE , so explain what I said was untrue ?
2018-6-12
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AlansDronePics
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YOU SAID in post #22 "Captain is the only person who can make decision to sail and once he does this he is fully responsible for both his crew and passengers safety with no exceptions."

The exception is when the Captain could not have known of the fault. I.e. Zenobia example. Therefore what you said was untrue. Either you are correct or incorrect, true or untrue (false).

****ALSO****

YOU SAID in post #26 "Well why the need to bring up the whole ship thing up"
YOU SAID in post #22 "Captain is the only person who can make decision to sail and once he does this he is fully responsible for both his crew and passengers safety with no exceptions." Is that not ship related? You were the first to bring sailing into the discussion (#22), I replied (#23)  giving a specific case on the same theme that anyone else can check. A provable fact not the unsubstantiated and incomplete statement you suggest, to bolster your point.

2018-6-13
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halmark007 wrote " So what can be done, 1/ if his aircraft is faulty he can and should return for one that works, or he can wait for firmware update."  

I have a problem with the second part of this. I paid a lot of money for a drone I want to fly. I shouldn't have to wait for a firmware update. It should have been good from the start. I have had very few problems until this new firmware v01.00.0400 . Since I can't and won't fly my Mavic now I am mad. DJI shouldn't put firmware out until it is tested by them. If they aren't going to make sure it works don't make it so we have to update to be able to fly. We shouldn't be their testers.
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