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Brand New Mavic Air Lost Due To Battery Failure Mid-flight
1865 39 2018-9-28
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Nordium
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I recently purchased the DJI Mavic Air drone with the Fly More Combo, and within 48 hours of it arriving in the mail, it's already been lost. I flew out around 11,000 feet away (2 miles) with 70% battery left (takeoff at 100%), and then all of a sudden it gave me a warning message saying that the drone was critically low on battery and that it was landing. I traveled 7,000 feet back towards my takeoff point while gaining altitude to stop the auto landing; however at 4,000 feet away, it would no longer let me override the auto landing (the drone had 40% battery left at this time). The drone lost signal and landed in some dense trees. I still have not located it (even with the help of Find My Drone. The area in which it landed is so dense that I can't get around all of the ivy and steep incline to look around).  There was no reason for the drone to auto land at 70%, as I could've EASILY made it back from the distance I was out from my takeoff point with the remaining battery. Either I received a faulty battery or a faulty unit; and I'm awaiting a response from DJI on if my drone will be replaced or refunded under warranty.Please keep in mind that while I was traveling out to 2 miles to act as a range test, I was cruising at 415ft. I acended to 1,000ft+ when I got the alert that the drone was landing due to "low battery" so I wouldn't hit any power lines or tall trees (very common in my area). There was no wind affecting my flight whatsoever, the temperature was right around 70°F during my flight, and the battery had been charged 2 times (it was brand new, as I stated previously).

If anyone has any knowledge whatsoever about DJI batteries and their drones in general, please let me know your thoughts on what may have caused me to lose my drone/it to behave so strangely under these circumstances. I need all of the help I can get at this point. Thank you all.

2018-9-28
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Wachtberger
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I am very sorry for your loss! Could you please upload your flightrecord (located in a DJI subfolder of your mobile device) to this site and share the link with us?: http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/Upload/
Hopefully it will allow for some more insight on what might have happened.
2018-9-28
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enriquefc
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Hey bud, sorry for what happened to your new MA... It must have been a faulty battery. I guess this case proves once again that DJI prefers to have customers present claims and upload flight logs and do all the beta-testing and testing themselves than to actually have good quality assurance. I AM SURE, however, that DJI will replace your drone, probably after a month of back and forth with their "engineers" about what happened, and you'll probably have to pay for the shipping.
2018-9-28
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A CW
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Sorry to read this - hope you get the situation sorted soon.
2018-9-28
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Nordium
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A CW Posted at 2018-9-28 09:15
Sorry to read this - hope you get the situation sorted soon.

Thank you!
2018-9-28
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Nordium
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Wachtberger Posted at 2018-9-28 08:23
I am very sorry for your loss! Could you please upload your flightrecord (located in a DJI subfolder of your mobile device) to this site and share the link with us?: http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/Upload/
Hopefully it will allow for some more insight on what might have happened.

Unfortunately, I won't share my flight record publicly, as I took off right next to my house (hence where the home point was recorded) and since the flight record includes GPS coordinates and a map, I'm not comfortable with sharing it. However, I screen recorded the incident happening and uploaded it to YouTube. I've linked my video within the original thread.
2018-9-28
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KlooGee
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Very sorry to hear that you've lost your drone.

I agree with Wachtberger, for any of the members of this forum to provide an educated response to what may have happened, we would need to see your logs.

I'd love see the log of this flight, but based on the details you've provided here in text and via the video you uploaded, I think it is very likely a combination of multiple factors that resulted in the loss of your aircraft.  I don't say this stuff to be a jerk or anything, but rather to help provide learning for future flights.  

1. Choice to do a long distance run to test the limits of the aircraft's abilities.  When you test the limits of anything (especially aircraft), the risks rise exponentially.
2. I'd need to see the logs to get a better idea on when the Auto Landing was initiated, exactly how far away you were, and the battery level at that time to get a better idea of whether DJI's battery calculation algorithm may be a bit off...
3. Choosing to increase altitude from around 400ft to over 1300ft would have definitely used more battery than continuing at the same altitude.  More power is required to speed up the props to gain altitude than to maintain altitude.
4. Choosing to drop down to around 200ft altitude while still almost a mile away very likely put the aircraft down below a direct line of site between the RC and AC and thus caused trees and objects to be in the way.  The WiFi signal of the Mavic Air just can't cope with this and thus caused the signal to drop out.
5.  Since the aircraft was already in Auto Landing mode, once the connection was broken between the RC and AC, it continued to Auto Land at the location it was located in at that specific time.
6. After the connection was lost, rather than waiting for it to RTH, I think it would have been a good idea to head to the last known location ASAP to see if you could get there to regain a connection with it before the battery died.

Again, the above feedback is based on the info provided so far.  It would defininetly be useful to see the logs to see if there is any additional information in there that could help to understand what happened.

I do think that there is an extremely high likelihood of its final resting place being very near to the last logged GPS location.  Unfortunately, as you had mentioned, that looks to be very dense vegetation and these little aircraft are really good at hiding themselves.

I hope you are able to get back up and flying soon and have many fun and safe flights ahead!

2018-9-28
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Nordium
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enriquefc Posted at 2018-9-28 08:54
Hey bud, sorry for what happened to your new MA... It must have been a faulty battery. I guess this case proves once again that DJI prefers to have customers present claims and upload flight logs and do all the beta-testing and testing themselves than to actually have good quality assurance. I AM SURE, however, that DJI will replace your drone, probably after a month of back and forth with their "engineers" about what happened, and you'll probably have to pay for the shipping.

Yeah, I figured. DJI Support will never agree with you if you say that one of their products were defective, even if they can see the defect from the data they "analyze". I've been going back and forth with DJI Support via email, waiting 1-2 days in between each email that I send because I've countered each point they've made and the data that they've misused to try and convince me that it was my fault.
After many exchanges, they made the final decision that it was pilot error because I wasn't "paying attention to the battery percentage during flight" (and they completely dodged and ignored all of the battery information I presented the whole time). However, they were so generous to give me 15% OFF MY NEXT MAVIC AIR EXCLUDING THE CONTROLLER, BATTERY, AND EVERY OTHER ACCESSORY! This makes me mad because they think I'm made out of money and that I can just buy a new one. I saved up for 2 years to get this drone because I'm not old enough to have a job. $1k is a lot of money to me.

I really appreciate your feedback. Thanks for taking the time to give me your input.
2018-9-28
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enriquefc
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Nordium Posted at 2018-9-28 09:49
Unfortunately, I won't share my flight record publicly, as I took off right next to my house (hence where the home point was recorded) and since the flight record includes GPS coordinates and a map, I'm not comfortable with sharing it. However, I screen recorded the incident happening and uploaded it to YouTube. I've linked my video within the original thread.

Also since you flew beyond 400 feet it might not be a good idea to share it. I do understand that you did fly beyond 400 to try to recover your bird, but I doubt the FAA has an exception for that.
2018-9-28
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小仙女的星巴克
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Sorry for lost but I will not do a long distance flight esp. if I just got it 48 hours ago. And 70% battery left for 11000 feet away is ridicules. You battery is still new and didn't have enough charge cycles.
2018-9-28
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Nordium
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KlooGee Posted at 2018-9-28 10:02
Very sorry to hear that you've lost your drone.

I agree with Wachtberger, for any of the members of this forum to provide an educated response to what may have happened, we would need to see your logs.

Thank you very much for your feedback. Before anything else, I just want to say that I appreciate your YouTube videos a lot because they've helped me not only make the decision to buy my Spark, but helped me to set it up correctly as well. The Spark has been the best drone I've ever owned and since I've purchased it, I've very quickly racked up 300 flights. Without your informative videos I definitely would not have pulled the trigger on getting it.

I agree with every point you've made. It was not smart of me to fly at such a far distance, but DJI has rated the Mavic Air to have a range twice as far as the Spark, which was one of the main features I was eager to test out since I've flown my Spark out and back 4+ miles and made it back with 30% battery left. I thought that the better battery life and range rating would mean a far, safe and successful flight.

Once I ascended to 1000ft+, the input from my left stick wouldn't register anymore. I had no choice but to stand and watch my drone descend to it's inevitable death, as I knew that the very dense urban environment I was flying in would greatly affect my signal at low altitude. When I first saw "No Image Transmission", I knew that it was gone as it was already in the "Critically Low Power" state. I used Find My Drone immediately to locate the drone, however once I successfully located it, Google Maps said that it was a 30 minute walk and I had no access to a car at the time. It was bad timing for sure, and an hour later when I got down there, I knew the battery was dead because my transmitter was not connecting to anything.
I agree with the ascending using significantly more battery, as I could see that from my flight log. However, with the amount of battery it had left (40%) after it had ascended and come back down already, it definitely could've made it back. There's no doubt in my mind that the battery was faulty, as it entering the critically low power state at 70% with all of the battery info on point is not normal.

Thanks again for your informative response. I really do appreciate your time.
2018-9-28
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enriquefc
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Nordium Posted at 2018-9-28 10:03
Yeah, I figured. DJI Support will never agree with you if you say that one of their products were defective, even if they can see the defect from the data they "analyze". I've been going back and forth with DJI Support via email, waiting 1-2 days in between each email that I send because I've countered each point they've made and the data that they've misused to try and convince me that it was my fault.
After many exchanges, they made the final decision that it was pilot error because I wasn't "paying attention to the battery percentage during flight" (and they completely dodged and ignored all of the battery information I presented the whole time). However, they were so generous to give me 15% OFF MY NEXT MAVIC AIR EXCLUDING THE CONTROLLER, BATTERY, AND EVERY OTHER ACCESSORY! This makes me mad because they think I'm made out of money and that I can just buy a new one. I saved up for 2 years to get this drone because I'm not old enough to have a job. $1k is a lot of money to me.

Wow, I would try to escalate the issue man... It is clear that you were flying with over 40% battery trying to get back to the HP, and then had a sudden jump and warning of critical level, even when you can clearly see that you had set your warning to 20%. Also, you can clearly see the voltage AND the charge cycles on the battery. Do not take that decision sitting down man.

My advice is that you find:
1) A rep that actually speaks good English, so that nothing is lost in translation.

2) Make sure you ask to speak to a Supervisor.

3) Make sure you have your receipts, etc.

Did you buy straight from them? If nothing else, try to get the drone back, and take it to the store for a refund.

Next time, quick tip (for your next non-DJI drone) try to land on a rooftop. It is much more likely that a friendly neighbor will return your drone or let you take it down from their roof, PLUS you can easily see it on the map.

E.
2018-9-28
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KlooGee
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Nordium Posted at 2018-9-28 10:27
Thank you very much for your feedback. Before anything else, I just want to say that I appreciate your YouTube videos a lot because they've helped me not only make the decision to buy my Spark, but helped me to set it up correctly as well. The Spark has been the best drone I've ever owned and since I've purchased it, I've very quickly racked up 300 flights. Without your informative videos I definitely would not have pulled the trigger on getting it.

I agree with every point you've made. It was not smart of me to fly at such a far distance, but DJI has rated the Mavic Air to have a range twice as far as the Spark, which was one of the main features I was eager to test out since I've flown my Spark out and back 4+ miles and made it back with 30% battery left. I thought that the better battery life and range rating would mean a far, safe and successful flight.

Thanks for taking the feedback well!  Sometimes tough feedback isn't always received very well over the internet.  I always respect someone that can take ownership in their choices!  We all make mistakes, its how we react to them afterwards that defines who we are...

I understand the privacy issue as well with the GPS coordinates in the logs.  Maybe you could do a screen recording of the Flight Record playback from DJI Go 4.  If you do so, it would be very useful to choose the button to show the stick inputs as well.  I think it may show the GPS coordinates in the playback, but you seem to be proficient at video editing, so I'm sure blurring those location details would be quite easy.
2018-9-28
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A CW
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Fingers crossed for you
2018-9-28
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DJI Diana
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Hi there, we are terribly sorry to hear about this unpleasant experience. Is there any information like case/ticket number which we can refer to? We would love to check and see what we can do to help.
2018-9-28
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Nordium
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DJI Diana Posted at 2018-9-28 11:21
Hi there, we are terribly sorry to hear about this unpleasant experience. Is there any information like case/ticket number which we can refer to? We would love to check and see what we can do to help.

Hello Diana. Thanks for reaching out.
Yes, I do have a case number, however I have been emailing "Lydia" for a while now, and she seems to be certain that this is "pilot error", and won't even recognize or acknowledge the data that I present to her. Whenever I would ask for battery information from the flight log on her side, she would say that they "don't collect that data". When I would present the battery information from the flight during my side, she would say that it's still "pilot error" because "the pilot wasn't paying attention to the battery information during flight". There was obviously something wrong with my battery, as it started landing from "Critically Low Power" at 4 minutes of flight time in perfect condition, and the rating for the Mavic Air batteries is 21 minutes.

Because I'm just going around and around in circles with DJI Support, I am contemplating starting a chargeback dispute with my credit card company. It makes me sick when I present data that contradicts the previous point made by the representative and the representative responds a day later saying that they're still right without giving me a reason.
Before I give you a case number, what are you going to do that's different than the representative helping me currently?
2018-9-28
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Nordium
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KlooGee Posted at 2018-9-28 10:41
Thanks for taking the feedback well!  Sometimes tough feedback isn't always received very well over the internet.  I always respect someone that can take ownership in their choices!  We all make mistakes, its how we react to them afterwards that defines who we are...

I understand the privacy issue as well with the GPS coordinates in the logs.  Maybe you could do a screen recording of the Flight Record playback from DJI Go 4.  If you do so, it would be very useful to choose the button to show the stick inputs as well.  I think it may show the GPS coordinates in the playback, but you seem to be proficient at video editing, so I'm sure blurring those location details would be quite easy.

Thanks for following up, once again!

This is a great idea. I'll get working on this now and I'll update this thread when I've uploaded the video. I'm currently in contact with DJI Diana and DJI Support, so if my issue gets resolved before I finish the video, there would be no point of me uploading it (which if this happens, I'll update the thread accordingly).
2018-9-28
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Nordium
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enriquefc Posted at 2018-9-28 10:41
Wow, I would try to escalate the issue man... It is clear that you were flying with over 40% battery trying to get back to the HP, and then had a sudden jump and warning of critical level, even when you can clearly see that you had set your warning to 20%. Also, you can clearly see the voltage AND the charge cycles on the battery. Do not take that decision sitting down man.

My advice is that you find:

Hello! Thank you so much for your input.

I'm trying everything I can to talk with the right people at DJI Support. So far, I've only talked to one rep, so this is just the beginning of my fight; however, DJI Diana has reached out to me and said that she will look into my case. I'll keep this thread updated regarding the outcome.

I bought the MA directly from DJI (the DJI Store app) and have all of my receipts and serial number, and they've confirmed that info already. Thanks for looking out.

As to the rooftop idea, I hope that I will never be in a situation where I have to resort to that, but I appreciate the tip. As to my current situation, I would have had no way to land on a rooftop as the drone was performing a very high speed descent that I couldn't cancel.
2018-9-28
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Nordium
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enriquefc Posted at 2018-9-28 10:07
Also since you flew beyond 400 feet it might not be a good idea to share it. I do understand that you did fly beyond 400 to try to recover your bird, but I doubt the FAA has an exception for that.

How do you know that I'm not in another country?
2018-9-28
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Nordium
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小仙女的星巴克 Posted at 2018-9-28 10:10
Sorry for lost but I will not do a long distance flight esp. if I just got it 48 hours ago. And 70% battery left for 11000 feet away is ridicules. You battery is still new and didn't have enough charge cycles.

I agree, I should've cycled my battery a few times before attempting a long distance flight; however DJI advertises range straight out of the box, and they don't detail charge cycles or deem them necessary for users flying at far distances straight away (or just flying in general).
2018-9-28
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DJI Diana
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Nordium Posted at 2018-9-28 16:27
Hello Diana. Thanks for reaching out.
Yes, I do have a case number, however I have been emailing "Lydia" for a while now, and she seems to be certain that this is "pilot error", and won't even recognize or acknowledge the data that I present to her. Whenever I would ask for battery information from the flight log on her side, she would say that they "don't collect that data". When I would present the battery information from the flight during my side, she would say that it's still "pilot error" because "the pilot wasn't paying attention to the battery information during flight". There was obviously something wrong with my battery, as it started landing from "Critically Low Power" at 4 minutes of flight time in perfect condition, and the rating for the Mavic Air batteries is 21 minutes.

I really understand your point about this. That's why we're asking the Case Number for us to see if there's anything we can further check to help you out about the incident. We'll try to check the best thing we can do so we can somehow meet your expectations. Hope you understand.
2018-9-28
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Nordium
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DJI Diana Posted at 2018-9-28 16:47
I really understand your point about this. That's why we're asking the Case Number for us to see if there's anything we can further check to help you out about the incident. We'll try to check the best thing we can do so we can somehow meet your expectations. Hope you understand.

Hello. Thanks for the quick response.
My case number is as follows: CAS-2289858-L9L4S9

Please do not share any information about this case on this thread, as I would like to keep my GPS coordinates and other data private. Thank you.
2018-9-28
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Neil from Bend
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Do you know if there is a lost and found page on the DJI forum or a way i can report tht I found a Drone? The forum wont let me post a new thread but i figured that this would be the place to maybe connect with the owner
2018-9-28
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DJI Mindy
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Nordium Posted at 2018-9-28 16:50
Hello. Thanks for the quick response.
My case number is as follows: CAS-2289858-L9L4S9

Hi Nordium, we are so sorry for your loss and thanks for the case number, your case has been escalated to the appropriate team to follow up, we will have someone to contact you after the further analysis. For the personal info safety, we will not post any information about the case in the thread as you requested. Hope the issue will be addressed soon.
2018-9-29
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Neil from Bend Posted at 2018-9-28 22:13
Do you know if there is a lost and found page on the DJI forum or a way i can report tht I found a Drone? The forum wont let me post a new thread but i figured that this would be the place to maybe connect with the owner

Hi, Neil, thanks for your kindness, it is recommended to contact our support team www.dji.com/support to report it, if you would like to start the thread by yourself, your Point in 'Personal Page' must be over 40, please refer to the following link of how to obtain the Points, thank you.
https://forum.dji.com/forum.php? ... mp;page=1#pid623200
2018-9-29
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Neil from Bend
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DJI Mindy Posted at 2018-9-29 02:14
Hi, Neil, thanks for your kindness, it is recommended to contact our support team www.dji.com/support to report it, if you would like to start the thread by yourself, your Point in 'Personal Page' must be over 40, please refer to the following link of how to obtain the Points, thank you.
https://forum.dji.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=71515&page=1#pid623200

Thanks mindy and sorry for jumping on this thread. I will let support know
2018-9-29
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Nordium
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DJI Mindy Posted at 2018-9-29 02:08
Hi Nordium, we are so sorry for your loss and thanks for the case number, your case has been escalated to the appropriate team to follow up, we will have someone to contact you after the further analysis. For the personal info safety, we will not post any information about the case in the thread as you requested. Hope the issue will be addressed soon.

Thank you Mindy, I appreciate it. I've responded to my current email thread with some more information as well.
2018-9-29
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DJI Mindy
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Neil from Bend Posted at 2018-9-29 08:08
Thanks mindy and sorry for jumping on this thread. I will let support know

No problem, thank you again.
2018-9-29
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DJI Mindy
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Nordium Posted at 2018-9-29 15:19
Thank you Mindy, I appreciate it. I've responded to my current email thread with some more information as well.

No problem, we will have someone to contact you about the further resolution after double analysis, please wait patiently, thank you.
2018-9-29
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Nordium
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Hello all!

Just an update: DJI has called me today and claimed responsibility for my Mavic Air being lost. They're sending me a replacement unit, which I am extremely grateful for. Reading so many horror stories on the forums and watching many YouTube videos of the support not taking responsibility for faulty units had me very worried, however I was pleased to see DJI Support step up and own their mistake. I know a lot of people have had issues with DJI Support, but from my experience, they're very helpful and inclusive. I owe a huge thank you to @DJI Mindy and @DJI Diana for helping me escalate my case to the correct departments and people, as well as Lydia from email support & Jasmine from the technical department. Thank you DJI.

But most importantly; I want to thank everybody on the forums and my YouTube video who took the time to provide their input and suggest many helpful ideas that pushed me in the direction of success. I wouldn't have been able to reach the right people without all of you. Thank you.

Safe flying,
- Nordium
2018-10-3
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Nordium
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DJI Mindy Posted at 2018-9-29 18:20
No problem, we will have someone to contact you about the further resolution after double analysis, please wait patiently, thank you.

Thank you Mindy! Support has decided in my favor and are replacing my Mavic Air.
2018-10-3
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Nordium
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DJI Diana Posted at 2018-9-28 16:47
I really understand your point about this. That's why we're asking the Case Number for us to see if there's anything we can further check to help you out about the incident. We'll try to check the best thing we can do so we can somehow meet your expectations. Hope you understand.

Thank you Diana! I received some good news today and appreciate your assistance in my situation.
2018-10-3
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Nordium
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A CW Posted at 2018-9-28 11:10
Fingers crossed for you

DJI Support called me today and they're replacing my Mavic Air under warranty! Thank you so much for your input & help.
2018-10-3
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Nordium
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KlooGee Posted at 2018-9-28 10:41
Thanks for taking the feedback well!  Sometimes tough feedback isn't always received very well over the internet.  I always respect someone that can take ownership in their choices!  We all make mistakes, its how we react to them afterwards that defines who we are...

I understand the privacy issue as well with the GPS coordinates in the logs.  Maybe you could do a screen recording of the Flight Record playback from DJI Go 4.  If you do so, it would be very useful to choose the button to show the stick inputs as well.  I think it may show the GPS coordinates in the playback, but you seem to be proficient at video editing, so I'm sure blurring those location details would be quite easy.

DJI Support called me today and they're replacing my Mavic Air under warranty! Thank you so much for your input. Keep up the great YT vids!
2018-10-3
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Nordium
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enriquefc Posted at 2018-9-28 10:41
Wow, I would try to escalate the issue man... It is clear that you were flying with over 40% battery trying to get back to the HP, and then had a sudden jump and warning of critical level, even when you can clearly see that you had set your warning to 20%. Also, you can clearly see the voltage AND the charge cycles on the battery. Do not take that decision sitting down man.

My advice is that you find:

DJI Support called me today and they're replacing my Mavic Air under warranty! Thank you so much for your input & help.
2018-10-3
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Nordium
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Wachtberger Posted at 2018-9-28 08:23
I am very sorry for your loss! Could you please upload your flightrecord (located in a DJI subfolder of your mobile device) to this site and share the link with us?: http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/Upload/
Hopefully it will allow for some more insight on what might have happened.

DJI Support called me today and they're replacing my Mavic Air under warranty! Thank you so much for your input & help.
2018-10-3
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A CW
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Nordium Posted at 2018-10-3 19:59
DJI Support called me today and they're replacing my Mavic Air under warranty! Thank you so much for your input & help.

That's great news - good for you!   
2018-10-3
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Wachtberger
Captain
Flight distance : 261509 ft
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Nordium Posted at 2018-10-3 20:01
DJI Support called me today and they're replacing my Mavic Air under warranty! Thank you so much for your input & help.

You are most welcome and I want to thank you personally for having appropriately acknowledged the great support that DJI staff members in this forum are providing. They often face unjustified criticism, but from my own experience and observations here are actually going out of their way to help. We all should thank them for this!
2018-10-4
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KlooGee
Captain
Flight distance : 10174879 ft
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Nordium Posted at 2018-10-3 20:00
DJI Support called me today and they're replacing my Mavic Air under warranty! Thank you so much for your input. Keep up the great YT vids!

That is great news!  I hope you have many fun and safe flights ahead!
2018-10-4
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DJI Diana
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Flight distance : 2408 ft

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Nordium Posted at 2018-10-3 19:58
Thank you Diana! I received some good news today and appreciate your assistance in my situation.

We're glad to hear that news, Nordium. If ever you need further help, feel free to let us know and we'll be glad to assist.
2018-10-4
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