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Mavic Mini Insufficient Power Crash
997 34 3-22 00:08
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JLan
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I have been following this forum since buying my Mavic Mini when it came out. Over late I've noticed an increase number of Insufficient Power, Max Load Reached, ESC Error and uncontrolled loss of altitude threads.

I always tried to be careful while flying, however last month I too suffered from Insufficent Power resulting in damage to my MM. While 4 minutes into my flight, the controller displayed the Insufficient Power error. I wasn't too far from it, so I immediately looked at getting the MM back to me. Unfortunately while trying to navigate around a construction crane between me and the drone, the drone gave up and slowly fell. It was 50m high above trees, a clear day and wind was said to be 17km/h. The MM got stuck in a 20m high tree, impossible to retrieve from the ground.

After it happened I logged a ticket with DJI Support, whom I must admit were really good to deal with and very helpful. They went through the logs and reported back the cause as being "a possible propulsion issue". Not entirely clear on the cause, but they did admit the issue was covered by warranty and sent me a replacement MM.

While I was really appreciative of DJI Supprot during this event, I'm a little concerned the MM is not fit for purpose. You can see what happaned here: https://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/Y5H6VYPSTHBWUOAJFDYB.

I've also uploaded the crash video to YouTube:


3-22 00:08
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DJI Thor
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Sorry for the accident, JLan, and we appreciate your feedback about our support, if there is any further we can help, please feel free to contact us at any time, we are glad to help.
3-22 00:53
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Burak C.
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I'm sorry for your loss but I am glad DJI covered it. It is good that DJI standing behind his product. Hope this issue will be solved in March update since it is a critical common issue. Stay safe.
3-22 01:55
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Labroides
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They went through the logs and reported back the cause as being "a possible propulsion issue". Not entirely clear on the cause.
They should know by now as this has been happening every day for a couple of months.

While I was really appreciative of DJI Supprot during this event, I'm a little concerned the MM is not fit for purpose

A drone that won't hold altitude and continues to descend even when you push the throttle up is definitely not fit for purpose.

Your drone worked properly up until 6:29.8 when it started to lose altitude while hovering.
At 6:31.3 you gave it full left stick but the mini continued to lose altitude until the end of the flight data.

3-22 01:58
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Labroides
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DJI Thor Posted at 3-22 00:53
Sorry for the accident, JLan, and we appreciate your feedback about our support, if there is any further we can help, please feel free to contact us at any time, we are glad to help.

How much longer are Mavic Minis going to keep doing this without DJI doing anything to fix them?
It's been happening for a few months now and there must have been thousands lost.
But still nothing has been heard from DJI and nothing has been done to fix this serious problem.
3-22 02:03
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UweE
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Good that DJI is treating this as a warranty case.
One comment:  in case, I recognise an unwanted behaviour of my drone (loosing altitude) I would land IMMEDIATELY and would not fly around further.
Just my two cents.
3-22 02:11
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Ice_2k
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@JLan Did you have directional control or was that gone as well? Just wondering why you spent those 3 last minutes basically in the same general area, I was expecting to see you fly it around the crane and back to you, yet you remained above those trees for a long time.
To be clear, I’m not saying it was your fault, just curious if you had any issues controlling other things except altitude.
3-22 02:21
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m80116
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Basically this goes to show Mavic Mini was not faulty when delivered and in full working order like many others.

Over time and with usage and storage and transport the propellers gradually lost their shape... interesting to notice in all these similar cases MM gradually descends while going forward, this is especially true since the rear motors are maxed out (because the rear props are the ones pushing harder in forward motion and still not producing enough lift).

Now... I have a Mavic Mini as well and an almost 200 kilometered old one, with many many carrying case days (including in a backpack, shuffled around with my bicycle) and I don't currently see any ESC errors, meaning the props are still producing the necessary lift for the flight. Is it perhaps because I have always correctly stored my Mini with just pre-creased cable ties that don't exert any force to the propellers and help keep them in place while storing it inside the case? Very likely...

To be honest what I think and speculate about is that at some point many if not all of those MM that show ESC errors have got their props incorrectly stored and bent out of shape.

I am not even positive about the idea of replacing all these Minis for something that can be avoided (as already proven several times) by inspecting and REPLACING the propellers beforehand.

Personally I am still dealing with DJI not acknowledging my problems with RC that led to the loss of my first MM and causes Fly app disconnections at least several times per week. I've entirely paid for my MM replacement... they even argued about one cable which I had to buy myself to verify it was not an OTG USB cable issue....they seem to go where people scream the most, as to calm them down and satisfy those that make more noise.

Now... you're free to dislike reality. Thanks for the downvotes.


Image sourced from another forum.
3-22 04:00
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Guorium
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m80116 Posted at 3-22 04:00
Basically this goes to show Mavic Mini was not faulty when delivered and in full working order like many others.

Over time and with usage and storage and transport the propellers gradually lost their shape... interesting to notice in all these similar cases MM gradually descends while going forward, this is especially true since the rear motors are maxed out (because the rear props are the ones pushing harder in forward motion and still not producing enough lift).

The one with a white cross is what? New?
3-22 04:18
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hallmark007
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Thanks for reporting back here, you’re one of many and most don’t come back to let us know if dji are replacing drones with similar problems.

It has been clear around here that this is by far the biggest problem with Mavic mini and for some they are not fit for purpose, and this is a real problem with malfunction.
It’s crazy that dji have done nothing about this, I have seen many times before dji improving propulsion with FW and I hope they don’t let this drag on ignoring what’s staring them in the face.

Some very good analysis done by members here will hopefully keep them on their toes .
3-22 04:40
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HedgeTrimmer
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Would be nice if DJI provided more information as to what led them to "a possible propulsion issue".  

Did motor(s) have problem?  Deformed blades?  Motor controllers not allowing enough power?  Power wires to controllers not properly soldered?  Failing sensor?  Firmware problem?

3-22 04:54
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Corger
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m80116 Posted at 3-22 04:00
Basically this goes to show Mavic Mini was not faulty when delivered and in full working order like many others.

Over time and with usage and storage and transport the propellers gradually lost their shape... interesting to notice in all these similar cases MM gradually descends while going forward, this is especially true since the rear motors are maxed out (because the rear props are the ones pushing harder in forward motion and still not producing enough lift).

Over time and with usage and storage and transport the propellers gradually lost their shape... interesting to notice in all these similar cases MM gradually descends while going forward, this is especially true since the rear motors are maxed out (because the rear props are the ones pushing harder in forward motion and still not producing enough lift).

This is also my hypothesis.  I would like to know how JLan and others who have had their Mini drop store their Minis.

I put mine naked in the Fly More case and I haven't had any ESC errors yet.  But the Mini might lie on top of the rear propellers when it's in the case.  On my Mini, the left rear (two stripe) set of propellers is flatter than the right rear and all of the other propellers  Maybe the props should be changed after n hours, x days, or y flights regardless... just in case.
3-22 05:15
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hallmark007
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Corger Posted at 3-22 05:15
Over time and with usage and storage and transport the propellers gradually lost their shape... interesting to notice in all these similar cases MM gradually descends while going forward, this is especially true since the rear motors are maxed out (because the rear props are the ones pushing harder in forward motion and still not producing enough lift).

This is also my hypothesis.  I would like to know how JLan and others who have had their Mini drop store their Minis.

I have 7 drones and storing them has nothing to do with how they preform, and I don’t mean storing in extreme conditions but just normal conditions , just like you do in case provided. But none of my drones have this problem and if the did I’d be very concerned.
I have a set of props on my Mavic pro since I purchased it almost 4 1/2 years ago, this is nothing but a malfunction and this is Bourne out by the fact that dji are replacing these drones, so we shouldn’t give them any reasons to ignore this, and continue to ask the questions when will something be done about this .
3-22 05:22
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Corger
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hallmark007 Posted at 3-22 05:22
I have 7 drones and storing them has nothing to do with how they preform, and I don’t mean storing in extreme conditions but just normal conditions , just like you do in case provided. But none of my drones have this problem and if the did I’d be very concerned.
I have a set of props on my Mavic pro since I purchased it almost 4 1/2 years ago, this is nothing but a malfunction and this is Bourne out by the fact that dji are replacing these drones, so we shouldn’t give them any reasons to ignore this, and continue to ask the questions when will something be done about this .

I am merely curious as to the reason these ESC errors and drops are happening and trying to make a hypothesis on why.  The Mavic Min's propellers are extremely thin and may be more susceptible to warping than your other six drones.  Also, some people may be more careless with their drones than you.

It might be a simple manufacturing defect with the propellers, it could be improper or careless storage, or it could be a hardware problem causing these errors and drops.  I don't claim to have the answer, but  I won't pontificate my opinions and hypotheses as you do.
3-22 05:41
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virtual
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m80116 Posted at 3-22 04:00
Basically this goes to show Mavic Mini was not faulty when delivered and in full working order like many others.

Over time and with usage and storage and transport the propellers gradually lost their shape... interesting to notice in all these similar cases MM gradually descends while going forward, this is especially true since the rear motors are maxed out (because the rear props are the ones pushing harder in forward motion and still not producing enough lift).

This looks more like different pitch prop than distortion made while storing AC in soft bag IMPOV.
3-22 06:07
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m80116
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Guorium Posted at 3-22 04:18
The one with a white cross is what? New?
X in electronics control software is universally known to represent stopped items, cancel function or a faulty  status. I think the original poster was comparing a faulty prop. (marked X) with a good one (unmarked).
3-22 07:36
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panthere
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m80116 Posted at 3-22 04:00
Basically this goes to show Mavic Mini was not faulty when delivered and in full working order like many others.

Over time and with usage and storage and transport the propellers gradually lost their shape... interesting to notice in all these similar cases MM gradually descends while going forward, this is especially true since the rear motors are maxed out (because the rear props are the ones pushing harder in forward motion and still not producing enough lift).

mon pauvre m8 je vois que tu accumule encore des downvote alors pour t'encourager je t'envoie un upvote ,,clic voila.
3-22 15:54
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120ccpm
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m80116 Posted at 3-22 04:00
Basically this goes to show Mavic Mini was not faulty when delivered and in full working order like many others.

Over time and with usage and storage and transport the propellers gradually lost their shape... interesting to notice in all these similar cases MM gradually descends while going forward, this is especially true since the rear motors are maxed out (because the rear props are the ones pushing harder in forward motion and still not producing enough lift).

I've seen DJI recommending people who reported similar issues to replace their props, but I'm not sure if it's just a standard precautionary response, or if they had their reasons.

The photos you posted are quite telling... either there are two different types/batches of props around, or they appear to lose their shape over time. The MM props are paper-thin, to the point I modded my case (eBay purchase, not OEM) from day one, so that they would not be under any  pressure. For the same reason, I do not put any strap around them, or let the MM sit on a table with the arms folded in.

But props don't go bad all of the sudden, mid-flight, whereas these uncontrolled descents seem to happen out of the blue, and cannot be recovered. Maybe there is a real hardware issue, like a failing ESC, and the flight controller has no option but to reduce power all around to keep the AC level and prevent it from crashing.  Or maybe  the firmware sees something out of place and initiates some sort of emergency landing as a precaution (limp-mode). Pure speculation, this "something out of place" could be the motors failing to provide the necessary thrust, because of the flat props.

As for the rear props pushing harder than the front ones when moving forward, I don't think that's correct: yes the flight controller gives more power to the rear to tilt the AC, but then it maintains it in this position and all motors are pushing more or less the same way (otherwise the AC would continue to tilt).

PS: I cannot explain why you got 4 downvotes on this post...
3-22 16:25
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m80116
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I don't think I need defending, I am indefensible... thanks for your view @120ccpm.

Just for example: if I reply a bit surprised and appearing learned on the X question it's just because I am wondering if they're bantering me, like some use to do here when they don't have any more IN-TOPIC or reasonable points to stand behind their ideas.

As for the props I am led to believe those gradually degrade, being of a plastic material big factors could be anything from (relative) high temperature storage, heat cycles (even smaller ones), and propeller usage (exposure to UV rays, ozone and SO2). What I feel is that being that flimsy the most likely cause is they're bent out of shape, but not with usage, rather during storage, helped by normal household heat cycles.
3-22 16:39
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HedgeTrimmer
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120ccpm Posted at 3-22 16:25
I've seen DJI recommending people who reported similar issues to replace their props, but I'm not sure if it's just a standard precautionary response, or if they had their reasons.

The photos you posted are quite telling... either there are two different types/batches of props around, or they appear to lose their shape over time. The MM props are paper-thin, to the point I modded my case (eBay purchase, not OEM) from day one, so that they would not be under any  pressure. For the same reason, I do not put any strap around them, or let the MM sit on a table with the arms folded in.

"But props don't go bad all of the sudden, mid-flight, whereas these uncontrolled descents seem to happen out of the blue, and cannot be recovered."

Interesting point.
3-22 16:40
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lanzon
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Ice_2k Posted at 3-22 02:21
@JLan Did you have directional control or was that gone as well? Just wondering why you spent those 3 last minutes basically in the same general area, I was expecting to see you fly it around the crane and back to you, yet you remained above those trees for a long time.
To be clear, I’m not saying it was your fault, just curious if you had any issues controlling other things except altitude.

Good question! To be honest I'm not 100% sure if I remember trying anything other than ascend! It all seemed to happened pretty quick, I wasn't expecting it to totally lose altitude! I also half thought that if I commanded it to move in any direction it may pitch in a way that would hamper it's ability to stay airborne.

In hindsight I should have looked to land it as soon as possible. The problem I had was I was either over trees or a large fenced off construction site. I was in the midst of getting it around the construction site/crane when everything went pear shaped. There's a spot in the video when it first free fell, it would appear to be above a relatively safe spot in-between trees. If I had another go I should have just let it fall there! Instead I got a false sense of hope when control came back (only briefly), to see it fell again for its last time

Not sure if PhantomHelp only keeps logs visible for a short time, so I've re-uploaded them: https://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/GVQADOYVB6KZCDJMX37E
3-22 23:18
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lanzon
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Corger Posted at 3-22 05:15
Over time and with usage and storage and transport the propellers gradually lost their shape... interesting to notice in all these similar cases MM gradually descends while going forward, this is especially true since the rear motors are maxed out (because the rear props are the ones pushing harder in forward motion and still not producing enough lift).

This is also my hypothesis.  I would like to know how JLan and others who have had their Mini drop store their Minis.

Interesting hypothesis! I have the fly-more bundle, so kept it in the official DJI case when it wasn't in use. I always tried to ensure the blades were folded neatly underneath and never bent unnaturally.

My house stays relatively cool (even though we've just finished summer here), so I doubt the propellers warped from heat while stored. Of course, it's always possible the propellers warped while in use, though I never recall flying it on any days above 30c.

Someone also noted that it failed mid-flight. It went a good 5-6 minutes before it started struggling to stay airborne. Would this eliminate the propellers being out of wack before I took off?
3-22 23:27
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DaMa
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My thoughts ... I wonder about the propeller mount – mine have IMO too much play. With a helicopter, the rotor flutters at zero pitch, when there is play on the swashplate or ball heads. The propeller tips on the MM are very flat (nearly zero pitch) and the propeller itself is very soft ... A deformation of the propellers due to transport can favor this ... but on the other hand the propeller flutter is normaly hearable... wild speculation, a small worm seems to be in there somewhere... or faulty components ? I consider interference from screws and nails to be excluded ...
Unbenannt-1.jpg
3-23 00:54
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S73ph4N05
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the flag on the crane, was ready to tear off and you were even higher than that. don't rely on your mobile  applications for wind speed, because it looks like it straggled to move, and some gusts were pushing it to the side...
3-23 04:54
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hallmark007
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m80116 Posted at 3-22 16:39
I don't think I need defending, I am indefensible... thanks for your view @120ccpm.

Just for example: if I reply a bit surprised and appearing learned on the X question it's just because I am wondering if they're bantering me, like some use to do here when they don't have any more IN-TOPIC or reasonable points to stand behind their ideas.

“I don't think I need defending, I am indefensible..”


You’re a legend in your own lunchtime;+)::::::::
3-23 05:01
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120ccpm
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DaMa Posted at 3-23 00:54
My thoughts ... I wonder about the propeller mount – mine have IMO too much play. With a helicopter, the rotor flutters at zero pitch, when there is play on the swashplate or ball heads. The propeller tips on the MM are very flat (nearly zero pitch) and the propeller itself is very soft ... A deformation of the propellers due to transport can favor this ... but on the other hand the propeller flutter is normaly hearable... wild speculation, a small worm seems to be in there somewhere... or faulty components ? I consider interference from screws and nails to be excluded ...

As I mentioned above (#25), props don't go bad all of the sudden, whereas these power errors happen out of the blue, mid-flight, and are unrecoverable. So even if the underlying issue is about the props not providing enough lift (because they lose pitch due to fatigue, storage or play) the firmware should warn the user rather than start an unstoppable descent.
In my opinion, it's either a true hardware problem (meaning that something goes bad, and the AC has really no power to stay in the air), or it's the firmware responding drastically (limp-mode) to some condition which might have developed over time (like bad props).
3-23 12:04
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DJI Thor
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Labroides Posted at 3-22 02:03
How much longer are Mavic Minis going to keep doing this without DJI doing anything to fix them?
It's been happening for a few months now and there must have been thousands lost.
But still nothing has been heard from DJI and nothing has been done to fix this serious problem.

I am sorry for the late reply. There will be optimization for this issue on DJI Fly app in the future. Thank you for your attention.
3-25 18:31
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Labroides
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DJI Thor Posted at 3-25 18:31
I am sorry for the late reply. There will be optimization for this issue on DJI Fly app in the future. Thank you for your attention.

There will be optimization for this issue on DJI Fly app in the future. Thank you for your attention.
It's way past time for something to solve teh problem of a drone that can't maintain altitude and keeps going down when throttle is increased.
Optimising the app sounds like the last thing to would have any effect but perhaps your message is a hint that someone in DJI is finally doing something about a very serious issue.
I guess we'll see.
3-25 18:39
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deathsquad
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Did you start the flight with 61% battery? If so, how long was the battery at that level before the flight?

It's worth noting if you get this error, land where you can safely as soon as you can.
3-25 18:45
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lanzonwestnet.com.au
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deathsquad Posted at 3-25 18:45
Did you start the flight with 61% battery? If so, how long was the battery at that level before the flight?

It's worth noting if you get this error, land where you can safely as soon as you can.

Hi,

When the drone took off the battery was at 80%. Problem started to happen at about 60% remaining.

But agree, in hindsight I should have landed faster than I did. I guess you don't expect it to fail like that so dramatically.
3-26 04:15
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djiuser_OjcrplAG2OYQ
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May I ask how did you recover your drone from up that tree? I think people with MM should bring a long rod with them
3-26 04:58
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Labroides
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DJI Thor Posted at 3-25 18:31
I am sorry for the late reply. There will be optimization for this issue on DJI Fly app in the future. Thank you for your attention.

Here's a perfect example of how fatally flawed the Mavic Mini is:  https://forum.dji.com/forum.php? ... D556%26typeid%3D556
In this flight, it was descending even with full throttle and could not maintain the pitch required to fly fast, despite full elevator being applied.
How can optimising the DJI Fly app make any difference to these?
The Mavic Mini is a dangerous drone to fly and even after this has been known for months, DJI still hasn't done anything to fix it.

What's going on at DJI?
3-27 15:36
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DJI Thor
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Labroides Posted at 3-27 15:36
Here's a perfect example of how fatally flawed the Mavic Mini is:  https://forum.dji.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=211423&extra=page%3D1%26filter%3Dtypeid%26typeid%3D556%26typeid%3D556
In this flight, it was descending even with full throttle and could not maintain the pitch required to fly fast, despite full elevator being applied.
How can optimising the DJI Fly app make any difference to these?

Hi Labroides, just to avoid any possible misunderstanding, there are different reasons that the max power load reached message popped up and the drone descended because of this.
Just to explain this max power load reached reminder, the flight controller detects the working condition of the propulsion system in real time. The warning will prompt up if it is detected that there is large air resistance (such as strong wind) when the aircraft is hovering or when the battery level is low.
When the warning appears, it means that the current environment and battery power are not suitable for the flight. Please land the aircraft as soon as possible, and then change the battery or choose to fly the aircraft in a windless environment.
And the reason the drone would descend in this case is that in order to resist the strong wind, the propulsion output of the aircraft will increase, resulting in the abnormal altitude control.
The actual reason for an accident needs to be analyzed and confirmed.
I understand your concern and flight safety is also the biggest concern of us. Currently, we don't have more information about the optimization to share. Let's wait for the update.
Thank you for your understanding and support.
3-28 02:04
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Labroides
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DJI Thor Posted at 3-28 02:04
Hi Labroides, just to avoid any possible misunderstanding, there are different reasons that the max power load reached message popped up and the drone descended because of this.
Just to explain this max power load reached reminder, the flight controller detects the working condition of the propulsion system in real time. The warning will prompt up if it is detected that there is large air resistance (such as strong wind) when the aircraft is hovering or when the battery level is low.
When the warning appears, it means that the current environment and battery power are not suitable for the flight. Please land the aircraft as soon as possible, and then change the battery or choose to fly the aircraft in a windless environment.

The actual reason for an accident needs to be analyzed and confirmed.
I've analysed the data from many of these incidents and the problem is obvious even if the cause isn't
Currently, we don't have more information about the optimization to share. Let's wait for the update.
Thank you for your understanding and support.

That's very disturbing and I don't understand why DJI has done nothing about it.
Mavic Minis fall out of the air every day because they cannot maintain altitude.
They descend even though the flyer has the throttle pushed hard up.
No other DJI drone does this,
It's been happening for months and there's no shortage of incidents to study.
3-28 02:12
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SLiWooDy
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After watching the video I am shocked you didn't land the drone immediately with the first warning, or the second, or the third.etc etc.....
If something isn't right, turn that camera downwards and look for somewhere safe to land.
The drone was giving you a heads up that something wasn't right and you ignored the warnings.
I am surprised DJi gave you a warranty. Very lucky IMO.

3-29 23:03
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