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Mavic Mini literally fell out of the sky
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1130 49 3-25 14:05
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jz729
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Flight distance : 1008947 ft
Suriname
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Hello alll, sadly, after 51 successful flights with my mini with no issues whatsoever, I seem to have lost her to the forest. I was flying about 132m up above a forest, turning around to come home when suddenly I can see one of the mini's arms blurry in the camera, she's upside down and in a spin. I only see this for about 3 seconds after which I lose connection.

I drove out to the crash location, and was able to get signal again, but she was upside down. I could still move the gimbal so that survived the crash. I could see the forest in the stream as well. The mini was about 20 meters away from me in an unreachable area ( surrounded by water ).

I know there are several strong wind warnings, and I know that wasn't the problem as I've done several flights in even higher winds, was also flying into the wind. Also before anyone comments on my altitude, there aren't any restrictions in my country, and I was also in an area where there are never any flights. There are however quite a few parrots flying around in this area, which is also one of the reasons I fly so high as to avoid bird strikes, so that seems like an unlikely cause to me.

I have no clue what caused the crash. Here is my log of the last flight: https://app.airdata.com/share/xavFpg . Is anyone able to help me in determining if this was a problem with the mini? As I don't have DJI Care refresh since I'm outside the supported areas, I'm not really sure what my options are.



3-25 14:05
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Labroides
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Australia
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At 7:31.2 your Mini did roll upside down and started spinning and falling.
It never recovered and four seconds later it lost power.
It's hard to know what caused the incident but it's not something the would normally happen in flight.
Possible causes are a collision or a catastrophic failure.
You could synch your flight data and start a conversation with DJI's online help.
But without the drone to return, you might not get anywhere.
3-25 15:50
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djiuser_Mteg4dn1uffb
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United States
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Could be attack by Hark/Eagle
3-25 16:02
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jz729
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I'm going to attempt recovery tomorrow... With any luck I can find it and check the recording, hopefully that sheds more light on the incident. Gimbal seemed to be working fine post crash though. But I'm pretty confident one or several arms had to have broken from that 138m fall....
3-25 16:06
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Guorium
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Ground wind can be very different to wind up at 200ft and 450ft. It is hard to say and unreliable to judge what wind conditions the mini was in exactly. But judging from the log it is convincing to say the mini got capsized by a gust. Or in the very unlikely event, it got attacked by another flying object... The general advice for dealing with high wind warnings is to lower your altitude. You probably should not have climbed against the warning and now you probably should bear the responsibility.
Anyway. Get in contact with DJI support and let them examine your log. They may give you a repair or replacement for free if they deem it is not your fault. They have DAT files of the flight if you tell them your linked DJI account and uploaded the log in the fly app. It tells a lot about what happened during the flight.
3-25 16:07
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Labroides
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Guorium Posted at 3-25 16:07
Ground wind can be very different to wind up at 200ft and 450ft. It is hard to say and unreliable to judge what wind conditions the mini was in exactly. But judging from the log it is convincing to say the mini got capsized by a gust. Or in the very unlikely event, it got attacked by another flying object... Anyway. Get in contact with DJI support and let them examine your log. They may give you a repair or replacement for free if they deem it is not your fault. They have dat files of the flight if you tell them your linked dji account and uploaded the log in the fly app. It tells a lot about what happened during the flight.

It is hard to say and unreliable to judge what wind conditions the mini was in exactly.
Looking at the flight data, we can see pretty clearly what the wind was doing to the drone's flight right up until the incident.

But judging from the log it is convincing to say the mini got capsized by a gust.

Convincing?
There is nothing at all in the data that supports this guess.
Wind does not capsize drones.
Suggesting that it was hit by an alien spacecraft would be equally convincing.
3-25 16:13
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Guorium
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Labroides Posted at 3-25 16:13
It is hard to say and unreliable to judge what wind conditions the mini was in exactly.
Looking at the flight data, we can see pretty clearly what the wind was doing to the drone's flight right up until the incident.

On second thought, I think a common horizontal gust indeed cannot capsize the drone. Only blowing it sideways. The mini could have hit something or experienced sudden propulsion system failure then.

And how exactly in your expert opinion might you tell what the wind was doing to the drone by looking at the log? Btw it was not what I mentioned, I only said judging wind speed up there from ground wind speed can be unreliable, just part of the risk of flying.
3-25 16:21
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Lucas775
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I can almost guarantee it was a broken props.
3-25 16:24
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jz729
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Never had a crash or collision before this. Also inspected props before this flight. Not sure why they would suddenly break mid flight, but I guess that's a possibility
3-25 16:30
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Labroides
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Lucas775 Posted at 3-25 16:24
I can almost guarantee it was a broken props.

How can you "almost guarantee" that left field guess?
What in the data gives you that unique insight?
How are broken props going to make a drone roll over ?
3-25 16:47
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deathsquad
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I'm thinking a bird attack as someone else mentioned.
3-25 16:59
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djiuser_Mteg4dn1uffb
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Mine got attacked by hawk once MM flipped over came straight down I saw that in real time and not much I can do. The good thing Is MM land on a thick  leaf tree nothing is broken.
3-25 17:06
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Labroides
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Anyone else want to make a wild guess without any evidence to support it?
3-25 17:06
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GaryDoug
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Labroides Posted at 3-25 17:06
Anyone else want to make a wild guess without any evidence to support it?

Jesus dude, give it up. Everyone is just trying to help. Make your case and present your evidence and let it go.

But since you invited it, I am guessing it was a motor failure ... no evidence follows ;-)

And once again, I have to ask: What does the cached video show?

3-25 20:11
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Labroides
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GaryDoug Posted at 3-25 20:11
Jesus dude, give it up. Everyone is just trying to help. Make your case and present your evidence and let it go.

But since you invited it, I am guessing it was a motor failure ... no evidence follows ;-)
Everyone is just trying to help. Make your case and present your evidence and let it go.
Making unsubstantiated and uninformed guesses doesn't help anyone.
It just perpetuates a culture of ignorance.

But since you invited it, I am guessing it was a motor failure ... no evidence follows ;-)
Good guess .. as good as the others. ... do you have any idea what happens to a drone when it loses a motor?
I do but it would be a waste of time explaining it to you.
Didn't you mention being some kind of engineer?
3-25 20:18
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GaryDoug
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It always comes down to insults with you doesn't it? You should ask yourself ...why.
3-25 20:25
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Labroides
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GaryDoug Posted at 3-25 20:25
It always comes down to insults with you doesn't it? You should ask yourself ...why.

How about you enlighten me, Mr Smug?
3-25 20:30
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Labroides
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GaryDoug Posted at 3-25 20:25
It always comes down to insults with you doesn't it? You should ask yourself ...why.

Ahh ... now I remember.
You're a software engineering guy.
I suppose asking people who have no idea to make wacky guesses is a standard method for solving problems in your industry?
3-25 20:33
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djiuser_AuHmaFgzAvwo
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Flight distance : 26240 ft
Canada
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I hit a small tree branch the other day and scratched the front rotors a bit.  Bird didn’t come down but I decided to replace the front pair.  I really don’t like these screws to be honest, looks like it would be easy to mess up the threads after a few changes.  Anyway, I thought I’d check the tightness on the back screws as well.  One prop screw was so loose it would probably come off on the next flight.  Check before every flight!!!   Not so impressed with this design so far.  Nothing worse than having no confidence on the safety performance of any drone.
3-25 20:54
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DJI Thor
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I am sorry to hear about the accident. Please contact our support via email to start a case and apply for data analysis. We will provide you with the corresponding offer based on the analysis result. Here’s the link to contact the support: http://www.dji.com/support
3-26 02:47
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Ice_2k
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Flight distance : 172657 ft
Romania
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jz729 Posted at 3-25 16:06
I'm going to attempt recovery tomorrow... With any luck I can find it and check the recording, hopefully that sheds more light on the incident. Gimbal seemed to be working fine post crash though. But I'm pretty confident one or several arms had to have broken from that 138m fall....

Can't you post the cached video from your phone?

As far as guessing goes, I think bird strike is the only thing that matches what you're saying (including seeing the drone's arm in the video). 130m altitude gets you away from parrots, but not bigger birds.
3-26 03:10
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Ice_2k
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GaryDoug Posted at 3-25 20:11
Jesus dude, give it up. Everyone is just trying to help. Make your case and present your evidence and let it go.

While I don't agree with Labroides' attitude, I have to agree that just throwing random things like "i can guarantee a propeller fell off" when it's not backed by anything and actually contradicts the OP's story (seeing the arm in the footage) doesn't actually help anyone, it just creates noise that drowns out any other analysis.
3-26 03:12
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jz729
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Good news, the drone has been recovered. Some of my family members launches a rescue expedition into the rainforest and found it at the exact coordinates last reported. I'm at work, but will review the footage and post it when I get back home. At first glance, there doesn't seem to be that much damage. The camera is lose, but doesn't look broken.Also, I can't post the cached video because I disabled that option, as it was causing DJI Fly to crash whenever the cache got full.... I'll be screen recording whenever I fly from now on.


WhatsApp Image 2020-03-26 at 10.02.48 AM.jpeg
WhatsApp Image 2020-03-26 at 10.23.33 AM.jpeg
WhatsApp Image 2020-03-26 at 10.24.19 AM.jpeg
3-26 06:41
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m80116
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Timeframe 4191, 7m 30.7s, Pitch 15.3° forward, Roll 14.7° left. Just before tumbling down

Wind must have been strong, he was warned several times to lower the altitude and manually return to home.

Historic weather says 5 m/s from NE. 14.7° of roll to counter a wind like that seems a bit too steep to me.
https://www.ventusky.com/?p=5.76 ... 00m&t=20200325/1600

Addition:
Whoa... nice find in the woods
It doen's look too broken, the gimbal seems still in one piece... wondering about the disloged bushings.
3-26 06:47
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GaryDoug
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Labroides Posted at 3-25 20:33
Ahh ... now I remember.
You're a software engineering guy.
I suppose asking people who have no idea to make wacky guesses is a standard method for solving problems in your industry?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ho ... nd_Influence_People
3-26 11:37
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GaryDoug
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jz729 Posted at 3-26 06:41
Good news, the drone has been recovered. Some of my family members launches a rescue expedition into the rainforest and found it at the exact coordinates last reported. I'm at work, but will review the footage and post it when I get back home. At first glance, there doesn't seem to be that much damage. The camera is lose, but doesn't look broken.Also, I can't post the cached video because I disabled that option, as it was causing DJI Fly to crash whenever the cache got full.... I'll be screen recording whenever I fly from now on.

Great job. Here is a link that may help for putting things back in order. Skip to the part about remounting the gimbal/camera:

3-26 11:41
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GaryDoug
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Labroides Posted at 3-25 20:30
How about you enlighten me, Mr Smug?


I think it is more productive to simply disagree without insulting folks. See the link two posts above for simple methods that have been successful for almost a century.
3-26 11:48
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Lucas775
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Labroides Posted at 3-25 16:47
How can you "almost guarantee" that left field guess?
What in the data gives you that unique insight?
How are broken props going to make a drone roll over ?

Just diagnosing from personal experience.
3-26 14:30
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Labroides
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Lucas775 Posted at 3-26 14:30
Just diagnosing from personal experience.

It's a very strange broken propeller incident that makes a drone roll upside down.
3-26 14:33
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jz729
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All propellers are in good shape. No bends, scratches or tears. Camera/gimbal assembly is also fixed and attached to the drone again. Gave an esc error when turned on, but restarted and that cleared it. Flew it inside real quick and it's stable. According to the video, it landed in a tree. 5 or so minutes after, you see the trees and bush moving and it gets knocked out of the tree by "something". Pretty creepy. Will post the crash vid tomorrow..... Long day.
3-26 17:09
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GaryDoug
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jz729 Posted at 3-26 17:09
All propellers are in good shape. No bends, scratches or tears. Camera/gimbal assembly is also fixed and attached to the drone again. Gave an esc error when turned on, but restarted and that cleared it. Flew it inside real quick and it's stable. According to the video, it landed in a tree. 5 or so minutes after, you see the trees and bush moving and it gets knocked out of the tree by "something". Pretty creepy. Will post the crash vid tomorrow..... Long day.

Yes, please post a link to the video. It should be interesting. Thanks for the update.

And... it was obviouly not motor failure as I "wildly guessed" ;-)

3-26 19:30
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jz729
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As promised, video of the crash and something knocking it out of a tree some time thereafter.
3-27 06:21
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Ice_2k
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Romania
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i stand by my bird strike hypothesis
3-27 06:27
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hallmark007
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jz729 Posted at 3-27 06:21
As promised, video of the crash and something knocking it out of a tree some time thereafter.https://youtu.be/W-RR9550GIY

Doesn’t look like a bird to me, unless the bird flew down on top of it, if it was a bird surely we would have seen it in some shape or form,  I see birds fly in flocks of 1000 never see them crashing into each other, to smart for that, in fact I don’t think I have seen more than 2 bird crashes with drones since I’ve been flying,

You should upload .dat to dji to have a look .
3-27 07:15
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WebParrot
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GaryDoug Posted at 3-25 20:11
Jesus dude, give it up. Everyone is just trying to help. Make your case and present your evidence and let it go.

But since you invited it, I am guessing it was a motor failure ... no evidence follows ;-)

Yeah... No.... Guesses aren't any help.  What helps most is to clearly state at the beginning of your diatribe, "this is a guess...." and what perception, experience, makes your guess worth sharing.
3-27 09:34
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GaryDoug
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That isn't the arm in the video, it's the underside of the front housing. I just duplicated that view with mine. Note the bump on the left side. Compare it with his video at 3-4 seconds. I doubt that the camera can normally swing to that angle, so I am GUESSING it was already loose at that instant.

As to the second fall, note the increase in wind speed (see the leaves start to move) just before the fall. I GUESS that the wind just dislodged it from whatever was holding it up before falling to the ground.

The image below is mine:




3-27 11:42
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jz729
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Oh, I see. Wouldn't it take a pretty decent impact to knock it lose like that? If that's the case I can't think of anything other than an eagle/hawk swooping down on it to have caused it. I don't think casually running into an unattentive bird would knock it lose.

And if it was indeed attacked, I'm surprised nothing is broken tbh.
3-27 11:48
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GaryDoug
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I can't answer those without making wild guesses ;-)

But I do have a question. Had you enabled the Allow Upward Gimbal Rotation option?

3-27 11:59
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jz729
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Yes I did have that option enabled
3-27 13:54
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GaryDoug
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jz729 Posted at 3-27 13:54
Yes I did have that option enabled


Then I think it would have been easier to force it to be in that position. When I tried with mine, the camera would never get into that position by itself but would come closer.
3-27 14:33
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