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Fell From the Sky
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2438 57 2016-10-2
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bobmccracken1
lvl.1

United Kingdom
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Well I think the phantom 4 is the best thing Ive ever owned. Been a proud owner for 2 months and been flying as regular as I can and really getting into it.

Well that was until today, perfect autumn conditions and was flying in the country flying the route of a river to an old church/graveyard and then back to me. Everything was fine and Id covereed around 3000m distance at an altitude of around 125m. Wehn I started to bring the drone into land I decided to lower of a little and as I watched the drone it was like it just plummeted out of the sky way faster than it should. Let go of the stick it carried on, then pushed up it still fell like a lead ballon until Splash it landed in the river about 50m from me. I ran and tried to wade into to the river but it was far too deep and flowing to fast so I had to abandon my recue attempt.

So thats it is gone I am gutted and just wrote to DJI in the hope they will admit this was equipment failure. DOnt know where I stand I always do my flight checks and fly responsibly. Ive lost a £1000+ camera and Im devestated. DOes anyone know of similar incidents and what apprach DJI took

Thanks
2016-10-2
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Jkeller84
First Officer
Flight distance : 396955 ft
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United States
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You'll want to find the Phantom for any hope of DJI warranting this. Without the flight data from it, its only speculation as to what happened.
2016-10-2
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Bond
lvl.4
Flight distance : 1364534 ft
United States
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Have you looked at the flight log in the go app?
2016-10-2
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MarcoX5
lvl.3
Flight distance : 1196778 ft
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Canada
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So sorry about your crash. It must be so hard to watch your aircraft doing the unexpected, especially after two months of experience.  We hear reports of this far too often.

You should be able to get the required information to assess the cause of this crash from the DJI Go app.  I believe DJI is diligent in working with owners to make a reasonable assessment of the circumstances that lead to a crash.

Please inform us as you learn what happened.
2016-10-2
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Warnberg
lvl.3

United States
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Sync your flight logs.. did you look at them to see what it shows?
2016-10-2
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hallmark007
Captain
Flight distance : 4796880 ft
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Ireland
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Sync your flight logs and find a diver..
2016-10-2
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calls4u2
Second Officer
Flight distance : 211604 ft
United Kingdom
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Sync the logs, and maybe upload them to healthydrones so members here can take a look too. I see you paid in £'s, if you're local gimme a shout I'll get the scuba gear out
2016-10-2
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spalding1968
lvl.3
Flight distance : 315584 ft
United Kingdom
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Had mine for a month and I was nearly digging it out of the ground a couple of weeks ago.  it started to spin out of control but luckily it stabalised itself and i was able to bring it home. Synced my logs and raised an analysis form with DJI. not had any reply or info from them though. the thoughts are that it was a bird strike but i didnt see it happen, just the spinning. Like you, im not convinced its not a technical problem with the drone. I hope you can convince DJI that it was faulty and have some kind of happy outcome.
2016-10-3
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bobmccracken1
lvl.1

United Kingdom
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Thanks for help no word from DJI yet. There is now way I can get the drone it dropped into deep fast running river. I tried to wade in and find it but I would have drowned if I had gone any further. I have the flight log which just shows it disappear from the heigh it was at. I also have the last image transferred before it plunged into the depths!. Also I had a trackimo GPS locator on the drone which shows where it fell out of the sky but obviously that has met a watery grave too! The only think I am thinking is the area I was flying at has changed...the landscape was subject to alot of storm damage about a year ago and the river is now where land is and vice versa, I think the drone must have thought it was lowering over land and something malfunctioned. It just dropped and no matter what I did it would not pull up out of the drop. Id experienced no technical trouble before this and as I say I have been flying quite alot. Hopefully DJI will look up on this for what it is cos I simply havent done anything wrong! Im gutted!
2016-10-3
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Phantomski
Captain
Flight distance : 6871316 ft
United States
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No way u held the RTH button and had throttle (left stick) down and to the right? That would kill the motors, CSC command for emergency kill all.
If you play back your flight in go app, u can display stick movements....
So technically if you were descending full speed and took a right rudder input, and happened to touch RTH, u r toast....
2016-10-3
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bobmccracken1
lvl.1

United Kingdom
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Phantomski Posted at 2016-10-3 17:57
No way u held the RTH button and had throttle (left stick) down and to the right? That would kill th ...

No The motors were still spinning like it was in full throttle downwards before the big splash.
2016-10-3
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Phantomski
Captain
Flight distance : 6871316 ft
United States
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Well, I would be very suspicious of the "motor obstructed"....  u really do need to try to recover the sucker and get flight logs off of it to dji...
2016-10-3
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g man
lvl.1
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did your battery die?
2016-10-3
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bobmccracken1
lvl.1

United Kingdom
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g man Posted at 2016-10-3 19:58
did your battery die?

No battery levels were all good, I basically lowered the drone and seen it was falling to fast, released the stick it kept falling, full throttle into a very deep and fast river. Ive sent the log files to DJI as well as the last camera shot as it hit the water. I had a tracking device on it too which colaborates everything.
2016-10-3
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Phantomski
Captain
Flight distance : 6871316 ft
United States
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So for all we know, with the motor obstructed it could have lost one prop and did all it could not to flip flip flip, and with 3 props only, it simply landed into the water? Which means you cannot recover it, and all u got is what you got...
Actually, is there a dam downstream from there? There's a chance u could find it there.. it would float somewhat, even if it's the bottom of the river....
Still, if dji logs on your tablet is what you got, u really need to send it to dji and see what they tell u... they may consider it a warranty replaceable thing.... If u got motor obstructed mid flight, they may say a bird strike, but since u got these from the beginning, maybe there was something else going on....
2016-10-3
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Geebax
Captain
Australia
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bobmccracken1 Posted at 2016-10-4 03:52
Thanks for help no word from DJI yet. There is now way I can get the drone it dropped into deep fast ...

'The only think I am thinking is the area I was flying at has changed...the landscape was subject to alot of storm damage about a year ago and the river is now where land is and vice versa, I think the drone must have thought it was lowering over land and something malfunctioned. '

The aircraft has no knowledge of what the terrain under it is composed of. The maps are for your reference, the aircraft cannot see maps and has no knowledge of them.
2016-10-3
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Aardvark
Captain
Flight distance : 384432 ft
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United Kingdom
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bobmccracken1 Posted at 2016-10-3 20:11
No battery levels were all good, I basically lowered the drone and seen it was falling to fast, re ...

"I had a tracking device on it too which colaborates everything."

Not water proof I suppose, you could fish it out down stream ?
2016-10-3
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bobmccracken1
lvl.1

United Kingdom
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So guys I have uploaded the flight log to Healthydrones.com and it looks to me (no expert) if I am looking at all the right data that the drone did exactly as I have said how can I can get someone to look at this for me?
2016-10-5
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bobmccracken1
lvl.1

United Kingdom
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http://healthydrones.com/main?share=XCZCbz
2016-10-5
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bobmccracken1
lvl.1

United Kingdom
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So no responses so far but when I post originally I get (like anyone who reports a problem) a almost instant "ITS YOUR FAULT" set of posts, just want a honest look at the evidence, tell me if it was me or the machine?
2016-10-5
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Aardvark
Captain
Flight distance : 384432 ft
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United Kingdom
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The only thing that I can see from the healthy drones report is that it was in sports mod from 4:47 onwards, which means it takes far longer to stop than when not in sports mode.

You could try loading your flight log into http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/Upload/

It can maybe give a more detailed breakdown of the final moments.
2016-10-5
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Geebax
Captain
Australia
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bobmccracken1 Posted at 2016-10-6 08:31
So no responses so far but when I post originally I get (like anyone who reports a problem) a almost ...

The response is often negative simply because a lot of the incidents are the fault of the pilot. Mind you, that does not excuse them.

Looking at your Healthydrones report, there is nothing in it to indicate anything went wrong, and that is a problem for you, because there is nothing in there to tell DJI that the aircraft failed for any reason either. It is simply a case of insufficient data to draw a conclusion. I agree that it is upsetting to lose an aircraft with that amount of money invested in it, but it is a risk you take every time you fly it. Same for RC aircraft enthusiasts through the years, you have to be ready to accept total loss of the aircraft for whatever reason, otherwise you don't get involved in the hobby.

In this case I wonder if something brought your aircraft down, as it appeared to be operating normally up to that point. Contrary to what a lot of people think, there are more than two answers in this situation, one being it was the fault of the pilot, two being it was the fault of the aircraft manufacturer. There is a third one, an external influence that was not under the control of the first two.





2016-10-5
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DJI-Jamie
DJI team
Flight distance : 112405 ft
United States
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bobmccracken1 Posted at 2016-10-6 05:31
So no responses so far but when I post originally I get (like anyone who reports a problem) a almost ...

To clarify, you have been in contact with the Europe Support team, correct? Could you happen to provide a ticket number?
2016-10-5
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DJI-Jamie
DJI team
Flight distance : 112405 ft
United States
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spalding1968 Posted at 2016-10-3 18:07
Had mine for a month and I was nearly digging it out of the ground a couple of weeks ago.  it starte ...

Could you happen to provide your ticket number from that correspondence? It would be appreciated.
2016-10-5
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bobmccracken1
lvl.1

United Kingdom
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DJI-Jamie Posted at 2016-10-6 04:36
To clarify, you have been in contact with the Europe Support team, correct? Could you happen to pr ...

Hi yes I have reported and going through email tennis at the moment as they keep asking me to return the drone which I dont have now.

The job log is CAS-275237-S3X7R0

Cheers
2016-10-5
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adrianr
lvl.2

Germany
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First of all I am very sorry for your loss.

I am in a similar situation like so many others, and have experienced the same unfortunate event. Hopefully things will get sorted. Keep us posted!
2016-10-6
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bobmccracken1
lvl.1

United Kingdom
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adrianr Posted at 2016-10-6 10:01
First of all I am very sorry for your loss.

I am in a similar situation like so many others, and ha ...

Yes I will thankyou. I have put the ball in DJI technical, hopefully they will make the right decision. Items that fly 45mph and weigh 1.5kgs shouldn't fall or behave like this especially when they are marketed as high end equipment. I have had my eyes opened by some responses but on the whole everyone seems great. For the record there was no bird strike it was a clear day, I fly at this place every weekend if conditions allow. The logs show exactly as I have said, my trackimo shows the same route data (that's lost too!).

No one can deny their is issues with the hardware and whilst I appreciate there are probably lots of examples of Pilot Error I firmly believe this isn't one. I work as a senior software commissioning engineer I ensure software and systems behave as they should and that they fail safe. This didn't happen and DJI will hopefully accept there is an issue. If this had been in an area where people may have been and being hit by something with that weight and at that speed could well prove fatal![img][/img]
2016-10-6
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bayguy69
Second Officer
Flight distance : 460026 ft
Puerto Rico
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First, Sorry for your loss. One thing that came to my attention was the change from GPS to Sport mode  and the Max speed you flew your P4 was 49 MPH. I 'm not telling that this is bad, but when flying in this modes you have to be aware of everything in the area. Like Aadvark said, the reaction time of the P4 in Sports Mode takes more distance to stop and the obstacle avoidance don't work. Another thing is that you was using and Android tablet or phone. Is there a posibility of a software malfuntion with the tablet? I have see many post of problems with Samsung tablets and phones when flying the P4. I hope you solve this situation.
2016-10-6
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k.lower
Second Officer
United Kingdom
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I've heard of this before and the answer was "HOME INSURANCE". They payed up in three weeks.
2016-10-6
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Sky Mike
lvl.4
Flight distance : 357503 ft
United Kingdom
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My fellow Brit I feel your pain at the loss of the p4, all I can think of looking at the logs is the speed maybe had a factor to play within the unfolding of your tragic event, maybe it broke in flight some how and it was unable to recover its self and down it went, but I agree this shouldn't happen to a 1300 piece of kit, the guy who tested the drone by cutting its props etc and launching its case at the drone it managed to withstand all the abuse,I hope Dji sort this out for you and you back up in the air again soon, and maybe see you down Lytham way :-)
2016-10-6
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bobmccracken1
lvl.1

United Kingdom
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Sky Mike Posted at 2016-10-6 14:58
My fellow Brit I feel your pain at the loss of the p4, all I can think of looking at the logs is the ...

Cheers. I had been flying in sports but had stopped and came to a hover, it when I tried to lower it just dropped but drove hard. I seen this almighty splash and was just so glad no one witnessed as it felt mighty embarrassing !
2016-10-6
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DJI-Jamie
DJI team
Flight distance : 112405 ft
United States
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bobmccracken1 Posted at 2016-10-6 14:35
Hi yes I have reported and going through email tennis at the moment as they keep asking me to retu ...

At the moment, the flight logs are in the process of being evaluated. You should be hearing back from them soon. You don't need to provide anything additional at this time.
2016-10-6
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bobmccracken1
lvl.1

United Kingdom
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DJI-Jamie Posted at 2016-10-6 19:17
At the moment, the flight logs are in the process of being evaluated. You should be hearing back f ...

Cheers Jamie. I am holding my breath that there is a sensible decision made on this one.
2016-10-6
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bobmccracken1
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United Kingdom
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Geebax Posted at 2016-10-5 23:25
The response is often negative simply because a lot of the incidents are the fault of the pilot. Mi ...

I understand. Just is frustrating to see a lot of negative responses before logs have been reviewed etc. I understand that there is a process to follow and I understand that the majority of people who choose DJI do so because it is a trusted brand. Customer support and understanding there may be problems with a product is more important than the glossy sales videos. Even in these days the pen is mightier than the sword and news of bad customer service can grow faster than ivy. only can products get better when people identify they are not perfect. We should all aim for perfection
2016-10-6
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michael_judd
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United States
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bayguy69 Posted at 2016-10-6 06:24
"First, Sorry for your loss. One thing that came to my attention was the change from GPS to Sport mode  and the Max speed you flew your P4 was 49 MPH. I 'm not telling that this is bad, but when flying in this modes you have to be aware of everything in the area. Like Aadvark said, the reaction time of the P4 in Sports Mode takes more distance to stop and the obstacle avoidance don't work. Another thing is that you was using and Android tablet or phone. Is there a posibility of a software malfuntion with the tablet? I have see many post of problems with Samsung tablets and phones when flying the P4. I hope you solve this situation"

I use a samsung tab and have never had an issue. Correct me if I am wrong but the tablet/phone/app is ONLY to monitor the flight and has nothing to do with controlling the ac. I have turned my tablet off while flying and had no affect on the ac at all.
2016-10-6
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bobmccracken1
lvl.1

United Kingdom
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michael_judd Posted at 2016-10-6 20:56
I use a samsung tab and have never had an issue. Correct me if I am wrong but the tablet/phone/app  ...

Hi Michael thanks for the input...again some people are referring to red herrings to ascertain blame. If there is a problem with a device associated to the DJI software then DJI should make this clear. For the record I had lot of problems initially getting anything to work with my new out of the box £1000+ item. Nothing would work I spent days repeating various tutorials on youtube and the manual was pants! In the end I bought a dedicated tablet that is only running the one extra added app of DJI and then I have had no problems until the death of course. I wish people would just accept that on top of pilot error there are many recorded incidents of sudden malfunction. It happens with lots of things all I am asking that DJI recognise this which they may well so why dont the users who seem to be have so lucky (like I was until sunday) do?
2016-10-6
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Nigel_
Captain
Flight distance : 388642 ft
United Kingdom
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bobmccracken1 Posted at 2016-10-6 22:41
Hi Michael thanks for the input...again some people are referring to red herrings to ascertain bla ...

I think most people aren't giving an opinion because there isn't enough evidence.  Even the HealthyDrones log doesn't show anything unusual except that it ends at 430 ft above the ground almost immediately after braking from 48mph, presumably it either lost power or turned off otherwise there would be some data on its way down.

Looks a bit odd, and very unlucky, that it fell in the river, the track is several meters from the river moving away from it and I don't think that piece of river will have moved since the photo was taken?  Looks like you started off right on the riverbank showing that the GPS was accurate.

Best to wait for a response from support, there has to be an explanation for no data on the way down, hopefully there is something useful not shown by HealthyDrones.
2016-10-6
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Geebax
Captain
Australia
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Nigel_ Posted at 2016-10-7 09:02
I think most people aren't giving an opinion because there isn't enough evidence.  Even the Health ...


'Looks a bit odd, and very unlucky, that it fell in the river, the track is several meters from the river moving away from it and I don't think that piece of river will have moved since the photo was taken?  Looks like you started off right on the riverbank showing that the GPS was accurate.'


When Google or whoever update their maps, they are done from more recent aerial survey photographs. Despite being called 'satellite images', in the main they are not satelite views at all, except for the very high altitude parts. And when the operator stitches the aerial pictures together, often the same geographical feature is not in the exact same position it was in the previous view. This means that bobmccracken1 is very likely correct, in that the river may not be in the same position.

Now that PhantomHelp has been able to get around the encrypted data problem, it would be advantageous to upload the flight data to their site, as it offers more detail in analysing the flight.
2016-10-6
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Geebax
Captain
Australia
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michael_judd Posted at 2016-10-7 06:56
I use a samsung tab and have never had an issue. Correct me if I am wrong but the tablet/phone/app  ...

'Correct me if I am wrong but the tablet/phone/app is ONLY to monitor the flight and has nothing to do with controlling the ac. I have turned my tablet off while flying and had no affect on the ac at all.'

Yes and no. Yes, the tablet can be turned off and you can still fly the aircraft. No, the tablet is not ONLY used for monitoring, it can also control various aspects of the aircraft, so faulty software can influence the flight.
2016-10-6
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Nigel_
Captain
Flight distance : 388642 ft
United Kingdom
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Geebax Posted at 2016-10-6 23:55
'Looks a bit odd, and very unlucky, that it fell in the river, the track is several meters from th ...

"This means that bobmccracken1 is very likely correct, in that the river may not be in the same position."
While it is possible that the photo is that far out, if it was then that would put the take off point well into the water!  
2016-10-6
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