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Crash Investigation: Sudden Increase in Speed + Crash

magica5

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Apr 22, 2019
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2
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26
Hi Guys,

I've long read this forum, but first time posting...

I had a situation occur this morning which resulted in the death of my Spark. I'm typically a slow flyer, admitting I'm a relative beginner but something happened which I can't understand based on my Flight Logs. I'm hoping someone more experience

Here's what happened: I am currently on vacation in the highland regions of New Zealand.

I was flying my drone close to myself at my place of stay at a low altitude and distance to where I stood. The flight was no more than a minute or so, flown in ATTI mode (hovering and moving between 1mph to 4mph), when the drone dramatically sped up rising from 3mph to 19mph in the span of 1.3 seconds then again upon return 4mph to 16mph in 2.1 seconds - with the final acceleration resulting in a loss of control and crash.

I've investigated the flight records closely and cannot seem to understand the cause of the issue. I've flown the spark consistently through my trips with limited speed and did not expect it to accelerate uncontrollably at these speeds in such a sudden.

I've attached the flight logs for your reference as well. I did not recieve any environmental warning on strong winds to suggest otherwise - so I believe it might have been a defect or malfunction. According to my understanding of the drones features I do believe there should've been safety limits and consistent controls to ensue consistent flight behaviour.

Hope someone can help - I want to learn from this incident... I feel awful over the whole thing.
 

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Gavieboydgi

Well-Known Member
Premium Pilot
Join
Mar 3, 2018
Messages
732
Age
36
Hi Guys,

I've long read this forum, but first time posting...

I had a situation occur this morning which resulted in the death of my Spark. I'm typically a slow flyer, admitting I'm a relative beginner but something happened which I can't understand based on my Flight Logs. I'm hoping someone more experience

Here's what happened: I am currently on vacation in the highland regions of New Zealand.

I was flying my drone close to myself at my place of stay at a low altitude and distance to where I stood. The flight was no more than a minute or so, flown in ATTI mode (hovering and moving between 1mph to 4mph), when the drone dramatically sped up rising from 3mph to 19mph in the span of 1.3 seconds then again upon return 4mph to 16mph in 2.1 seconds - with the final acceleration resulting in a loss of control and crash.

I've investigated the flight records closely and cannot seem to understand the cause of the issue. I've flown the spark consistently through my trips with limited speed and did not expect it to accelerate uncontrollably at these speeds in such a sudden.

I've attached the flight logs for your reference as well. I did not recieve any environmental warning on strong winds to suggest otherwise - so I believe it might have been a defect or malfunction. According to my understanding of the drones features I do believe there should've been safety limits and consistent controls to ensue consistent flight behaviour.

Hope someone can help - I want to learn from this incident... I feel awful over the whole thing.
This was what happen to me the other day. My Spark just shot off over some tall trees and straight over a biussness park 300 meters away from me with no in put was just in normal GPS Mode you can see it shoots to nearly 20 mph when atti mode hits.
It wasnt windy that day so it was not the wind shooting it off, i was really lucky that i always stay for a miniute to make sure Home point is set,
I had no video feed so didnt know where the heck it shot off too luckly it must of gotten GPS again and Did the RTH procedure.
EDIT Just watched the Youtube video again WOW It Shot off Hitting nearly 45MPH........
I Knew it shot off Fast but didnt realise it was that quick.....

 
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magica5

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Apr 22, 2019
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2
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26
This was what happen to me the other day. My Spark just shot off over some tall trees and straight over a biussness park 300 meters away from me with no in put was just in normal GPS Mode you can see it shoots to nearly 20 mph when atti mode hits.
It wasnt windy that day so it was not the wind shooting it off, i was really lucky that i always stay for a miniute to make sure Home point is set,
I had no video feed so didnt know where the heck it shot off too luckly it must of gotten GPS again and Did the RTH procedure.
EDIT Just watched the Youtube video again WOW It Shot off Hitting nearly 45MPH........
I Knew it shot off Fast but didnt realise it was that quick.....

Mine resulted in an unfortunate crash... do you reckon it's worth reporting to DJI? I feel like this is kinda poor design.
 
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Gavieboydgi

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Mar 3, 2018
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732
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36
Mine resulted in an unfortunate crash... do you reckon it's worth reporting to DJI? I feel like this is kinda poor design.
I dont know. The Spark Only has one compass and imu so if they fail the Spark hasnt got anything to fall back onto, and thats why the Spark goes into Atti Mode alot.
Ive just learnt to live with it, but if my Spark wouldve ended in a crash i wouldve sent mine straight to DJI.
I just cant belive how fast mine shot off, i knew it looked very fast but **** it nearly hit 50 MPH
 

SPark_South_Oz

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Apr 20, 2019
Messages
36
Loc
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Not sure if this is the reason yours happened . . . but there have been a lot of flyaways reported over on the Mavicpilots forum of late.
In a lot of the analysis done, there are numerous instances of compass error and correction.
Interesting to note, this is not the sometimes magnetic interference warning you can get if taking off around metal etc, it happens not long after take off.

Where when readying for take off, the compass is registering 180 degrees to what it should be . . . the little red arrow vs the direction it's placed on the ground.

After take off, there is a recognition of this from the positioning, the bird tries to correct itself and usually goes off sideways at a rate of knots.
If there is time before wind catches it, or it crashes etc, it MAY correct on its own, but very often it's not seen again.

There is NOTHING you can do about this apparently, putting into sports mode or hitting pause does nothing to stop this happening.
Quite a dilemma for many of the Mavic variants.

Before flight when the little lady says home point recorded, please check it on the map, I do look and make sure the red arrow is pointed roughly the same direction as the drone is facing.

Good habit to get into.

Hope you have no further problems.
 

Kenneth Jackson

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Jul 3, 2018
Messages
65
Age
56
When it loses GPS signal mid flight and thinks it's in another country and sets it home point somewhere in the arctic circle, good luck getting it back.
Not sure if this is the reason yours happened . . . but there have been a lot of flyaways reported over on the Mavicpilots forum of late.
In a lot of the analysis done, there are numerous instances of compass error and correction.
Interesting to note, this is not the sometimes magnetic interference warning you can get if taking off around metal etc, it happens not long after take off.

Where when readying for take off, the compass is registering 180 degrees to what it should be . . . the little red arrow vs the direction it's placed on the ground.

After take off, there is a recognition of this from the positioning, the bird tries to correct itself and usually goes off sideways at a rate of knots.
If there is time before wind catches it, or it crashes etc, it MAY correct on its own, but very often it's not seen again.

There is NOTHING you can do about this apparently, putting into sports mode or hitting pause does nothing to stop this happening.
Quite a dilemma for many of the Mavic variants.

Before flight when the little lady says home point recorded, please check it on the map, I do look and make sure the red arrow is pointed roughly the same direction as the drone is facing.

Good habit to get into.

Hope you have no further problems.
 

SPark_South_Oz

Active Member
Join
Apr 20, 2019
Messages
36
Loc
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
When it loses GPS signal mid flight and thinks it's in another country and sets it home point somewhere in the arctic circle, good luck getting it back.
Another one on Mavicpilots this morning, where compass reading was at 180 degrees to the map (red aircraft arrow).
So many of these seen on that forum, and no magnetic warnings given before flight.
 

lmel2005

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May 15, 2018
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642
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61
When it loses GPS signal mid flight and thinks it's in another country and sets it home point somewhere in the arctic circle, good luck getting it back.
If GPS signal is lost, drone cannot set a home point, and cannot go anywhere also.
 

Gavieboydgi

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Mar 3, 2018
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732
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36
If GPS signal is lost, drone cannot set a home point, and cannot go anywhere also.
Mine lost GPS Mid flight and Flew off and somehow it restablished GPS and Came back to the Homepoint Straight above me.
So it must not Reset the Homepoint when it does Happen
 

lmel2005

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May 15, 2018
Messages
642
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61
Yes, there's one home point per flight (unless operator resets it).

But without GPS signal, drone cannot fly to a given point on the map.
 
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