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Drone lost & can't find.

MikeMorgan

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Sep 15, 2017
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First time poster, so I apologies if something like this has be posted before but I had a little look but couldn't see anything. Bit of a long story but please stay with me as I'd really like some input on this as I'm pretty upset and pissed all in one.

- So today I lost my DJI Spark forever. I've literally been looking for it with 2 other people for 2hrs & there's no sign of it, and here's how it happened - bare in mind a lot of thinking and speculating has happened from when it originally all took place. Pieces of a puzzle and all.

I went to my friends golf course to do a quick fly-over film of 2 courses. It's on the first one is where I lost it. Please now refer to the image with the pretty colours. So the course has a left bend in it. Knowing that a single tree in the way of the signal can cause feed issues, I took-off and RTH set from the blue dot. I then flew up to the pink dot to start my filming. As I started to head down the course (white line), I swear my phone said 'RTH set', which I thought was a bit strange but it may of just been a delay.

As I turned around the bend, I didn't get the best cornering and was close to the left side (IMG 1) I carried on around the corner then noticed I was close to the large tree (IMG 2 and white circle 1). It was at this point, I lost visual on both eye and screen. So my natural reaction was to send her up into the sky to get visual and connection again. Sadly none of this happened and I lost all feed/connection. So I ran to a more open area which was the green dot and looked across to where I pulled up. I still could not see the drone (probably due to grey clouds) and I still had no connection/phone visual.

It was at this point I decided to press the RTH and get it back to ground. Well this never happened. After looking for it for 10mins, I looked at my 'Find my drone' option and it said my drone was back at pink dot. So, we ran back up the hill and there was nothing there - looked in the nearby bushes and everything. It was only at the pink dot area where I managed to get connection and visual back of the drone for a split second and I got a shot of it crashed somewhere (IMG 4). I noticed I was still recording (I remember 15mins on the timer by this time), so I stopped and looked at my editor. Well due to the connection issues, only 30 seconds recorded before it cut out and went missing - 30 seconds was the flying clip and 1 second was a crashed one. The last recording visual is my drone facing away from me and looking over the road to the housing estate (IMG 3 and white circle 2).

After all this, me and friends looked for 2hrs within the red circle area looking for it with no luck. Putting theories together about the angle the crash photo was, lighting, how clear the area looked and not a dense bush/tree area etc. You name, we thought it and had no luck.

SO! What do I do now? I'm royally pissed that I've lost my £700 drone. I haven't technically used it that much since I got it as I was just training and testing it out. I opted out for the time being from getting the Care Refresh for now (kicking myself a little). But my main annoyance is that the whole drone ****** up and crashed at really no fault of my own. From the short film I have and images shown, I did not hit anything to cause a crash. The whole DJI system and connection failed on me and lost visual when I had a clearing and pushed it up into the air to prevent any interference - I've been in wooded areas before and had no issues like this. Yet, the whole thing packed in, and I now no longer have a drone! I can't call customer service until Monday now, but I kind of wanted to vent but hear some feedback/help if possible.

Thanks
 

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msinger

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Check out your TXT flight log to see if it explains what happened. You can upload and view it online here. If you'd like other people to review and comment on your flight log, then please post a link back here after you upload it.
 

MikeMorgan

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Check out your TXT flight log to see if it explains what happened. You can upload and view it online here. If you'd like other people to review and comment on your flight log, then please post a link back here after you upload it.
The flight log only shows 2.45mins of a 15min flight and it's all just the drone waiting and hovering at the T-off area (Pink dot). After that, nothing, yet the time bar says there's more to the clip.
 

msinger

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Are you sure the flight log wasn't split into multiple TXT files?
 

Lastrexking

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Ouch. Sorry you've lost your Spark, and hope you find it.
I once had a mate that lost a Phantom, and we took mine out and repeated his course, and amazingly found it.
Might be something to think about if you know someone with a quadcopter.
 

MikeMorgan

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Are you sure the flight log wasn't split into multiple TXT files?
Yep. My next flight log is of one I did back on the 9th.

Ouch. Sorry you've lost your Spark, and hope you find it.
I once had a mate that lost a Phantom, and we took mine out and repeated his course, and amazingly found it.
Might be something to think about if you know someone with a quadcopter.
I won't find it unless I literally have a search party out their and this is under the assumption that it's in that area I've circled. Like I said, the feed/connection all failed on me and the only vid I have saved cuts out when it's above the trees. Nothing showing me it crashing.
 

msinger

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Can you post the log so we can see it?
 

Dronason

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Best is you do what msinger indicate in post #2. That's the only way to help you based on fact instead of guessing.
 
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msinger

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@MikeMorgan, please upload your TXT flight log here and post a link back here.
 

msinger

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The last location in your flight log was 51.32637786, -1.23424233. It should have landed right around that area since it was flying in ATTI mode at the time.
 

MikeMorgan

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The last location in your flight log was 51.32637786, -1.23424233. It should have landed right around that area since it was flying in ATTI mode at the time.
No this is wrong. I input these coordinates in maps (they're exactly the same as what my app was saying) and it took me to the OPEN AREA T-off area where it would of been in plain site. There was nothing there.
 

msinger

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No this is wrong. I input these coordinates in maps (they're exactly the same as what my app was saying) and it took me to the OPEN AREA T-off area where it would of been in plain site.
Those coordinates definitely don't lead to an open area. Take another look.
 

MikeMorgan

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Those coordinates definitely don't lead to an open area. Take another look.
They looked very similar to the ones I used earlier but you're right. My mate is going back to his course tomorrow morning to have a look while I'm at work so, I'll find out tomorrow if it's there or now.

So far though, you've been a massive help! I never would of known about the TXT log and all that other stuff. So you've helped me at least find it's location or general whereabouts. I literally walked that open grass path earlier while looking and I'm pretty sure I looked over that brown section but it must be covered up good and proper.
 

Dronason

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The last video shows Spark down in forest (IMG 4.png). So there is good chance as msinger said that it is where the log file end.
There is a tool in the Go4 app to track last position of Spark. If your device has GPS, it could be very helpful to found it.
 

Dronason

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And by the way, you need to recalibrate IMU and especially compass in a remote area after this incident (I expect you found it).
 

MikeMorgan

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I found it but it wasn't where the log said it was. My friend went back in the morning and looked again around that area for 2hrs but could not find anything. So when I was off work, I went back in the afternoon to do my shift.

The red dot is where the log said it's last known location was but the blue dot is where I found it. I decided that, as we'd looked in the red dot area so much, I'd start higher up and literally within 5 minutes, I found it. Annoying, I was looking in that area the day we lost it but I think I went further down and around/past it.

I've now pulled out the raw unconnected footage from the SD card and it actually flew over the trees and in the general direction of the 2nd RTH spot which was the T-off area. As that hole we were on was a hill, the drone came close to some trees in the area I found it as it flew up the incline. It then goes up in the air, then comes down and goes into land mode (either by itself or I told it to at the time but I'm pretty sure I didn't). As it goes down to land, probably about 10ft less from the ground, it hits a branch and falls to it's location. Gimbal then centres itself and thats the final image you see of it looking up from the ground. I checked it over and there wasn't a scratch on it, gimbal/camera was fine and I tried a fresh battery and it loaded up perfectly. I'll do a few more checks but take it out tomorrow for a easy fly around an open park and see how she handles. I'll also clean it up and put new propellers on it just to be safe.

Once again all, I really appreciate the help from everyone! Even though the log was slightly in correct, it gave me a general area and to be fair it wasn't too far from where it said it had landed. I do think maybe the flight log could of been correct as I noticed sat images varied depending on how old they were and the drone did carry on filming after it crashed.
 

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