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Fly Away/RTH Failure

hiflyer

Member
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Sep 12, 2018
Messages
22
Age
80
Afternoon all,

Brand new to the drone scene and ended up with a new DJI Spark, love messing with it, had it out on a few test runs here at home and out at the park and lake with no issues. Brought it out one day to take a pic of our property and took it to 200' with no issues, started trying to get a good view to take a pic and noticed it had started climbing. Was at 225' and steadily climbing, I hit the RTH and it told me it was unable to return. At this point it was directly above me and had reached 395' then shot out away from the LZ over some tree tops and then I got a read out of "no GPS", I lost site but after 2 days of tracking from its last known coordinates, I found it roughly 1/2 a mile away.

Got it back home and charged up, needed to replace a propeller, need a light cover and the camera works but doesn't move but everything else seemed good to go so I decided to do a test run and had it hovering at roughly 4', looking over my settings and it revved up and started ascending fast on its own. I hit RTH, it again told me it was unable to return so I grabbed it and pulled the battery off. Did some research and come up with several similar scenarios and checked everything they said they did and retried a test run with the same end results as I had before. I have yet to contact DJI, figured I would pick the brains of some seasoned veterans first.

Any and all help is greatly appreciated.
you probably have heard all of this but did you do the firmware updates on both the drone and controller?. and have you calibrated the controller? If they don't have the same firmware and the controller is out of calibration watch out. I crashed my Spark. Don't think it was my fault. It suddenly dove to ground level and hit a concrete block. I was able to twist it back into shape and put on a couple of props and it flew about the same as always..but the avoidance no longer worked. I didn't really care about that, but then I got to thinking I would start caring about it real fast if it hit someone. Bite the bullet and send it back to DJI. It's painless except to the wallet. You're not going to trust it unless it's fixed and It's easy to download the logs etc. and send it in. Good Luck
 
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Ken_Whitewolf

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Dec 30, 2018
Messages
12
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54
Here's the thing, if you lose GPS lock or the drone is otherwise confused and does something really weird that's exactly when RTH doesn't actually work. Your first instinct needs to be to fly the drone manually. RTH is great if the drone gets too far and you have a connection problem. It's less than useless during a flyaway.

(No excuse for that guy being rude about it, just to be clear)
Appreciate the info, my attempts at manually bringing it back was put to a stop because I lost site of it after it shot up and over the tree line, I'm thinking it got too close to the power lines at that point because according to the flight log, it was right around that area that it lost connection and I got the magnetic interference message, but it still continued flying another half mile before dropping out of the sky
 

hiflyer

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Sep 12, 2018
Messages
22
Age
80
I have been flying my Spark for around 6 months now and early on had one flyaway in similar circumstances. Immediately before it flew off, there was a 'magnetic field interference' warning and loss of GPS with susbsequent failure of RTH. Long story short, - I got it back after some brief excitement amongst some very tall trees and after much thought realised the probable reason...

The ground was wet and very rough so I had launched it from the bonnet of the Land Rover, which seemed a good idea at the time but probably didn't help with the startup calibration procedures. Just sayin'. Somebody else here may have been as stupid as me...:rolleyes:
Yeah...done all that. Luckily I noticed the compass error when I tried to launch off of my nice clean car hood, but twice, several months apart, I tried to launch off of the same broken piece of concrete (re-bar I guess) on a Mexican beach. I immediately lost control both times and my drone augered into the nearest object..a palm tree instead one of the many sunbathers frying nearby... Yikes!
 
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Ken_Whitewolf

Member
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Dec 30, 2018
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before you fly do this
1.charge batts the day of the flight
2.place drone on a spot with patterns like grass or stuff with lines or concrete with symbols why precision landing can see the pattern... you can google this if you dont understand..thats why people use a H landing pad most of them that and dust

3.turn on remote
4.turn on drone
5.turn on app use otg cable
6.go into app press go fly
7.go into menu check the imu if its green and low its good
8..click compass then calibration and follow the instructions the dji dance lol
9.set drone down when done
10. let the drone sit 30 seconds idleing to warm up and get the home point if the home point dont say home point recorded and the h appear where you are then set it manually
you can do this by going into the app settings 3 dots upper right corner and find where it says dynamic home point or the other one. the one you want is record home point where drone is click that and it will auto set the home pointw here the drone now sits.. look at the map make sure H is there.

11.take off hover 30 seconds so the under side camera can snap a pic of the ground for precises landings
12. fly as normal.. watching batt voltage never trust that it will rth by its self.. before the yellow H and the bar gets to it return to home by yourself...... and if you fly far out only fly 50% of the batt that far out

i never trust software i trust myself..

ive never had an issue with the spark.. so far knock on wood...

only issue is video quality sucks but i think thats because i use a old device i cant afford a new iphone at 600 dollars or more ... so i use a acceptable phone or tablet.. not ideal..
hope this helps
Thanks Locutus40, that's one heck of a break down! LOL I will print this out and save it to my carry case for future reference. Looks like I was on it fairly well based on your list, just a few things I did not do but next time. LOL Much appreciated!
 

Ken_Whitewolf

Member
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Dec 30, 2018
Messages
12
Age
54
you probably have heard all of this but did you do the firmware updates on both the drone and controller?. and have you calibrated the controller? If they don't have the same firmware and the controller is out of calibration watch out. I crashed my Spark. Don't think it was my fault. It suddenly dove to ground level and hit a concrete block. I was able to twist it back into shape and put on a couple of props and it flew about the same as always..but the avoidance no longer worked. I didn't really care about that, but then I got to thinking I would start caring about it real fast if it hit someone. Bite the bullet and send it back to DJI. It's painless except to the wallet. You're not going to trust it unless it's fixed and It's easy to download the logs etc. and send it in. Good Luck
hiflyer,
Thanks. Since my original post here, I have either had the good fortune of others here passing on this info or found it looking at videos and squared it all away, still much appreciated. I may go ahead and do that, just send it in to get it all checked out and get that camera fixed.
 

Punkinv

Member
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Dec 28, 2018
Messages
16
Age
51
This is uncanny, but the exact same thing just happened to me. Updated the firmware, hovered for a bit, then the Spark had a mind of its own. 12 Sats at takeoff, then fluctuated between 10, 11, and 12. Had 14 when it flew away. The Spark hit a nearby tree and crashed. I bought the Spark second-hand and bought new props, 2 new batteries, and a new controller, in anticipation for a trip to Costa Rica next week. I have a Mavic Pro but I figured if anything went wrong, I'd rather it did with the Spark. Well, it went wrong alright, but at least nobody was hurt. Broken props and a cracked frame out of the deal. Going to put this thing its box and go back to Mavic, which I have never had trouble with. Look for this for sale on eBay!

Attached is the flight record if this helps anyone.
 

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Jan 7, 2019
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I have been flying my Spark for around 6 months now and early on had one flyaway in similar circumstances. Immediately before it flew off, there was a 'magnetic field interference' warning and loss of GPS with susbsequent failure of RTH. Long story short, - I got it back after some brief excitement amongst some very tall trees and after much thought realised the probable reason...

The ground was wet and very rough so I had launched it from the bonnet of the Land Rover, which seemed a good idea at the time but probably didn't help with the startup calibration procedures. Just sayin'. Somebody else here may have been as stupid as me...:rolleyes:
My flyaway experience was very similar to yours with the "magnetic interference" message shortly after take off. In such a situation I don't think there's anything you can do. You can't even take manual control, never mind initiate a RTH. It may well be the last time you ever see your drone.
 
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Dec 16, 2018
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69
I have a Mavic Pro and a Spark. It really seems to me, when I'm messing with the pro around my computer gear or the Spark, that the compass line goes up faster and more often than the compass on the pro. Not too scientific, but if that's what it looks like, then the Spark is more sensitive to interference than the Pro. At any rate, always, be careful when you calibrate the compass, and maybe the IMU also, but especially the compass. Make sure you do it away from any metal, power lines, etc. even re-bar in a sidewalk. I always check my IMU and compass settings, to see if they"re in the green, "good" zone before I fly. Remember too, if RTH doesn't respond, and it say's ATTI mode, you better try and fly manually, and bring it down, or to a place where GPS kicks in again. Just my two cents, and it sounds like things are going better for you with this. Keep learning, studying and practicing, and it'll make you a better pilot and more confident to fly and better equipped to get out of problems with it. Marc.
 
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Chuck Halfacre

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Sep 30, 2018
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47
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40 Miles out side of Las Vegas
After all the years of me flying RC airplanes helicopters and whatever else is out there the trucks and cars I kind of knew the do's and don'ts. That's why when my drone flew away I knew what to and what not to do. I got close to 15 years RC flying and playing with all my RC stuff. I have a wagon it's plastic all the way around but I would put a board over the top of it and then put a box on top so I didn't have to bend over because of my back problem. I had absolutely no interference with anything on the Drone or the remote or even my phone. When I flew that morning the Drone took off I looked at everything on my phone it said homepointe updated I was flying starting to do a big circle like I had done all other times only got halfway my signal dropped disconnected would not reconnect to my remote. I remember walking over to get my keys for my truck to go get my drone within 5 minutes from when the drone disconnected it was not where it said it was at when I hit find my drone. Along with where the drones said it was at was in a 10-acre lot with open ground another words no weeds tumbleweeds so on I went over the fence went right to where it said it was at it just was not there. I searched for a few days way around that property and there's nothing have no idea where it could have gone. Anyway that's that's kind of my story for the FlyAway. DJI knows about this and yet they continue to keep selling a malfunctioning drone. They're Fail-Safe mode failed now I say regardless of what one other guy in this forum that likes to argue no matter what you say cuz yet he knows everything. It just really sucks I put money out on something and I'm still having problems trying to purchase the Drone at what they said. I was told their famous line wait for an email when you receive that email it will say what to do a lot of times you don't receive a email. Their other favorite line you have to wait 24 to 48 hours to receive that email. After that 24 to 48 hours you do not receive that email and you call in then you have to wait another 12 to 48 hours. they have a lot of stall tactics and what they do and it's really unfair to anyone that is just trying to get back to flying and forget about the issue that happened and they play that game and I hope no one else has to go through this. that's all for me sorry for the long story but I want everyone to know what their future holds if they lose a drone and cannot find it.
 
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Ken_Whitewolf

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Dec 30, 2018
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12
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54
Just came back from dropping my Spark off at the UPS center, been dealing with DJI since my last message here and they said it is definitely a warranty issue based on the flight records and video I sent to them. Hopefully I can get my Spark back here soon and get back out there and fly. THANKS everyone for all your time and help!
 
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