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I Lost My DJI Spark

Beniamin

Member
Join
May 28, 2018
Messages
13
Age
28
Hi. Yesterday I had an incident with my DJI spark. I started to fly with full battery and with the remote controller. I flew a bit after that I enabled the function "dronie", after completion I began to fly to myself, after few seconds I saw that I had lost connection with the drone, but I tried to continue to push sticks to fly to myself and I think it worked but after a few seconds more drone stopped and started autolanding as it happens, when drone has just 10% of battery, but at that moment he had 48% of battery. I ran closer to the shore, hoping that the connection would be restored, but it didn't. Eventually, it landed in a sea and I lost my drone. I'm sure that I didn't do any mistake, but I don't understand why it happened.

I started googling and found the same situation except for the battery level.

Logs: 1 and 2

I have already written to the DJI support and now I'm looking forward to them analyze.

What do you think about my incident? Was it my mistake or it was totally drone mistake?
 

Beniamin

Member
Join
May 28, 2018
Messages
13
Age
28
sad story, with my suggestion you should not flying near the sea because the wind speed is very high, spark also a very small drone so ...
Yes, you are right. But at that time at first I tried to fly near me and I saw that everything is okay, the spark could hover in one position.
 

maumau

Well-Known Member
Join
Feb 28, 2018
Messages
92
Age
63
Hi. Yesterday I had an incident with my DJI spark. I started to fly with full battery and with the remote controller. I flew a bit after that I enabled the function "dronie", after completion I began to fly to myself, after few seconds I saw that I had lost connection with the drone, but I tried to continue to push sticks to fly to myself and I think it worked but after a few seconds more drone stopped and started autolanding as it happens, when drone has just 10% of battery, but at that moment he had 48% of battery. I ran closer to the shore, hoping that the connection would be restored, but it didn't. Eventually, it landed in a sea and I lost my drone. I'm sure that I didn't do any mistake, but I don't understand why it happened.

I started googling and found the same situation except for the battery level.

Logs: 1 and 2

I have already written to the DJI support and now I'm looking forward to them analyze.

What do you think about my incident? Was it my mistake or it was totally drone mistake?
Thanks for sharing. Personaly i dont see anything wrong from your side in the log record. You had almost no recorded VPS altitude under 30m which is probably because you flew above water. Should not be a problem as IMU seems to be working fine. You lost connection after 7mn38, and at that moment everything seemed to be ok. So after signal loss(unexplained at such short distance) the Spark should have gone on RTH, which obviously he didnt. Why not, this is the question. Did you by mistake push the autoland button instead of RTH? It is not recorded, but this would explain that your Spark landed instead of auto RTH. If you didnt touch anything, it might be a loss of GPS (as you had "only" 10 satellites when you lost connection). It seems very unlikely to have loss of signal and loss of GPS at same time at such short distance, without a technical failure.

All that to say that, in my opinion, it seems that the overall issue has a technical failure at the origine (even if you did ask for autoland by mistake).
Would be good to hear opinion of more experienced members and of course DJI conclusions.
 
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Beniamin

Member
Join
May 28, 2018
Messages
13
Age
28
Thanks for sharing. Personaly i dont see anything wrong from your side in the log record. You had almost no recorded VPS altitude under 30m which is probably because you flew above water. Should not be a problem as IMU seems to be working fine. You lost connection after 7mn38, and at that moment everything seemed to be ok. So after signal loss(unexplained at such short distance) the Spark should have gone on RTH, which obviously he didnt. Why not, this is the question. Did you by mistake push the autoland button instead of RTH? It is not recorded, but this would explain that your Spark landed instead of auto RTH. If you didnt touch anything, it might be a loss of GPS (as you had "only" 10 satellites when you lost connection). It seems very unlikely to have loss of signal and loss of GPS at same time at such short distance, without a technical failure.

All that to say that, in my opinion, it seems that the overall issue has a technical failure at the origine (even if you did ask for autoland by mistake).
Would be good to hear opinion of more experienced members and of course DJI conclusions.
Before I had a situation when spark lost connection but everything was okay because of I didn't get a video on my phone from the drone but I could control the drone by the remote controller. But at that time it didn't work. Actually, when the drone lost connection I didn't start to get nervous because I thought that I can to fly to myself and I think I did it but just one or two seconds and after that, the drone stopped and start autoland. And of course, I didn't push the autoland button I just pushed the stick to fly to myself.

I wrote to the dji support yesterday and they told me that analysis will take about 2-4 business days. When I get any information, I'll be post it immediately.
 

mrcruiser

Member
Join
Apr 4, 2018
Messages
19
Age
40
Hello,
I had a somewhat similar event (with a better outcome) at the end of April when the the 4.2.12 app was released with OTG support. I was flying the Spark with the new app and with OTG, in a rural area. Around 6 min flight time I started an active track mission and followed my daughter on her bike with the drone. She was cycling between a couple of trees and a creek. Under the branches the Spark reported weak GPS signal and two times it stopped and hovered because of the obstacle avoidance but I flew it further with the RC and initiated the active track again. I was walking approximately 5 meters behind the drone which was about 3 meters high in the air.
Suddenly the drone lost the signal, disconnected from the RC and also didn't respond to the commands. It turned around toward the home point but maybe 15 degrees off of that, started to ascend to about 8-10 meters high (the RTH altitude was set to 20m) and with full trhottle it flew into the nearby tree. It fell onto the ground maybe 5 meters away from me, with two missing props and a missing LED cover. The recording was still ongoing. I turned it off and on again but the RC didn't want to connect to the Spark. I had to physically unplug and plug the OTG cable again to be able to reconnect to the AC.
After the accident I could test fly the Saprk and it was working but the IMU calibration was in the yellow zone so I started an IMU calibration which failed once and forever. I took the Spark to a local service center (in Hungary) from where it was sent to the European DJI service center in Germany. I had to send the service center the log files and the video as well with a detailed explanation about the accident. After they investigated the case they reported back that the AC will be repaired under warranty (it was only purchased a month before the accident happened). The whole service process with the sending back and forth took 3 weeks but at the end surprisingly I received a completely new Spark. I had to activate it and had the chance to buy the DJI care service which I did immediately (I did not do that when I purchased the drone in March).
I also asked the service what should or should not I do to avoid such accidents in the future and they replied that I should use wifi connection instead of the OTG.
Since that time (and before that as well) I use the MOD version of the DJI GO4 which works flawlessly with the OTG connection and provides additional features such as cinematic mode which I prefer.

Sorry for the long post but I wanted to share a good experience with DJI support, I hope that Beniamin will receive a similar service. I was in a better situation since I could provide them with my drone but hopefully the log files will be enough for them.

Beniamin, which app version and connection (wifi or OTG) did you use?
 

Beniamin

Member
Join
May 28, 2018
Messages
13
Age
28
Hello,
I had a somewhat similar event (with a better outcome) at the end of April when the the 4.2.12 app was released with OTG support. I was flying the Spark with the new app and with OTG, in a rural area. Around 6 min flight time I started an active track mission and followed my daughter on her bike with the drone. She was cycling between a couple of trees and a creek. Under the branches the Spark reported weak GPS signal and two times it stopped and hovered because of the obstacle avoidance but I flew it further with the RC and initiated the active track again. I was walking approximately 5 meters behind the drone which was about 3 meters high in the air.
Suddenly the drone lost the signal, disconnected from the RC and also didn't respond to the commands. It turned around toward the home point but maybe 15 degrees off of that, started to ascend to about 8-10 meters high (the RTH altitude was set to 20m) and with full trhottle it flew into the nearby tree. It fell onto the ground maybe 5 meters away from me, with two missing props and a missing LED cover. The recording was still ongoing. I turned it off and on again but the RC didn't want to connect to the Spark. I had to physically unplug and plug the OTG cable again to be able to reconnect to the AC.
After the accident I could test fly the Saprk and it was working but the IMU calibration was in the yellow zone so I started an IMU calibration which failed once and forever. I took the Spark to a local service center (in Hungary) from where it was sent to the European DJI service center in Germany. I had to send the service center the log files and the video as well with a detailed explanation about the accident. After they investigated the case they reported back that the AC will be repaired under warranty (it was only purchased a month before the accident happened). The whole service process with the sending back and forth took 3 weeks but at the end surprisingly I received a completely new Spark. I had to activate it and had the chance to buy the DJI care service which I did immediately (I did not do that when I purchased the drone in March).
I also asked the service what should or should not I do to avoid such accidents in the future and they replied that I should use wifi connection instead of the OTG.
Since that time (and before that as well) I use the MOD version of the DJI GO4 which works flawlessly with the OTG connection and provides additional features such as cinematic mode which I prefer.

Sorry for the long post but I wanted to share a good experience with DJI support, I hope that Beniamin will receive a similar service. I was in a better situation since I could provide them with my drone but hopefully the log files will be enough for them.

Beniamin, which app version and connection (wifi or OTG) did you use?
I use last version(4.2.16) of DJI Go 4 app. What is it OTG?
 

mrcruiser

Member
Join
Apr 4, 2018
Messages
19
Age
40
OTG is wired USB On The Go connection between the RC and your phone.
You probably used wifi connection between the RC and your phone.
OTG has less latency than wifi so the quality of the transferred image is better than wifi connection could provide.
 

Beniamin

Member
Join
May 28, 2018
Messages
13
Age
28
OTG is wired USB On The Go connection between the RC and your phone.
You probably used wifi connection between the RC and your phone.
OTG has less latency than wifi so the quality of the transferred image is better than wifi connection could provide.
Yes, I use wifi connection, I haven't bought the cable yet.
 
Join
Mar 30, 2018
Messages
6
Age
78
Something similar happened to me. I brought my Spark to the Bahamas earlier this month and flew a lot. I even flew to another close island...maybe three quarters of a mile away. No problems. It was a very exciting flight. Several days later my wife took our little dog for a swim. She was maybe 150 feet offshore. It was a very shallow area. I was on the beach flying. I circled around her and all of a sudden the screen on my iPhone went blank and I looked up too late and didn't even see the drone go under. My wife was right there and picked it up but by then it was a goner. When I purchased the drone I bought the DJI care insurance policy. It's the smartest move I've ever done. I sent the drone back, including the battery and received a new Spark and battery, plus new props. I am super impressed with DJI. They do it right!!!

Question to anyone...should I continue using the OTG connection which I've always used or just the wifi connection?
 

Beniamin

Member
Join
May 28, 2018
Messages
13
Age
28
Hi everybody. The support has finished the data analysis.
For your case, we have finished the data analysis, and the result is as follows:

1. The aircraft was piloted under GPS mode after it took off, and responded to the pilot's control well;
2. T=07:27, H=2.5 m, D=5.1 m, the pilot switched the aircraft into the QuickShot(Dronie) mode;
3. T=07:38, H=8.5 m, D=30.2 m, the flight record ended and the last recorded coordinate: 44.5479629 34.3434136.

The record ended without any sign of abnormality, so we could not verify what happened afterwards.

We truly appreciate your support for DJI. If you could not recover the product and would like to purchase a new one, we can offer you a 30% off discount for a Spark Aircraft (without the remote controller and battery charger).
It's quite expected because logs don't exist any information about lost connection and auto-landing :(

But I have one more question. Why the record ended when the drone was 30 feet away from me and at an altitude of 8.5 meters? How is it possible? How can they explain it to me? Also the last recorded coordinate it's a place over the sea.
 

SparkPete

Active Member
Join
May 8, 2018
Messages
39
That is an unsatisfactory result from DJI. A loss of signal at that distance is a true indication of a hardware or software failure. Obviously the failure cannot be logged if the failure leads to a loss of connection.

I understand that DJI insists in a positive detection of a failure to accept a replacement but a closeby signal loss should IMO count as a positive detection.

I‘d kindly ask DJI to reevaluate your case and post your case as well on the DJI forum.

Given the increased number of fly away issues since the latest firmware combined with DJI‘s decission to disallow a firmware rollback escalates DJI‘s responsibility for substituting any loss due to faulty firmware.
 
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Beniamin

Member
Join
May 28, 2018
Messages
13
Age
28
I've received the answer from the support again. But unfortunately, they insist that it wasn't a hardware or a software problem, because logs are clear :( They offer only 30% a discount. It's so sad.
 

JD4x4

Well-Known Member
Join
May 27, 2017
Messages
65
Loc
Silver Spring, MD
Hi everybody. The support has finished the data analysis.

It's quite expected because logs don't exist any information about lost connection and auto-landing :(

But I have one more question. Why the record ended when the drone was 30 feet away from me and at an altitude of 8.5 meters? How is it possible? How can they explain it to me? Also the last recorded coordinate it's a place over the sea.
Agree with SparkPete. I think I'd keep pressing DJI for an answer to why the log ended mid flight (obvious by distance & altitude) and with sufficient battery.
 

Beniamin

Member
Join
May 28, 2018
Messages
13
Age
28
Agree with SparkPete. I think I'd keep pressing DJI for an answer to why the log ended mid flight (obvious by distance & altitude) and with sufficient battery.
I've already asked about why the log ended mid flight and they answered to me:

Dear Beniamin,

Thanks for getting back to us.

We are sorry for the frustrating experience you have had with our product. We also want to figure out that cause of the incident, however it was not recorded. As you can see the flight record ended at flight time 07'38'', there was no more flight record after that.

There are many possibilities which will lead to the interruption of the flight record. For example, if there was obstacles or interference blocking the remote signal, disconnection may happen; the record also will be interrupted if your mobile device and the remote controller got disconnected; or it also has something to do with the mobile device itself, etc. But all of these doesn’t indicate the aircraft itself malfunctioned. However due to the interruption of the record, the cause for this incident was not recorded, but it can be verified from the record that there was no malfunction found before the record was cut off.

The aircraft was under your control and responded well, it worked as normal before flight record ended. It's not able to locate the main reason according to the flight records you provided, and there are no any error prompts on the app either. The aircraft showed no signs of a manufacturing defect or malfunction during the whole the flight. There are many possible reasons which will cause such a disconnection of the remote signal, although we also want to make it clear and offer you detailed explanation, but we fail to do so with only the flight record available.
If the incident is caused by the pilot's error, we could offer the customer some good suggestion; if it is caused by any product issue, we will try our best to improve our product. Right now we can not rule out any possible speculation. As such, we provide the 30% discount for this case, based on the data analysis result while obeying our policy.

We greatly appreciate your support for DJI. Please consider if you need the offer and get back to us in a month if you need it.

Please feel free to reply us if there is any other questions.

Thanks again for your patience. Have a nice day.
 

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