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Feastie

Member
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May 22, 2018
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14
Age
50
Hi All,

just had a pretty scary episode with my Spark.

With 69 flights, 68K ft distance and over 6hrs flying under my belt, I'm no veteran but not a novice either.

I had flown around 2,000ft out at around 200ft altitude and was almost back to the home point with around 30% battery left. Weather clear with a light blustery wind that had shown three cautions.

I was in full decent and had just passed the 100ft barrier when the Spark flipped upside and dropped like a stone.

The video footage cut out and find my drone was not working. Luckily, I saw roughly where the drone dropped and heard that it had hit trees on the way down. I was praying this had slowed the decent but not inflicted damage.

After checking the last shot from my phone footage to try and get a bearing, I managed to get the rough landing site and fortunately spotted the flashing lights in some rough grass.

The drone appears undamaged and flies, seemingly normally.

I am now fearful this will happen again when I am not close enough to see where it dropped and potentially cause damage to either itself or somebody's property.

If this makes any difference, there were helicopter style skids attached, which have had no affect on previous flights. These appear to be the only loss.

Any ideas, anyone?
 

Spark 317

Well known member with a Spark and a Mavic Air 2.
Premium Pilot
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Jul 10, 2017
Messages
4,996
Loc
Indiana, USA
Possible bird strike?
Or a gust of wind strong enough to tilt the Spark past 90 degrees and kill the motors?

It has to be a heck of a gust though.
 

Feastie

Member
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May 22, 2018
Messages
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50
Trees in this area are 30ft max, so completely clear of any fixed obstruction.
I was dropping from 200ft and had actually lost it visually between looking at the screen and back to the drone. It could have been bird strike, but I would have thought that would have caught my eye.
Does anyone know what attitude the Spark adopts with power out? Is it inverted?
I have looked through the flight records on my phone but it all concurs with my previous account.
I'm struggling to get the Spark to link to my laptop to see the data on there.
 

Hddeuce03

Well-Known Member
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Feb 22, 2018
Messages
147
Age
54
Loc
Annapolis, MD
How do you know it flipped upside down/inverted? In your last post you say ". It could have been bird strike, but I would have thought that would have caught my eye." I can't imagine anything that would cause it to flip inverted other than a bird.
 

Feastie

Member
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May 22, 2018
Messages
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Age
50
I know it flipped upside down because, on the phone screen, the sky was at the bottom and the ground at the top.
 

Taborda

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Apr 19, 2018
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Que raro lo que pasó puede ser el viento o pasaste serca de algún cable en común encontrase con cables
 

Feastie

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May 22, 2018
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Que raro lo que pasó puede ser el viento o pasaste serca de algún cable en común encontrase con cables
El viento era bastante liviano, no estoy seguro de que esa fuera la causa. Además, es demasiado alto para cualquier cable y sé que no hay ninguno en esa área. Solo puedo suponer que fue un pájaro.
 

Rafa7

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Join
Feb 21, 2018
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337
Loc
Georgia USA
I know it flipped upside down because, on the phone screen, the sky was at the bottom and the ground at the top.

Did it loose a propeller or a skid in midflight that caused one of propellers/motors to loose lift/power? You may want to share the video of that flight and a picture of your Spark setup with the skids.
 

The Editor

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May 29, 2017
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El viento era bastante liviano, no estoy seguro de que esa fuera la causa. Además, es demasiado alto para cualquier cable y sé que no hay ninguno en esa área. Solo puedo suponer que fue un pájaro.
From the forum rules....

Posting Standards

“The language of this forum is English. If you are not a native English speaker, do your best. We are glad to have you as a member and will be supportive and polite.”
 
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Feastie

Member
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May 22, 2018
Messages
14
Age
50
From the forum rules....

Posting Standards

“The language of this forum is English. If you are not a native English speaker, do your best. We are glad to have you as a member and will be supportive and polite.”
Sorry, one of the posts came through in Spanish, so I replied in Spanish. English, born and bred, my friend.
 

Feastie

Member
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May 22, 2018
Messages
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Did it loose a propeller or a skid in midflight that caused one of propellers/motors to loose lift/power? You may want to share the video of that flight and a picture of your Spark setup with the skids.
The props were intact and in position. As I have lost the skids, I will dig out a library photo of the set up.
The very brief clip is attached. Up to the point of the video start, nothing unusual happened. I can see no evidence of any birds in the previous 10 minutes of video, although I’m sure they would be above and behind, if they have watched Avatar!

 

Rafa7

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Feb 21, 2018
Messages
337
Loc
Georgia USA
The props were intact and in position. As I have lost the skids, I will dig out a library photo of the set up.
The very brief clip is attached. Up to the point of the video start, nothing unusual happened. I can see no evidence of any birds in the previous 10 minutes of video, although I’m sure they would be above and behind, if they have watched Avatar!


Dang, a video for the records WOW!
It does looks like during the fall it was being held upside down (more like a 'level' upside-down fall) by some sort of drag, you can notice that it was not spinning or tumbling/rolling during the fall.
So weird, I'm wondering if the skids had anything to do with the fall.
 
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Hddeuce03

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Feb 22, 2018
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147
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Annapolis, MD
That is the most bizarre thing I've seen with the Spark! If I didn't know any better, I'd say something...(bird? another drone? lol) grabbed the Spark by the skids...you can see it kind of hung there swinging upside down. Ok fine...it was aliens!
 
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Feastie

Member
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May 22, 2018
Messages
14
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50
Anyone fancy throwing their Spark out of a ten story building to find out the adopted attitude without skids... no??? There’s no kindness left in the world!!
Was kinda odd how it just balanced. I’m assuming that’s the reverse drag on the props.
 

Hddeuce03

Well-Known Member
Join
Feb 22, 2018
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147
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54
Loc
Annapolis, MD
Anyone fancy throwing their Spark out of a ten story building to find out the adopted attitude without skids... no??? There’s no kindness left in the world!!
Was kinda odd how it just balanced. I’m assuming that’s the reverse drag on the props.

I would guess that it would not invert...due to the props. But I also assume the props were still spinning as the Spark still had power. Man, this is a mystery that I'd love to solve, but is impossible to solve now lol.
 

Feastie

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May 22, 2018
Messages
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I would guess that it would not invert...due to the props. But I also assume the props were still spinning as the Spark still had power. Man, this is a mystery that I'd love to solve, but is impossible to solve now lol.
They can’t have been spinning once it turned, the emergency stop kicks in once it’s past 90 degrees.
Been in touch with DJI and they said ‘calibrate it and it should be fine’. I said I’d already done that prior to this flight and pointed out that I may not be so lucky next time. He basically said, if I lose it, I’d get a replacement, as long as it’s not user error. Result... I hope!
 

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