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Lost Dji spark. My fault?

Rice159

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Hi, I was wondering if you guys could tell me if this was my fault that my dji spark failed to return home and fell into the ocean. After doing the function "dronie", I commanded it to return home but it immediately lost connection and I was unable to reconnect therefore, it didn't land anywhere near the homepoint (where I was). You can see in the flight path that it flies out and loses connection so there's no record of it coming back. When it returned on its own, It actually landed on the cliff and fell into the ocean. I also tried the "find my drone" function on the app but it shows it landed on a spot nowhere where's it actually did (shown from the attached pics). I contacted dji and they only offered me 30% off coupon but I do not believe this was fully human error. What do you guys think, basing off the flight record and attached pictures? Thanks!

Here's my flight log:

Airdata UAV - Flight Data Analysis for Drones

IMG_0222.JPG IMG_0219.PNG IMG_0223.PNG IMG_0281.PNG
 

msinger

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Please upload your TXT flight log here and post a link back here. You'll find instructions for locating your TXT flight log at that link.
 

DesertWindAero

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Hi, I was wondering if you guys could tell me if this was my fault that my dji spark failed to return home and fell into the ocean. After doing the function "dronie", I commanded it to return home but it immediately lost connection and I was unable to reconnect therefore, it didn't land anywhere near the homepoint (where I was). You can see in the flight path that it flies out and loses connection so there's no record of it coming back. When it returned on its own, It actually landed on the cliff and fell into the ocean. I also tried the "find my drone" function on the app but it shows it landed on a spot nowhere where's it actually did (shown from the attached pics). I contacted dji and they only offered me 30% off coupon but I do not believe this was fully human error. What do you guys think, basing off the flight record and attached pictures? Thanks!

Here's my flight log:

Airdata UAV - Flight Data Analysis for Drones

View attachment 1303 View attachment 1302 View attachment 1304 View attachment 1301
Battery too low, perhaps?
 
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DesertWindAero

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msinger

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msinger

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Did you watch your Spark land on the cliff? If so, did it fall out of the sky or slowly descend and land?
 

Rice159

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Did you watch your Spark land on the cliff? If so, did it fall out of the sky or slowly descend and land?
I watched it slowly decend on the cliff and it fell into the ocean. I tried to cancel the landing but I couldn't reconnect.
 

Dronason

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At 04:27, you decide to start a Dronie with only 23% of battery. :(
It lost connection and decided to return home at 04:56,
RTH altitude you set to 98 ft, so it started to climp from 30 ft and battery was low.

Pilot error in launching a dronie with only 23% battery, you should have landed when < 30%, especially with the RTH altitude you set. Batteries % is only indicative and there could be sudden drop when % is low. It is why it is highly recommend to be close from home point when < 30%.
Also never start a fly with a partially charged battery. It can behave strangely.

I would try with DJI as you log file just stopped, but if it landed instead of falling, I would just give them the log file and let them come to their conclusion without too much explanation. if you see what i mean ;)
 
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msinger

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At the end of your flight log, the battery was at 20% and your Spark was ascending to 98 feet so it could return home. Your flight log doesn't show this, but it must have reached the critical low battery level and started to auto land. There is no way to cancel that auto landing (even when connected to the Spark). The best you could have done is tried to hold the throttle in the full up position and steer it back to the home point (hopefully before the battery died mid-flight).

It's surely an expensive lesson to learn, but this is why DJI recommends only flying on a fully charged battery. This is even more important when flying over terrain that is not safe for landing (in case an unplanned auto land is necessary).
 
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Rice159

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At the end of your flight log, the battery was at 20% and your Spark was ascending to 98 feet so it could return home. Your flight log doesn't show this, but it must have reached the critical low battery level and started to auto land. There is no way to cancel that auto landing (even when connected to the Spark). The best you could have done is tried to hold the throttle in the full up position and steer it back to the home point (hopefully before the battery died mid-flight).

It's surely an expensive lesson to learn, but this is why DJI recommends only flying on a fully charged battery. This is even more important when flying over terrain that is not safe for landing (in case an unplanned auto land is necessary).
Thank you for your input. I just don't believe it was fully my fault if I told it to return home and immediately lose connection and unable to control it at all. I had enough battery for it to come back. If I knew it would lose connection, I would have manually returned it to me.

If I argue, think I could get more than just 30% off coupon?
 

DesertWindAero

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Thank you for your input. I just don't believe it was fully my fault if I told it to return home and immediately lose connection and unable to control it at all. I had enough battery for it to come back. If I knew it would lose connection, I would have manually returned it to me.

If I argue, think I could get more than just 30% off coupon?
Based on what we've seen, I think you were lucky to get the 30% coupon. If I were you, I wouldn't push my luck.
 

msinger

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Rice159

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At 04:27, you decide to start a Dronie with only 23% of battery. :(
It lost connection and decided to return home at 04:56,
RTH altitude you set to 98 ft, so it started to climp from 30 ft and battery was low.

Pilot error in launching a dronie with only 23% battery, you should have landed when < 30%, especially with the RTH altitude you set. Batteries % is only indicative and there could be sudden drop when % is low. It is why it is highly recommend to be close from home point when < 30%.
Also never start a fly with a partially charged battery. It can behave strangely.

I would try with DJI as you log file just stopped, but if it landed instead of falling, I would just give them the log file and let them come to their conclusion without too much explanation. if you see what i mean ;)
I thought I could do one more shot since it was in the air already. I wouldn't think it would just lose connection.

Ugh..too late now to tell them that..lol. I tried being honest because I didn't think it was fully my fault
 

Rice159

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You couldn't have had enough battery left since it auto landed on the cliff.


I wouldn't hurt to ask. There are no guarantees though.
I see what you mean. It didn't land where it was suppose to because it autolanded from the battery being critically low. Even though with that fact, I still don't believe it was fully my fault since I had strong connection with the drone and it lost it after I told it to return home so I couldn't stop it from falling off the cliff regardless. Think this is a strong enough argument back?
 

msinger

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Rice159

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That's really your only argument. Contact DJI Support and see what they have to say.
I'm going to push it more to see if there's more that they can do. I would admit fault if it was 100% my fault but I believe it was the drones fault too since it was partially out of my control.
 

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