Welcome DJI Spark Pilot!
Jump in and join our free Spark community today!
Sign up

Palm launch FAIL

nilanjan118

Well-Known Member
Join
Oct 31, 2018
Messages
1,022
So I was attempting the Palm launch today in one of the parks in the neighborhood and the drone just took off awkwardly and fell off from my hand on the hard tarmac pedestrian walkway. The front left arm got broken and one of the propellers got snapped (picture below) . Really upset with the way I crashed it.
Be careful with these fancy features folks. Always safe to take off from a level surface.IMG_20190119_095624~01.jpg
 
So I was attempting the Palm launch today in one of the parks in the neighborhood and the drone just took off awkwardly and fell off from my hand on the hard tarmac pedestrian walkway. The front left arm got broken and one of the propellers got snapped (picture below) . Really upset with the way I crashed it.
Be careful with these fancy features folks. Always safe to take off from a level surface.View attachment 8377
When you hand launch via gesture mode you must let the drone lift off from your hand don't toss it
 
Reading the comments above, I can say with certainty that I had a flat palm waiting for the drone to lift off and didn't nudge it. It was a bit windy yesterday and in hindsight I feel that's what led to the awkward lift and topple. It is ironical that I had such hard level surface underneath but still attempted to launch from the palm just for fun. I think one thing people can do is to make sure the surface below is soft eg: grass, sand etc. I was actually amazed to see the supposedly durable Spark not able to withstand a barely 5 feet fall. Life lesson learnt. Hopefully DJI Care Refresh will get me flying soon.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Andre Levite
I don't use palm lunch from flat hand. I hold the spark until I feel that it pull up. Then I release the hand and sparky "jumps" a little bit up but fly safe. At my beginnings I used the flat hand, too. But someday I moved my hand a little bit (unsecured stand) and the spark was tipping to the side and landed in the gras. Even with running motors. Afer that I prefer to start my way :)
 
I don't use palm lunch from flat hand. I hold the spark until I feel that it pull up. Then I release the hand and sparky "jumps" a little bit up but fly safe. At my beginnings I used the flat hand, too. But someday I moved my hand a little bit (unsecured stand) and the spark was tipping to the side and landed in the gras. Even with running motors. Afer that I prefer to start my way :)
I totally agree. You don’t need a death grip on the Spark, gently hold the lower edges, then you will feel the Spark pull away from your fingers. This ensures that it has plenty of thrust happening & will be able self correct if not level.
 
At my beginnings I used the flat hand, too. But someday I moved my hand a little bit (unsecured stand) and the spark was tipping to the side and landed in the gras. Even with running motors.
I almost saw an action replay of what happened to me when I read this. The only difference is that I crashed onto tarmac. :(

I don't use palm lunch from flat hand. I hold the spark until I feel that it pull up. Then I release the hand and sparky "jumps" a little bit up but fly safe.
You don’t need a death grip on the Spark, gently hold the lower edges, then you will feel the Spark pull away from your fingers. This ensures that it has plenty of thrust happening & will be able self correct if not level.
Thanks a lot for the tips. However, after the extent of damage I have faced, I don't think I am going to use Palm Launch again. None of the bigger drones have this feature and the users don't seem to complain either. Will rather use the case as a launching pad if the ground is not level or clear.
 
I tried a Palm Land as I had done a bunch, and as it touched my hand it moved a little, hit my finger with a prop, and then tumbled right into the back of my boat......Luckily not over the edge into the water, BUT water none the less...Thank god for Care Refresh. Brand new in 10 days. My own fault but I don't palm land near water anymore. reading this probably no palm launch either (just to be safe.).
 
  • Like
Reactions: nilanjan118
The one and only time I palm launched I must have wobbled a little as I took off, and that produced yaw errors and ATTI mode, which i recovered from, but that was enough for me to stick to ground launches ever since. I palm land almost every time now, thats easy, just need to be calm and controlled.

@ nilanjan118 my sincerest condolences. Hope you get it replaced without too much pain.
 
  • Like
Reactions: nilanjan118
Reading the comments above, I can say with certainty that I had a flat palm waiting for the drone to lift off and didn't nudge it. It was a bit windy yesterday and in hindsight I feel that's what led to the awkward lift and topple. It is ironical that I had such hard level surface underneath but still attempted to launch from the palm just for fun. I think one thing people can do is to make sure the surface below is soft eg: grass, sand etc. I was actually amazed to see the supposedly durable Spark not able to withstand a barely 5 feet fall. Life lesson learnt. Hopefully DJI Care Refresh will get me flying soon.

The picture of your broken Spark is painful to look at. Sorry that happened to you.

Hand launch and hand landing are my two favorite Spark features. Hopefully you will get comfortable again to use them.

The four take home lessons and rules to follow are worth repeating:
1. Have a soft surface below
2. Keep a good grip on Spark until it gets lift
3. Don't hand launch if windy (and face downwind if any breeze so it drifts away from your face)
4. Only hand launch when truly necessary to minimize chance for mishap
 
  • Like
Reactions: nilanjan118
The first time I tried PalmLaunch it fell out of the air and crashed. Maybe I let go to early, but I've been successful everytime after that.
Needless to say I don't use gesture mode anymore.
The best way I've found is to set your controller Fn button to Launch/Land, or auto launch and land with your phone without gesture mode. Works way better.
I only hand launch and land with the Fn button now and always works perfect.
 
  • Like
Reactions: nilanjan118
Also, if you grab it out of the air and turn it 90 degrees sideways the motors will also turnoff. This is a failsafe.

Here's an awesome video on how to Palm Launch and Land without gesture and other tips:
 
  • Like
Reactions: nilanjan118
The picture of your broken Spark is painful to look at. Sorry that happened to you.

Hand launch and hand landing are my two favorite Spark features. Hopefully you will get comfortable again to use them.

The four take home lessons and rules to follow are worth repeating:
1. Have a soft surface below
2. Keep a good grip on Spark until it gets lift
3. Don't hand launch if windy (and face downwind if any breeze so it drifts away from your face)
4. Only hand launch when truly necessary to minimize chance for mishap

Well in hindsight, none of the 4 lessons you shared were true on that day. So ya, good lessons learnt. I was absolutely gutted that it was one of the most stupid ways to crash the drone and use the '1st replacement' of my DJI Care Refresh contract. Btw, I have palm launched just once after this accident. It was not really necessary but I just wanted to try holding the Spark and letting it go when I felt the upward tug instead of launching it from a flat palm. I didn't have a soft surface below again but I stayed low to the ground, almost kneeling down to minimise the height of any untoward fall. It worked well.

Also, if you grab it out of the air and turn it 90 degrees sideways the motors will also turnoff. This is a failsafe.

Here's an awesome video on how to Palm Launch and Land without gesture and other tips:

Landing on the palm is anyway a lot easier than taking off. Actually when the motors start at the time of launch, they need a couple of seconds to get the IMU feedback and balance the AC. So if you do not have the AC balanced firmly on your palm at that point, it may tip and fall. The best way as Andre pointed out is to keep holding the AC and let it go only when you feel the upward tug. Thank you for sharing your tips.
 
Last edited:
I tried a Palm Land as I had done a bunch, and as it touched my hand it moved a little, hit my finger with a prop, and then tumbled right into the back of my boat......Luckily not over the edge into the water, BUT water none the less...Thank god for Care Refresh. Brand new in 10 days. My own fault but I don't palm land near water anymore. reading this probably no palm launch either (just to be safe.).

The one and only time I palm launched I must have wobbled a little as I took off, and that produced yaw errors and ATTI mode, which i recovered from, but that was enough for me to stick to ground launches ever since. I palm land almost every time now, thats easy, just need to be calm and controlled.

@ nilanjan118 my sincerest condolences. Hope you get it replaced without too much pain.

Whoa! How is this thread hot again? It happened to me in January and I have already had more than 50 flights with my replaced Spark. Anyway, thank you everyone for sharing your experience with Palm Launch and also the condolence messages. Really appreciate that. ?
It should be a good thread for new members to refer and get a few tips about safely using the feature.
 
Well in hindsight, none of the 4 lessons you shared were true on that day. So ya, good lessons learnt.

You broke rule #3. You said it was "a bit windy" the day of your palm launch crash and "that's what led to the awkward lift and topple"

I'm not trying to rub it in because I know from experience how awful you feel after a bad crash. I just don't want to see anybody else attempt the "windy hand launch". It's too dangerous for Spark and pilot alike.
 
You broke rule #3. You said it was a "bit windy" the day of your palm launch crash and "that's what led to the awkward lift and topple"

I'm not trying to rub it in because I know from experience how awful you feel after a bad crash. I just don't want to see anybody else attempt the "windy hand launch". It's too dangerous for Spark and pilot alike.
Sorry. I meant to say - None of the 4 lessons were followed on that day. I was pleading GUILTY. ?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Andre Levite

New Posts

Members online

No members online now.

Forum statistics

Threads
14,614
Messages
118,859
Members
18,059
Latest member
sephyroth67