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Sad new pilot here

Sabotage

Member
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Jan 15, 2020
Messages
8
Age
42
So I just got my spark and she's already gone. Today was my third flight. I took her out to take some pictures of a park near where I live. During the flight I get a notification that I had magnetic interference and GPS was lost. I said cool, I'll just follow the map back home. I'm returning home when the screen go dark. I lose all communication with the drone. I keep on the stick since I was in heading in the direction of my house. The next thing I see was landing... I quickly go into find my drone and IDK how but the drone is already almost a mile away. I go to where it supposedly landed and it was already gone. I'm glad that it landed in a safe location away from traffic or the public but my heart is hurting that she is already gone by no fault of me. what did I learn from this? One, if you lose GPS signal do not trust the map. Use the monitor to get your location to try to get back home. Two, Sport mode in the air can get the spark out of range real quick. Three, people are horrible. Why pick up something that is not yours. I hope my sad story help someone else not lose their Spark, as for me this was a Christmas gift to myself and she's gone...
 
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nilanjan118

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Oct 31, 2018
Messages
1,006
During the flight I get a notification that I had magnetic interference and GPS was lost. I said cool, I'll just follow the map back home. I'm returning home when the screen go dark. I lose all communication with the drone. I keep on the stick since I was in heading in the direction of my house. The next thing I see was landing...
First of all sorry about your loss. But just to understand what went wrong, how did you see that it was landing when you had lost all communication with the drone?
 

Sabotage

Member
Join
Jan 15, 2020
Messages
8
Age
42
Well the screen went black and to me that was losing communication since I could not see what was going on but I do beleive that the reception with the control was still connected because I was pushing the control to continue in the direction of home but the trajectory changed and it went 45 degree off and flew by me and kept going until the battery warning went off and then the landing notification came and I could not stop it. I was only flying for 7 minutes and batteries that usually lasted much longer so I have no idea why the battery was dying. The strange thing is the map showed I was still heading towards home when I was pushing forward but after it got lost and I pulled the trip it showed that the map was wrong
 

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Sabotage

Member
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Jan 15, 2020
Messages
8
Age
42
The more I think about it, this is what I think happened. On my way back, I lost gps. I'm used to using the map to get back so I continued to use it, when in actuality, it was not accurate and I got off path and just went in another direction until I lost signal and the screen went black.
 

nilanjan118

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Join
Oct 31, 2018
Messages
1,006
Well the screen went black and to me that was losing communication since I could not see what was going on but I do beleive that the reception with the control was still connected...
Yes in most cases, we lose video feed but the connection between the RC and AC is intact, indicated by green LED of the RC. It is therefore always advisable to keep your drone in VLOS.
 

Sabotage

Member
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Jan 15, 2020
Messages
8
Age
42
SMH, I feel like I made so much mistake in a matter of seconds. I was kicking myself most for not following the VLOS...
 

nilanjan118

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Oct 31, 2018
Messages
1,006
I was only flying for 7 minutes and batteries that usually lasted much longer so I have no idea why the battery was dying.
You may have 50% battery left after 7 mins of flight but the AC also considers the distance from home point to estimate how much power it needs to return home to trigger low battery RTH. In your case, it seems the AC attempted to initiate RTH but since you were in Atti mode, it went into landing mode instead.
 
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ndaru

Member
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Mar 2, 2019
Messages
19
Age
43
Sorry for your loss. I know how it feels, because I also lost the Spark less than a month since we bough it.

Now, you can contact DJI via email and tell them your case,

OR

you can go to their forum at DJI FORUM, open a new thread, and post your story/case there. There bound to be a DJI representative who will reply to your thread.

DJI will ask you to send them your flight log. They will look at the flight log, and if you're lucky they will replace your Spark free of charge excluding the shipping cost.

While you're waiting for DJI to response, try to upload your flight log into DJI Flight Log Viewer | Phantom Help, and maybe you can make a guess on where the landing location of your Spark. Again, if you're lucky it still lies somewhere on the ground. It's a small drone and unless it's lying on a concrete or asphalt, it would be hard to notice it.
 

Spark 317

Well-Known Member
Premium Pilot
Join
Jul 10, 2017
Messages
4,256
Loc
Indiana, USA
Hello from the Hoosier Heartland Sabotage.

As stated above, sorry for your loss and go to the DJI LOG FLIGHT VIEWER link in the previous post to extract the flight log from your device.

You can copy/paste the log back to here for us to see what may have happened.

It still may be possible to establish a search area to help locate the Spark.

Did you have the FAA registration on it?

If somebody found it, they may take it to law enforcement and they could find you if it was registered.

Welcome to the Forum. 😎
 
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Join
Oct 26, 2019
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7
Age
53
I always find if I fly over homes there’s a lot of interference with the signal. Thinking it’s from all the routers. I have no problems in a field.
Best of Luck,
 

Sabotage

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Jan 15, 2020
Messages
8
Age
42
Thanks for the support everyone. I'm looking into sourcing another spark. I hope to find a used on with just the drone and a battery. I feel the spark is perfect for my needs so no reason to upgrade from the spark.
 
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tmgrood

Active Member
Join
Jan 2, 2018
Messages
42
Age
64
If I were to fly my Spark in sport mode I would make sure I am using VLOS but of course I have had my Spark a couple of years and am still overly cautious with it when I fly.
I’m still taking baby steps. lol
 

DavidBlezard

Well-Known Member
Join
Jan 26, 2019
Messages
155
Sorry to hear of your loss. I had a battery fall out over a wooded Bramble bush area. This was my 5th flight with my Christmas present 🎁. I was lucky to find the Spark. The battery was like a golf ball probably buried itself in the mud and leaves never to be found. I opened a case with DJI and they replaced drone and battery. I suggest you contact them and provide the info they request. Probably will get a replacement Spark. Good luck.
 

Sabotage

Member
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Jan 15, 2020
Messages
8
Age
42
Thanks everyone, purchased a new one from Ebay. $300 with shipping. I may sell my old remote to diminish the financial impact to around $200. I thought about babying this new one but I know I'll probably send that sucker off again with fingers crossed.
 

Sabotage

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Jan 15, 2020
Messages
8
Age
42
And I know many suggest that I contact dji about the loss but i prefer not to because i feel like i did too many things wrong and don't want to identify myself due to that. I did not fly VLOS, I never registered it, and even though I tried to fly over brushes and stuff on my panic return I went over people and homes so with all that a potential $200 loss is worth not identifying myself. I just want this to be a learning experience and to not make all of these mistakes again.
 

Tony-Spark

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Apr 16, 2019
Messages
13
Age
75
Loc
Anacortes, WA
Web
www.electronic-supply.com
And I know many suggest that I contact dji about the loss but i prefer not to because i feel like i did too many things wrong and don't want to identify myself due to that. I did not fly VLOS, I never registered it, and even though I tried to fly over brushes and stuff on my panic return I went over people and homes so with all that a potential $200 loss is worth not identifying myself. I just want this to be a learning experience and to not make all of these mistakes again.
Did you try the "find my Drone" function.
I had a "Power Low " Forced landing one time about a year ago in the deserts of Nevada. The drone was about 1/4 mile away and luckily I found it sitting on a cliff edge. IF it had landed about 10 feet further to the West, I would have had a 500' climb to do. Lucked out for sure.
"Find My Drone" was right on the money.
 

Chrislaf

Well-Known Member
Join
Oct 12, 2017
Messages
340
Age
57
Loc
Barrie, ON, Canada
Sorry for the loss of your original Spark.

About a week ago while flying my Spark it suddenly went into Atti mode well into the flight and immediately began drifting with the wind. If I had not been in VLOS, I’m sure I would have lost it. My Spark is over 2 years old and after hundreds of flights, this is the first time this has ever happened. This incident has reinforced to me the importance of why I always fly in VLOS.

Although, my Spark is a low end DJI drone, I still would not want to lose it, or worse, put people or aircraft in danger by flying beyond VLOS.

Good luck with your new drone.

Chris
 
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Trey

Member
Join
Feb 12, 2018
Messages
24
Age
53
So I just got my spark and she's already gone. Today was my third flight. I took her out to take some pictures of a park near where I live. During the flight I get a notification that I had magnetic interference and GPS was lost. I said cool, I'll just follow the map back home. I'm returning home when the screen go dark. I lose all communication with the drone. I keep on the stick since I was in heading in the direction of my house. The next thing I see was landing... I quickly go into find my drone and IDK how but the drone is already almost a mile away. I go to where it supposedly landed and it was already gone. I'm glad that it landed in a safe location away from traffic or the public but my heart is hurting that she is already gone by no fault of me. what did I learn from this? One, if you lose GPS signal do not trust the map. Use the monitor to get your location to try to get back home. Two, Sport mode in the air can get the spark out of range real quick. Three, people are horrible. Why pick up something that is not yours. I hope my sad story help someone else not lose their Spark, as for me this was a Christmas gift to myself and she's gone...
Sorry for your loss. That sux that someone takes your property. Good luck, hope it does get turned in or returned to you. I would report with DJI so maybe they could lock it/black list it or something in case it is not returned to you.
 

Miket

Well-Known Member
Join
Jul 12, 2018
Messages
104
Age
70
Don't be embarrassed through loosing your spark. Try to get any help you are due. Treat this as a learning curve, many many pilots have done much worse than you have done, lots of them got away with it. You were unlucky, not stupid. You obviously panicked a bit and in that state it is very difficult to think straight. Manned aircraft pilot training involves a great deal of recovery in various situations, and I think that this is a good idea for ourselves. Read instructions and learn them until you know them inside out. Whilst flying imagine bad situations and solve them by determining actions you should take. You will have time while the situation is in your imagination. If nothing else, the confidence you will gain will hopefully avoid the dreaded panic. Hope you get sparky back, but do keep you chin up.
 
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