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Catastrophic app failure -- result, Mavic lost :*(

Logger

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Currently droneless so cant test. But doesn’t RTH climb first then complete the turn. It is not uncommon to set relatively height RTH heights to avoid terrain. If you were to use a RTH height of say 300’ it would not be a good idea to to climb from 100 to 300 feet into strengthening wind simply to ascertain home direction, even if the plan was to immediately descend again after the turn for home. I would be more inclined to immediately descend to 50’ to reduced downwind drift. Then use the old four direction toggle of right stick until distance on the RC counts down.
Oh and if ever flying in questionable wind strenghts, always make sure to start off by tracking upwind.
 

Montypaks

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Currently droneless so cant test. But doesn’t RTH climb first then complete the turn. It is not uncommon to set relatively height RTH heights to avoid terrain. If you were to use a RTH height of say 300’ it would not be a good idea to to climb from 100 to 300 feet into strengthening wind simply to ascertain home direction, even if the plan was to immediately descend again after the turn for home. I would be more inclined to immediately descend to 50’ to reduced downwind drift. Then use the old four direction toggle of right stick until distance on the RC counts down.
Oh and if ever flying in questionable wind strenghts, always make sure to start off by tracking upwind.
Good point too... It's all about situational awareness
 

Mossiback

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First off, I am sorry for your loss. As for your actions, after the second app crash I would have concentrated on the RC, pressed RTH (if you have it set to rise and return), and started walking to the closest clearing to get the best possible signal. As was noted previously, when you press RTH it first raises up to the set height and then turns to come home (wrong). So watch the height display and when the value stays constant for a few seconds give forward stick and see if the distance gets reduced (or the loss rate slows down). When you feel confident it is pointing your way, put it in Sport mode, watch the distance reading, and turn slight right or left to improve if necessary. Normally I would also recommend dropping altitude but you mentioned you were in a forested/mountainous area so that could be dangerous (no forward sensors in Sport mode). Once you feel confident it is coming back then you can restart your phone and Go 4 to try to get the display working. You will need it to find a landing zone if you cannot regain visual.

While doing all this, you will need to watch your battery reading. Sport mode at full throttle will eat your battery.

Perhaps there is still time (Mavic battery remaining) to get Go 4 working (downgrade to a stable version of Go 4 or iOS) and use the Find My Drone feature. Probably not but worth a try. Good luck!

EDIT: When you press RTH it first turns to face home, then adjusts height if necessary.
 
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br-travel

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Forget the app in that case (the OP lost valuable time), concentrate on the RC information and follow the steps above to get on the ground as quickly as possible.
The wind was too strong to come back, how could I have got it safely on the ground without the visuals from the app?
 

Logger

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The wind was too strong to come back, how could I have got it safely on the ground without the visuals from the app?
You couldn’t unless you were able to regain visual contact. Although a gentle decent into tree tops nearby might be a better option than a blow away to oblivion.

If you are already in sport mode and unable to overcome the wind I would be descending. No need to risk a climb into increasing wind to find home direction. As long as you don’t yaw to rotate, it is simple task to fly home by pitching to the quadrant that gives distance closure and then refine it.
If it is a light wind da6 though the RTH method with a climb have merit.
 
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MAvic_South_Oz

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1 pressing RTH would have got your Mavic pointing the the right direction
2 sports mode would have given you speed
3 reducing height would have helped reduce the wind affects
Very sensible way to ensure you are optimally directional (facing home :D ) before using the power of sports mode to get home into the wind.

Without knowing the terrain the OP was in, it's hard to say what RTH options might have done, or been best here regarding height choices.

If flat terrain, it would have wanted to rise to the RTH safe level set, but bear in mind that RTH set could well be lower than the current height, and in this case it won't rise further.
In this case, the suggestions by Anthony would have been perfect, with point 3 dropping height to your safe RTH height setting as you sports mode right stick forward.
Not 100% safe unless RTH is well over all surrounding obstacles (trees), but best you can do perhaps.

My guess is the Mavic was more likely blown downwind over either fairly flat-sh terrain or perhaps over slightly downhill terrain.
If blown uphill it would have likely crashed if front sensors were not in that direction (or they may not have even helped in some cases with particular foliage?)
Sloped terrain would require some thought, as you'd risk crashing in sports without sensors, and without knowing for sure how you should balance flying at safest altitude to clear obstacles to the lowest height to keep out of stronger wind.
 

diveinstructor

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My only advice here would have been to forget the phone at this point and focus on getting the drone on the ground. I would have hit RTH waited a few seconds switch to ( cancel RTH ) sports mode and just pushed forward and dropped hight as low as you safely could.

Why?

1 pressing RTH would have got your Mavic pointing the the right direction

2 sports mode would have given you speed

3 reducing hight would have helped reduce the wind affects

I know hindsight is a wonderful thing but it's always to late.

Sorry you lost it and fingers crossed you find it.

Great advice!!!!!
 
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diveinstructor

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Also maybe a back up APP like Litchi would have helped here? I fly with my Ipad mini that has both Dji Go 4 and Litchi on it. I have never rally had any issues with app crashes. Also as a 2nd back up, just in case my ipad were to crash I always have my iphone on me that also has both Go 4 and Litchi on it.

My motto " Better to have it and not need it then to need it and not have it"
 

beinhart

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Also maybe a back up APP like Litchi would have helped here? I fly with my Ipad mini that has both Dji Go 4 and Litchi on it. I have never rally had any issues with app crashes. Also as a 2nd back up, just in case my ipad were to crash I always have my iphone on me that also has both Go 4 and Litchi on it.

My motto " Better to have it and not need it then to need it and not have it"
Exactly you just beat me to make that comment!
 

RayOZ

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Yes. Definitely need a backup app. DJI Go 4 app was crashing on my iPhone a while back, previous iOS. Good thing Litchi was working fine. When DJI Go 4 crashes there's no flight logs.
If you feel you were going to lose it, crashing it to recover is better that not finding it at all? So, maybe if you have DJI Go running for the few secs before it crashes, do a CSC to stop the motors and let it drop? You might still have last position. Or if it there's like 40% battery, walk around with the RC as a guide to determine you are getting closer or further from it. You might have 15-20 mins of battery.
But I'd definite go for the RTH mode first, give it time to re orientate to home, and use sports mode.
 

Xtreme Drone Pilot

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So today I lost my precious Mavic.


Backstory:
I was in a pretty remote, forested, mountainous area, but with a number of roads, cabins, and clearings also. Definitely very low extraneous radio signals, in fact I had no cell service in the area. (iPhone 6S, iOS 11.2.1, DJI Go 4.1.18)


The Fateful Flight:
I noticed it was somewhat windy so I put the Mavic up about 30 feet to see if it got high wind warnings, nope, all clear. So I started to take it up further, maybe 100 feet, when the app crashes. The app has only crashed maybe 1 or 2 times in many flights so I didn’t panic, just restarted it. Everything came back and I saw the Mavic was struggling to hold position, I switched to Sport mode and tried to fly to the home position. This was all of maybe 15 seconds and the app crashed again. I open it again, connects for only about 2 seconds, and crashes.

At this point I note that the controller is still connected and the distance is increasing slowly with no user input.

Crap, the wind is too strong, I need to put this down somewhere safe and walk to it. But I need visuals to do that.

As a slight panic is building I think how can I get the app to work? So I kill every app in task manager and completely restart the phone and start walking/jogging in the direction the wind is blowing, hoping this will reset whatever is causing the crash.

No luck, over and over the app crashes and I can’t get a visual. I am still connected through the controller and racking my brain trying to decipher from the controller display where it could possibly be, but all I can tell is that it is too far to hear (over 1km) and no matter how I try to rotate the craft and go forward nothing is reducing the distance number. I try reducing the altitude to get below the wind it doesn’t seem to be working, and I’m unsure how low I can go before getting in the trees.

It starts trying to come home, it can’t, as the distance number keeps slowly climbing. I watch in dismay as eventually it starts landing in some unknown location, now some 2km away, and eventually the signal is gone forever.

...

Lessons? Questions?

As I’ve had a few hours to reflect, I can’t think what I could have done differently other than not fly at all. Even in hindsight my choice to fly in a wind seems reasonably cautious, the high wind alert never activated, and if the app hadn’t failed so badly I would have still been able to land in a safe location.

Why is my app crashing? Even now without the drone it crashes after about 30 seconds trying to look at the flight logs or other functions.


Why did the high wind alert never sound?


Given this predicament, any genius ideas to safely land and locate the drone with no visuals?


Any chance DJI could look at some logs, acknowledge their app shouldn’t have failed so badly, and replace my Mavic or give a heavy discount?
Did you press RTH on the remote at all?
 

daisy-girl

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I use an App called UAV Forecast. At the bottom of the main page is a tab called wind profile (I think that's the name). It will give you wind speeds at different altitudes.
Thanks for sharing that info.
 

Jaythrow

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Exactly you just beat me to make that comment!
Indeed, Litchi appears to be infinitely more stable than DJI GO4 with my iPhone 6s and iPad mini 2 as well. It never crashes - whereas GO4 often crashes randomly, and above all, it never sucks my phone/pad like GO4 does. With Litchi, I use to fly more than 25 min with less than 25% battery decrease... I am definitely more confident in Litchi than GO4, what sounds quite strange.
 

msinger

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Indeed, Litchi appears to be infinitely more stable than DJI GO4 with my iPhone 6s and iPad mini 2 as well. It never crashes - whereas GO4 often crashes randomly
Did you upgrade to iOS 11.2.1 yet? If not, that should fix that issue.
 

Montypaks

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Did you upgrade to iOS 11.2.1 yet? If not, that should fix that issue.
I don't understand this statement...

Is it a mistype as in it is advisable to upgrade to 11.2

Or you're being sacarstic that 11.2 will break the smooth running of those apps

Sorry for my slowness
 
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msinger

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Is it a mistype as I'm it is advisable to upgrade to 11.2

Or you're being sacarstic that 11.2 will break the smooth running of those apps
I'm suggesting @Jaythrow run the current version of iOS on all Apple devices. DJI GO has been crashing on Apple devices running iOS 11.1.*.
 
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