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Cleared for NFZ over lake, then "Will auto land in 19 secs!"


Well-Known Member
Apr 1, 2017
Peachtree City, GA
I received clearance to operate in a No Fly Zone that included a lake where I was going to video some rowers. No problem starting and taking-off, and following a scull for a minute or two out in the lake.

Then the controller beeped and displayed a message that I was in a NFZ, and the Mavic would automatically land in 20 seconds. Yikes! It was over water and the nearest shore had trees right down to the waterline. I later checked the DJI zone map and confirmed that I was within the NFZ the entire flight - it wasn't a case of launching outside of it and flying into it.

I immediately aimed for another shore and jammed the stick forward... landing in grass with only seconds to spare.

1. Why would it allow me to start & fly in a NFZ, then force a landing a couple of minutes later?
2. Since the Mavic was over water, would the software have actually landed it in the lake?
3. Other than confirming that I had permission for three days to operate in the NFZ, are there other checks I should have made?

Thanks for your input.

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did you fly into a geo-fence?

If you were in a no fly zone did you log into your DJI account on a PC and put in the exception?

and yes the Mavic will land in water, sometimes it does it all by itself....

who gave you the permission?
Clearly an epic fail on DJI’s part. Considering you successfully took off in the first place, you were clearly signed in.

Unless you weren’t properly cleared or didn’t connect DJI Go to the internet to let it download the clearance, and you took off before letting the Mavic acquire GPS.
Neggy, per the original post, I was already within the NFZ when I started, took off, and throughout the flight.

Yes, I followed the DJI procedures to obtain an exception that allowed flights inside the NFZ, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to start, take off, and fly there.


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Did you attempt to fly out of the NFZ? When you get unlock exceptions from DJI you have specify the radius you want unlocked, when you use the exception....everything outside that radius becomes a NFZ until you turn off the exception.
This is a real thing.

The exact same thing happened to me while at the Gulf of Mexico, about a year ago.

It allowed me to self authorize and take off, but then forced me to land.

Only difference is, I was hovering over the beach doing camera settings, seconds before heading out over the Gulf of Mexico.

To me it is a potentially dangerous glitch they need to address. This could put not only your aircraft in danger but force you to land in unexpected places. Think flying over a sidewalk or roadway when no one is there, and then being forced to land on them moments later, when they are.

I personally don’t like the idea of nannying on my equipment, but forced landings take it to a new level.
This sounds like its time for a new drone company to step it up.........DJI has way to many "ifs ands or buts" in its software implementation.. I love their machines until something undocumented like this happens...good luck getting a truthful answer..
That’s the hard programming of the Mavic’s firmware. You’ll have to modify it so it doesn’t auto land. It’s great that you’ve obtained permission to fly.

This YouTube user posts videos on steps to mod your craft. There’s two methods depending on when you bought your Mavic. He has videos for PC and Mac.

Or... You can buy the Autel EVO which the company states will warn you of flight restrictions but not restrict you from flying.

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