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DJI Air2S - orbit accident, high-rise building crash


Well-Known Member
Jan 17, 2021
European Union
So I had my first serious crash, resulting in the total destruction of the drone with my Air 2S.

I set an orbit, I thought I have sufficient clearance with the surrounding buildings, I switched to Sport mode, drone started full speed, I saw it on collision course with a building, panicked, instead of hitting the stop button on the screen, I pushed the sticks forward and up, hoping that the automatic orbit will stop. It didn't (my reaction time was less than 2 seconds, at best, because of the drone speed)

The drone tumbled down 20 stories onto the pavement below, being completely destroyed, with one exception: the battery. The battery somehow survived without a single crack, just some light marks. It narrowly missed a pedestrian. The guy told me he actually heard the drone coming down so he had the chance to move away, Probably the drone was revving the motors, trying to stabilize itself, but with a potentially broken/folded arm or missing propellers, this never happened.

Long story short: DJI care 1 year -> expired.

I sent the drone to DJI for a repair evaluation. They quoted 643 Euros, VAT (EU country) included. I asked them if they can grant an additional discount on replacement or maybe a discount for purchasing a new model. They said no to the new model discount, but they gave me an additional 30% discount on materials, which resulted on a total cost of about 540 Euros.

I rejected the offer, they will send the drone back, free of charge.

I will sell the batteries, charger, propellers protection, carry case (hard shell, water proof) and buy the Air 3.

I have to admit, the DJI service is top notch. In my case the repair was too expensive, but their service, nevertheless, outstanding.
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Sorry about the drone but could you post the flight log please, privately via PM message if you do not want to make the log public, it might be interesting to look at the descent rate.....if the log recorded it.
It might be worth selling the drone too, some bits might be useful to someone else, alternatively but a second hand Air 2S via ebay etc..
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Many of us have had a good experience with DJI.
As far as using the Sensors and Auto Features there is learning curve which is pretty steep when trying to use those features in a Functional Manner.

One of the skills that you want to aquire is making your own circles around an object , and with that you will have total control . If your up to that you might want to consider getting the Cinematic Control Covers which makes that skill very easy to do.
Gear to fly in the Rain. and get Cinematic Shots with out Control Pod Covers.
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Sounds like a good reason to buy an insurance policy. If it had hit that person, the results could have been catastrophic.
Had never considered insurance before.
In EU an insurance is mandatory when flying drones. So better to have one, just in case of... The drone needs to be registered, and the registration you only will get when showing an insurance contract.
I do have a family insurance which covers property damage up to 1 million euros and physical damage to humans up to 10 million euros. It is indeed compulsory to have an insurance when registering as a drone operator, but if the insurance expires or it is not renewed, no one will ever know. So it is a matter of responsibility really.
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In EU an insurance is mandatory when flying drones. So better to have one, just in case of... The drone needs to be registered, and the registration you only will get when showing an insurance contract.
No, it isn't. The EASA Drone Rules require you to have insurance if your drone is above 20 kg. If your drone is below 20 kg, there is no specific requirement for insurance. Member States can, however, mandate third-party liability insurance for operating a lighter drone. If you have a general family insurance, you need to check if damage caused by droning is exempt.
Long story short: You were extremely fortunate.

I would suggest that the battery either be retired or very carefully inspected to check for damage. There's an increased danger of fire with damaged batteries.

Did the impact do any damage to the building?

What was the reason for using sport mode for an automated orbit, given that it disables the OA sensors?
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Buddy, this done has no side OA sensors...
You said you pushed the stick forward and up. It sounded like you flew forward into the building you were doing an orbit around. Now, I'm thinking you were orbiting something else and the drone flew sideways into a building that wasn't the orbit subject. Nope, the Air 2S sensors wouldn't have helped that.

Here's a used Air 2S, drone and battery only, on eBay for $500 from a reputable looking seller.

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