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FlySafe has bricked my new drone, DJI can't fix

jamesfrankham

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Joined
Dec 28, 2019
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Age
49
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New Zealand
My drone is "Unable to fly" without a FlySafe database update, and FlySafe won't update—not on the controller nor DJI Assistant. Just stops at 40% and says Update Failed. The drone is brand new. I've tried for three weeks in five different locations, over wifi and mobile broadband... same result.

DJI has been useless. Three weeks after support request I receive "we got feedback from our engineer that there is no solution currently and the issue has a close relationship with the latitude and longitude".

I'm now four weeks into a six week shoot for which I need the drone, and DJI clearly views it as a low priority.

Does anyone have a contact with whom I can escalate this? It's beyond a joke.
 
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My drone is "Unable to fly" without a FlySafe database update, and FlySafe won't update—not on the controller nor DJI Assistant. Just stops at 40% and says Update Failed. The drone is brand new. I've tried for three weeks in five different locations, over wifi and mobile broadband... same result.

DJI has been useless. Three weeks after support request I receive "we got feedback from our engineer that there is no solution currently and the issue has a close relationship with the latitude and longitude".

I'm now four weeks into a six week shoot for which I need the drone, and DJI clearly views it as a low priority.

Does anyone have a contact with whom I can escalate this? It's beyond a joke.
Make sure you have enough room on your devices internal memory.
 
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First off, what drone is this? Second, are you getting a strong mobile phone signal: is where you're trying to fly in one of the "black holes"?
If you're trying to update through a third party WiFi network there may be a data download block, if you have a strong mobile signal, set up your phone as a hotspot, turn on mobile data and try connecting through that.
If your drone is a mini 3, there are currently no third party flight apps that bypass the FLY app.
 
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My drone is "Unable to fly" without a FlySafe database update, and FlySafe won't update—not on the controller nor DJI Assistant. Just stops at 40% and says Update Failed. The drone is brand new. I've tried for three weeks in five different locations, over wifi and mobile broadband... same result.

DJI has been useless. Three weeks after support request I receive "we got feedback from our engineer that there is no solution currently and the issue has a close relationship with the latitude and longitude".

I'm now four weeks into a six week shoot for which I need the drone, and DJI clearly views it as a low priority.

Does anyone have a contact with whom I can escalate this? It's beyond a joke.
"...DJI has been useless. Three weeks after support request I receive "we got feedback from our engineer that there is no solution currently and the issue has a close relationship with the latitude and longitude"..".

Just noticed this part of your comment - this reference to "latitude & Longitude" interests me as there seems to be a link with something I wrote about in an article. It is/was specific to the European continent and yes, I know you're a Kiwi, but the similarity struck a chord.

"...after DJI had set the benchmark for dictating where and how its products could be used through mandatory Geozones (which is a blinding bit of cheek considering that every single one of them is a PRIVATE individuals PRIVATE property) Brussels then decided to create its own set of regulations and operational constraints based on the DJI Geozone model, but as is the way with the European Union: they decided to go bigger and better... and even more dictatorial and formed a working group that carries the title of 'EUROCAE ED-269'. New drones sold in Europe after January 1st 2023 will have to be manufactured with EASA compliant GZM geofencing as standard (with a few exceptions… military and police surveillance). The manufacturer must also ensure that the Euro-compliant drone always has the most current digital drone map in its memory. The idea is that the map is automatically refreshed as soon as there is an active internet connection while the drone owner is unaware of the fact that the drone firmware is being flashed with neither their knowledge nor their permission. If there is no current Euro-compliant digital drone map present in the aircraft or app firmware: the drone is hardware barred from take-off. You won't even be able to spin the motors up. If the drone pilot attempts to boot up the drone and controller using a flight screen device that does not have an active SIM card, or in an area where there is no active mobile signal: the drone will not become operational, as it can't automatically check the database for the current update that will unlock it..."

The "latitude & Longitude" reference becomes relevant when you take into consideration another part of the same article:

"...To ensure that all drones have the same information: an E.U standard had to be set for the digital drone map. The published reasoning behind this standardization was so that all makes of drones have to be able to process Geozones such as airports and other no-fly zones in an unmistakable way. The over-arching aim of the EASA is that after January 1st 2023: ALL drone apps must display the standardized EASA no-fly zones in the same manner and in such a way that even people without extensive aviation knowledge understand what they are looking at. For this reason, the EASA, courtesy of EUROCAE ED-269 has developed a standard for the uniform processing of these enforced ‘geographical zones’.

After January 1st 2023, EU member states (and Britain) must define all areas they wish to have marked as no-fly zones and zones with other flight restrictions (such as low-flying areas) in this format. Subsequently, all drones will have to be able to read the EU digital drone map, regardless of the brand or model. Flight apps (such as the DJI GO4 or FLY app) that currently show drone pilots where they can and cannot fly will also have to switch to the new EU/EASA standard. That means that all apps will contain the same information, displayed in the same way. This pan- European drone map will determine fly and no-fly zones as follows. Red areas for ‘hard’ no-fly zones: Yellow areas for restricted areas (e.g. low-level flight areas): Green areas for less restricted areas (such as model airfields or test areas). Lastly: there will be blue-outlined areas that will mark the presence of U-space regions.


Local, regional and National Governments Europe-wide (and in Britain) are the chosen authorities responsible for designating their own regional geo zones in their own geographical areas. It is not beyond possibility that many Local Authorities will see U-Space as a gift horse and mark excessively large areas as no-fly zones for privately owned drones, more likely that under the slippery catch-all guise of concerns for “security”, “privacy” and “data protection” as under this legislation: entire villages and towns will be able to be designated as no-fly zones by the local Governmental bodies responsible for their administration - in complete contradiction to existing Aviation Law (ANO2016).

In addition, E.U Member States must ensure that certain zones (including future U-space areas) are also communicated to manned aviation via NOTAMs. U-space will provide large blue-outlined areas on the European drone map within the next few years. In those areas, if you own and operate a camera drone, you will have to apply for permission in advance, pre-register every flight and ensure that you are in constant communication with a U-Space Service Provider (USSP) during the flight so that the location and direction of flight of your drone can be communicated to other airspace users. These U-space zones will cover entire cities or large tracts of land deemed to be select urban areas, conservation zones, areas of outstanding natural beauty or areas of a 'sensitive nature'. It is also not unreasonable to assume that the designated 'U-Space Service Provider' (the company that gets this peach contract) will charge you for their 'services' on a flight-by-flight basis..."

I'm sure that other Governments will be keeping and eye on what the EU is able to get away with and I'm certain that many non-European countries will also be trialling very similar initiatives, if not now: then in the very near future.
 
Try tweeting to them on Twitter. As previously mentioned the public seeing a negative reaction my illicit a response from DJI
 
Just to close this off, after a month of hounding, DJI engineers found the problem in firmware where it checked the location. The fixed the bug, released a beta version to my account only, and the firmware upgrade went through without a hitch. I expect it affected anyone attempting to update their FlySafe database for the first time just about anywhere in the South Pacific since late April. The fix should be part of an upcoming firmware release.
 
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