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Lost Connection - Drone In Lake

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A couple weeks ago I was flying at night and lost connection with my mavic air 2 drone. Of course it was over a lake, when the connection was lost and now believe it to be at the bottom of the lake. I put in a claim with DJI and seems like I am getting the typical ******** runaround I read about on the forums with flyaways and other issues. I now have more time wrapped up into this matter than the total worth of the drone, so I am done dealing with them and will look for a different manufacturer to purchase from. Below is the information that I have on this matter. If anyone had the same issue and was able to get a resolve with DJI, please feel free to respond. Thanks for the help and Enjoy the day!

  1. The flight time DJI is referencing is 3:35
  2. I lost connection with the drone at 3:19 (based on the DJI app that shows the flight pattern; wherein it flashes in red "lost connection" at 3:19)
  3. The video I have on my phone through the app only goes to 3:19 when it lost connection and the image on the video just shows it in the air (it does not show it dropping towards the water)
  4. DJI sent me an image showing that my control sticks were in a position that would have sent the drone, with max force, both forward and downward. The image is very cool where it shows the position of the sticks and other flight data. I asked them if I could get the images like they sent me for my entire flight so I could get a better understanding of how I caused this issue and they advised the image is from their analytic team and only they have access to that data.
  5. DJI said that the image they sent me is from 3:35 of the flight when the drone was sent into the lake
  6. It is my belief that I lost connection with the drone at 3:19 of the flight, I most likely hit buttons and very possibly moved the control sticks to see if there would be any response, and it was between 3:19 and 3:35 that the drone went into the lake (during the time the app was saying I was not connected.
 
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Perhaps it's a situation where you lost video feed but you still had a controller connection?

If you load AirData on your phone you can view your flight telemetry and it will show you an animation of the stick positions during the flight.
So I am a new drone flyer and cannot say with confidence what occurred, so it is possible I lost video and not control. I just went back to the flight and though the video only goes to 3:19, the total flight was 3:35 and it shows the drone at -3ft at 3:35 of the flight. Does the AirData give you that information for existing flights or just on flights after you load it? Appreciate your response and insight! Enjoy the day!
 
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AZDave

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How far away was your drone when you lost video? And is there any chance that the video on whatever you you use to run the control app glitched? As you state above, it does sound like you may have sent the drone into the water while trying to regain control that the video convinced you had been lost. I don't know this for certain, but I suspect that it is entirely possible for the controller (or Fly app) to tolerate more disruption in the control bit stream than it can for the video stream.

In any case, the drone loses its ground avoidance protection over water. DJI specifically states that the downward looking optical sensors will not work properly over transparent, absorptive, or variable surfaces (like waves, even minor ones). There would be nothing to prevent you from sending the drone into the water like there would be over ground.
 

maggior

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So I am a new drone flyer and cannot say with confidence what occurred, so it is possible I lost video and not control. I just went back to the flight and though the video only goes to 3:19, the total flight was 3:35 and it shows the drone at -3ft at 3:35 of the flight. Does the AirData give you that information for existing flights or just on flights after you load it? Appreciate your response and insight! Enjoy the day!

AirData loads the flight logs that are created by the DJI app and puts them up on their system so you can view it. So you would load the AirData app on your phone and create an AirData account. It will then detect the flight logs on your phone and upload them. You can then use either the app or their website to view the data. You can view a map to see where you flew, how fast you were flying, what the height was, how far the drone flew away from the home point, etc. You can even view your GPS signal, battery temperature, battery voltage, etc. etc.

When you get into a situation like this you often just react and after the fact you aren't sure just what you did. It's helpful to look and see just what happened from the data so you can learn from it. I happen to just find it interesting to look at...I'm a nerd :)

Have a poke around their website to see what it's about.
 

CactusJackSlade

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If you did actually lose your control link (not just your video downlink) your MA2 should have gone into Return To Home mode, assuming you had that set up properly... AND waited for GPS lock before you took off. If not, a couple things could have happened:

I am not familiar with the default on the MA2 for what it does when it loses control signal. It's possible it went into "hover" until the battery died and then landed in the lake.

If you did not wait for GPS lock before take off and it did go into RTH mode, then it was going to the last place you had a GPS lock. (this is a common error and newbies think it was a fly-away).

Just a couple other ideas anyway. Your flight data should give you some (real) answers...
 

AZDave

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New flier, flying at night and over water...naw...nothing could go wrong here:p...How many of these threads end up in favor of the pilot once logs are viewed?

Totally agree, but if she has already decided that the manufacturer is to blame and plans to buy a different brand she probably isn't here anymore to read your post.
 

Repaid1

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Totally agree, but if she has already decided that the manufacturer is to blame and plans to buy a different brand she probably isn't here anymore to read your post.
Who knows, but there is a sad understanding if one thinks another manufacture would honor, let alone provide the service DJI does, given what one can presume on the outcome of this incident. Seems just away of throwing away twice the money, hopefully they learn how to fly or give up, before someone gets hurt though. ;)

By the way..why do you say "she"?
 

CactusJackSlade

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Who knows, but there is a sad understanding if one thinks another manufacture would honor, let alone provide the service DJI does, given what one can presume on the outcome of this incident. Seems just away of throwing away twice the money, hopefully they learn how to fly or give up, before someone gets hurt though. ;)

By the way..why do you say "she"?
I'll bet he saw "viki" and did not see it really says "viking" on the end of their screen name since it is cut off and went onto the second line of text.
 
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AZDave

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I'll bet he saw "viki" and did not see it really says "viking" on the end of their screen name since it is cut off and went onto the second line of text.

Exactly that. I wasn't trying in the least to be sexist ... just honestly thought that the name was "Viki" and I didn't want to presume they were a male. I saw the ng below but had no idea what that meant ... I thought maybe it was a forum title or something.

Thanks for cluing me in!
 
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Repaid1

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Exactly that. I wasn't trying in the least to be sexist ... just honestly thought that the name was "Viki" and I didn't want to presume they were a male. I saw the ng below but had no idea what that meant ... I thought maybe it was a forum title or something.

Thanks for cluing me in!
If you back out to the header of the thread you will see Viking ;)
No Worries though, Just scroll up:

Lost Connection - Drone In Lake​

 

Meta4

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A couple weeks ago I was flying at night and lost connection with my mavic air 2 drone. Of course it was over a lake, when the connection was lost and now believe it to be at the bottom of the lake. I put in a claim with DJI and seems like I am getting the typical ******** runaround I read about on the forums with flyaways and other issues.
You've distracted yourself and the others here by saying that you lost connection.
Losing connection doesn't cause the loss of a drone.
It should trigger RTH unless you've changed some basic settings that almost no-one ever changes.
Unless there were obstacles on the RH path or a strong wind to prevent the drone coming home, you would have the drone ... if RTH happened.
The most likely explanation for your incident was that you lost the drone and that was the cause of the lost connection message on your screen.
A complete loss of power from a dislodged battery or a rare hardware fault might be the cause.

If you want an independent analysis of the flight data, you need to post the recorded flight data here.
To do that ...
Go to DJI Flight Log Viewer | Phantom Help
Follow the instructions there to upload your flight record from your phone or tablet.
That will give you a report of the flight.
Come back and post a link to the report it gives you, even if the report looks empty.
Or .. just post the txt file here.
 

cgmaxed

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I didn't read the whole thread, but for you to be covered by a fly away, YOU NEEDED TO BIND YOUR DRONE TO YOUR REMOTE. They won't cover it, if you didn't do that, period. The deductable is high too. Over 500 U.S. dollars for an Air2S. Of course, more for for the higher priced drones.
 

cgmaxed

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A couple weeks ago I was flying at night and lost connection with my mavic air 2 drone. Of course it was over a lake, when the connection was lost and now believe it to be at the bottom of the lake. I put in a claim with DJI and seems like I am getting the typical ******** runaround I read about on the forums with flyaways and other issues. I now have more time wrapped up into this matter than the total worth of the drone, so I am done dealing with them and will look for a different manufacturer to purchase from. Below is the information that I have on this matter. If anyone had the same issue and was able to get a resolve with DJI, please feel free to respond. Thanks for the help and Enjoy the day!

  1. The flight time DJI is referencing is 3:35
  2. I lost connection with the drone at 3:19 (based on the DJI app that shows the flight pattern; wherein it flashes in red "lost connection" at 3:19)
  3. The video I have on my phone through the app only goes to 3:19 when it lost connection and the image on the video just shows it in the air (it does not show it dropping towards the water)
  4. DJI sent me an image showing that my control sticks were in a position that would have sent the drone, with max force, both forward and downward. The image is very cool where it shows the position of the sticks and other flight data. I asked them if I could get the images like they sent me for my entire flight so I could get a better understanding of how I caused this issue and they advised the image is from their analytic team and only they have access to that data.
  5. DJI said that the image they sent me is from 3:35 of the flight when the drone was sent into the lake
  6. It is my belief that I lost connection with the drone at 3:19 of the flight, I most likely hit buttons and very possibly moved the control sticks to see if there would be any response, and it was between 3:19 and 3:35 that the drone went into the lake (during the time the app was saying I was not connected.
If you didn't bind your drone to your remote, they won't cover a flyaway. Did you do this? You have to do it on you own.
 

NFVflyer

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I had a similar thing happen to my M2P in March, and I'd like to share my experience here in case it could help others.

My outcome was relatively positive in that DJI offered me a 30% discount on the purchase of (only) the exact same model that I lost; I took them up on it, and I'm happily flying the replacement--and so much the wiser now, though $1k poorer!

Event Details:
--Flying over a lake, although in daytime and with no video recording underway (I was on a still photography mission).
--Sudden "Aircraft Disconnected" notification on Smart Controller (in clear LOS, distance about 1 mile), with no previous indications of any trouble.
--No further connection with or response from the drone, despite trying various inputs on the SC.
--I happened to be watching the drone location when I saw a big splash, and deduced that it must have hit the water. (The drone was a couple hundred feet high when it disconnected). I subsequently judged there was no possibility of retrieval. This occurred approximately 2 minutes after disconnection and was not a case of exhausted battery.

DJI Interactions:
--As a current member of DJI Care Refresh, I submitted a claim within 1 day. The response was automated, and indicated that the next step was to send in the drone for evaluation (they emailed me a shipping label).
--I realized there was no avenue on the web site for pursuing help with a lost (fly-away) drone, even though in the "description of what happened" section of my Refresh claim I did in fact explain the details of the incident.
--After pondering and researching for few days, I called DJI Support with my claim number and explained the situation to the agent. He was polite and helpful, and recommended converting my case to a fly-away incident. I asked how to do this, and he volunteered to do it during the call.
--Within about a day I got an email from DJI Support asking for my flight log (from the SC, not the drone). They evaluated it and responded with a simple statement that no malfunctions were indicated, but that they would offer a 30% discount on a replacement. Rather than argue with them--I knew from reading this forum that 30% would be their best offer under these circumstances--I chose to accept the offer, and the replacement process proceeded without delay, all by email.
--My communications from DJI Support after the claim got converted to a fly-away were nothing but professional, courteous, and helpful. Through them, I learned that the replacement drone would automatically be bound to my existing Care Refresh policy for the duration of the term. I gave them a very positive satisfaction rating.

Lessons:
Lots of research on this forum led me to understand a few key points that now make me a better-informed and more confident flyer:
--Flying over water is risky, and water damage and loss claims are excluded by the Care Refresh terms.
--Aircraft Disconnects happen fairly often, especially with Smart Controllers; in my own history of flying my M2P for 6 months, I've had at least 6 disconnect events, and all had ended benignly, except this one.
--The "Aircraft Disconnected" problem seems to be with the DJI FLY 4 app, and restarting this on the SC may lead to reconnection (I haven't been able to try this yet). In any case, here is the key point: the SC seems to still maintain a link to the drone, and the drone will respond correctly to control inputs, even though there is no feedback--better hope you can see the drone! The hard RTH button on the SC will still work, so it should save the day if you have this feature set properly.
--I believe that the loss of my drone was not due to anything I did wrong, and that the loss should qualify for full replacement. However, the Care Refresh terms are clearly stated, and I agreed to them, so I chose the glass-half-full perspective on how DJI handled this particular case. I reviewed the many successful and even joyful photography flights I had made prior to losing the drone; rediscovered all my reasons for choosing the M2P in the first place, and decided it was worth the $1K to me to pick myself up and keep going. Some anguish along the way, but now I'm in a good state of mind about it all, and I thought it would be worth sharing my experience with other Mavic flyers.
 
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Heed

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--Aircraft Disconnects happen fairly often, especially with Smart Controllers; in my own history of flying my M2P for 6 months, I've had at least 6 disconnect events, and all had ended benignly, except this one.
--The "Aircraft Disconnected" problem seems to be with the DJI FLY 4 app, and restarting this on the SC may lead to reconnection (I haven't been able to try this yet). In any case, here is the key point: the SC seems to still maintain a link to the drone, and the drone will respond correctly to control inputs, even though there is no feedback--better hope you can see the drone! The hard RTH button on the SC will still work, so it should save the day if you have this feature set properly.

I don't think this is limited to DJI FLY 4 as this is exactly the same issue I had with my Smart Controller using DJI Go 4 and my M2P.

I would look down and see the home screen for the DJI GO app while flying the drone. The drone was completely controllable at this point. I could see how folks would think this is a "disconnect", but it isn't as it is controllable and drone telemetry continues.

Long story short:

I bought the setup in Sep 2020. Worked fine for tons of flights until early Nov 20.

I tried lots of things, upgrade DJI Go 4 from v.36 to v.37. Reformatted memory card for SC. Tried a different memory card for SC. And a few others....

Discovered that a firmware update for the SC had recently been released (after my purchase) and I noticed my SC controller was running that version. At this point, I had accepted any upgrades that the SC pointed out. While I didn't specifically remember this update, it was quite likely I did it since I bought it before firmware was released. It's possible that it came with it too, but I decided to go through the firmware downgrade process.

I downgraded to SC firmware v.700 and that solved my problem!

I have not since upgraded the SC, even though they have released newer firmware. Sadly, you can only go back 2 or 3 versions apparently in DJI Assistant. v.700 is no longer listed as an option.

I've asked this elesewhere, but is anyone aware of a way to downgrade to v.700 at this point?

Also, this seems to be only an issue with SC's. Has anyone running a standard controller with an iOS/Android device had this problem?
 

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