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Mavic 2 MIA attempting to take-off during signal jamming operations

sbunting

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I'm posting the flight record for a Mavic 2 that was lost while attempting to take-off in an area where signal jamming was occurring. 4 other drones were lost during this incident and the pilot blamed the jamming operator. This was not in the U.S. so any talk of FCC / FAA violations is pointless. I have removed the columns containing GUID, Serial numbers, or identifying names. All other data is untouched. If there had been any GPS data, I would have been obligated to delete it, but there was none to delete, PERIOD.

Based on my examination of the flight records, the pilot flew several earlier flights and experienced some sporadic RC issues as jamming in the area was known to be occurring. He also experienced high wind warnings.

During the final flight, the pilot started the engines and within 5 seconds it went from 10 satellites to zero. The pilot was warned that ATTI mode had commenced and that Satellite Positioning was off. This was 5 seconds into the flight and at less than 3 feet off the ground. I would think we'd all agree that the pilot should have stopped ascent and landed the AC. Period. However, that did not occur and the pilot continued the ascent during which many further warnings occurred until finally the RC link broke and the drone was off in the wind. The take-off was from atop a building, app 80 above the ground. This was in a city and the streets were full of people below. Fortunately the high winds, noted in an earlier flight, no doubt carried the AC far enough away that no one was hurt. The drone has never been found. The pilot was 100% responsible, not the jamming operator. The pilot had ample warning and ample opportunity to land and did not. The pilot was a novice pilot, less than 20 flights, and had never flown in ATTI mode.

I offer this data as it is a rather unique situation and the data resulting from jamming puts it in a class by itself. The list of human / pilot error is quite long. It's clearly for analysis and learning. Enjoy...
 

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...the high winds, noted in an earlier flight, no doubt carried the AC far enough away that no one was hurt.
A DJI craft in ATTI which loses the RC connection always lands... so it drifted no longer than it took for it to reach ground below with a 3m/s descent speed.
 
I am curious, when the drone lifted off and made the initial climb to 25ft, why did it break the 5m/16ft ceiling that is in place when the GPS is poor etc.

The manual says "Height is restricted to 16 ft (5 m) when the GPS signal is weak and Downward Vision System is activated. Height is restricted to 98 ft (30 m) when the GPS signal is weak and Downward Vision System is inactivate."
My M2 complies with the 5m limit, I haven't tested it with DVS off.
 
@Meta4 is good at helping.

Removed the duplicate Thread on this.
 
Sorry ... there's not enough information to say any more about this incident
 
I'm posting the flight record for a Mavic 2 that was lost while attempting to take-off in an area where signal jamming was occurring. 4 other drones were lost during this incident and the pilot blamed the jamming operator. This was not in the U.S. so any talk of FCC / FAA violations is pointless. I have removed the columns containing GUID, Serial numbers, or identifying names. All other data is untouched. If there had been any GPS data, I would have been obligated to delete it, but there was none to delete, PERIOD.

Based on my examination of the flight records, the pilot flew several earlier flights and experienced some sporadic RC issues as jamming in the area was known to be occurring. He also experienced high wind warnings.

During the final flight, the pilot started the engines and within 5 seconds it went from 10 satellites to zero. The pilot was warned that ATTI mode had commenced and that Satellite Positioning was off. This was 5 seconds into the flight and at less than 3 feet off the ground. I would think we'd all agree that the pilot should have stopped ascent and landed the AC. Period. However, that did not occur and the pilot continued the ascent during which many further warnings occurred until finally the RC link broke and the drone was off in the wind. The take-off was from atop a building, app 80 above the ground. This was in a city and the streets were full of people below. Fortunately the high winds, noted in an earlier flight, no doubt carried the AC far enough away that no one was hurt. The drone has never been found. The pilot was 100% responsible, not the jamming operator. The pilot had ample warning and ample opportunity to land and did not. The pilot was a novice pilot, less than 20 flights, and had never flown in ATTI mode.

I offer this data as it is a rather unique situation and the data resulting from jamming puts it in a class by itself. The list of human / pilot error is quite long. It's clearly for analysis and learning. Enjoy...
You refer to "signal jamming" but then state that the problem was that GNSS reception was lost. Are you suggesting that both were being jammed?
 
“The list of human / pilot error is quite long.“ Indeed. This is just another example of how more rules and regulations are put in place in order to prevent poor judgement from occurring. Simply astounding that a flight was considered from the top of a building with know jamming in progress and high wind warning.
 
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“The list of human / pilot error is quite long.“ Indeed. This is just another example of how more rules and regulations are put in place in order to prevent poor judgement from occurring. Simply astounding that a flight was considered from the top of a building with know jamming in progress and high wind warning.
There's obviously more to this story than what has been said.
 
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A DJI craft in ATTI which loses the RC connection always lands... so it drifted no longer than it took for it to reach ground below with a 3m/s descent speed.
One of my interests in posting this was to learn. I figured it could create some interesting conversations, as we have some really talented and knowledgeable folks here. I had researched the topic of what happens when the RC link is lost while the AC is flying dark in ATTI mode with no satellites. I really couldn't find a clear answer. RC signal lost while in ATTI mode Loss of rc signal in Atti mode From what I was able to garner, it may vary somewhat between models or classes / ages of models. But again, suggested, not firmly established.

So, what I know is that the pilot and others watched it drift off with the wind. If it was supposed to land, it didn't.

Another member of this forum, Yorkshire_Pub below, asks why, "when the drone lifted off and made the initial climb to 25ft, why did it break the 5m/16ft ceiling that is in place when the GPS is poor etc." Don't know why it did or didn't, depending on your perspective, but it surely did.

The pilot was flying in an environment where the clear intent was to disrupt drones and cellular devices by jamming the signals. This was industrial strength jamming gear, so it was powerful and likely has capabilities beyond the obvious. I thought, perhaps, someone here could see something in the logs that was beyond the obvious. It's not a set of log data that once sees often.
 
So the OP is about heard/posted information by another pilot. The original poster has no first hand details about what supposedly happened and cannot confirm any details or provide more details. It happed in a country different than the poster here.
I think this needs to be taken with a lot of grains of salt.
 
You refer to "signal jamming" but then state that the problem was that GNSS reception was lost. Are you suggesting that both were being jammed?
I think it unlikely that I can determine what jamming device was being used. It was industrial / military grade gear and was being used to intentionally disrupt cellular service and drones. Such devices attack a wide spectrum of frequencies. Some collateral damage is almost inevitable. You can assume that their purpose was to disorganize an organized group.

The drone did not belong to an individual, but rather by a government entity. It wasn't his idea to put the drone up, he was doing so at someone else's direction. So there are pressures to fly where a normally prudent pilot would not. Hindsight is 20/20. We all get that. It's hard to put your head inside the head of someone's else in this kind of political environment. The pilot was adamant that the jammer was at fault. Having seen these logs and having seen his mistakes, he now has a different opinion. Eating crow is not pleasant. So we can all agree the pilot screwed up royally.
 
So the OP is about heard/posted information by another pilot. The original poster has no first hand details about what supposedly happened and cannot confirm any details or provide more details. It happed in a country different than the poster here.
I think this needs to be taken with a lot of grains of salt.
To be clear, this didn't happen in the U.S. I am currently in the country where this occurred and personally recovered the logs for them. I have interviewed the key players. A condition of sharing it here, for learning purposes, was that I not disclose who the entities and other details of their operations. I would hope that such would be understood here and not belittled.

Generally when there is a crash / fly-away, this group insists on logs. I put the logs out there right away, redacting only items relating to ownership / GUID / SN's. Sprinkle it with as much salt as your taste allows, I thought it interesting enough to share it.

Jammers are not just in the possession of government entities. While illegal to use in the U.S. that doesn't stop anyone from using one if they so desired. I thought sharing the logs from a flight that was disrupted by jamming might be of interest.
 
I really couldn't find a clear answer.
I don't know how valid the expt was but I just tried switching off the controller with an M2P indoors and it went straight to landing .... but it was directly over the take off point though didn't 'know' that because of zero GPS.
 
I think it unlikely that I can determine what jamming device was being used. It was industrial / military grade gear and was being used to intentionally disrupt cellular service and drones. Such devices attack a wide spectrum of frequencies. Some collateral damage is almost inevitable. You can assume that their purpose was to disorganize an organized group.

The drone did not belong to an individual, but rather by a government entity. It wasn't his idea to put the drone up, he was doing so at someone else's direction. So there are pressures to fly where a normally prudent pilot would not. Hindsight is 20/20. We all get that. It's hard to put your head inside the head of someone's else in this kind of political environment. The pilot was adamant that the jammer was at fault. Having seen these logs and having seen his mistakes, he now has a different opinion. Eating crow is not pleasant. So we can all agree the pilot screwed up royally.
There are a few counter-UAV systems available, but none that I'm aware of attempt to jam GNSS signals. They all rely on swamping the control link with the aircraft. But maybe other countries are less picky about jeopardizing their infrastructure.

Either way, if DJI aircraft lose both positioning and uplink then they immediately switch to autoland. That's not user configurable.
 
There are a few counter-UAV systems available, but none that I'm aware of attempt to jam GNSS signals. They all rely on swamping the control link with the aircraft. But maybe other countries are less picky about jeopardizing their infrastructure.

Either way, if DJI aircraft lose both positioning and uplink then they immediately switch to autoland. That's not user configurable.
Paladyne® E2000HH - Drone Defence is one such system and attacks not only the control link, but GNSS signals. In this particular case, the GPS was the first to succumb to the jamming. It claims to be able to force an RTH, etc. I have no idea what brand / model was in use, but this one appeared in the advertising banner of mavicpilots.com after I started this thread. Big brother is always watching and listening. Whether it was a separate unit or integrated, their jamming operations were also targeting mobile phone communications. Such systems can be encountered as they are out there and becoming more commonplace.
 
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