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Mavic Air briefly fell out of the sky, then steadied itself.

Jegs

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Hi All,

First time poster here! - I'm hoping anyone can make sense of an issue I've had with my Mavic Air.

Has anyone had any experiences of their Mavic dropping out of the sky briefly before regaining control?

I was flying roughly a mile away over the countryside (unobstructed) and the Air seemed to lose control, drop around 100 feet in 3-4 seconds, then regain control.

I flew the drone back as soon as possible but can't think of any reason it would drop like a stone and then steady itself. I'm incredibly nervous to take it back out now.

Any ideas why this happened/is happening?

Flight Log of drop:
Footage of drop:
Attached the Flight Log (TXT).

I'd appreciate any help or insight at all!

Cheers
 

Attachments

  • DJIFlightRecord_2018-05-16_[18-33-41].txt
    1.1 MB · Views: 13

Jegs

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Bird strike?
To be perfectly honest I was hoping so. It would definitely give me peace of mind flying in the future if I knew this wasn't an issue with the motors or anything. But unfortunately I don't remember seeing many birds during the flight, and couldn't spot any on the footage...
 

Mossiback

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...I don't remember seeing many birds during the flight, and couldn't spot any on the footage...
You were over 6,000' away when it happened so you would not see a bird and it probably struck from above so it would not show in the footage. The reason I was thinking it could be a bird strike was the sudden movement, like it was hit.
 

swooshdave

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To be perfectly honest I was hoping so. It would definitely give me peace of mind flying in the future if I knew this wasn't an issue with the motors or anything. But unfortunately I don't remember seeing many birds during the flight, and couldn't spot any on the footage...

It only takes one.
 
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Jegs

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You were over 6,000' away when it happened so you would not see a bird and it probably struck from above so it would not show in the footage. The reason I was thinking it could be a bird strike was the sudden movement, like it was hit.

It only takes one.

Fair points. And re-reviewing the footage it almost feels like the Air is battling with something before it drops...
Although wouldn't you normally expect the motors to simply stop if one or more struck a bird?
 

MavicCF

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Fair points. And re-reviewing the footage it almost feels like the Air is battling with something before it drops...
Although wouldn't you normally expect the motors to simply stop if one or more struck a bird?
I wonder if you could upload the tablet DAT? Here is the link on how. Something definetly seems to have happened, but I would like to see the motor and barometer info before forming a hypothesis.
 

CanadaDrone

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That sure does look like something hit it, especially with how perfect it is flying both before and after the very abrupt 'impact'. Bird probably left it alone almost right away because I doubt those props feel nice on the legs. The way the camera is on the MA you probably wouldn't see a thing if it approached from behind or above which it would be more likely to do.

I have been flying before and birds definitely do not like the drone, they were probably protecting nests/eggs, but they would swoop down on the drone (without contacting it) using the same behavior they use to scare off intruding birds. I got out of there ASAP and was glad nothing came into contact with the drone. I imagine if a bird did hit it, it would look exactly like your footage.

Was anything on the drone when you landed it, such as a piece of feather or a speck of blood? I don't imagine a small-ish bird could touch their feet/legs on those props and not get nicked, but there may or may not be evidence left on the drone.

If anything your video has given me more comfort, if it was in fact a bird, that it can take a hit and recover itself (not that you'd want to test it, but if it were unavoidable). That really doesn't look like an equipment failure to me but I will leave that to the flight log specialists :)
 
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MavicCF

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I don't see anything obvious in the txt file. I assume that you mean the uncommanded 30 m drop starting at 158 s. I agree with @MavicCF - the DAT file motor data may give more of a clue. I'll take a look at that later if no one has figured it out.

View attachment 38146
Currently I'm trying to set a world record for "longest time taken to download a 5MB file" I think I'm up to about 20 minutes and going strong:)!
 

MavicCF

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Ok, this is ridiculous, I mean come on 5MB? It looks like I won't have luck downloading it right now and I have to head into town. If sar104 hasn't done it by the time I come back I'll try again.
 

z28lt1

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That sure does look like something hit it, especially with how perfect it is flying both before and after the very abrupt 'impact'. Bird probably left it alone almost right away because I doubt those props feel nice on the legs. The way the camera is on the MA you probably wouldn't see a thing if it approached from behind or above which it would be more likely to do.

I have been flying before and birds definitely do not like the drone, they were probably protecting nests/eggs, but they would swoop down on the drone (without contacting it) using the same behavior they use to scare off intruding birds. I got out of there ASAP and was glad nothing came into contact with the drone. I imagine if a bird did hit it, it would look exactly like your footage.

Was anything on the drone when you landed it, such as a piece of feather or a speck of blood? I don't imagine a small-ish bird could touch their feet/legs on those props and not get nicked, but there may or may not be evidence left on the drone.

If anything your video has given me more comfort, if it was in fact a bird, that it can take a hit and recover itself (not that you'd want to test it, but if it were unavoidable). That really doesn't look like an equipment failure to me but I will leave that to the flight log specialists :)

I'm not a log-looker, but I think it might be something else. It don't think it did fly fine on the way back. Here is a shot from the flight back after the drop. Look at that horizon.

upload_2018-5-17_15-59-33.png

This does not seem normal. EDIT: Although I should add I've never watch any of my footage with abrupt movements in sports mode and such, so perhaps I would see it elsewhere if I looked.
 
Last edited:

Jegs

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Ok, this is ridiculous, I mean come on 5MB? It looks like I won't have luck downloading it right now and I have to head into town. If sar104 hasn't done it by the time I come back I'll try again.
Sorry about that, do you think uploading via Google Drive may provide better speeds?

I don't see anything obvious in the txt file. I assume that you mean the uncommanded 30 m drop starting at 158 s. I agree with @MavicCF - the DAT file motor data may give more of a clue. I'll take a look at that later if no one has figured it out.

View attachment 38146
Yes exactly that drop. Its odd as I had buttery smooth POV/signal during the whole drop, with no error messages. I'm not sure if dropbox is the best format to upload the DAT file, here's a google drive link:

18-05-16-06-33-14_FLY003.DAT

Thank you for having a look, I'm a little lost when it comes to troubleshooting this issue.

What color is your Air?

Its the standard black colour.
 

Jegs

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I'm not a log-looker, but I think it might be something else. It don't think it did fly fine on the way back. Here is a shot from the flight back after the drop. Look at that horizon.

View attachment 38148

This does not seem normal. EDIT: Although I should add I've never watch any of my footage with abrupt movements in sports mode and such, so perhaps I would see it elsewhere if I looked.
If it helps, after I stopped the video the image reverted to it's normal stable self on the flight back.
 

RedBird2020

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Just looking at the posted video, it reported 39.1 mph vertical down velocity and about an 85 ft fall from stable flight to stable flight.

Did it happen a second time? Looks like a few seconds after it recovered from the first fall it started looking at blue sky again but not as drastic of an event.
 

Jegs

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Just looking at the posted video, it reported 39.1 mph vertical down velocity and about an 85 ft fall from stable flight to stable flight.

Did it happen a second time? Looks like a few seconds after it recovered from the first fall it started looking at blue sky again but not as drastic of an event.
Yes you're right. There was another, smaller drop just after control was regained the first time. It was at this point I was desperately trying to turn around and fly back as I assumed the Air was inevitably going to fall to the ground at some point. But, oddly enough it was as stable as ever after the two drops.
 
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