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Mavic Air - Flyaway near magnetic field

cajuno

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Jul 30, 2018
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#1
I was filming video of an industrial installation. The setting was inside a steel building with metal roofing etc. so lots of possible interference problems. Compass was calibrated before flight, MA in ATTI mode. During the shoot the MA suddenly lost control (I tried flight pause and joysticks - no input). It seemed to have locked onto a magnetic signature from a strong induction heater approx. 300' away. The MA crashed into a building column eventually damaging an arm and antenna (MA is covered under DJI Care). A couple of questions:
1. Has anyone else experienced something similar?
2. Should I have selected a different flight mode/setting in this difficult flight environment?
3. When the MA lost control I had no control - is there an override? I read maybe switching to sport mode?
 

Red Baron

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#3
If you want to know if you have magnetic interference look at your compass-- It will be way off.
 

Just_nick

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Jan 29, 2018
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#4
There is no override, and this is why you need to know the limits of the drone before doing things like this. It's not a dumb drone, where ATTI mode will simply allow you to fly with an unstable drone.
 
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sar104

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#5
I was filming video of an industrial installation. The setting was inside a steel building with metal roofing etc. so lots of possible interference problems. Compass was calibrated before flight, MA in ATTI mode. During the shoot the MA suddenly lost control (I tried flight pause and joysticks - no input). It seemed to have locked onto a magnetic signature from a strong induction heater approx. 300' away. The MA crashed into a building column eventually damaging an arm and antenna (MA is covered under DJI Care). A couple of questions:
1. Has anyone else experienced something similar?
2. Should I have selected a different flight mode/setting in this difficult flight environment?
3. When the MA lost control I had no control - is there an override? I read maybe switching to sport mode?
While it stayed in ATTI mode you were probably fine, but that's not a user setting with the Mavic so if it managed to get more than 7 GPS satellites locked it will have attempted to use P-GPS mode. At that point, if there was magnetic interference with the compass leading to a disagreement with the IMU rate gyros, or if the metal surfaces were leading to unsteady GPS location data, and if that doesn't result in a prompt switch back to ATTI, then it will likely exhibit the behavior that you saw.

Sport mode would not have helped - you would have needed the ability to select ATTI manually.
 

mad monkey

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Jun 24, 2018
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#6
While it stayed in ATTI mode you were probably fine, but that's not a user setting with the Mavic so if it managed to get more than 7 GPS satellites locked it will have attempted to use P-GPS mode. At that point, if there was magnetic interference with the compass leading to a disagreement with the IMU rate gyros, or if the metal surfaces were leading to unsteady GPS location data, and if that doesn't result in a prompt switch back to ATTI, then it will likely exhibit the behavior that you saw.

Sport mode would not have helped - you would have needed the ability to select ATTI manually.
That could be a great firmware upgrade. Ability to disable gps for times when flying indoors..
 

sar104

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#7
That could be a great firmware upgrade. Ability to disable gps for times when flying indoors..
What's needed is a simply ATTI mode switch - just like the Phantoms have. You can reprogram the mode switch on the Mavic Pro via a small firmware modification, although you then lose one of the existing modes (P-GPS or Sport). I'm not sure about the Mavic Air.
 

cajuno

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#8
Thanks everyone for the good input. The switch from ATTI to P-GPS mode makes sense in causing this behavior. We did fly a Phantom4 in the same environment (in ATTI mode) without any issues. A selection to turn P-GPS off when flying indoors would be a great addition to the MA.
 

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