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Mavic Air Lost Connection: Trying to learn lessons and preventative measures

Stevezphoto

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Today was flying Mavic Air. Around 9 minutes into the fight, not all that far away and within line of sight, the aircraft disconnected from the app. I had line of sight, and intended to fly home manually. The controls were not responding, then the aircraft appeared to take off in a direction not towards me and I lost sight of it. I started running closer to last known location hoping to re-establish connection. After some nervous seconds I heard/spotted the drone returning to home. Everything turned out OK. I reset everything and took another flight on a fresh battery and did not have any problems.

I didn't try Pause. I didn't stop/start the controller or the app. I've had the aircraft disconnect here and there on previous flights, and previously connection was restored. This time connection was not restored even as it came all the way home. I have had some weak signal and aircraft interference in this area before, but at the time that it lost connection, I was relatively close-by, and on my way back to Home anyway.

I have seen numerous members posting about the Air and having various disconnection problems. My home point was set, there seemed to be enough GPS satellites, so I'm not exactly sure what the problem was. I'm on a trip in Indonesia, and should I lose it on these islands there is very little chance I'm going to get it back, so I want to try to figure out what's going on. I'm going on a boat trip in a few days, and want to fly from the boat ... so having to rely on return to home could be tricky.

I've read numerous other threads on this, and there is a lot of advise out there and I'm trying to process it all. I'm interested if the Log as any clues. I'm a newbie so any advice for troubleshooting methods are appreciated. Thanks for everyone for being so helpful with our Newbie questions!

Here is the Flight Log
Flight Log
 
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Jameslavis

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The fellows will grab the log. The only advice I have is:
- give the drone a full minute or so to get locks
- gps sat number for me is about 10
- drone facing/compass direction check
- I’ve never lost dead signal, it always came on slowly. When I hit that wall I turn around.
 

sfessen

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The other thing I do on my android is make sure no unnecessary apps are in the background and I always run it in airplane mode.
 
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Stevezphoto

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Time for insurance. Statefarm Personal Article Policy.

Can you tell me what you pay?

As I don't live in the States any more and I don't even have a permanent address or a vehicle, I tend to not do the insurance thing any more. It was cheaper for me to pay the penalty for not having health insurance rather than to pay the minimum premium for insurance I cannot use. I am conservative with gear, accidents, etc, and haven't had the need in a long time.

However, I am surprised at this stage in drone development the number of people that experience fly offs. While some are pilot error, there also seem to be a fair number of lemons. I watched a YouTube video of a guy who was able to document his Mavic Pro just turning off mid-flight and dropping to the ground. So in this case, insurance seems unusually attractive. It all depends in how long it takes for the premium to add up to the point where you just bought a new drone.
 

BD0G

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I pay 60 dollars a year. There have been posts on the forum of people attaining the same coverage for 30 dollars per year. It depends on the location. California does not offer this coverage through Statefarm.

It is more than worth it for the peace of mind. One can setup a policy just for thier drone and not have to be an existing client.
It covers anything that can happen to the drone - theft, water damage, fire, slamming it into a brick wall, fly aways, etc. The drone does not have to be presented to Statefarm for validation (unlike DJI's Refresh program).


They will not insure the tablet or phone used in unison with the drone however. There were too many claims by people involving phones and tablets.
 
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Stevezphoto

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Thanks, seems like a good deal.

I pay 60 dollars a year. There have been posts on the forum of people attaining the same coverage for 30 dollas per year. It depends on the location. California does not offer this coverage through Statefarm.

It is more than worth it for the peace of mind. One can setup a policy just for thier drone and not have to be an existing client.
It covers anything that can happen to the drone - theft, water damage, fire, slamming it into a brick wall, fly aways, etc. The drone does not have to be presented to Statefarm for validation (unlike DJI's Refresh program).


They will not insure the tablet or phone used in unison with the drone however. There were too many claims by people involving phones and tablets.
 

MrRobville

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Looks like you did the right thing.

My procedure for a disconnect is as follows:
-Wait for a bit, do NOT reboot the controller
-Do NOT reboot the controller. ever.
-If within VLOS, try to manually navigate it back
-If unresponsive to controls, wait for the RTH to kick in. This usually takes a minute before the drone does this after losing connection. If the homepoint has been set correctly and there is no interference, it should come back nicely.
-And if possible, move closer yourself until you can regain connection.

AFAIK, you can reboot DJI Go without consequences if the drone can still be controlled, but the app simply doesn't work. I once had a disconnect right in front of my face. Rebooted Go, and all was fine suddenly.

It is pretty nerve-racking though. I once had a disconnect above water, bout 100 meters away from me. It was only briefly, and the drone regained connection, but still.

It is good practice though if the drone suffers a lot of disconnects (more than usual) to take it back, reboot everything and perhaps switch the battery, and try again. Like in your case, I once had a zillion disconnects and more than 5 second video delay with the quad no further than 10 meters away from me. I took it down, swapped the battery, rebooted the app and controller, and suddenly all was fine. Not a single disconnect and perfect video feedback. Really odd what caused it.
It wasn't the battery because the same one worked fine later on.

Final tip, put your phone number and email address on a label within the battery compartment. If you lose it, it increases the chance of getting it back, or getting sued, depending on where you flew, but lets not go there. :p
 
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Stevezphoto

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Thank you, this all sounds good. I was over water as well and when it took off it headed out over open sea. Makes sense that it takes a minute for RTH to take over. As the flight log shows, it started heading diagonally to my location at first, then when RTH began it then turned again and headed toward my location. I'd be interested to know why it headed in that direction. As I new pilot I'm not 100% sure of my actions, but I'm pretty sure I didn't hold the controller in one direction for that long of a period of time, it was more like testing directions to try and see if it was reacting or not.

Looks like you did the right thing.

My procedure for a disconnect is as follows:
-Wait for a bit, do NOT reboot the controller
-Do NOT reboot the controller. ever.
-If within VLOS, try to manually navigate it back
-If unresponsive to controls, wait for the RTH to kick in. This usually takes a minute before the drone does this after losing connection. If the homepoint has been set correctly and there is no interference, it should come back nicely.
-And if possible, move closer yourself until you can regain connection.

AFAIK, you can reboot DJI Go without consequences if the drone can still be controlled, but the app simply doesn't work. I once had a disconnect right in front of my face. Rebooted Go, and all was fine suddenly.

It is pretty nerve-racking though. I once had a disconnect above water, bout 100 meters away from me. It was only briefly, and the drone regained connection, but still.

It is good practice though if the drone suffers a lot of disconnects (more than usual) to take it back, reboot everything and perhaps switch the battery, and try again. Like in your case, I once had a zillion disconnects and more than 5 second video delay with the quad no further than 10 meters away from me. I took it down, swapped the battery, rebooted the app and controller, and suddenly all was fine. Not a single disconnect and perfect video feedback. Really odd what caused it.
It wasn't the battery because the same one worked fine later on.

Final tip, put your phone number and email address on a label within the battery compartment. If you lose it, it increases the chance of getting it back, or getting sued, depending on where you flew, but lets not go there. :p
 

MrRobville

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One of the experts here on the forum may be able to accurately explain the logs. I can only guess that there was a heavy lag in the controller reception or that it hung on the last input received.

When I experienced the heavy delay, it was really difficult to control it. At first I thought it became unresponsive, so I gave it quite some control input. Then suddenly after some time, the Air started going into all sorts of directions as a result of the control input I gave quite a while before. Perhaps the same thing happened here. You saw the disconnect, tried to move it without having a direct response to the control input, only to find out that the Air finally performed the move way later, looking like it flew off by itself.
This is only a guess of course. Unfortunately I'm unable to decipher the logs.

I guess that's also another good tip for when the drone disconnects, to use subtle movements in case there is a heavy delay between control input and actual movement.
 

Stevezphoto

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Perhaps the same thing happened here. You saw the disconnect, tried to move it without having a direct response to the control input, only to find out that the Air finally performed the move way later, looking like it flew off by itself.

That definitely could have been the case!
 

mavicn00b

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-Do NOT reboot the controller. ever.

I've had the RC disconnect from me once where it didnt recover. The Drone was barely 300m away from me when it happened. The AC predictably was returning home and I could see it but RC connection remained dead.

So at that point I rebooted the RC and it re-established while the drone was landing. I was then able to regain control. I let the drone land to see if precision landing would work and it did within 1 foot of takeoff but it doesn't always work.

So I dont think the advise of NEVER rebooting the RC is the right one to make, certainly dont reboot straight away, give it an opportunity to reconnect by all means. But if all else fails, reboot. In saying all that, I've only ever experienced this once or twice, 1x with the Air, 1x with the P3SE.
 

MrRobville

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I've had the RC disconnect from me once where it didnt recover. The Drone was barely 300m away from me when it happened. The AC predictably was returning home and I could see it but RC connection remained dead.

So at that point I rebooted the RC and it re-established while the drone was landing. I was then able to regain control. I let the drone land to see if precision landing would work and it did within 1 foot of takeoff but it doesn't always work.

So I dont think the advise of NEVER rebooting the RC is the right one to make, certainly dont reboot straight away, give it an opportunity to reconnect by all means. But if all else fails, reboot. In saying all that, I've only ever experienced this once or twice, 1x with the Air, 1x with the P3SE.
That's interesting to hear, thanks for sharing that! The reason I mentioned to never do it was because I read that during a signal loss, the controller is the only downlink left with the craft, and resetting it could potentially break the controller's attempt to reconnect. This however contradicts that massively.
I'll agree that its best to wait it out for a bit before trying to restart the controller. That would be the safest way to go at it.
I guess if the quad does automatically RTH, that it's best to wait with rebooting it until the quad has reached a point where you can get to, in case a reconnect causes the drone to behave unexpectedly.
 

mavicn00b

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Its really no different than flying the craft out of range and losing signal, which normally re-establishes signal when back in range. Only in my case the craft was in range and it wasn't reconnecting, so I had to reboot the RC to regain control.
 

daasmangi

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Today was flying Mavic Air. Around 9 minutes into the fight, not all that far away and within line of sight, the aircraft disconnected from the app. I had line of sight, and intended to fly home manually. The controls were not responding, then the aircraft appeared to take off in a direction not towards me and I lost sight of it. I started running closer to last known location hoping to re-establish connection. After some nervous seconds I heard/spotted the drone returning to home. Everything turned out OK. I reset everything and took another flight on a fresh battery and did not have any problems.

I didn't try Pause. I didn't stop/start the controller or the app. I've had the aircraft disconnect here and there on previous flights, and previously connection was restored. This time connection was not restored even as it came all the way home. I have had some weak signal and aircraft interference in this area before, but at the time that it lost connection, I was relatively close-by, and on my way back to Home anyway.

I have seen numerous members posting about the Air and having various disconnection problems. My home point was set, there seemed to be enough GPS satellites, so I'm not exactly sure what the problem was. I'm on a trip in Indonesia, and should I lose it on these islands there is very little chance I'm going to get it back, so I want to try to figure out what's going on. I'm going on a boat trip in a few days, and want to fly from the boat ... so having to rely on return to home could be tricky.

I've read numerous other threads on this, and there is a lot of advise out there and I'm trying to process it all. I'm interested if the Log as any clues. I'm a newbie so any advice for troubleshooting methods are appreciated. Thanks for everyone for being so helpful with our Newbie questions!

Here is the Flight Log
Flight Log

Mate with all that Disconection happening I wouldn’t if I were you, especially on the boat. If you do. then Good luck
Cheers
Daasmangi
 

InvisibleName

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..............I'm going on a boat trip in a few days, and want to fly from the boat ... so having to rely on return to home could be tricky.

............I'm a newbie so any advice for troubleshooting methods are appreciated. Thanks for everyone for being so helpful with our Newbie questions!
You admit to being "a newbie" and are planning on flying from a boat??? Good luck with that one!! Please let us know how you get on. Don't forget that, even if you've DJI Refresh, you need to return the drone for a replacement!
 
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Stevezphoto

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I am staying on a boat for 4 days and 3 nights. So the boat will be stationary when I fly, I've seen numerous stories of people losing drones from moving boats.

You admit to being "a newbie" and are planning on flying from a boat??? Good luck with that one!! Please let us know how you get on. Don't forget that, even if you've DJI Refresh, you need to return the drone for a replacement!
 
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Stevezphoto

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We will see how many opportunities there are for land shots vs shots when we are over water. So far ... Its always come back to home. Its world class scenery so its gonna be super tempting! People lose drones doing boring stuff, at least it will be epic.

A warm up...


DJI_0210.jpg

Mate with all that Disconection happening I wouldn’t if I were you, especially on the boat. If you do. then Good luck
Cheers
Daasmangi
 

Epp1983

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then the aircraft appeared to take off in a direction not towards me
When Failsafe RTH is triggered the Mavic Air acts differently from other DJI drones.
It retraces it's path back to the homepoint rather then flying a strait line.
 

THE WOMBLE

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Hate to contradict this but when my AIR lost contact it tried to return in a straight line. Unfortunately it clipped a tree and failed to return. I was lucky that it was found about a week later. Had my phone number on a label inside the battery bay.
 
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