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Mavic air submarined in Hawaii but recovered! Malfunction?

Rtsousley

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Dude I am really sorry for your troubles, but what a freaking awesome video! These drones are almost indestructible lol.

Thanks for sharing and nice one and saving your bird the way you did, that was a great story in terms of action and drama with a happy ending lmao
My wife was entertained for sure, grown bearded man with a farmers tan I Hawaii, running down the beach with remote held high, praying out loud!!
 

Rtsousley

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Dji's explanation to my inquiry pasted below...doesn't offer an explanation of why it didn't happen as it should have. New drone is ordered, two actually, headed to China in a couple weeks. Putting one in carry on and shipping one DHL so I know I have at least one when I get there. Hope so at least....


Dear Bob,

Thank you for contacting DJI technical support.

We appreciate the time and effort you spent in reaching us. We are sorry to hear about what happened to your aircraft.

To answer your question, the procedure of RTH is that it will ascend to a preset altitude then flies to the home point then descends if the aircraft is further than 20 m in distance.

If the aircraft is flying at a height of 2.5 m or less and is within 5-20 m (not further than 20 m), it will not ascend but will fly to the home point at it's current height.

If the unit is less than 5 m in distance regardless of the height, it will just land.

For reference you can check it on the manual on page 14:
https://dl.djicdn.com/downloads/Mavic Air/20180525/Mavic Air User Manual v1.2.pdf

If the unit is within the 12 months warranty, you can request for a data analysis to further check what happened on the incident and for warranty service.

Since the gimbal has issues and it may have a water damage, I suggest sending the unit in for diagnosis. If you are in United States, you can use our online repair request system to create a case and generate the shipping label together with the case ID. Please follow the steps below:
 
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Rtsousley

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I agree - this appears to have resulted from the failsafe setting since the aircraft was in P-GPS mode when the connection was lost and in auto landing when it was regained.
Is there more than one place where setting can be altered? Once I had it back, I even went back and checked that indeed it was set to rth upon lost signal in my settings. See screenshot attached, precisely how it was set.
 

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Rnl

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If it lost connection how did it tell you it was landing?
 

Rtsousley

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This is how it went, choppy video, moved away from land for less interference, video got better, but then lost signal message appeared in corner, then voice of the devil's angel said "landing", then I cried out loud, no no no no no, then the locals saw a pasty white guy, running faster than he probably ever had in his previous 42 years, and I am not quite sure, but probably some sort of celebration dance when all was not lost, I am sure someone got it all on camera.
 

Rtsousley

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I felt way worse for the other guy who lost his, he told me he saved up for 7 months, and he was really down in the dumps. He knew he was 992 ft from RC when it went down, so he rented a 2 person kayak, and went out to where my drone said 992 ft was in hopes to recover. Surf ended up dumping them out of kayak, and now his remote is wet he had out there with him. Sad story. I got video of him getting dumped out of kayak I emailed to him, so at least he had a laugh.
 

JSKCKNIT

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Less interference over water, at 1800ft distance, should not have been an issue where signal was lost.
You had a populated residential neighborhood between you and your Mavic Air. Also, the Polynesian Cultural Center is close by.

As I stated , settings were set and double checked to rth, due to other guys misfortune. No question there.
According to your flight log, it was set to Land on disconnect.

Is there more than one place where setting can be altered? Once I had it back, I even went back and checked that indeed it was set to rth upon lost signal in my settings. See screenshot attached, precisely how it was set.
Full disclosure, I'm still learning to analyze flight logs. However in testing and from experience, my Mavic Air and Phantom have always returned from signal loss. Perhaps DJI can explain why it changed to land on signal loss, but shows up as RTH on your screen once you send it in for analysis.
 

Rtsousley

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I will certainly send it in and have it checked out and hopefully it's repairable. If I was unsure of my settings, I would just call it what it is, operator error(which in the end, may be the case) and pass her down to one of the kids to learn on, which still may happen. Just seems that I had my I's dotted and t's crossed prior to taking flight. We shall see what they say. My hope is simply to prevent it from happening again to me or somebody else, whether or not that be a malfunction or operator error. Whichever the case.
 
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sar104

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Is there more than one place where setting can be altered? Once I had it back, I even went back and checked that indeed it was set to rth upon lost signal in my settings. See screenshot attached, precisely how it was set.
Not that I'm aware. As an additional wrinkle, on signal loss the MA should first retrace its previous path for 60 s in an attempt to regain signal, and it does not appear to have done that. In fact it travelled 60 m south and 60 m east during the 146 seconds of signal loss and autoland. In that respect the behavior doesn't seem consistent with any failsafe RTH procedure.

Graph0.png
 

Rtsousley

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Not that I'm aware. As an additional wrinkle, on signal loss the MA should first retrace its previous path for 60 s in an attempt to regain signal, and it does not appear to have done that. In fact it travelled 60 m south and 60 m east during the 146 seconds of signal loss and autoland. In that respect the behavior doesn't seem consistent with any failsafe RTH procedure.

View attachment 62711
Well that sure is interesting! Wow! What would cause that? Ideas anyone? One hypothesis, I had been flying it occasionally during the week, maybe 3 hours total prior to this flight. Think maybe salt in the air would be enough to cause erratic behavior all of a sudden, seems like probably not, just an idea...?
 

Rtsousley

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Well that sure is interesting! Wow! What would cause that? Ideas anyone? One hypothesis, I had been flying it occasionally during the week, maybe 3 hours total prior to this flight. Think maybe salt in the air would be enough to cause erratic behavior all of a sudden, seems like probably not, just an idea...?
And I was sprinting toward it for those 60 seconds, so in my current shape, in the sand, sure didn't make up much ground, but every little bit would help.
 

msinger

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As an additional wrinkle, on signal loss the MA should first retrace its previous path for 60 s in an attempt to regain signal, and it does not appear to have done that.
That's correct. The OP had the "Remote Controller Signal Lost" setting set to "Landing", so the aircraft landed. Had it been set to "Return-to-Home", the aircraft would have retraced its original flight path before flying back to the home point.
 

msinger

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@Rtsousley, if you upload the DAT log from your mobile device, we might be able to figure out what happened during that period of signal loss. You can find instructions for retrieving the DAT file here.
 

Rtsousley

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That's correct. The OP had the "Remote Controller Signal Lost" setting set to "Landing", so the aircraft landed. Had it been set to "Return-to-Home", the aircraft would have retraced its original flight path before flying back to the home point.
,

Dat file
 

sar104

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That's correct. The OP had the "Remote Controller Signal Lost" setting set to "Landing", so the aircraft landed. Had it been set to "Return-to-Home", the aircraft would have retraced its original flight path before flying back to the home point.
Yes - except under autoland it should have descended vertically and landed at the signal loss location. That didn't happen - it continued to move southeast. That's what was puzzling me.
 

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