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Mavic Mini Flew Away

Gatorwills

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Hi - Pretty new to flying the Mavic Mini and was hoping to get some help analyzing what I did wrong or if there was something wrong with my actual Mavic Mini when I flew it recently. Here's the flight path: DJI Flight Log Viewer - PhantomHelp.com

I launched the drone with 10 satellites, set home point at 300-400 ft altitude to avoid crashing into nearby buildings when it returned, and launched it. Once it reached about 190 feet altitude the distance kept flying in the opposite direction due to high-wing and I was unable to lower it or direct the drone back and the remote controller wouldn’t take the drone back.

Once it was 450 ft away and I couldn't manually fly it back towards me, I set RTH. By then reception started going out with my controller and it kept drifting in opposite direction. Eventually I had zero reception of the drone and I couldn’t see anything around 900 feet. At a certain point I got a notification that it was going to land on its own without my control. I wanted to at least land it somewhere near land if the drone couldn’t return to me but I couldn't override anything. Instead I didn’t get any reception at all and it just landed on its own without my control into the water. I only knew about this when I came home and uploaded the flight path.

I'm going to assume that I made several user errors, including flying the drone in too high of wind, but I really would like to figure out if this was 100% my fault or if there was some internal error with the Mavic Mini as well so I can learn from this experience.

Thank you!
 
Last edited:
sorry about you losing your drone..Had you been up close to the expected 30 minutes? People will ask for your log and they can come up with answers

Thanks for the response, it was within just a few minutes that I was unable to bring the drone home. Total flight time by the time it landed in the water outside of my control was just 7 minutes.

Flight log is here: DJI Flight Log Viewer - PhantomHelp.com
 
sorry for your loss ,what you experienced was not really a fly away, but a blow away,at the height you were at it just couldnt cope against the wind
 
I am sorry to hear this Gatorwills . . .

I am no expert at reading logs so I'll leave that up to @sar104 for diagnostic. It appears to be wind but the log ends with the bird flying at 14 mph (fighting wind) and at 257 feet. Weird for the log to end at that altitude. Battery was at 66% . . . ?‍♂️

It looks like a disconnect and fly (blow) away. It was facing home but losing ground even at 14 mph. Sorry for your loss . . .
 
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Sorry you had to join the forum like this. Please do not give up on flying. Not sure if you visited the forum before now but there are plenty of fly (blow) aways on here about the MM. Reading some of them may have prevented this. This is terrible . . .
 
The mini requires even more careful pre flight planning for wind and RTH than the larger aircraft (smaller / lighter and no OA).

set home point at 300-400 ft altitude to avoid crashing into nearby buildings when it returned

Assume you meant set RTH at 300-400ft, but you don't set a range, you set a specific RTH altitude.
The higher you set, the more likely winds will be higher.
It looked like your RTH might have been 260' from the avg in RTH mode.

From the map it looks like pretty much residential overflight, with maybe a few 4 or 5 floor apartment blocks near the HP (?), so possibly 100' or 150' would have been more than enough.

It looks like you realised very early into the flight you made a big mistake in flying in those winds.
The mini really didn't have a chance, best you could have done in this case was get low fast while you were in sports mode and try and find a place to land and recover the mini by driving and / or walking to it.

Hopefully lessons learned, now I guess see what flight analysis reveals, hopefully @sar104 / @BudWalker or some others will be along soon for a look and confirm.

It appears to be wind but the log ends with the bird flying at 14 mph (fighting wind) and at 257 feet. Weird for the log to end at that altitude. Battery was at 66% . . . ?‍♂️

Disconnect and lost all feedback and control signal.
Doesn't take far on wifi with that type of surroundings I guess.
 
Thanks for the responses. Definitely a learning lesson not to run before walking. I managed to get some really good flights in Los Angeles with minimal wind and just got too comfortable with it too early on in a high-wind environment like Ft. Lauderdale near the beach.

There was an error that came up within the last minute of me having control of the drone that said it would make an emergency landing but I can't find that error in the flight log so I'm unsure what that was.

I already submitted a ticket to DJI so maybe I can buy another without the Fly More equipment and the expert analysis here helps just so I can learn what I did wrong.
 
I already submitted a ticket to DJI so maybe I can buy another without the Fly More equipment

Hopefully, DJI will often offer a small varying discount to help ease the blow of a loss.
Good luck with that and let us know if they do offer something, as this shows some reasonable goodwill on their part if so.
 
Disconnect and lost all feedback and control signal.
Doesn't take far on wifi with that type of surroundings I guess.
I concur. The area looks like WIFI hell.
 
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BudWalker is equally talented and a tremendous resource (and asset) to the forum . . . I always forget his handle. My sincere apologies . . .
 
Ok ... so if we first look at the wind spec of the Mini which is max 8m/s

Then at the flight logs ...

1.jpg

Imagine that below indicates the altitude where the Mini left the shelter behind the building & were carried away by the strong wind ...

2.jpg

My guess is a clear "Blow Away"...again.
 
Thanks for the analysis. Clearly too high of wind to fly and I assume wifi disturbance is how the signal was lost and an auto-landing was done in the water. Very frustrating that it had to land in the water out of my control when there was so much land surrounding it to land on.

I'll take more notice and use the wind maps next time.
 
This was just far too much wind for the Mini to handle. AirData is indicating over 40 mph out of the east at 270 ft, although since they are apparently still using their Spark aerodynamic model for the Mini, that might not be exactly correct.

But it didn't land in the water - it drifted much further away than that until smart battery autoland kicked in. That distance can be estimated by extrapolating the battery depletion rate down to the computed SMART_BATTERY_landBattery level and then calculating drift distance at that time:

Battery.png

Plotting that result on Google Earth, with an error circle (ø ≈ 100 m) to account for variations in wind direction and speed:

screenshot303.jpg

It might be worth a look around that location.
 
Furthermore also note that hitting the RTH isn't the wisest thing to do in an early phase of a blow away ... 1. drop altitude quickly 2. keep away from RTH button, it's not powerful enough in that mode (for the Mini) to fight a to hard headwind, flip to Sport and manually maneuver it back.
 
Up to about 170' it was probably able to cope, when it went astray upwards of 200' it was a problem.

Clearly too high of wind to fly and I assume wifi disturbance is how the signal was lost

I'd say here signal was lost at the ~ 2090' distance, combined with the low trajectory, buildings near home point blocking LOS, more so than residential wifi etc.

Furthermore also note that hitting the RTH isn't the wisest thing to do in an early phase of a blow away ... 1. drop altitude quickly 2. keep away from RTH button, it's not powerful enough in that mode (for the Mini) to fight a to hard headwind, flip to Sport and manually maneuver it back.

The OP certainly tried Sports mode, but simply didn't attempt to drop altitude a little to assist, this might have worked for sure.

I hope he can have a look down around that area sar104 indicated.
There seems to be some vacant blocks down there just north of Coral Ridge shopping precinct.
 
First of all, your drone did not "fly away".
As we see all the time from recorded flight data, drones don't just fly away.
You put it up in a high wind and left it there to be blown away.
I launched the drone with 10 satellites, set home point at 300-400 ft altitude to avoid crashing into nearby buildings when it returned,
You mean you set the RTH height, not the Home Point.
The data shows that your RTH height was set to 456 feet.
Once it reached about 190 feet altitude the distance kept flying in the opposite direction due to high-wind.
Before it got to 190 feet there was plenty of evidence that the drone was battling a stiff wind.
When it was at 90 feet, you were only pushing the left stick up but the drone could not hold position and was already blowing away at 1 mph.
If the drone can't hover in place, you have a problem to deal with and should not be going even higher.

You took it up to 220 feet where the gusty winds were blowing it away at 3-8 mph.
If you hadn't noticed earlier, that's a screaming alarm to get back down out of that wind.
I was unable to lower it or direct the drone back and the remote controller wouldn’t take the drone back.
Why do you say that?
From 0:57.7 you started pulling the left stick down and the drone came down exactly as it should have.
You brought it down to 195 feet and didn't try to bring it lower so the drone was still stuck in a wind that was too strong for it.
Once it was 450 ft away and I couldn't manually fly it back towards me, I set RTH.
At 1:17.3 you started trying to fly home manually in Sport Mode.
The drone was now 200 ft away.
From 1:22.7 with full stick in Sport Mode the drone started to make headway against the wind.
It was flying home at up to 12 mph against the wind and you gained 50 feet in the right direction.
But you gave it a little rudder and started flying more toward the north instead of east, then southeast and the drone was losing ground again.
At 1:48.5 you stopped trying to fly the drone and initiated RTH.
It's now 370 ft away and getting further away, being blown backwards at up to 12 mph.
RTH takes it up to 300 ft (where the wind is even stronger).
You make a few attempts to push the drone faster with the right stick, you bring it back down to 275 feet but none of that makes any difference to the main problem of being stuck up high in a strong wind.
It's now over 2000 ft away and being blown backwards at more than 12 mph.

Signal is lost at 5:30 with the drone still up 257 feet and being blown further away at 13.8 mph.
Battery level is 66%.
It will have been blown further away until low battery level forced it to autoland.
I'm going to assume that I made several user errors, including flying the drone in too high of wind, but I really would like to figure out if this was 100% my fault or if there was some internal error with the Mavic Mini as well.
There's no hint of any problem with the drone.
The drone was responding perfectly to the controls and could have easily been brought home if you knew what you were doing.
Just another case of a lack of awareness of what was happening to the drone and leaving it to be blown away.
 
The data shows that your RTH height was set to 456 feet.

So why did it just stay at ~ 260' most of the blow away ?
I guess it was over ridden early on and stayed at the lower altitude ?

The RTH went up to approx 302' from what I can see, the OP did do a little down left stick, and unfortunately stopped just under 300'.
It stayed there for the rest of the flight, so I guess that little down stick stopped RTH rise of altitude ?

I din't notice any high wind warnings in the main viewer, were there any ?

The initial RTH the mini kept a fairly constant SE orientation, almost 90 degrees to home point, I wonder why ?
It then had that RTH Heading alignment message when it turned to face home as it should.
 
So why did it just stay at ~ 260' most of the blow away ?
I guess it was over ridden early on and stayed at the lower altitude ?

The RTH went up to approx 302' from what I can see, the OP did do a little down left stick, and unfortunately stopped just under 300'.
It stayed there for the rest of the flight, so I guess that little down stick stopped RTH rise of altitude ?
Page 14 of the manual .. talking about RTH
The aircraft automatically ascends to the RTH altitude. If the aircraft is at an altitude of 65 ft (20 m) or higher and has not yet reached the RTH altitude, the throttle stick can be moved to stop the aircraft from ascending.
 
Page 14 of the manual .. talking about RTH
The aircraft automatically ascends to the RTH altitude. If the aircraft is at an altitude of 65 ft (20 m) or higher and has not yet reached the RTH altitude, the throttle stick can be moved to stop the aircraft from ascending.

Probably similar for other DJI consumer drones, I hardly use it, but knew you could override it.
Good thing they hit that stick for a brief second or two . . . well, it didn't help overall in this case I guess.
 
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