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Mavic tried to kill my friend. Video and flight record included.

Pablo Reynaldo

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I'm being dramatic with my post title, but I did have a little scare with my Mavic today. In the past, loss of drone control is due to magnetic interference or a switch to ATTI Mode, confirmed by watching the flight log. I can find no explanation for my Mavic's sudden attempt to take my friends head off earlier today.

Did a little snowshoeing with some friends today and wanted to try some active track shots as we walked through the woods. My 3 friends were walking together, my Mavic was tracking one of the 3 friends, and I was following right behind the Mavic watching and occasionally correcting it's flight path, fingers resting on the controls. Pre flight checks were good across the board, batteries nice and charged, no previous crashes or damage to props. In other words, Mavic was in perfect working order. Active track flight was consistent at 2-3 mph. Perfect flight until about 6:20 in when rounding a slight bend in the trail, the Mavic suddenly accelerated directly towards the head of the friend I had been tracking. It got up to maybe 10 mph and luckily hit a tree branch in front of her and spun out of control into more branches and crashed. My only stick movements during this incident were both sticks straight down in an attempt to slow the Mavic and land it. Mavic did not seem to respond at all. Mavic gave no warnings or indicators that anything was wrong. Only warning was that active track had lost the subject when I was pulling the Mavic out of the snow.

My flight record is on Airdata UAV here: Airdata UAV - Flight Data Analysis for Drones


Any thoughts on what might have caused this? Just random bad luck? I'm sure it's just a coincidence that the drone flew right at the head of the person it was tracking, but it does weird me out a bit. If nothing else, this is a reminder to fly responsibly and to maintain visual contact and control of your drone at all times. Not that doing so helped me today, that little ******* had a mind of it's own, ha ha.
 
There's another video on here, also in active track around snow and also going for the head of a female when nearing an obstacle. Theory is that an obstacle in the periphery is causing it to take sudden action. No idea why that sudden action has involved going for people's heads... other than Skynet.

Second of all though, you're crazy for putting this in active track with so many trees around and branches overhead on a winding path.
 
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There's another video on here, also in active track around snow and also going for the head of a female when nearing an obstacle. Theory is that an obstacle in the periphery is causing it to taken sudden action. No idea why that sudden action has involved going for people's heads other than Skynet.

Second of all though, you're crazy for putting this in active track with so many trees around and and branches overhead on a winding path.

Just pulled up that other post and seems like very similar circumstances. Possible that the snow confused the sensors too. I always turn off my visual positioning when I fly over water, but forget to with snow.

Ha ha, yeah, I was pushing my luck by using an intelligent flight mode other than tripod mode in those trees. Was getting stable and predictable flight from the Mavic and while walking 10 feet behind the Mavic I was able to easily adjust the flight path and avoid objects. It was the sudden erratic behavior and lack of response from sticks that did me in.
 
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