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My Mavic Pro was attacked by a Black Eagle

CandyMan_ZA

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While on a 5 day motorcycle roadtrip I stayed over at my favourite place, an extremely remote place in South Africa, called Gamkaskloof. I was flying my Mavic Pro in the mountains looking for caves and other places of interest. I know the area well. I was staying with some friends who live there. In a nutshell, my drone crashed and was destroyed :( but you are not going to believe how it happened :eek:

I spent about 15 minutes flying around a ravine and then decided to go explore the next ravine.

I was scanning the cliff face when the screen on my mobile phone gave a quick flicker, I thought it was just a gimbal glitch. I still had full control afterwards, no warnings and full video feed and thought nothing further of it, this turned out to be the first attack. Yes, an attack. I carried on rotating and scanning the cliff face, oblivious to what had happened and what was about to happen. All of a sudden 11 seconds later the screen flickered again, I immediately received an audio warning, "ATTI MODE" then the video feed returned and it was a spiral of death. I hit RTH immediately, for whatever that was worth. I then lost signal.

I had no idea at the time it was an eagle attack, we were not aware of any nesting eagles in the area. It was only when the RC showed DISCONNECTED that I knew it had crashed, I then cancelled the RTH. I opened the cached copy of the video and tried to determine what happened. When I slowed the cached video down from 30fps to about 5fps I soon realized what had happened. Feathers and a wing can be seen, black with white edges. It was a Black Eagle (Witkruisarend). I did not have any opportunity nor enough warning to avoid this attack. Only later did we spot two Black Eagles circling in the area. I was happy to see they were ok.

I used the Find My Drone option and we took a hike up the ravine. The green line on Find My Drone did not change, it never got shorter despite after about 2 hours of rock scrambling up the ravine and we knew we were close to the area it crashed, I am still trying to figure out why this was the case, my phone was initially in flight mode but I disabled it off when I realized the green line was not changing, it made no difference, there was no Internet connectivity. Fortunately we found my MP. One prop was completely missing and two others broken. The battery was lying next to it. The gimbal was completely torn off. The drone has plenty of scratches and a few cracks in the body. The air vent behind the gimbal is dented in so it looks like it came down nose first.

It is insured so I am hoping for the best Thumbswayup


111153rskbks494zzvkk94.jpg
 
Last edited:
If you did not see the eagle, meaning your flying BVLOS and just relying on the feed.
Is this what happened or the eagle came out of nowhere and attack MP?
Eagles are birds of prey and highly territorials (some) so keep an eye for it when flying.
Glad you recovered it and got insurance.
 
If you did not see the eagle, meaning your flying BVLOS and just relying on the feed.
Yes, my MP was about 2kms away, definitely BVLOS.

Is this what happened or the eagle came out of nowhere and attack MP?
The eagle attacked from above, I had no visual on it.

Eagles are birds of prey and highly territorials (some) so keep an eye for it when flying.
Usually I would but this one (or both) was higher than my MP at 500m and hence there was no way I could have seen it.
 
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Yes, my MP was about 2kms away, definitely BVLOS.


The eagle attacked from above, I had no visual on it.


Usually I would but this one (or both) was higher than my MP at 500m and hence there was no way I could have seen it.

Yeah...BVLOS....you have no chance.
Good thing the eagle didn't snatched it and took it to his/her nest.
But really glad you can replace it w/ your insurance.....kudos!
 
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While on a 5 day motorcycle roadtrip I stayed over at my favourite place, an extremely remote place in South Africa, called Gamkaskloof. I was flying my Mavic Pro in the mountains looking for caves and other places of interest. I know the area well. I was staying with some friends who live there. In a nutshell, my drone crashed and was destroyed :( but you are not going to believe how it happened :eek:

I spent about 15 minutes flying around a ravine and then decided to go explore the next ravine.

I was scanning the cliff face when the screen on my mobile phone gave a quick flicker, I thought it was just a gimbal glitch. I still had full control afterwards, no warnings and full video feed and thought nothing further of it, this turned out to be the first attack. Yes, an attack. I carried on rotating and scanning the cliff face, oblivious to what had happened and what was about to happen. All of a sudden 11 seconds later the screen flickered again, I immediately received an audio warning, "ATTI MODE" then the video feed returned and it was a spiral of death. I hit RTH immediately, for whatever that was worth. I then lost signal.

I had no idea at the time it was an eagle attack, we were not aware of any nesting eagles in the area. It was only when the RC showed DISCONNECTED that I knew it had crashed, I then cancelled the RTH. I opened the cached copy of the video and tried to determine what happened. When I slowed the cached video down from 30fps to about 5fps I soon realized what had happened. Feathers and a wing can be seen, black with white edges. It was a Black Eagle (Witkruisarend). I did not have any opportunity nor enough warning to avoid this attack. Only later did we spot two Black Eagles circling in the area. I was happy to see they were ok.

I used the Find My Drone option and we took a hike up the ravine. The green line on Find My Drone did not change, it never got shorter despite after about 2 hours of rock scrambling up the ravine and we knew we were close to the area it crashed, I am still trying to figure out why this was the case, my phone was initially in flight mode but I disabled it off when I realized the green line was not changing, it made no difference, there was no Internet connectivity. Fortunately we found my MP. One prop was completely missing and two others broken. The battery was lying next to it. The gimbal was completely torn off. The drone has plenty of scratches and a few cracks in the body. The air vent behind the gimbal is dented in so it looks like it came down nose first.

It is insured so I am hoping for the best Thumbswayup


111153rskbks494zzvkk94.jpg
Dang that sucks, hope you get it replaced and thanks for the video
 
Yes, my MP was about 2kms away, definitely BVLOS.


The eagle attacked from above, I had no visual on it.


Usually I would but this one (or both) was higher than my MP at 500m and hence there was no way I could have seen it.
Yeah, attacked from above, usually that's the way they do,

maybe the first attempt he realized too close that props were spinning so he did not complete and found another approach?

Killed in one shot, that's the way the usually do too [emoji6]
 
Mine got attacked by a Hawk on a Litchi waypoint mission. I only knew it after the mission when I watched the video and I could see three hits and upsets but the Mavic was able to recover and continue. It wasn't until it reached the end waypoint and turned around that I could see the Hawk circling over the point of the attack. It did not attack again as the Mavic flew past the same point on the return leg. I have noticed subsequently when flying in line of sight that the Mavic attracts a lot of attention from these types of birds. The Hawks may not be large enough to bring it down but it sure did knock it off kilter pretty good!
 
My son probably doesn't frequently this forum but an eagle attacked his MP in Japan over a river gorge where it now lives. Swallows have harmlessly buzzed mine and I don't trust seagulls. My theory is that if a bird or the wind knock the drone sideways it is not likely to recover and the motors may stop.
 
Had some seagulls (Australian Silver gulls which are smaller than the ones in the North) take an interest in the Mavic but no sign of them attacking.
 
hum to bad there is no parachute function like push a button on the mavic.

rember the model rockets had a parachute and it worked good!
 
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My son probably doesn't frequently this forum but an eagle attacked his MP in Japan over a river gorge where it now lives. Swallows have harmlessly buzzed mine and I don't trust seagulls. My theory is that if a bird or the wind knock the drone sideways it is not likely to recover and the motors may stop.

if I recall I thought I read somewhere if the Mavic is tilted enough it will stop the motors, but I don't recall the angle :(

ya looking at the video you couldn't do much even after the first "hit" if you was to come back in sport mode or get lower or whatever I don't think that would of help cause that bird was on a mission to take it out cause it was a threat and/or his area to him :(

maybe a electronic ultrasonic type of device may have kept it away hard to say :(
 
My MPP has created unsettling interest with a couple of birds. Subsequently I researched colours not liked by birds. My conclusion is that yellow is probably the most disliked. Mavic now has yellow carbon fibre looking 3D skin on topsides including all batteries. These skins are only a few dollars on eBay, and for $25-$30 you can buy the kit already cut out. No attacks as yet...maybe just lucky.
 
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Eagles and other large birds often circle my Mavic during descent. Nothing raises the fear level of an impending strike. Plus they come out of nowhere.
 
Eagles and other large birds often circle my Mavic during descent. Nothing raises the fear level of an impending strike. Plus they come out of nowhere.
This is why I inspect the sky very well before taking off. If I see hawks or eagles in the area, I usually move on and leave. Not going to risk my $1200 investment.
 
Me too I had a close encounter around a week ago with a Mexican Falcon.

It happened when flying a litchi mission in a placed called Tapalpa, Mexico.

You can see the bird at 9:15, I recommend you to watch that part of the video at Youtube's 0.25 speed.

 
Had some seagulls (Australian Silver gulls which are smaller than the ones in the North) take an interest in the Mavic but no sign of them attacking.
Have the same. Most places I have flown so far have been around the beaches and lakes and there are LOTS of Silver Gulls. They often take an interest but no attacks (So far)
 
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