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PSA: AIR Crash on water - learn to disable auto land

Proteus88

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#1
Drone PSA: google how and learn to disable the “auto land” feature of your drones when flying over water.

I’m travelling and just had my Mavic Air mistake the reflections on the water for solid ground when in cane down low for a landing shot of the shore line and go into “auto land” mode and plummet straight into a lake here in Bolivia.

Frantically pressing up on the thumb stick to gain altitude did nothing and did not cancel the auto land.

I managed to get to it in less than a minute.

It was still on when I got to it and memory card and battery work fine so the drone is in a big bowl of rice and my fingers are crossed. Surprisingly didn’t seem to be too much water in the propellor area or under the memor card “hatch” even though it had been fully submerged.
 

msinger

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#2
To prevent that from happening again, either disable the "Landing Protection" setting in DJI GO or don't hold the throttle stick in the full down position when the Mavic Air is close to an obstacle (e.g. water).
 
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CanadaDrone

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#3
Why was it auto landing? If you are landing with 20-30% battery left, it should never be in a state where you can't override the landing.

Also the rice isn't doing anything, so you might as well not waste your time there. If anything you should be using 99.9% isopropyl alcohol to try clean off any corrosion or sediment build up inside the device. You want to displace and get rid of the water (and all the conductive elements), not wait for it to dry. Also, just thinking about all the fine dust in rice stresses me out when I picture an electronic device in it haha.

DJI also puts a membrane over the internal electronics to help protect it from water damage.
 
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msinger

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#4
Why was it auto landing? If you are landing with 20-30% battery left, it should never be in a state where you can't override the landing.
It sounds like it was in forced landing mode. Full stick up on a critically low battery landing will prevent the Mavic Air from continuing to descend.
 

Red Baron

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#6
I think he was to low on battery to rth and the bird sat down as it is designed to do. 90% of all my flying is over water and I never disable anything . I do not fly lower than six ft when over water never had a problem. I’m calling pilot error on this one
 
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Proteus88

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#8
Thanks so much for the replies and advice guys :)

Battery was over 35%. In the flight log and video the tragectory of the mavic to the beach looks great and steady then the mavic seems pauses itself awkwardly as if the sensors are confused and then goes straight down from 13m up.

Very similar to a number of people who have posted this happening over water and YouTube videos.

DJI has been very helpful.

Not denying it could be partially my fault as I was holding forward and down when filming and I don’t think landing could be triggered without be holding down but still extremely disappointing given the frantic pressing up and pressing “X” to no avail.

Not sure if it could be part of the issue but it landed in the water lower than where it took off so maybe when it was getting down to 0M (if 0 is the height at which it took off) it was more sensitive to landing or something? Maybe this Wouldn’t make sense actually as people can be controlling/launching drone at a high point and flyjng it lower than themselves in a canyon or below Bridge etc.

Anyways regret not buying DJI care and have sent video/logs into DJI which have been great. Still traveling for 2 more weeks in Chile but will be mailing in the drone as soon as I return to Canada.

Perhaps it’s possible to buy a replacement drone without the controller/accessories? Worst case scenario I’ll wait until Black Friday.
 

msinger

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#9
Perhaps it’s possible to buy a replacement drone without the controller/accessories?
It is, but it'll cost you close to the price of a new drone with the accessories.
 

mad monkey

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#10
Honestly , buy a new drone. Your controller is very valuable lol they don't exist for sale lots of places. Or keep it as a spare for a future modded.

Where in Canada is home?
 
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Proteus88

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#11
Honestly , buy a new drone. Your controller is very valuable lol they don't exist for sale lots of places. Or keep it as a spare for a future modded.

Where in Canada is home?
Thank guys! Originally grew up near Niagara Falls but now teach and live in Northern Alberta :)
 
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cornz

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#12
Why was it auto landing? If you are landing with 20-30% battery left, it should never be in a state where you can't override the landing.

Also the rice isn't doing anything, so you might as well not waste your time there. If anything you should be using 99.9% isopropyl alcohol to try clean off any corrosion or sediment build up inside the device. You want to displace and get rid of the water (and all the conductive elements), not wait for it to dry. Also, just thinking about all the fine dust in rice stresses me out when I picture an electronic device in it haha.

DJI also puts a membrane over the internal electronics to help protect it from water damage.
The rice thing might work occasionally but its a pointless exercise if the water is mineral rich ie seawater. If the battery had any decent charge it also significantly reduces the chances of no to low damage. Immediately removing the battery and flushing with IPA then drying with a compressor is the way to go.
 
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mad monkey

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#13
Immediately removing the battery and flushing with IPA then drying with a compressor is the way to go.
Why waste good beer on a flushing? Haha

IPA's are delicious beers... But I've got a feeling you mean something else here... Maybe perhaps isopropyl alcohol..

I read somewhere that said they coated the boards in the MA with a hydrophobic coating.. I could be wrong.. Although water and electricity don't mix, ever... Coatings or not.
 

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