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What Happened?! Air 2S unresponsive and then fly away after sending sending multiple errors

skyhighkid

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Hey all,

Looking to figure out what happened with this flight as I’ve flown for a long time but never experienced a flyaway like this.
After two great flights, 13m 48s minutes into the third flight, the drone started throwing error after error. I got it back to the home point, where it became unresponsive and eventually literally flew away, high and fast. It all happened within

All three flights logs are below:
Flight 1 Flight Log (no issue)
Flight 2 Flight Log (no issue)
Flight 3 Flight Log (flyaway flight)

Short Summary
  • I had three flights today.
  • The first two went great (flight logs below).
    • First one was ~21min
    • Second one was ~22min
  • On the final one, the drone flew great for the first 13m 48s.
  • At 13m 48s it threw its first error (gimbal overload).
  • I immediately starting flying it back and did get it back to the homepoint at low elevation./
  • It continued to throw more and more errors the whole time I was bringing it home.
  • I got it back to the home point and was trying to land it, but it eventually became unresponsive.
  • After a few more seconds, it started to fly high really quick, disconnected from the controller, and flew off down the beach at max speed with no signs of stopping.
  • We looked as hard as we could, but there was no recovery.
I have a more longer and more detailed breakdown below including key timestamps of the flight.

Longer Summary
Flight 1 / 8:49 AM

Flight log: Flight 1 Flight Log (no issue)

Flight 1 was great. 21 minutes long.
Took off and landed with no issues.
Weather was great. Wind was minimal.

Flight 2 / 9:13 AM
Flight log: Flight 2 Flight Log (no issue)

Flight 2 was great. 22 minutes long.
Took off and landed with no issues.
Weather was great. Wind was minimal.

Flight 3 / 9:37 AM
Flight log: Flight 3 Flight Log (flyaway flight)

Flight 3 started off great and was until ~13 minutes. First 13 minutes were similar to the first two flights.
Weather was great. Wind was minimal. Homepoint set to proper location.
At 13m 48.3s, the drone started throwing errors and within two m inutes it was gone.


——

Time: 13m 48.3s
Flight Mode: P-GPS / 24 satellites
Altitude: 138.8ft (42m)
Home Distance: 607.4ft (185m)
Speed: 30.7mph
Battery: 40%

Error message:
  • Gimbal motor overloaded. Land aircraft and check whether gimbal can rotate freely on all three axes (Code: 40003).

What’s happening:
  • At 13m and 48s, I get an error message that the gimbal is overloaded.
  • I had visual confirmation of gimbal overload on the camera and I start heading back to land and fix, as can be seen by the flight logs.

——

Time: 13m 56.6s
Flight Mode: P-GPS / 25 satellites
IMU Altitude: 190.0ft (57m)
Home Distance: 266.8ft (81m)
Speed: 21.1mph
Battery: 39%

Error message:
  • Gimbal motor overloaded. Land aircraft and check whether gimbal can rotate freely on all three axes (Code: 40003).;
  • QExcessive gimbal vibration. Check whether gimbal can rotate freely. (Code: 40004).

What’s happening:
  • 12s later, at 81m from me, I get another error message that gimbal is overloaded and there is gimbal vibration.
  • At this point I am bringing the drone down so I can land it.
  • Only 57m altitude and 81m from home point.
  • Drone is acting responsively and can visually see it.

——

Time: 13m 59.6s
Excessive gimbal vibration.

——

Time: 14m 0.4s
Flight Mode: P-GPS / 25 satellites
IMU Altitude: 144.0ft (43m)
Home Distance: 228.0ft (69m)
Speed: 0.2mph
Battery: 39%

Error messages:
  • OBackward vision sensor error. Contact DJI Support for assistance (Code: 180035).;
  • QExcessive gimbal vibration. Check whether gimbal can rotate freely. (Code: 40004).;
  • Gimbal motor overloaded. Land aircraft and check whether gimbal can rotate freely on all three axes (Code: 40003).;
  • Backward vision sensor error. Contact DJI Support for assistance.

What’s happening:
  • At this point, the drone starts giving me all sorts of additional errors.
  • I am still flying back towards home point and can clearly see the drone.
  • Still acting responsively.

——

Time: 14m 4.4s
Flight Mode: P-GPS / 25 satellites
IMU Altitude: 137.8ft (42m)
Home Distance: 155.7ft (48m)
Speed: 25.1mph
Battery: 39%

Error messages:
  • Compass error. Ensure there are no metal or magnetic objects near the aircraft and calibrate it before use. (Code: 30060).;
  • QExcessive gimbal vibration. Check whether gimbal can rotate freely. (Code: 40004).;
  • Gimbal motor overloaded. Land aircraft and check whether gimbal can rotate freely on all three axes (Code: 40003).;
  • Compass calibration required.

What’s happening:
  • Drone throws "compass error" for the first time.

——

Time: 14m 4.9s
Flight Mode: P-GPS / 25 satellites
IMU Altitude: 135.8 (41m)
Home Distance: 136.6 (42m)
Speed: 24.7mph
Battery: 38%

Error messages:
  • Compass initialization failed. Restart aircraft (Code: 30063).;
  • Compass error. Ensure there are no metal or magnetic objects near the aircraft and calibrate it before use. (Code: 30060).;
  • QExcessive gimbal vibration. Check whether gimbal can rotate freely. (Code: 40004).;
  • Gimbal motor overloaded. Land aircraft and check whether gimbal can rotate freely on all three axes (Code: 40003).

What’s happening:
  • Drone throws “Compass initialization failed” erorr for the first time.
  • Drone still feels responsive to me and I am flying it closer to home to land it and see what is up.

——

Time: 14m 8s
Flight Mode: P-GPS / 25 satellites
IMU Altitude: 102.4 (31m)
Home Distance: 76.2ft (23m)
Speed: 13.8mph
Battery: 38%

Error messages:
  • Compass initialization failed. Restart aircraft (Code: 30063).;
  • Compass error. Ensure there are no metal or magnetic objects near the aircraft and calibrate it before use. (Code: 30060).;
  • QExcessive gimbal vibration. Check whether gimbal can rotate freely. (Code: 40004).;
  • Gimbal motor overloaded. Land aircraft and check whether gimbal can rotate freely on all three axes (Code: 40003).;
  • GPS signal weak. Hovering unstable. Fly with caution (Code: 30002).

What’s happening:
  • Drone keeps throwing all kinds of error.
  • Drone is close and I am moving to land it.

——

Time: 14m 8.9s
Flight Mode: P-GPS / 25 satellites into ATTI Mode
IMU Altitude: 92.8ft (28m)
Home Distance: 74.3ft (23m)
Speed: 1.1mph
Battery: 38%

Error messages:
  • Compass initialization failed. Restart aircraft (Code: 30063).;
  • Compass error. Ensure there are no metal or magnetic objects near the aircraft and calibrate it before use. (Code: 30060).;
  • QExcessive gimbal vibration. Check whether gimbal can rotate freely. (Code: 40004).;
  • Gimbal motor overloaded. Land aircraft and check whether gimbal can rotate freely on all three axes (Code: 40003).;
  • Aircraft in Attitude mode. Unable to hover. Fly with caution (Code: 30004).; Compass or GPS signal weak. Changed to Attitude mode.

What’s happening:
  • The drone is above me and I am trying to bring it down.
  • It is still responding to the controller and coming down.
  • It is throwing error after error and then switches to ATTI mode.

——

Time: 14m 22.9s
Flight Mode: P-GPS / 23 satellites (moves out of ATTI mode)
IMU Altitude: 71.9ft (22m)
Home Distance: 74.3ft (23m)
Speed: 3.3mph
Battery: 37%

Error messages:
  • Barometer initialization failed. Restart aircraft (Code: 30042).;
  • Compass initialization failed. Restart aircraft (Code: 30063).;
  • ODownward vision sensor error. Contact DJI Support for assistance (Code: 180016).;
  • Compass error. Ensure there are no metal or magnetic objects near the aircraft and calibrate it before use. (Code: 30060).;
  • Gimbal motor overloaded. Land aircraft and check whether gimbal can rotate freely on all three axes (Code: 40003).;
  • QExcessive gimbal vibration. Check whether gimbal can rotate freely. (Code: 40004).;
  • GPS signal weak. Hovering unstable. Fly with caution (Code: 30002).

What’s happening:
  • Somewhere around here is where the drone became unresponsive and got a mind of its own.
  • It popped back into P-GPS for a second (you can see the small positioning jump on the flight log at 14m 22.9s), but eventually went back to ATTI mode ~3 seconds later.
  • At this point the drone was unresponsive to what I was doing on the controllers.
  • Visual confirmation that drone was starting to climb altitude really quickly and begin flying away extremely fast.
  • Within 10 seconds, it was out of visual site.
  • Flight log at this time shows altitude is jumping around a lot, including negative altitudes back to zero, positive altitudes, large negative altitudes, etc. Home distance didn’t change on the flight log (due to ATTI mode, I’d assume), but that was the last I saw of the drone.
  • We tried to chase it down the beach for as long as we could, but it was like running after a bullet
  • At 15m 5s, the controller disconnected, and my drone was lost forever. It was a literal flyaway.

---

I've never experienced a drone malfunction like this before. I will admit that usually flyaways are pilot error, but this feels like something happened inside the drone and it went haywire.

Does anyone have any idea what happened? It feels like the drone had some sort of malfunction, then the compass failed, then it got disoriented, and flew off due to sensors getting the wrong inputs?

Went through a bunch of crash logs on this site, but couldn't find anything like this.

Hope this was enough detail and looking forward to hearing anything from you!
 
Last edited:

GFields

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DJI Flight Log Viewer | Phantom Help

  • Post your flight data to get help
  • Go to DJI Flight Log Viewer | Phantom Help
  • Follow the instructions there to upload your flight record from your phone or tablet.
  • That will give you a detailed report on the flight data.
  • Come back and post a link to the report it provides.
You are also welcome to just post the txt file here.

Upload and view DJI Phantom, Mavic, and Spark flight logs online

@Meta4 and @slup are great at offering explanations from the data.
 

Meta4

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Does anyone have any idea what happened? It feels like the drone had some sort of malfunction, then the compass failed, then it got disoriented, and flew off due to sensors getting the wrong inputs?
There are too many error messages from unrelated systems and many which shouldn't be happening during flight..
It's not a simple, "normal" problem.
It looks like a genuine hardware issue and a case for DJI to look into.
 

Capt KO

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Definitely a case for DJI. Hopefully they will give a reason and possibly some compensation, even if out of warranty. Worth a try. Please keep us informed as it’s so unusual and I fly the A2.
 
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GFields

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I agree, I would contact DII support
 

Zbip57

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Check the VPS Altitude data. On your first flight it looks like you never came lower than 20ft or 30ft to the wave tops. On your second flight you got a little braver and dipped a few times as close as 10ft.

But what happened at 13m 33.4s on your third flight? The VPS Altitude suddenly drops to only 0.7ft. That's a mere 8 inches.

Did the drone hit something there? Did it get slapped by a wave? Because you immediately respond by giving it full throttle to climb away and gain another 100ft in height. The first gimbal error message pops up soon thereafter.

If the drone got smacked with saltwater, that might account for all the electronics subsequently going wonky.
 

Meta4

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Check the VPS Altitude data. On your first flight it looks like you never came lower than 20ft or 30ft to the wave tops. On your second flight you got a little braver and dipped a few times as close as 10ft.

But what happened at 13m 33.4s on your third flight? The VPS Altitude suddenly drops to only 0.7ft. That's a mere 8 inches.

Did the drone hit something there? Did it get slapped by a wave? Because you immediately respond by giving it full throttle to climb away and gain another 100ft in height. The first gimbal error message pops up soon thereafter.

If the drone got smacked with saltwater, that might account for all the electronics subsequently going wonky.
Well spotted .. that's exactly what happened.
The drone was hovering close to the water from 13:04.9.
For the next 28 seconds the IMU height is stable at 33-34 ft indicating the drone is in a steady hover.
But the VPS height was changing all the time because the sea surface of the does not stay still.
The drone looks to have started hovering with the drone over a trough formed behind a wave that just passed.
The water level rose gently after the wave and 30 seconds later, the next wave came through and the drone was caught by the breaking crest.
This graph shows the water level below the drone during the time you hovered.

i-tZ4dXw5-L.jpg


Just after the wave crest touched the drone, it tipped forward 27° at 13:33.4 without any joystick input.

Hovering close over the sea is very risky.
The wide angle lens of the drone's camera makes things look further away than they actually are.
Waves come and go.
Saltwater is death to electronics.
It looks like the drone was splashed enough for the salt water to wet some circuits and send stray electrons all over the place, triggering those error messages.
The saltwater took a little time to really start causing trouble and affect the controls and cause the loss of the drone.
 
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