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DJI P4P fell from sky while using Pix4D Capture...

Has anyone had issues with their Phantom 4Pro falling from the sky whilst using Pix 4D Capture? It has happened to me twice now, destroying two cameras in the process. The first time was when the drone was half way home after finishing a survey, battery at 22%, the app appeared to abort then the drone quit and hit the rocks from about 40m up. The second time (today), I was mapping a pit face in free flight, battery at 40%, same thing happened, the drone just fell from the sky (from about 10m). It didn’t lose power as it was still powered on when I picked it up. 

I would appreciate any help as I only have one more chance (financially) to make this work,

Craig

Hi Craig,

Very sorry to hear about this experience.

We would suggest to make sure:

  • The latest versions of both Pix4Dcapture and DJI GO 4 are installed, plus latest version of Ctrl+DJI on Android.
  • Latest firmware is installed on the drone and the remote controller.
  • To log in the DJI app and connect to the drone before opening Pix4Dcapture at least once after the major update of DJI regarding the activation procedure that happened on July 1st.
  • DJI GO 4 is not running in the background when starting with Pix4Dcapture.

It would be helpful for us to know the following information.

  • Device’s brand and model:
  • OS version (ideally the latest):
  • Type of mission:

Looking forward to hearing back from you.

Hello Julie,

The first incident occurred on the 28th July, the second occurred on the 13th July.

I generally check apps and firmware before I leave town to conduct a survey as I am usually out of cell range. The first incident occurred whilst only Pix4D was operating and DJI GO 4 was not running. I initially thought this was the problem as I attempted to take manual control of the drone as it was on its way back as it finished the mission. The mission was a grid mission. 

The second mission was free flight where I was mapping a pit wall.

The drone is a DJI Phantom 4 Pro, with an iPhone 6 running iOS 10.3.3.

Looking forward to hearing any thoughts you may have,

Regards,

Craig

 

Incident can unfortunately happen.

Actually the drone is responsible for not destroying itself (i.e. not going out of control). We cannot give instructions that would override the safe behavior of the drone. Our app tells the drone where to go, when to take pictures, and when it does not work this is due to issues from our side.

Were you able to take over manual control? Did you switch the controller button from autopilot to manual mode and use the joysticks? Did you try to press the return-to-home (RTH) button of the controller?

Probably DJI Support can further comment on the case and help you to understand what went wrong.

DJI simply says not to use 3rd party apps…

Hello Julie,

At the end of the first crash flight as the drone was half way back, I used the stick to increase altitude and regain control, I didnt switch the controller button which was going to be my next action. As I turned away for a moment I heard the drone lose power then the thud as it hit the ground and smash into many pieces. They were the only actions by me. During the second crash flight I was conducting a free flight along a pit wall, so I was manually controlling the drone when it fell out of the sky again.

I am unable to determine if it was the app or a faulty drone component that caused the incidents, however my confidence in using the app is shaken for now and I will revisit it in the future. I still use Pix4D for processing though. I will pick up the app again when it will allow (using ios) 1. offline flight planning (similar to Drone Deploy); 2. battery swapping, 3. terrain management (similar to Map Pilot) 4. manual camera settings (like Drone Deploy where you can use the manual camera settings from the DJI GO app). 1 and 3 are the big ones which would make big differences in field time and output quality for myself. Let me know if you would like me start another thread with these points in it,

Craig

Hi Craig,

  1. You can already plan a mission before going to the field and fly without having Internet (more info). Is that you need? Or you mean being able to plan on a desktop web browser?

  2. The multi-battery flight is currently under development. More info: (iOS) Multi-battery flight / resume option.

  3. Do you refer to mission with terrain awareness / following, meaning to have a constant GSD when flying?

  4. I report this request about having integrated the camera settings directly in Pix4Dcapture and also having more flexibility.

Thank you very much for your feedback!

Julie,

Yes I mean being able to plan on a desktop and import shp kml files. It would also be very useful to be able to view previous missions or missions yet to be flown on the same view so that overlaps can be viewed and planned. The plans then uploaded to ios.

Regarding terrain awareness, yes I mean to have a constant GSD when flying. At the moment I have to break up my flights to deal with varying topography, which also means that I have to climb to near the highest place in the survey to make sure that the drone does not crash into side of a mountain. 

I am sure the PIX4D developers have a list of tasks up to their ears and no doubt they are already aware of the above mentioned items. However the terrain awareness would be exceedingly useful for a lot of users out there,

Good Luck!

Craig

Thank you for clarifying the points Craig :)! I just reported your suggestions.