How many of you have lost or crashed your drone ?

Started 5 months ago | Discussions thread
Len-O Senior Member • Posts: 1,494
Re: How many of you have lost or crashed your drone ?

john isaacs wrote:

Chizuka wrote:

Hi, I have been thinking of getting a drone for a while now and I am very tempted by the DJ Mavic 2.

This might seem like a strange question, but how many of you have lost their drone because it fell in the water or is never found, or ... ?
I would love to have one but I am afraid it could get loss or crash.

Just the other day, there were two people in my town that had placed an ad on Kijiji (like Craig list) looking for their lost drone.
i really cannot afford to throw money away, so wondering what are the odds (if it is possible to determine).

Thank you!

A few thoughts that come from reading the responses:

1. If you fly your drone far from you and/or out of sight, you risk crashing and losing the drone.


2. It is illegal to fly a drone out of line of sight unless you have a special permit to do so.

Yes. However, there are changes coming which will make BVLOS simpler to have authorized.

3. DJI Care is a great program, but you must recover your drone.


So if you don't know where it is because you weren't watching it, then you will get nothing.

If your DJI drone goes down over land it is possible to plot the crash site using the recorded flight data which shows an accurate map plot of the track of the flight. Then once in the general location of the crash site, "Find my Drone" can be activated to start the drone beeping, and LEDs to flash (provided the battery hasn't been dislodged).

Recorded DJI Air 2 flight plot

Knowing where you plan to fly, where you are flying, and where you have flown is going to be key to finding a lost drone.

And if you lose it in water, same thing (unless you can fish it out).

...and you can use the above method to establish where to start your recovery effort.

4. If you are going to fly regularly over water, then get some pontoons so it floats if it hits the water. You might even be able to restart it.

You are better advised to improve your drone flying skills.

I fly over water much of my time, and the addition of pontoons only creates aerodynamic issues, especially in windy conditions.

For folks flying sub-249g drones the added weight will push them over the weight threshold. They are a gimmick, and are not necessarily going to save you from a catastrophic water crash.

5. Return To Home (RTH) won't work if there is a lot of tree cover.

That depends on the care you have used in selecting a take-off point, and insuring that you have set your "Auto RTH Altitude" high enough to clear the tallest obstacle/building/tree around your home point. You are not going to be able to safely take-off if you do not have sufficient satellites locked, and a good GPS fix.

With most DJI drones to firmly establish the home point it is best to have the drone hover above the take-off/home point at 22-23ft (7m) after take-off for a few seconds.

If you have taken off through a hole, or clearing in the tree cover, you will be able to land through the same hole provided you have set that RTH altitude high enough to clear the trees surrounding that hole. Flying through the trees to get to that hole, or clearing is never going to turn out well.

6. If you are flying around trees, then put some propellar guards on the drone. Same thing if you are flying above people (new regulations require it).

What country do you fly in that the "new regulations" require prop guards when flying above people?

That said, for some new flyers prop guard are a good suggestion, but they soon become superfluous.

7. Fly with fully charged batteries; you can't fly when the battery dies.


8. Start with a cheap or used drone, learn your lessons and decide if you want to spend more.

Not necessarily true for a cheap drone. Possibly true for a used DJI drone. An unsatisfying experience with a cheap drone could very easily put one off the hobby totally.

A recent DJI drone is very reliable.


Some others are not so much. For example, the Parrot Anafi has a "fly away" problem; I think because it uses WiFi for communication and can be affected by interference. I had a Parrot Anafi fly away from me twice, both times at low altitude so the crashes did not cause damage. One time, it was about 20 feet from me and it just suddenly flew to the left and into the side of a house. I still have it, because the 180 degree tilt of the camera is very useful for "look up" shots.

9. Most drones have a slow and a fast response mode. You should fly in the slow mode until you are comfortable flying; the drone will not move as quickly but you will have time to react.

Practice, practice, practice.

10. The really tricky part of flying a drone is keeping track of the direction the drone is pointed and which way the controller must be moved to fly the direction you want it to go.

The most awkward control moment for the novice, is with the drone/camera facing them and they are unaware that left & right movement of the control sticks is now reversed, and they find themselves flying sideways into a tree or other obstacle. Novice flyers should always take off (...and if landing manually) with the drone facing away from them so that left is left, and right is right.

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