New P4P v2 Flyaway and Crash, Should I send my drone to DJI?

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I bought a new P4P v2 from B&H Photo on Jan 22nd. On Sunday, Feb 7th I had it out for it's 9th flight. Upon take off the drone began drifting erratically and would not respond to the controller. In a matter of seconds it crashed into a concrete wall breaking two propellers, a propeller locking plate, and cracking one of the landing skids where it joins the body.

I received a compass error before take off so I attempted to calibrate it but the calibration failed. I moved to a different location a little further away and did not receive the compass error so I thought it was safe to launch. I now know that launching from concrete (with our without a compass error) is unwise.

My question is; should I return the drone to DJI and see if this qualifies as a drone failure and maybe have my drone repaired / replaced by DJI, or should I suck it up and make the repairs myself?

The flight record has an entry that says "Compass data error. Please contact DJI support." Here is the link to the flight record:


Any advice is appreciated!
 

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I bought a new P4P v2 from B&H Photo on Jan 22nd. On Sunday, Feb 7th I had it out for it's 9th flight. Upon take off the drone began drifting erratically and would not respond to the controller. In a matter of seconds it crashed into a concrete wall breaking two propellers, a propeller locking plate, and cracking one of the landing skids where it joins the body.

I received a compass error before take off so I attempted to calibrate it but the calibration failed. I moved to a different location a little further away and did not receive the compass error so I thought it was safe to launch. I now know that launching from concrete (with our without a compass error) is unwise.

My question is; should I return the drone to DJI and see if this qualifies as a drone failure and maybe have my drone repaired / replaced by DJI, or should I suck it up and make the repairs myself?

The flight record has an entry that says "Compass data error. Please contact DJI support." Here is the link to the flight record:


Any advice is appreciated!
Still under the 1 year warranty? I've learnt being here if have compass error and it's clear in another location do a compass check before flight,,finding out the wrong way is a bummer,,it definitely shows a couple of errors ,depending on damage you can fix if good hands on with stuff,pretty fiddly these phantoms,damage visable might look not bad but hard impacts break ribbon cables off esc controller,,mounted on a board with rubber and cant stretch much so always tears them,,just what you say you need new landing gear set,it has compass wire in leg so could be snapped,new landing gear got new compass wires fitted,you just gota split the shell to fit,,you probably need a new ribbon set,,,what's cam like,possible ribbon cable set there to,,,, also need props and new prop lock set or send to dji and they send you a new one
 
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Meta4

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Upon take off the drone began drifting erratically and would not respond to the controller.
My question is; should I return the drone to DJI and see if this qualifies as a drone failure and maybe have my drone repaired / replaced by DJI, or should I suck it up and make the repairs myself?

You launched without waiting for GPS and had no GPS position holding for the whole short flight.
You should always wait until the drone has good GPS position data and records a home point before launching.
Normally the consequences of this would not be serious and the drone would get GPS a little into the flight.

But at 2.3 seconds, you gave rudder input for 1.8 seconds but the yaw (the drone's heading) data did not change.
This brought up the error message that read: Compass data error. Please contact DJI Support.

This is not a normal compass error (which is a misleading name as it's a perfectly working compass warning of a nearby problem).
Your error message indicates something wrong with the compass, which is confirmed by the yaw data not changing when you turned the drone.

So the incident has user error plus an uncommon genuine hardware error.
I's suggest it's definitely worth trying a warranty claim.

Synch your flight data. - upload your data to DJI by clicking the cloud icon on the flight records page in the app.
Then open an online chat with DJI support and they'll get things started for you.
 
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You launched without waiting for GPS and had no GPS position holding for the whole short flight.
You should always wait until the drone has good GPS position data and records a home point before launching.
Normally the consequences of this would not be serious and the drone would get GPS a little into the flight.

But at 2.3 seconds, you gave rudder input for 1.8 seconds but the yaw (the drone's heading) data did not change.
This brought up the error message that read: Compass data error. Please contact DJI Support.

This is not a normal compass error (which is a misleading name as it's a perfectly working compass warning of a nearby problem).
Your error message indicates something wrong with the compass, which is confirmed by the yaw data not changing when you turned the drone.

So the incident has user error plus an uncommon genuine hardware error.
I's suggest it's definitely worth trying a warranty claim.

Synch your flight data. - upload your data to DJI by clicking the cloud icon on the flight records page in the app.
Then open an online chat with DJI support and they'll get things started for you.
Thanks for the reply and advice, I appreciate it! I will do that and let post the results.
 
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I bought a new P4P v2 from B&H Photo on Jan 22nd. On Sunday, Feb 7th I had it out for it's 9th flight. Upon take off the drone began drifting erratically and would not respond to the controller. In a matter of seconds it crashed into a concrete wall breaking two propellers, a propeller locking plate, and cracking one of the landing skids where it joins the body.

I received a compass error before take off so I attempted to calibrate it but the calibration failed. I moved to a different location a little further away and did not receive the compass error so I thought it was safe to launch. I now know that launching from concrete (with our without a compass error) is unwise.

My question is; should I return the drone to DJI and see if this qualifies as a drone failure and maybe have my drone repaired / replaced by DJI, or should I suck it up and make the repairs myself?

The flight record has an entry that says "Compass data error. Please contact DJI support." Here is the link to the flight record:


Any advice is appreciated!
I live in an apartment complex in Houston and have taken off from concrete several times with no problem. But when I try to take off from the property here, concrete or grass, I get an error that the compass requires calibration. No matter how many times I try, calibration is never successful. But I can take my P4P v2 inside my apartment and it will calibrate successfully. Take it outside and the error returns. This has me so spooked that, even if I did manage to get a successful calibration, I would not attempt to take off. Just wish I knew what is going on....
 
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I live in an apartment complex in Houston and have taken off from concrete several times with no problem. But when I try to take off from the property here, concrete or grass, I get an error that the compass requires calibration. No matter how many times I try, calibration is never successful. But I can take my P4P v2 inside my apartment and it will calibrate successfully. Take it outside and the error returns. This has me so spooked that, even if I did manage to get a successful calibration, I would not attempt to take off. Just wish I knew what is going on....
That is strange. Like you, I've launched my Mavic Mini from concrete plenty of times (it's hard not to, where I live, and had zero issues. I'm wondering if some of these v2 Phantoms might not have overly sensitive compasses... not sure. I think your hesitation to launch makes sense. I now know first hand how quickly things can go badly.

Good luck!
 

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Like you, I've launched my Mavic Mini from concrete plenty of times (it's hard not to, where I live, and had zero issues.
Just because you've done it without problems doesn't mean you can always do it without problems.
Launching from reinforced concrete has caused the loss of many drones.
I explained why it's a problem here: Avoiding the rebar effect
I'm wondering if some of these v2 Phantoms might not have overly sensitive compasses... not sure.
There's no such thing as an overly sensitive compass.
Compasses are sensitive - they have to be to work.
 
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Just because you've done it without problems doesn't mean you can always do it without problems.
Launching from reinforced concrete has caused the loss of many drones.
I explained why it's a problem here: Avoiding the rebar effect

There's no such thing as an overly sensitive compass.
Compasses are sensitive - they have to be to work.
Clearly. Still it's strange that one drone (Mavic Mini) has had zero problems in the very same location and the P4 failed to calibrate twice then crashed nearby. It may be apples and oranges, but I teach map and compass land nav and there are some compasses far more sensitive to interference than others.
 
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Just because you've done it without problems doesn't mean you can always do it without problems.
Launching from reinforced concrete has caused the loss of many drones.
I explained why it's a problem here: Avoiding the rebar effect

There's no such thing as an overly sensitive compass.
Compasses are sensitive - they have to be to work.
Thanks for posting. I fly my P4P all over and never have a problem. It's only at the apt. complex that it won't calibrate the compass. First noticed it on concrete and thought it might be the rebar so moved over to a large open grass area and still won't calibrate or take off. Why would there be rebar under a grass lawn area?
 

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Still it's strange that one drone (Mavic Mini) has had zero problems in the very same location and the P4 failed to calibrate twice then crashed nearby.
What's strange?
I'd suggest that you read what I posted in #3 again.
I made a point that there was evidence of a real problem with the compass.
Also failure to successfully calibrate is a warning that something is not right.

But why are you trying to recalibrate the Phantom's compass anyway?

I teach map and compass land nav
I fight a losing battle here, fighting myths and misunderstanding and trying to explain what compass calibration actually does and when it might be needed (almost never).
You might find the first post in this thread interesting: A short explanation of compass function, calibration and errors.
and there are some compasses far more sensitive to interference than others.

How would that work?
The job of a compass is to show the direction of local magnetic fields.
How does a compass know what magnetic fields are interference and what's the earth's normal magnetic field?
 

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Thanks for posting. I fly my P4P all over and never have a problem. It's only at the apt. complex that it won't calibrate the compass. First noticed it on concrete and thought it might be the rebar so moved over to a large open grass area and still won't calibrate or take off. Why would there be rebar under a grass lawn area?
Why are you wanting to recalibrate your compass?
Unless you've modified or rebuilt the drone, there shouldn't be any need to recalibrate it.
 
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Why are you wanting to recalibrate your compass?
Unless you've modified or rebuilt the drone, there shouldn't be any need to recalibrate it.
I would like to recalibrate the compass because when I attempt to fly my P4P I get a message that the compass needs to be recalibrated and will not take off until I do so. I have not modified or rebuilt anything. So you're saying I should ignore the message? How would I ignore the fact that the drone won't take off? If there is a plan B I would really love to know what that could be.
 
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What's strange?
I'd suggest that you read what I posted in #3 again.
I made a point that there was evidence of a real problem with the compass.
Also failure to successfully calibrate is a warning that something is not right.

But why are you trying to recalibrate the Phantom's compass anyway?


I fight a losing battle here, fighting myths and misunderstanding and trying to explain what compass calibration actually does and when it might be needed (almost never).
You might find the first post in this thread interesting: A short explanation of compass function, calibration and errors.


How would that work?
The job of a compass is to show the direction of local magnetic fields.
How does a compass know what magnetic fields are interference and what's the earth's normal magnetic field?
I have heard this "compass should almost never need calibration" comment several times but have never been told how to ignore it when the error message occurs. Honestly, I paid a lot for my P4P v2 and just wouldn't feel confident trying to fly it with a compass calibration error glaring at me. If something isn't right, I don't fly regardless of other well intentioned pilots telling me to ignore the warning and fly anyway because calibration only needs to be done once unless modifications are done. Call me chicken
 

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I have heard this "compass should almost never need calibration" comment several times but have never been told how to ignore it when the error message occurs. Honestly, I paid a lot for my P4P v2 and just wouldn't feel confident trying to fly it with a compass calibration error glaring at me. If something isn't right,
If your compass is working properly, a compass "error" is a perfectly working compass warning of a problem in the launch spot.
No amount of recalibrating will do a thing about a problem external to the drone.
Instead of recalibrating, the correct action is (in almost all cases) to turn off the drone, move away from what it's warning about and start again.

And if your drone is already flying normally, no amount of unnecessary recalibration is going to make it fly any better or safer.
I bought a p4 pro as soon as they were released >4 years ago and have never calibrated anything on it.
I've worked it hard, flown it >4000 miles in all environments, travelled internationally with it and it still flies like it did out of the box.
I don't fly regardless of other well intentioned pilots telling me to ignore the warning and fly anyway because calibration only needs to be done once unless modifications are done. Call me chicken
There are lots of well-intentioned people on forums unintentionally spreading misinformation.
The compass is the most misunderstood aspect to drone flying and DJI have contributed to this with the misinformation and contradictory and poorly worded compass messages and compass sections of their manuals..
The link I referred to above : A short explanation of compass function, calibration and errors.
.... is important reading as it explains what compass calibration actually does (not what so many people think it does).
When you understand that, you also understand what those error messages mean.
 
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Its not the really the concrete, its the metal rebar found in most concrete pours, if there was no rebar added to the pour you won't get the error. The compass error comes from metal. That why launching from a steel cruise ship or the bed of your pick up truck will for sure screw up your drone. Basic pre-flight is to calibrate your compass if you get an error, not just move it and try to launch again, Basic Pre-flight is to confirm you "hear" the lady voice coming out of your controller that you have GPS lock, Basic Pre-flight is to look at your telemetry bar across the top of you monitor to confirm the bar is green and that you have at least 8 GPS satellites.
 
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I bought a new P4P v2 from B&H Photo on Jan 22nd. On Sunday, Feb 7th I had it out for it's 9th flight. Upon take off the drone began drifting erratically and would not respond to the controller. In a matter of seconds it crashed into a concrete wall breaking two propellers, a propeller locking plate, and cracking one of the landing skids where it joins the body.

I received a compass error before take off so I attempted to calibrate it but the calibration failed. I moved to a different location a little further away and did not receive the compass error so I thought it was safe to launch. I now know that launching from concrete (with our without a compass error) is unwise.

My question is; should I return the drone to DJI and see if this qualifies as a drone failure and maybe have my drone repaired / replaced by DJI, or should I suck it up and make the repairs myself?

The flight record has an entry that says "Compass data error. Please contact DJI support." Here is the link to the flight record:


Any advice is appreciated!
That is definitely abnormal, however a Compass or IMU error is always critical and taking off can be considered pilot error. Always hover close to the surface when in doubt to confirm an operational system. Practice using a checklist (physical/mental) don't suck it up, get your aircraft replaced. At least make an attempt.
 

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Basic pre-flight is to calibrate your compass if you get an error, not just move it and try to launch again,
No amount of compass calibration can do anything about what the compass is warning about.
Understanding what compass calibration actually does is the key.
 
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If your compass is working properly, a compass "error" is a perfectly working compass warning of a problem in the launch spot.
No amount of recalibrating will do a thing about a problem external to the drone.
Instead of recalibrating, the correct action is (in almost all cases) to turn off the drone, move away from what it's warning about and start again.

And if your drone is already flying normally, no amount of unnecessary recalibration is going to make it fly any better or safer.
I bought a p4 pro as soon as they were released >4 years ago and have never calibrated anything on it.
I've worked it hard, flown it >4000 miles in all environments, travelled internationally with it and it still flies like it did out of the box.

There are lots of well-intentioned people on forums unintentionally spreading misinformation.
The compass is the most misunderstood aspect to drone flying and DJI have contributed to this with the misinformation and contradictory and poorly worded compass messages and compass sections of their manuals..
The link I referred to above : A short explanation of compass function, calibration and errors.
.... is important reading as it explains what compass calibration actually does (not what so many people think it does).
When you understand that, you also understand what those error messages mean.
I bet you were the kid in school with the tape on his glasses, a slide rule on his hip and dual pocket-protectors, LOL. Just read your compass function explanation and it was brilliant, thanks.

I understand that you calibrated your compass only once and flown internationally for years and never got a message to recalibrate. That's amazing. Your list of reasons for the message included the following:
4. The aircraft is more than 50 km (30 miles) from its previous takeoff location - not an error - a firmware trigger.
My question is how a pilot can fly internationally and not get that message? I would suspect moving the drone a few yards (or miles) wouldn't help. Also, do you know if DJI ever added some code in any of the Phantom series to detect a compass change at takeoff from a magnetically distorted site? Just wondering.

Thanks again for taking the time to explain compass calibration in such a clear and detailed writing. I printed it out and placed it in my P4P flight box.
 

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Just read your compass function explanation and it was brilliant, thanks.
The detailed explanation was from Sar104, I can't take credit for it.
I understand that you calibrated your compass only once
I have never calibrated anything on my P4 pro.
My question is how a pilot can fly internationally and not get that message?
I can fly it anywhere without DJI's crazy firmware trigger calling for an unnecessary compass recalibration because DJI didn't bring that "feature" in until the Mavic 2 pro.
Also, do you know if DJI ever added some code in any of the Phantom series to detect a compass change at takeoff from a magnetically distorted site? Just wondering.
If they have, I'm not aware of it
 
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"I have never calibrated anything on my P4 pro."
I would have thought that, at least upon your initial setup and linking to your controller, that you would need to calibrate the compass and probably the IMU. That was certainly my experience.
 

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