Join Jim Heid for an in-depth discussion in this video Resources and worst-case scenarios, part of DJI Mavic Pro: Tips, Tricks, & Techniques.
- Well, we ended the previous video by talking about crashes. Let's continue down that dark road with a look at some options that you have when the worst happens, when you lose your drone. It happens. A tree decides to add your drone to its collection. You don't pay attention to the critical battery warning, and the drone lands itself safely, somewhere. Or a bad compass calibration, or some kind of magnetic or radio interference just causes the drone to run away from home. Don't despair, and don't give up. Now, okay, you can despair, but don't give up.
There are ways of finding a lost drone. Start with the DJI GO app itself. It has a find my drone feature that displays the drone's last location on a map. By zooming way in, and displaying the terrain map, if that's useful, you can at least narrow down your search. If that doesn't get you reunited, there are heavier duty options. The Mavic records incredibly detailed telemetry as it's flying. Not only the speed and altitude stuff that you see in DJI GO, but also things like battery levels, how the sticks were being used and thanks to GPS, its exact latitude and longitude coordinates.
When you play back a flight using the flight record command in DJI GO, it's this data that the app is playing back. There are some advanced ways to access and analyze this data, through the DJI Assistant software or through services like airdata.com which I've mentioned previously. Doing a forensic analysis of this flight data can not only lead to your drone's location, it can often pinpoint why things went wrong, a dead battery, pilot error and so on. Again, the details behind accessing and analyzing this stuff are a subject for an entire course itself.
What I encourage you to do is explore the airdata.com website, read the tutorials and explore its forums. You'll get a good picture of the process. Now speaking of forums, there's an extremely active community of Mavic pilots out there, eager to answer questions, help out and occasionally pile onto a pilot who clearly did something stupid. DJI itself has an active forum area, and DJI employees frequently post there. But the most useful forum is mavicpilots.com. There you'll find some amazingly dedicated pilots who can help analyze flight data when something's gone wrong.
You'll also find some posts that provide more background on accessing flight records. And maybe best of all, mavicpilots.com has a mobile app that let's you check in when you're on the road. There's also a related site, phantompilots.com, that's obviously dedicated to the Phantom series. But because these drones have so much in common, it's a potentially useful learning resource too. And then there's YouTube. There are hours upon hours of Mavic and drone-related videos on YouTube. And like many things on YouTube, the quality and accuracy can be a mixed bag.
Still, if you do a search for Mavic flight logs, you'll find some solid results. But don't restrict your forum participation and your YouTubing to those times when disaster strikes. There's a lot of great information about these flying cameras out there, and a lot of generous people willing to share it. Take advantage of it, and participate when you can.
- Safety checks
- App settings
- Startup, takeoff, and landing
- In-flight data displays
- DJI GO tips
- Flight modes
- Streaming live
- Adjusting focus
- Exposure and white balance
- Still photography and panoramas
- Shutter speed
- Aerial video
- Using the gimbal
- Using the remote controller