Drone Crashes with DroneDeploy

This is the exact same thing that happened to me twice in the span of two months in October and November of 2018. I wrecked two Inspire 1s while using DD. :disappointed_relieved:

Same type of scenario. Apparently it loses connection and then proceeds to crash rather than flying home or landing safely. Speaking with support has been less than helpful as basically what happens is DD support says its a hardware issue and I should speak with DJI. DJI says it’s the software and they can’t do anything about it. So in the end I am stuck with two busted up drones and no answers. I have a Matrice 600 that I am hesitant about trying because of these experiences which is unfortunate because I really liked the results of DD when it worked.

Did either of you ever supply logs? Or have DroneDeploy see if there were any flight logs available?

I would have done allot more than email Support if I had something like this happen. Both companies would have had a handful. If you still have records of your contact I wouldn’t stop.

Yes of course I did. That is what support always asks for and what I supplied. For both cases the answer was the same: DJI should know as it is a hardware issue. So I checked with DJI. Obviously, their answer is, “you were using a third- party app? Oh there’s the issue. DroneDeploy caused it.” So it leaves me the customer, with two broken down drones and no answers.

I didn’t assume anything so apologies if you feel I doubted your process. Most people don’t. @adamcarp Can you please look into this and verify that what was in the logs was either uninformative or pointed back to DJI?

Here it is again. I assume you gave DJI the logs too and they pointed back to DroneDeploy or did they just immediately say that? When I have dug deep (I can decipher the logs as well) with DJI Log Viewer and AirData.

I am going to move this to a new thread as the other one seems pretty dead. The OP has not reported back and it will be owned by you.

Yes on both occasions the logs were sent to DD. And both times, after viewing them, the response was that it was a fault of the drone and I should take up with DJI. Of course, upon doing so, their response is “we can’t help you, you were using a third-party app” so no they did not view the logs. So I hope you see the frustration in all of this. Those were Inspire 1 v2.0s. I had a lot of success with DD when I started in March 2018 until the first crash in October and the next in January when I replaced the crashed drone with a brand new one. Going through the forum, it looks like there is a fair amount of these problems (crashes, flyaways) being reported. However, I don’t see much in the way of responses or solutions.

Drone Deploy was able to look at the flight data and saw some things that looked like it may have been related to the drone firmware. Turns out they were right. I was impressed with DD response and data analysis.

I sent the drone back to DJI for repairs and asked them to diagnose what caused the crash. My firmware for the drone, remote and batteries was current, having updated it only 1 day before the crash. DJI never told me what caused the crash but
they covered the repairs under warranty. Interestingly enough, a few weeks ago I found this article online from Europe written almost a month to the day BEFORE my matrice 200 crashed: https://www.engadget.com/2018/10/30/dji-matrice-200-drones-falling-from-sky/

Later, after my crash, DJI admitted to having issues with the drone sensing incorrect battery levels and forcing the drone to attempt a landing instead of flying home. DJI should have made more people aware that this was happening. It’s a thousand
wonders no one has gotten killed because of this. They knew they had an issue for a long time and made no attempt to notify people.

Another major issue I had with the repair process is that I also sent the zenmuse camera I was using in for repairs. I didn’t do a separate repair request for the camera since I thought it was all the same issue and the DJI online form never
said anything about needing to do a separate claim. DJI says they never got the camera. After multiple calls with supervisors at DJI they refused to do anything about it and still say they never got the camera. So while they covered the drone repair costs
(about $650), they stole a zenmuse x4s camera (about $500). Best part is they don’t sell the x4s anymore and the next closest camera from DJI is $800. Complete b.s.

This was a work drone and camera so I personally didn’t have to pay for it but I will never spend any of my own money with DJI. It was a terrible customer service experience.


Do you think/know if you would have had a similar issue if you were only using the DJIGo app and not DroneDeploy?

I don’t work for DroneDeploy and even though I am a big proponent it is business and they should (and in my experience) normally do take the necessary steps to troubleshoot and help as best they can. Maybe we need to start a thread of unresponded to request and see what we get and if there are any major issue that consistently happen so that focus can be applied.

I had a Phantom 4 crash a couple of months ago ,which happened to be a complete power failure from the battery and was able to determine that it was a battery failure. I hounded DJI for several months with evidence that this was the case and even had pictures of the center pins being melted and in the end 4 months they paid for a “prorated” amount of my repairs. :face_with_raised_eyebrow: Instead of sending me a replacement drone that would probably cost them $200 more and would have resolved the issue 2 months sooner. So yes, I feel you friend.

In my opinion I think a big problem with DJI is that they are too big like Apple. The don’t employee many Beta testers outside of their organization and are next to uninvolved in their own forum. For as many drones as they sell this should be an obvious big part of their program, but I have never been able to speak to someone other than a call center level tech.

@Maverick1 Would you happen to still have your DJI and DD logs that you could share with me? If so, please message me.

Based on everything I’ve read and found out since the crash, I don’t think it had anything to do with DD. Would have happened no matter what I was using.

My only issue now with DD is with the software for processing images. We purchased a subscription and after we purchased it DD took away a couple of nice features we liked and now wants to force our company into a corporate package in order
for us to use those features. The features were included when we first signed up, now they aren’t. But I that’s an issue for another thread…

It would be nice if hardware providers like DJI also were to provide the software portion because as the customer, I feel that this allows the various providers with a way to avoid accountability when things do go off the rails. I am a work user as well and was doing weekly site scans of my work site (a mine). I haven’t performed one since the last crash in November which is unfortunate because the feedback from my employees was that the maps were very helpful.

What level and what was taken away?

No doubt, I have spares now just for that reason. I have about 8 project managers and 20 or so superintendents looking at this stuff with 5-6 flights per week so if I go down I either have to buy something more expensive locally or get that far behind. I guess it at least allows me to catch up on a few other things so there is a silver lining. :man_factory_worker:

After I lost a Mavic Air with DroneDeploy I met 3 other people that the same happened…

This after a shaking scare take off…

I lover Drone Deploy concept, but cannot afford it ever again…

Goodbye for good !!

Hi @Maverick1 ,

We take these situations incredibly seriously, as our success depends on yours. A crashed drone is never a pleasant experience and I want you to ensure you that we will provide our best support in order to assist you. I am sorry to hear about your frustrating experience and would be happy to assist in any way I can. I’ve reached out to you via email with more information to see how we can better serve you.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon!

Thank you,

Historically, all flyways and crashes that our team has investigated have been due to DJI hardware or SDK bugs or issues. The DJI SDK does not allow 3rd parties to send a command that would, for example, shut down power mid flight, or take the drone to a different set of random waypoints.

DJI hardware, as all hardware does, has a failure rate below 100%, and failure can happen when using DroneDeploy or when flying with a DJI app. When you fly many hours with DroneDeploy, it is more likely to happen during a DroneDeploy flight, but not because of it.

The DJI ‘you were using a 3rd party app’ response - that is unfortunately their first-level response that we know how to direct you away from. Using the DJI Repair link instead of the Support link is the method here. They’re a large company.

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I’ve heard about several issues when using DJIGo app but not too much

Would you recommend any particular drones over others that won’t have issues with Drone Deploy such as non-DJI ones?

I ask because I would think that the problem of hardware would be concerning to Drone Deploy as well because well, it’s hard to map when my drone is in pieces.

You can fly any drone outside of DroneDeploy and just use their services for processing and the interface. I usually fly a P4P PPK, but frequently fly with a Yuneec H520 and the rest of the DroneDeploy process is the same. Yuneec has several options for flight control.

So you can fly with DJI Go and take pictures as you go and DroneDeploy will stitch the images together?