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Evo II took off out of control and crashed in water

davshev

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Recently I was flying my Evo II at a nearby lake. I'd been flying around for 30 minutes without issues. All firmware up to date. After the first flight , I brought it back to switch out the battery. I started it up and began to fly it out when all of a sudden the thing went haywire. The drone started flying out a few feet above the water and out of my control. I tried to control it, but it would not respond. It landed in the water and sank. I had no way of getting it and assumed it would be fried from the water damage. I called Autel and sent them the flight data....haven't heard back yet. I don't know if they can tell me anything since that very last flight did not appear in the data....only the next to last flight. It all happened so fast, but I think there was an error message about compass interference seconds before it flew off. Also, I had been using a tracking device on the drone in case it ever went down. Any thoughts?
 

gschulzuio

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You could try uploading your flight logs to a service such as air data (there is a free version and there is autel integration). Once you upload your logs, look at the preceeding flights as well as the once that flew away, see if anything revealing shows up. In particular see if you were getting any battery, compass, gps, up/down link errors.
 

davshev

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You could try uploading your flight logs to a service such as air data (there is a free version and there is autel integration). Once you upload your logs, look at the preceeding flights as well as the once that flew away, see if anything revealing shows up. In particular see if you were getting any battery, compass, gps, up/down link errors.
The problem is that the specific flight which resulted in the crash is not in the logs for some reason. The last flight in the logs was about 15-20 minutes before the fatal crash ...and it only shows about half of that flight.
 

Eagle928

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If it was a Marco Polo tracking device it would not interfere with the drone unless you activated and then only possibly. The tracker is inert until activated with those.

One other thing came to mind. Autel specifically says to use extreme caution when flying over water. I have learned from reading about water crashes that low flying over water can really mess with the sensors. It confuses them apparently.

Not saying this a cause in this case; just something to be aware of if you are not already.
 

TSL

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This has happened to me twice (not near water) and if not for soft snow im sure it would have seen damage, I filed a case with autel after the second instance. Sent it back to them. They sent it back with no explanation and no fix and said they can find no problem with the craft and that they would not charge me the $60 for the hour they spent looking at it. I replied that their explanation was not sufficient to give me confidence in flying again. I asked them what caused the two fly aways. They never ever replied to me email. Its been weeks and no reply.
 

davshev

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If it was a Marco Polo tracking device it would not interfere with the drone unless you activated and then only possibly. The tracker is inert until activated with those.

One other thing came to mind. Autel specifically says to use extreme caution when flying over water. I have learned from reading about water crashes that low flying over water can really mess with the sensors. It confuses them apparently.

Not saying this a cause in this case; just something to be aware of if you are not already.
It's not that I was flying over the water. When I took off I was on land, then the drone suddenly took off on its own. It's as if it were possessed!
 

davshev

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This has happened to me twice (not near water) and if not for soft snow im sure it would have seen damage, I filed a case with autel after the second instance. Sent it back to them. They sent it back with no explanation and no fix and said they can find no problem with the craft and that they would not charge me the $60 for the hour they spent looking at it. I replied that their explanation was not sufficient to give me confidence in flying again. I asked them what caused the two fly aways. They never ever replied to me email. Its been weeks and no reply.
Yeah...I'm not really expecting much from them. I actually have a second Evo II, but now I'm too anxious to fly it!
 

Eagle928

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It's not that I was flying over the water. When I took off I was on land, then the drone suddenly took off on its own. It's as if it were possessed!
The cause of these fly aways need to be found and corrected. It's not just Autel drones; all of them have that possibility.
 

davshev

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The cause of these fly aways need to be found and corrected. It's not just Autel drones; all of them have that possibility.
I'm fairly new to Autel. I had a Mavic Pro 2, but I don't recall it ever taking off like that.
 

Eagle928

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I'm fairly new to Autel. I had a Mavic Pro 2, but I don't recall it ever taking off like that.
I'm on various Facebook drone pages like the Mini support pages. They fly off, crash, and do all kinds of unexpected things too. The M2P may be a more solid platform both software and hardware wise compared to the DJI budget drones. The thing is everything a person does on those drones, and I have a Mini 2 and Air 2, is reported to DJI and their marketing dept to analyze. Not to mention the geo fence factor.

I like the DJI products when they work right just like I like the Autel products when they work right. I will probably sell the second E2P I bought simply because I don't really need it but I will test it thoroughly before selling it so the next person can have some measure of confidence in it.
 

davshev

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I'm on various Facebook drone pages like the Mini support pages. They fly off, crash, and do all kinds of unexpected things too. The M2P may be a more solid platform both software and hardware wise compared to the DJI budget drones. The thing is everything a person does on those drones, and I have a Mini 2 and Air 2, is reported to DJI and their marketing dept to analyze. Not to mention the geo fence factor.

I like the DJI products when they work right just like I like the Autel products when they work right. I will probably sell the second E2P I bought simply because I don't really need it but I will test it thoroughly before selling it so the next person can have some measure of confidence in it.
I like the Evo II 6K, the image quality is excellent. I also like that I don't get all the geo fencing warnings right in the middle of shooting video! That was starting to drive me crazy with the Mavic. I guess I feel somewhat relieved to hear that other drones have the potential to fly off. In fact, I've been reading some articles about magnetic interference causing drones to fly off. I did see something on my remote about magnetic interference just before it went crazy.
 
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gschulzuio

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The problem is that the specific flight which resulted in the crash is not in the logs for some reason. The last flight in the logs was about 15-20 minutes before the fatal crash ...and it only shows about half of that flight.
thats too bad
 

Siblueg

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I recently had the same experience with my brand new pro. Before my maiden voyage I updated all firmware did imu, compass, and gimbal calibration. I brought the drone up to idle before takeoff and it lifts off on its own about 2 feet, does a 180, flies backwards about 30 feet at a high rate of speed and hit a bush crashing to the ground. I had no control at anytime once in the air.

 
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TSL

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I recently had the same experience with my brand new pro. Before my maiden voyage I updated all firmware did imu, compass, and gimbal calibration. I brought the drone up to idle before takeoff and it lifts off on its own about 2 feet, does a 180, flies backwards about 30 feet at a high rate of speed and hit a bush crashing to the ground. I had no control at anytime once in the air.

Mind did the same thing twice. If not for the soft snow It would have been damaged.
 
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herein2021

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I like the Evo II 6K, the image quality is excellent. I also like that I don't get all the geo fencing warnings right in the middle of shooting video! That was starting to drive me crazy with the Mavic. I guess I feel somewhat relieved to hear that other drones have the potential to fly off. In fact, I've been reading some articles about magnetic interference causing drones to fly off. I did see something on my remote about magnetic interference just before it went crazy.

Did you happen to take off from a sidewalk or any kind of cement or near a large or even a small cement structure? The rebar in cement seriously affects both DJI and Autel drones. Also, there could have been metal buried in the ground near where you took off.

I always take off from atop the case of the drone to try to get a little distance between the drone and the ground; I've been doing this since 2014 and never had a flyaway. I have also worked projects from the top of a parking garage; those are the worst even using the case as a takeoff point did not work and I still got compass interference warnings. When it is that bad I put the case and the drone on top of my car on the roof rack then put the drone on top of the case which gives me about 7' between the drone and the cement; that always works.

Another trick I do unless there are power lines or trees directly overhead is I take off straight up immediately and don't level out until it reaches 100'. While it is hovering at 100' I then check everything especially compass errors. This technique helps it immediately get away from any possible compass interference and gives it time to calibrate if there's a problem. Even if I plan on flying close to the ground, I always go straight up 100' and up there is where I set my camera settings, check for errors, etc.

It really sounds to me like you took off from cement or had some rebar or other magnetic source buried in the ground beneath the drone. This is why I never take off directly from the ground and I use the case as my launch pad. On bigger photo/video shoots I have a folding cart and I prop the case on top of the other equipment in the cart then I put the drone on top of the case. Park benches are great too, I put the case on top of the park bench to take off. The biggest thing is to try to never take off from the flat ground itself.

Unfortunately I don't think I have ever seen this recommended anywhere and I had to learn little tricks like this on my own over the years. When I started out I thought sidewalks were perfect; now I know they are the worst possible place to take off from.
 
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gschulzuio

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Did you happen to take off from a sidewalk or any kind of cement or near a large or even a small cement structure? The rebar in cement seriously affects both DJI and Autel drones. Also, there could have been metal buried in the ground near where you took off.

I always take off from atop the case of the drone to try to get a little distance between the drone and the ground; I've been doing this since 2014 and never had a flyaway. I have also worked projects from the top of a parking garage; those are the worst even using the case as a takeoff point did not work and I still got compass interference warnings. When it is that bad I put the case and the drone on top of my car on the roof rack then put the drone on top of the case which gives me about 7' between the drone and the cement; that always works.

Another trick I do unless there are power lines or trees directly overhead is I take off straight up immediately and don't level out until it reaches 100'. While it is hovering at 100' I then check everything especially compass errors. This technique helps it immediately get away from any possible compass interference and gives it time to calibrate if there's a problem. Even if I plan on flying close to the ground, I always go straight up 100' and up there is where I set my camera settings, check for errors, etc.

It really sounds to me like you took off from cement or had some rebar or other magnetic source buried in the ground beneath the drone.
Have seen where DJI Mavics (lessor extent with Phantoms) are more susceptible to compass errors from rebar/steel in concrete etc. The E2P compass appears to be more tolerant to concrete/rebar than Mavics. Having said that, would not recommend taking off from a steel plate if possible.

Had one instance a while back where the E2P wanted to lift off on its own (was not on concrete or steel) was able to grab it before it got up in air. This only happened once when it was new, however also seems to line up with what many have reported of the mystery take off.

As to hover after pre-flight, take off, yup, power up, check settings, rev up, take off, get up a few meters to see if all is stable, controls are good, any adjustments, then up higher make any other adjustments. If things are not right, get the aircraft down quick, make adjustments then continue.
 

gschulzuio

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Mind did the same thing twice. If not for the soft snow It would have been damaged.
Curious did you have your controller powered up and app on before powering on aircraft? Did the props start to spin up right after you powered up the aircraft, or was there a delay? Was it the first flight of the aircraft, of had it been flown before? Any fw or sw updates to controller, app, aircraft or batteries? Hopefully your aircraft is now flying and behaving good.
 

davshev

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Did you happen to take off from a sidewalk or any kind of cement or near a large or even a small cement structure? The rebar in cement seriously affects both DJI and Autel drones. Also, there could have been metal buried in the ground near where you took off.

I always take off from atop the case of the drone to try to get a little distance between the drone and the ground; I've been doing this since 2014 and never had a flyaway. I have also worked projects from the top of a parking garage; those are the worst even using the case as a takeoff point did not work and I still got compass interference warnings. When it is that bad I put the case and the drone on top of my car on the roof rack then put the drone on top of the case which gives me about 7' between the drone and the cement; that always works.

Another trick I do unless there are power lines or trees directly overhead is I take off straight up immediately and don't level out until it reaches 100'. While it is hovering at 100' I then check everything especially compass errors. This technique helps it immediately get away from any possible compass interference and gives it time to calibrate if there's a problem. Even if I plan on flying close to the ground, I always go straight up 100' and up there is where I set my camera settings, check for errors, etc.

It really sounds to me like you took off from cement or had some rebar or other magnetic source buried in the ground beneath the drone. This is why I never take off directly from the ground and I use the case as my launch pad. On bigger photo/video shoots I have a folding cart and I prop the case on top of the other equipment in the cart then I put the drone on top of the case. Park benches are great too, I put the case on top of the park bench to take off. The biggest thing is to try to never take off from the flat ground itself.

Unfortunately I don't think I have ever seen this recommended anywhere and I had to learn little tricks like this on my own over the years. When I started out I thought sidewalks were perfect; now I know they are the worst possible place to take off from.
As a matter of fact, yes. I was on concrete and saw something about magnetic interference on the controller. Your idea of lifting off many feet before flying is a good one. I was thinking that if my drone had been higher up when it took off...we might not be having this discussion right now! Sadly, it was only a couple of feet from the water surface. I'm glad I'm learning about this. I have a second Evo II, and before I get the courage up to fly it, I want to know as much as possible about avoiding any more catastrophes.
 
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UasDriver

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I want to know as much as possible about avoiding any more catastrophes.
yup, i bought and abused a couple $200 ones 1st, took about 3 months, many crashes before I gained the knowledge I wanted to fly "with the big kids"
 
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