I have been flying drones for almost 5 years. I love everything aviation. As a young man I flew single engine aircraft, Piper Tomahawks, Warriors. and Cessna 150s. On a near daily basis I fly my computer via flight simulators, much to my wife’s ire. I try to fly one of my three drones as often as possible.
The other day while executing a mapping mission I was flying my relatively new Autel EVO II Pro and the drone crashed. Now this wasn’t my first crash, My first crash was a fly-a-way on my very first flight with my very first drone, a Christmas present from my wife, what was she thinking? It was a cheapy drone and I decided to fly on a windy night since I couldn’t wait! I guess a fly-a-way is technically a crash since at some point the drone is going to return to earth.
Infected with the drone bug I decided to get myself a “real drone”, a Yuneec Breeze. Crashed that sucker several times. It loved to go into the death spiral. Oh, never use your body as a way to stop the death spiral. I eventually sold the Breeze to a former friend and used the proceeds to purchase a DJI Spark. Now I know advanced pilots would probably not consider the Spark a serious drone and while I wouldn’t go into business with one, it was an amazing little beast.
I crashed my first Spark during takeoff into a tree. Luckily I purchased it from Kohl’s (don’t judge me) and they exchanged it with a new one no questions asked. I ended up selling the replacement Spark to friend and used those proceeds to get my first “serious” drone, a DJI Mavic Air. The “Air” was a great drone and but for a crashing it during my first Litchi mission on to the deck of the USS Battleship Texas I might still have it.
With the exception of the Breeze death spirals all of my crashes have been due to pilot error, basically running into something:
|Drone||Root Cause of Crash||Results|
|Cheapy first drone||Lack of experience, lack of patience decided to take my first flight on a windy night||Drone flew away as soon as I took off.|
|Spark #1||Lack of situational awareness||Ran into a tree during vertical takeoff|
|Mavic Air||Poor planning – I miscalculated the height of the center mast of the ship. Impatience – I arrived just after sunset but was determined to fly even though the light was insufficient, lack of experience using the Litchi app, panic.||Ran into the the mast of the USS Battleship Texas. When I realized I was too low I didn’t know how to terminate the mission as well I panicked which hampered my ability to figure out to terminate the mission.|
|Mavic 2 Pro||Poor planning and lack of situational awareness – I misjudged the height of a tree during a Christmas light shoot.||Ran into a tree.|
|Autel EVO II Pro||Lack of experience with new drone, panic. I had become accustom to flying the Mavic 2 and assumed I had sufficient battery to land at the home point despite a 20% low battery warning. Even though I still had control of the drone I panicked. There where multiple safe landing spots between me and the drone but because I was panicked and unfamiliar with the EVO II I keep trying to make it to the home point||Ran into a tree.|
Each one of those crashes were 100% pilot error and 100% avoidable. The last one hurt my feelings the most and even though the EVO II is one tough drone and suffered no damage, I thought I was sufficiently familiar with it. Well I wasn’t. Look at the flight log I had 11% battery which certainly was enough to make it an additional 622 feet. But because of my lack of experience with this drone I panicked and didn’t fly the aircraft.
The moral of this story is don’t make the same mistakes I have. Fly safe and have fun.Tags: Autel autel evo Autel Evo drone crash dji mavic pro 2 drone crash pilot error how not to crash your drone why did my drone crash