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Awkward situation with Dronefly - What should I do?

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Discussion' started by _Alex_, Apr 21, 2015.

  1. _Alex_

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    Hi all,

    I'm curious what you all think about this rather awkward situation I've found myself in after having my Phantom 2 repaired through Dronefly.

    Last Monday, I drove out to Dronefly to pick up my repaired Phantom 2. I had crashed into some trees previously and damaged the shell, gimbal and gps. They were very responsive and performed the repairs quickly and for a fair price.

    At home, I connected it to the DJI Assistant software and made sure the IOC was calibrated and also made sure all the gain settings were reasonable. Everything looked solid.

    The next day (last Tuesday) I attempted to fly my drone for the first time after receiving it from Dronefly. Immediately after takeoff, the Phantom 2 exhibited marked instability while hovering at 6'. It was pretty obvious that something was wrong. Before I could land, it tipped aggressively right and flew very fast into some distant trees. This all happened without my input and within the span of a few seconds.

    Preceding takeoff, I had performed a compass calibration and waiting through the boot-up sequence, making sure I had solid GPS reception, etc. My controller was configured with both switches up. I was flying in an open field where I've flown many times before.

    I was unable to recover the aircraft, although not for lack of trying. I suspect that someone picked it up before I made it to the crash scene. I'm bummed because I had the rig pretty dialed... H4-3D gimbal, GoPro Hero4 with a 64gb card, iOSD mini, fpv hub, AVL58 lite with DJI mushroom antenna.

    The terms of my agreement with Dronefly stipulate that they are not responsible for any crashes (understandably). However, they also have a responsibility to deliver an air-worthy craft. Feeling wronged, I reached out to them last week and asked for a replacement rig. They responded by offering a refund on my repair fee ($100) as a gesture of goodwill and promised to call back later with confirmation. I haven't heard from them since. They assured me that my Phantom 2 was test flown successfully while at the shop.

    I'm a pretty fair minded person I think, but I'm really struggling with the idea that my drone flew perfectly in the shop but immediately had catastrophic issues when I took it up. I can certainly appreciate Dronefly's view of the situation, but at the same time it seems like an unreasonable coincidence to experience my first flyaway immediately after repair without a single successful flight in the interim.

    What do you think? Has anyone experienced a similar situation? Any experiences with Dronefly that I should be aware of, either positive or negative? Any suggestions on how I could proceed?

    Thanks!
    -Alex
     
  2. Mholz

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    Was the video running when this "after repair" crash occurred ? If so show them the video and explain yourself. They should help you out in my opinion. If my car went into the shop for repairs and came out not fixed I would expect the mechanic to right the wrong so to speak. Just my thoughts
     
  3. Hughie

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    I do wonder what constitutes a test flight for repair shops which have a heavy workload. There must be a temptation to cut some corners and switch it to ATTI mode, fly indoors doing a few basic manoeuvers, and then perhaps set it outside to see if it gets good GPS lock. I notice you did not even say they did a "test" flight, just that it was successfully flown at the shop.

    We'll never know.
     
  4. _Alex_

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    Sadly, I was unable to recover the aircraft. In retrospect, a test flight in their parking lot would have made this whole situation easier.
     
  5. _Alex_

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    I wonder myself. There's a note stating "updated firmware, advanced calibration, test flew" on my invoice. According to Dronefly, the aircraft was test flown and worked on by their most senior tech. I have no reason to doubt that aside from, of course, the immediate fly-away and crash.
     
  6. antares

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    I'm always running a DVR connected to the second video output of my FPV receiver. I was lucky enough not to need it so far, but when it comes to recover the bird or to have evidence about strange behaviour it might be very useful.
    I hope an honest person will bring your bird back!
     
  7. steveeds

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    They said out loud

    "They responded by offering a refund on my repair fee ($100) as a gesture of goodwill "

    Where I live that was as good as admitting they did not repair with diligence (for whatever reason) and would now be required to fix or replace, you would of course need to prove some sort of neglect in the repairs (this does seem obvious in the reading) but your word is actually good enough.

    Putting "goodwill" as been generous to you was naughty of them, a yes or no to your question was all that was required.

    Personally I'd reply with just that, will you fix or replace please.
    Don't be left with the feeling they are doing you a favor, it's just business and they know it.

    Just my simple weaker mind thoughts on the subject.
     
  8. 750r

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    Sorry bud !
    Dronefly has had some bad reviews over the past couple years . I do not trust anyone anymore I fix all my RC's just because of things like this now you are out around $1600 I do not think you will get much from them . They should do video of them test flying the birds just to prove all is good before they give it back . Like above they are not doing you any favors the biggest thing to do is keep trying and spread the word about them .
    GL!
     
    Skipholiday likes this.
  9. nintendrone64

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    I don't know man...