...if it comes back to you, it's yours. If not, it never was. Apparently the Phantom I owned for 6 weeks and loved never was mine. Because it left me. This post is two weeks in the making. I have a hard time thinking about it, let alone talking or posting about it. 16 days ago was a beautiful, sunny Saturday morning here in Minnesota. It was a perfect morning to fly: temps in the high 30s (VERY rare this time of year, especially THIS year when we've been sub-0 most days for highs) and there was no wind. My son and I grabbed my two batteries and the Phantom and headed out to a nearby lake to do some flybys of the fish houses on the lake. Folks in the south find it hard to believe that pickups and houses inhabit the lakes much of the winter. I thought it would be a fun capture. Everything was perfect that morning. We were out on a frozen lake, no trees or buildings for interference, no powerlines, nothing. A great place to fly. The Phantom locked on satellites quickly, as usual. I've always had GREAT success getting satellite lock. I am very particular with my gadgets, and go the extra mile to ensure I'm doing things properly. I make sure my GoPro's wifi is off. I ensure I have satellites in view. Even after seeing a single green flash, I wait 30 seconds or so before flying to make sure things are good. It always has been in the past. I flew it out over and around the fishhouses. I could just image the footage I was getting. I looped the Phantom around and directly overhead, intending to set her down and leave. But something was weird. When I let go of the stick, it kept flying past me. I put the left stick down to bring it down at the edge of the lake, but to my horror it appeared to be CLIMBING. In fact, it was climbing and accelerating AWAY from me. I couldn't believe it. I had no control. I don't want to be melodramatic, I know it's plastic and metal, but blood and bones, but the feeling in my gut was AWFUL. Almost like watching your dog run out in traffic and get run over. Eventually it was just a speck in the sky. As a last resort, I switched the transmitter off, and stood there in silence praying I'd see the speck coming back. Nope. I tried to identify a landmark in the distance I could use to perhaps discern where it may have ended up. My son and I hopped in the truck and drove to the nearest highway that intersected the path. The 2 or 3 square miles in that area are all sloughs, fields, and woods. Being this is Minnesota, and the Phantom is white, searching for it is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Literally. I did go back to the location where we were flying and set out cross-country as far as I could, hoping that maybe I'd catch a glimpse of it in a tree. Nothing. The day it arrived, I wrote my name and phone number on it in Sharpie. If someone found it, they would have called. Perhaps some snowmobiler will stumble upon it yet. My guess is that it will be plowed under this spring and never seen again. So, there you have it. It was painful to write, but I had to get this off my chest. $500 Phantom and $300 GoPro Hero 3 Silver gone. It was an expensive day. I'm not sure what I could or should have done differently. I followed all the protocols I've read about online or watched on YouTube. Honestly, DJI's materials are not very good. As individual parts, their videos are informative. But your really have to rely on the work of others to get the software downloaded, get the unit calibrated, etc. I think they could really improve there. I should note that I contacted the reseller the next day via email. They were sympathetic to my plight, and said they'd had quite a few other similar reports of fly-aways. They had me fill out a report that goes to DJI, and they are "working with DJI on a resolution". What that means, I'm not sure. I ping them via email every 5 days or so for an update, and they are quick to respond. Will I have another Phantom? Yes, I believe so. I don't have gobs of disposable money laying around, and it will take time to save for it. But I did enjoy it. Yesterday was a SPECTACULAR day here, and I dreamed of the placed I'd be flying if I could. I already replaced the GoPro with Christmas gift cards. I now have a Hero 3+ Silver (and need a new floaty back door, as the old one doesn't fit). I have a fantasy that the reseller and DJI will do something remarkable for me, like offer me a store credit or something. Hopeful. Thanks for the therapy.