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Discussion in 'News' started by Sac D, Apr 26, 2013.
New video from DJI:
Be sure to read the comments, too!
It's a great video and very inspiring but as many have mentioned, why can't they fix the issue that some of you are facing with these fly aways....or at least make an official statement.
It's very simple. Way less than 1% of Phantom owners have experienced this issue. Of those that have, how many of those weren't actually a fault in the Phantom but just user error? How much of a factor does the users environment play in this problem? Anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that these problems are being triggered by some kind of RF interference but that hasn't been 100% even on the reports here on this forum. To find and fix a bug in software or hardware it really helps to be able to reproduce the problem in a controllable environment and it needs to be 100% or nearly 100% reproducible to truly know if you have fixed the problem. If it is an interaction between the hardware and firmware then it is even more difficult to find and fix. Them not saying anything isn't proof that they aren't aware of the issue or that they aren't working on it. The reality is that they don't owe you or anyone else an explanation. In fact as a company with investors and a board it would be irresponsible of them to make any kind of announcement without already having a handle on the problem or at least an understanding of what causes it.
I'm fairly confident that they are aware of the problems people are reporting and that are trying to resolve it. In the meantime I'm enjoying my Phantom and not sweating the small stuff.
I agree with all of the above with a couple of exceptions:
1. How do you know it's less than 1% of all units they have sold? Do you have some inside information on this? Or are you guessing? Because if you are, that's fine, but say so.
2. I think they DO owe people an explanation, much like Toyota needed to be accountable for sticking gas pedals and Ford was accountable for exploding gas tanks. Of course, neither company did squat about it (or even admitted it) until the problem became widespread and publicized.
Like you stated, by now they have to be aware of this and are looking into it, if they get a handle on which units have failed and what batch they came from, they could recall the remaining ones in that group and replace them. That's got to be a difficult undertaking, but at some point they need to figure out how to notify people.
Meanwhile, I'm on my 2nd Phantom, and I think I got a good one this time... it's smooth and predictable, so I am not sweating anything either. It's easier to downplay this issue if you are not affected, so let's fly happy!
Logic and reason tells us this. There are 700+ registered users on this forum. There are less than 7 reported flyaways on this forum and at least a couple were admitted user error. Then take into account the fact that people with no problems at all rarely seek out internet forums to report a lack of problems while the converse is decidedly true. Those who experience a problem that costs them $700 or more are quite motivated to report it on internet forums and do so loudly, repeatedly and often in more than one place.
Because exploding gas tanks and lost toys are equivalent? I think not.
What would you have them say? "We have heard several reports of owners losing their Phantoms in a variety of locations due to unknown causes that may be internal to the Phantom or external environmental influences."
Once they know something and have something constructive to say I would expect them to do so.
It's also easy to overplay the issue when you have been affected, though I'm not saying you have done this. The Phantom's are toys, albeit expensive ones, and by their very nature there is risk in the normal use of them. The risk goes up when the boundaries are pushed. Knowing this and accepting it when you watch $1000 go flying off over the horizon certainly is hard but so is life.
So as you say, let's fly happy, but also commiserate with and have sympathy for those that do encounter problems but keep some perspective on the issue.
Gentlemen, although this thread is about DJI's new video, it seems to be turning into a discussion about Phantom fly-away's. While I agree that the loss of a toy is not comparable to a stuck gas pedal or and exploding gas tank, I would like to illustrate a different aspect of the "out of control Phantom" which is becoming more and more noticeable on the forums. My flying buddy and I both upgraded our Phantoms to the new firmware - 3.10. Since then, first time out, mine went straight up from takeoff and would not come down until I killed the engines - glad I was in a 700 acre field away from other people. My buddy flew his last evening, in a public park with other people around, and for no apparent reason, the Phantom suddenly ignored his control inputs and began circling at high speed, spiralling down to the ground, where is crashed. I don't know about you guys, but a flat-out pedal to the metal out of control Phantom hitting a child in the face is not a situation I would like to get involved in, but if you do not have control of your flying four-bladed deskfan, losing it without having an injured third party and a major lawsuit on your hands is a bonus in my book. Previously perfectly behaved Phantoms are turning into rogues after update 3.10, but not all of them. DJI should make the effort to find out what is wrong with firmware update 3.10, before real accidents tarnish the reputation of this amazing piece of kit.
That is very scary stuff. Although I have had zero issues, we all must remember that it is mechanical, problems can develop, and just like a real plane, they can crash. When it happens, I'd hate to not only be over people, but homes or traffic.
Too many of our fellow multicopters pilots seem to forget that our "toys" can cause serious injury should they hit someone. Having said this nobody should ever fly over or near people. Besides the obvious inherent dangers and potential lawsuits that might (will probably) occur, this is the quickest avenue to either having our hobby yanked out from under us by the lawmakers as a result of the negative media. There are dozens of youtube videos exhibiting really risky behavior. So please fly intelligently and always think safety first. If you see any of your fellow pilots flying irresponsibly please point out the error of their ways. Your hobby's unregulated existence and somebody's well being may very well depend on it.