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Some DJI Phantom Users are Experiencing Flyaways Resulting in Lost/Damaged Units and Cameras
Read the original blog post
September 24, 2013
5:50 pm
New Member
Forum Posts: 1
Member Since:
September 24, 2013

Regarding fly aways....I own two Phantoms, the first one has never had issues.  I bought the second one when the price dropped $200 to $479 at B&H.   Today I test flew the new one in the same field I always use for testing.  It flew pretty well for 8 minutes and then began  to rapidly depart I killed the engines and it landed.  I had the experience two more times and each time had to quickly kill the engines damage was thankfully minimal. I only broke one carbon fiber prop...the gimbal and GoPro 3 have no problems.  I'm very distressed that this new Phantom in 1 day has shown such erratic behavior while the other which I've flown for months has had no problems with regard to flying away.


I always calibrate the controller and I always wait for the flashing green light with no red flashes indicating that it has picked up the GPS guidance.  I should have been suspect when right out of the box the transmitter failed to talk to the Phantom...I read in the advanced manual how to get them to connect and did that.  Pure speculation on my part but perhaps these Phantoms at a lower price are being dumped because of the fly away issue.  The introduction of their new models is now more than a few months behind schedule as well.





September 27, 2013
1:33 am
Guillermo Carranza

Today i was in a Mexican street (MADERO D.F) with lot of wi-fi signals...then i started the phantom in gps mode with one red light from the sats and when pull up the stick to start flying the phantom was drifting to the left so i tried to pull it to the right and bring it down but at this point the controller was without signal so i ran behind him until i lost eye contact. I'm very sad because there was also my iPhone. :(

September 27, 2013
8:54 am
Jim Bonito RC Obsess

Guillermo they say you can not and should have anything with wi-fi next to the phantom as this will cause problem .... sorry for your loss

September 27, 2013
8:57 am
Jim Bonito RC Obsess

sorry meant to say can not and Should NOT no WI-FI they say do not have your wi-fi of the go pro on either I,m sure it is the same for iPhone NO Wi-FI

September 27, 2013
9:24 am
Dave Andrews

Lol, well that makes the Phantom pretty much worthless, doesn't it? Unless you live in the boonies, it's tough to get completely out of range of all wifi. Ever tried?

September 27, 2013
9:56 am

I am not sure wich version it was. I made the upgrade in the first week of august. I just made the first flight a weeks after.

September 27, 2013
2:51 pm
Petr Naus

So yesterday (26.9.2013) I drowned after a bad flight when the engine dropped a Quadrocopter DJI Phantom camera with GoPro Hero3 Black ... where? - In Lake Bohinj in Slovenia, microSD card were super shots from Vogel. with views of Triglav - what anymore .... Santa must save the new toys...

I upgraded the firmware, made the calibrations and fifth flight O.K. When replacing the battery for another, after 7 minutes into the flight, when it started blinking red, I wanted to go to the landing and suddenly alongside fall directly into the water

September 27, 2013
8:08 pm
Jim Bonito RC Obsess

Wi-Fi You dont want GPS sats you do want ... no wi fi right on the phantom like go pro with the wifi on iphone same thats what I meant Dave

September 27, 2013
8:15 pm
Jim Bonito RC Obsess

"DJI Claims if you use Wi-Fi while flying the Phantom , be perpared to buy a new Phantom "

September 29, 2013
9:57 am
Mike Freudenberg

Im interested... All you guys and girls who have lost a Phantom... Did you have your mobile Phones on you... and if yes did you have them with WI-FI connect? May interfere with your remote if its in your pocket.... Just a thought...

September 29, 2013
10:53 am
Dave Andrews

In my case, I probably did. I was also no more than 30 feet from my wifi unit and there were at least 6 in range.

September 29, 2013
7:19 pm
didier Stauffer

So yesterday September 28 ,weather was gorgeous I decided to use my phantom with the new accessories I bought, the rubber mount for the camera, all the previous flight I never had any problem the phantom came back 3 feet away from where it had take off, every thing was smooth and fun and then you can download amazing pics. But yesterday after having done all the traditional calibration , warm up and satellite acquisition I launched the phantom hovered for a while at about 12 feet high and then suddenly with no explanation it started climbing veered of and took off like if there was a huge magnet attracting it tried everything but got out of sight very quickly, I jumped in the car to try to follow it,I know from some people I saw that it was heading South but of course never found it . We called of the search after 3 hours put flyers but will probably never find it . So I lost a phantom with the camera and now I'm stuck with the emitter and the battery charger and a spare battery. Yes as advertised this quad copter is very easy to fly you can take amazing pics it's a lot of fun but no it will NOT come back to its origin even if you follow of the procedure then you find out that you lost a phantom a camera and for some people gimbal etc.You then debate if you should by another one because it's addictive, you start looking on the web and you find out that if you buy another one it's not IF but WHEN it will happen again , and because apparently DJI claim there is no problem they will not fix anything ! IN conclusion Never ever buy a phantom because like me you're gonna be so sorry when you loose it to have believed all the crap they tell you that don't worry it will come back.It's sad that the company does not stand beyond its product. After what happened to me I called my 2 friends who introduced me to the phantom and guess , one had the same problem than me and the phantom hit a building so at least he has some parts he just have to fix it and the other one lost it like me !!!!

October 8, 2013
8:52 pm

Mine starting acting up a few days after the new firmware update. It jut shot vertically really high, almost lost site of it. Did every tring in the book. Finally just push throttle down and eventually it responded. I am going back to the older firmware.

October 11, 2013
10:55 am

I was flying over a lake when my phantom started to fly out of control full speed left and right i had only been in the air for 2 minutes.... i was able to crash land it on shore somehow. Since then it has happened two more times and both times i just drop it down and crash land..... not sure what is causing this to happen. Bad batteries?

October 13, 2013
2:08 am

How many flights did you do in a row, remember the IMU needs to cool down so you should do more than 2 flights without letting it cool

October 13, 2013
1:57 pm

Just stay away from firmware updates. Seems like everyone that has done a firmware update ran into fly away problems.

October 13, 2013
9:21 pm
Dave Andrews

Great! That's the first thing I did. The second was to lose it when it completely stopped responding to my commands and shoot off into the wild blue yonder...

October 13, 2013
9:37 pm
Andrew Graham

the guys that make turboace copters sent me this in an email. makes sense - we need more probably need powerful radios.

In a urban environment where the signals interference you need a long distance transmitter (up to about a mile range in the countryside and about half mile down to about quarter mile in urban/suburban) which will be more reliable in busy areas (use Spektrum DX8 or Futaba 14SG & not DJI transmitter). Spektrum DX8 & 14SG are broad spectrum hopping technology so the transmitter/receiver will always look for the frequency with the least amount of traffic. There is also signal path diversity so the receiver is actually comparing and choosing between 2 sets of signals. In case of signal lost, the DX8 & 14SG is able to recover that signal within a fraction of a second versus 3-4 seconds in average transmitters so you won't have to rely on the failsafe-return-to-home function.

October 14, 2013
7:51 am

Ok Guys. My name is Gerry and I had a flyaway. I looked for days but never found it. I bought another one. I have something to say to everyone and please take what I say as only my personal view.

I am a professional aircraft pilot for 35 years. And I treated this Phantom like a toy. I flew it like a toy. Handled it like a toy. But in fact its a very sophisticated machine that need extremely careful and detail handling. I guess what I am saying is that the persons flying and controlling these phantoms need to be professional and careful. Ensure you follow the procedures. Make a check list. Follow it. Before flight. During flight and after flight. During flight the handling needs to be careful. Small movments. Gentle movments. Always stay focus.

The checks are important. Compass checks
GPS checks
Battery power on drone
Battery power on controller

Orientation. Always focus on Orientation.

Do not allow it to get away from you. Small and gentle movements always.
Focus on the lights.
Bring it home if it start blinking red.
Keep an eye on the time. Fly for no more that 7 mins. Use the rest of power to come home and land safely.

October 14, 2013
8:13 am
Jim Bonito RC Obsess

I agree with Gerry , most people who have had fly-a-way blame DJI but in fact it probably is something that we are doing , as Gerry says not being focused ... I know that what happen to me it was my fault I lost it ... maybe not for everyone , I was to lax ... ... i have another one and I m very intune now to what im doing

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