Fly away disaster

I had my Phantom 3 for almost exactly two years. My wife gave it to me on a “special” birthday. The first year went great. Didn’t fly it as much as I should have, but it was fun. Then I started having altitude problems, well, really interference problems, so, it would not go higher than about 90 feet. I live in a mountainous area (but I had never had these problems before), so, I would take it to wide open parks and fields and still had the same problems. I contacted DJI for help but got no reply except for an email asking about how well they had replied!?!

Finally, for my birthday two years later, we decided to go to the Oregon Coast. I looked all over the internet for an answer and read many issues with DJI’s new updates. I deleted my app and reloaded it and signed in before hitting the beach. At the beach, it still recorded interference problems even with almost nothing around except the ocean waves. I got a few good pictures and videos from low altitudes, but nothing compared to what I really wanted. I came home to the mountains and reloaded everything again. Two days after the beach, I just wanted to see if I could get it higher than 90 feet straight up. I flew it straight up from my drive way and it wouldn’t go any higher than 90 feet. I tried to bring it in and it started floating. I would get control for a second or two and then lose control. I tried auto landing it many, many times and it just started floating away. I chased it for a while on foot but I live in a wooded area where the houses sit on an acre or more so I couldn’t chase it too far. That was two weeks ago.

So, two years after my best birthday gift ever, I’m out a $500 drone! I have asked neighbors to keep their eyes open, have gotten permission to walk through yards, am sending out fliers, and I’ll keep searching for it, but it might be gone forever.

If I do find it, what should I do about the interference issue?

Did you review your TXT flight log to see if it explains what happened? If not, you can upload and view it online here. I’ll take a look at it if you post the link back here after uploading it.

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I followed your instructions and copied the flight log to my computer but it says there is nothing in that folder.


Are you saying you don’t see the TXT file on your mobile device? If so and it’s an Android mobile device, try restarting it. For some reason, new logs files sometimes don’t appear until after a restart.

You were right, it showed up after reboot, even though it is OS.

What does the map mean? Is the last dot (white) where it landed?


Have a look and see if its there?

It’s possible. If you post the link to your log here, I’ll take a look and let you know where I think it landed.

Here it is.

If the Phantom disconnected at the end of your flight log, it would have started auto landing at its current location after 3 seconds since it was flying in ATTI mode. It was only drifting with the wind at about 7 MPH, so it shouldn’t be too far from the last recorded location.

At the end of the flight log, the Phantom was drifting in the direction of this orange line:


It most likely landed somewhere within this yellow box:


The compass errors were most likely caused by taking off from a concrete driveway. Concrete often contains metal rebar, so it’s not a safe place to have your Phantom while it’s powered on.

Did you find it?