Reports Surface of DJI Sparks Falling from the Sky
Recently, a little over a dozen DJI Spark owners have reported that their drones have failed mid-air causing crashes. Although the number Spark owners reporting this problem number less than two dozen at the moment, it’s possible that more will surface in the coming weeks.
Reports of DJI Sparks crashing and flying away were first reported in two posts on the DJI Forum. Click here and here to read them. In the first post, one user explained that his Spark was flying perfectly fine as it was tracking two cyclists in Active Track. Then all of a sudden, it starts flying backwards at full speed before crashing into a field. Fortunately, in this incident the drone wasn’t too high up in the air and the crash didn’t cause significant damage.
Other Spark owners were not so fortunate as they crashed their drones into lakes or from high altitudes causing total loss. A key recurring theme in many of these cases is sudden loss of power, causing the drone to just drop from the sky. A few other cases, such as the one shown in the video above, involve fly aways which could have been caused by software issues in the Spark’s flight controller.
In response to these incidents, DJI issued this official statement:
DJI is aware of a small number of reports involving Spark drones that have lost power mid-flight. Flight safety and product reliability are top priorities. Our engineers are thoroughly reviewing each customer case and working to address this matter urgently. DJI products are tested for thousands of hours, and the overwhelming number of customers enjoy using our products with minimal disruption.
At the moment, nobody knows what is exactly the cause behind these crashes. Some owners suspect that it could be due to a lose battery latch such as the case in the crash issues involving the GoPro Karma. Others suspect a buggy flight controller. At the moment, we can only speculate. DJI has pledged to investigate all cases thoroughly and says it will be issuing a firmware update soon for the Spark.
If you own a Spark, the best thing to do now is to simply stop flying until the dust settles down and DJI figures out what is actually causing these crashes and fly aways to happen. If you absolutely have to fly, then fly at very low altitudes and in places that you have a higher chance of retrieving your Spark in case it flies away or crashes. Places such as very large fields and sparsely populated areas are best. Avoid flying above large bodies of water, forests or in heavily populated urban areas.