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Started itself and took off


Nov 26, 2018
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Niskayuna, NY
I don't think I've read an other posts describing what happened to me yesterday.

The Equipment:
I was flying Anafi using the controller and an iPhone 7. All firmware was updated. Airplane mode was on. The drone was freshly calibrated.

The Setting
I flew a few very short, low altitude flights over an open filed in the local park, next to a high-rise retirement/nursing home. There were several secured wifi connections in the area.
My brother-in-law was futzing with his Mavic Air, trying to figure out how to work it; he's a newbie.

What happened
I landed my Anafi to be able to provide some help to my Bro In Law. I set the Anafi down and put my controller on the ground about 15 feet away from where the bird set down. I walked over to help my Bro In law.
I honestly don't know how much time passed, but in the middle of talking with my Bro in Law, the Anafi propellers powered up and the bird took off a few of feet of the ground and took a straight flight path directly into a solid fence and crashed to the ground.

There were some scrapes and bruises but I don't see an permanent damage to functionality yet. However, it's got to make you wonder what the heck happened?

Any thoughts? All I can think of is that maybe my controller's connection to the Anafi timed out and disconnected and the Anafi picked up wifi disturbance from the nursing home? Does that sound like a viable explanation?

Thanks for listening.
  • Wow
Reactions: Jagerbomb52
Wow, bad luck.

Is your wifi secured with WPA? Not sure about the anafi but with the Bebop 2 there's no wifi encryption by default, you have to turn it on and set a password. As I understand it, if you don't do this then anyone with the app can connect to the drone and control it. Seems rather unlikely, but is it possible this is what happened, i.e. someone nearby connected to it thinking they were launching their own drone?

(I understand the Mavic Air uses wifi too, but I assume it's not possible for a DJI controller to accidentally connect to and launch a Parrot drone...)

Even more unlikely, not sure if this kind of thing is still possible in 2019: skyjacking

Good luck getting to the bottom of what happened - maybe there are logs on the drone that Parrot could access that might shed some light on what it thought it was doing...
You know now that I think about this on one of my ventures last summer I had something almost like you had happen. I like to had grab it and turn it on its side for the motors to stop which it did. The Anafi was still on but the motors shut off. About 45 seconds later they fired right back up as I was walking to my carry bag to put it away. I was lucky to not have cut myself on the props. Never did happen again but very strange that it happened at all. :unsure:

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