DJI Has Responded to Reports of Its Drones Randomly Falling Out of the Sky

Jul 25, 2017

DJI, a premier drone-maker, is facing reports that its most consumer-friendly aircraft is randomly plunging from the sky, a cause for concern over safety issues.

The Spark, the smallest and most affordable option DJI offers, has suddenly switched off and crashed into various areas ranging from open fields to lakes or forests, according to at least 14 users, first reported by Quartz. While none reported any injuries as a result of the crashes, such instances would be possible if the drones had been operated in more crowded areas.

DJI told Fortune in a statement that it is working to address the crash incidents going forward.

"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," the statement read.

"We are looking to implement additional safeguards with a firmware update which will be issued soon. When prompted on the DJI GO 4 App, we recommend all customers to connect to the internet and update their aircraft’s firmware to ensure a safe flight when flying their Spark," the company added.

The cause of the Spark crashes remains unknown. Commenters in the forums where the complaints were first posted suggested several possibilities, from user error to the devices' sensors misreading position and confusing the drone into thinking it was time to power down.

While the Spark is relatively lightweight at just over half a pound, it could inflict significant damage if free falling from 400 feet in the air — the maximum altitude U.S. regulations allow drones to fly.

The $499 Spark was well-received by critics upon its initial launch in May. It's been touted as one of the first drones for the mainstream and was recently named one of the best drones of 2017 by PC Mag.

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