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First flight Gopro Karma dropped dead out of the sky

dgoubitz

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Hi All,

I just wanted to share my experience from last weekend... Not the best weekend as you can tell from the thread.

I bought a karma 2 weeks ago, super excited. I wanted to wait before flying it, cause I didnt want to be that guy who crashed his drone first flight...
I went for a weekend away, a long drive from Wellington (NZ) to Rotorua, a 5.5 hour drive or so. I found a nice clear remote area, I checked that it wasnt an illegal place to fly. I did all the pre-flight checks, and off we went.

The karma drone was lifting off, went to a stable hoover in front of me. I did a small turn checking the controls, all was working fine. I flew back to my start position and framed my camera to start recording. I slowly went higher and further, looking at the controller framing up the shot, 38 seconds in, all of a sudden the sound of the drone went. I look up and see it fall in free fall. Around 10 meters above ground the engines went back on, but too late.

I went looking for it for hours, but noting to find. The area was full with high grass/bushes of about a 1-1.5 meter high. Once I arrived at the hotel, I uploaded the flight log from the controller. Next day I went back to look for it again, unfortunately no luck either.
To make matters worse, in my great state of mind (angry, disappointed, sad you name it) I of course managed to forget the controller, must have been at the place I searched for the drone (3.5 hour drive from Wellington).

Weekend ruined!

I'm in contact with Gopro now, but of course they say.. hey we need the serial number of the controller. I think this is weird, since I uploaded the data from the controller logged in under my gopro account. Of course I'm going back to look for it, but chances are small I find it, plus the 3.5 hour drive is not something you can do easily.

Does anyone have any advice for me? I feel so incredible stupid loosing the controller that I tent to forget that the drone dropped out of the sky first flight!!! How is this possible! How often does this happen? Any others on the forum that had the same experience?

I will keep you all posted on the progress with gopro, but any thoughts or ideas are more than welcome.

David
 
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hunter264

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hey bud. Sorry to hear that. Battery is defiantly dead now but there is a menu when you turn on the locator when this happens. You turn on the beeping control and it will beep for a minute. More then likley your battery disconnected. Gotta buy another one like I did. Shit happens just make sure you double check everything three times making it a triple check lol. Good luck
 

dgoubitz

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I thought about that too, but I'm pretty sure I checked the battery and it seemed all fine. During the calibration the battery would have slipped out too I assume.
Than there is the weird thing too that after it fell for like 20 meters free fall, the motors went back on (10 meters or so above ground). If the battery was detached somehow, it wouldn't have gone on again.. plus, I never lost connection, only after 20 minutes or so searching I got the connection lost message on my drone.
I'm trying to be as helpful as possible with gopro, but they don't seem to be of much help. They just reply that they cant access my flight log without the serial number, which I find very hard to believe, I gave upload time, and the IP address range from where it should have been uploaded. They must be able to locate the flight info.
So far horrible karma experience, I hope gopro will come with some better news soon.
 

JCLs

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The battery could not have disconnected. There is no way the Karma could have reconnected that quickly. In addition the Karma knows when a battery not completely latched in. This a result of problem before the Karma was re-released. In 10 meters with assumed full throttle the Karma didn’t respond enough to stop or nearly stop fall? How far away were you from Karma when it fell. This all sounds like extremely weird behavior for the system, especially if as you say you were out away from potential interference. Did you buy Karma from GoPro or where? No record of sale? Did you maybe buy a first generation Karma? Sorry for being skeptical here but this doesn’t ring right with me. Controller and all.


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dgoubitz

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I bought the Karma 2,5 weeks ago from the gopro website, I send the receipt to gopro. I flew for a bit more than 38 seconds. The only thing I remember is that I was framing up my shot when the sound stopped. Then I looked up, and saw it drop in free fall. I dont remember if the 4 LED's were on or off during the fall(only remembered oohhh %^#%*&$# shiiiitttt). Again, first time flight, no good idea of distance yet, but it couldn't be further than 300 meter far and maximum of 50-60 meter. The speed when the motors went back on was just too much, so only the crashing sound.

Controller wise... man.... I want to punch myself in the face so many times! I feel so incredibly stupid! And I know how stupid this looks. But please understand whats going on at that time. A long drive, 2 days of searching, a weekend away ruined. Its full of high grass and bushes, yesterday we went back again, with 4 colleagues looking for the drone and controller, but nothing.

I told gopro too, I'm more than happy to buy a new controller. And, as said before, I did upload the flight log the first day. It should for them be a matter of finding my uploaded data, I cant imagine that they cant sort based on upload time and IP address, even if there are still too many uploads, than they can filter on the GPS coordinates, I was the only one flying at that time and that place. :(

But thanks for the replies! I do appreciate it, please ask away for any other questions you might have. I hope it might make my case stronger.
 

JCLs

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Good luck, you will need it in this case.


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dgoubitz

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Thanks man, I'll keep you all updated on the progress. Its just a lot of money, so will definitely keep chasing gopro.

Would have loved to just share some pretty images instead, oh how excited I was :(
 

smurpheod

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The battery could not have disconnected. There is no way the Karma could have reconnected that quickly. In addition the Karma knows when a battery not completely latched in. This a result of problem before the Karma was re-released. In 10 meters with assumed full throttle the Karma didn’t respond enough to stop or nearly stop fall? How far away were you from Karma when it fell. This all sounds like extremely weird behavior for the system, especially if as you say you were out away from potential interference. Did you buy Karma from GoPro or where? No record of sale? Did you maybe buy a first generation Karma? Sorry for being skeptical here but this doesn’t ring right with me. Controller and all.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

I am interested in one (1) battery. Can you ship via USPS to an APO AP 96326 address?
Scott
 

Mdeben

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Hi All,

I just wanted to share my experience from last weekend... Not the best weekend as you can tell from the thread.

I bought a karma 2 weeks ago, super excited. I wanted to wait before flying it, cause I didnt want to be that guy who crashed his drone first flight...
I went for a weekend away, a long drive from Wellington (NZ) to Rotorua, a 5.5 hour drive or so. I found a nice clear remote area, I checked that it wasnt an illegal place to fly. I did all the pre-flight checks, and off we went.

The karma drone was lifting off, went to a stable hoover in front of me. I did a small turn checking the controls, all was working fine. I flew back to my start position and framed my camera to start recording. I slowly went higher and further, looking at the controller framing up the shot, 38 seconds in, all of a sudden the sound of the drone went. I look up and see it fall in free fall. Around 10 meters above ground the engines went back on, but too late.

I went looking for it for hours, but noting to find. The area was full with high grass/bushes of about a 1-1.5 meter high. Once I arrived at the hotel, I uploaded the flight log from the controller. Next day I went back to look for it again, unfortunately no luck either.
To make matters worse, in my great state of mind (angry, disappointed, sad you name it) I of course managed to forget the controller, must have been at the place I searched for the drone (3.5 hour drive from Wellington).

Weekend ruined!

I'm in contact with Gopro now, but of course they say.. hey we need the serial number of the controller. I think this is weird, since I uploaded the data from the controller logged in under my gopro account. Of course I'm going back to look for it, but chances are small I find it, plus the 3.5 hour drive is not something you can do easily.

Does anyone have any advice for me? I feel so incredible stupid loosing the controller that I tent to forget that the drone dropped out of the sky first flight!!! How is this possible! How often does this happen? Any others on the forum that had the same experience?

I will keep you all posted on the progress with gopro, but any thoughts or ideas are more than welcome.

David
I wish I had read these all before I bought this TERRIBLE PRODUCT. It seems this falling out of the sky is a common theme and unfortunately ours ended in a pond and GoPro refused to take any accountability. So if anyone is considering or still has one newly in their possession, I RECOMMEND RETURNING IT IMMEDIATELY BEFORE YOU'RE OUT A GRAND.

I’ve never been more infuriated and disappointed in a brand. Poor quality product and worst customer service team I have ever encountered!!! We purchased this drone bundle prior to our honeymoon in hopes to use it many more times as we began our family. After only having it for less than 6 months, that was cut short. We took every precaution in configuring it correctly before our last flight, got the green light to go and after only minutes of flying it, the device said it was losing wi-fi connection, which triggered its autopilot mode. During its auto-flight back to us it, it lost control and crashed into a pond below it (that it had autopiloted over). I didn't realize until after, but in reading and researching further, this is actually a common problem. Because it relies on wi-fi it's extremely unreliable and can fall from the sky or hit objects in its path during the autoflight back pretty regularly. And when it does, GoPro refuses to take any accountability so you will not get your money back, even if you have a warranty on it.

We spent hours trying to retrieve it, but could not and deemed it too dangerous to attempt again and near impossible to find any ways. We contacted customer service to see what our options were since we had a two year warranty on it and were only met with robotic responses, a refusal to take any accountability and blame towards us as their consumers, with no real reasonable logic. There was absolutely nothing we could have done differently given the resources that GoPro had provided to have avoided that outcome. When prying to ask to see the flight logs they said they were confidential and would not share them with me, yet used that as an excuse to say that they decided it was not their fault. The main thing they used to blame it on user error was by saying we didn’t properly avoid the possible “wi-fi interference objects” and then they provided a list of objectives you should avoid when flying. The ONLY applicable object in this case was water! Yes, water! So all those advertisements you see on this page and throughout their website and other marketing materials with water on it, turns out you can’t actually do what they are falsely advertising and we should have known that as consumers!!!! For goodness sake, their main video has a man literally launch the karma drone off of his kayak in the middle of the ocean!!! But I should have known to not fly nearby a cranberry bog reservoir!? After months of arguing and being pushed from one terrible customer service representative to another, they offered to replace the least expensive parts, still requiring us to invest $700 for those parts to even work, and spend more money with a brand we no longer could trust. After even more arguing they offered a jokeable 20% discount. And finally, I spoke with an extremely rude and condescending customer service “supervisor”, who by no means should be in this business, that basically sternly told me to give up, take the discount and that they wouldn’t do anything else even if we found it. For a brand that thrives off of human experiences and leverages happy life milestones, they certainly ruined our honeymoon (all our footage was lost) and our babymoon, which we had hoped to use this on as well and were still arguing with them about, and did not deliver the least bit enjoyable customer service experience. I would NOT RECOMMEND buying products from this company unless you are okay wasting your money when they prematurely break and do not anticipate any understanding from the manufacturer. I hope this saves someone months of frustration in dealing with this company and some money.
 

h00pla85

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I wish I had read these all before I bought this TERRIBLE PRODUCT. It seems this falling out of the sky is a common theme and unfortunately ours ended in a pond and GoPro refused to take any accountability. So if anyone is considering or still has one newly in their possession, I RECOMMEND RETURNING IT IMMEDIATELY BEFORE YOU'RE OUT A GRAND.

I’ve never been more infuriated and disappointed in a brand. Poor quality product and worst customer service team I have ever encountered!!! We purchased this drone bundle prior to our honeymoon in hopes to use it many more times as we began our family. After only having it for less than 6 months, that was cut short. We took every precaution in configuring it correctly before our last flight, got the green light to go and after only minutes of flying it, the device said it was losing wi-fi connection, which triggered its autopilot mode. During its auto-flight back to us it, it lost control and crashed into a pond below it (that it had autopiloted over). I didn't realize until after, but in reading and researching further, this is actually a common problem. Because it relies on wi-fi it's extremely unreliable and can fall from the sky or hit objects in its path during the autoflight back pretty regularly. And when it does, GoPro refuses to take any accountability so you will not get your money back, even if you have a warranty on it.

We spent hours trying to retrieve it, but could not and deemed it too dangerous to attempt again and near impossible to find any ways. We contacted customer service to see what our options were since we had a two year warranty on it and were only met with robotic responses, a refusal to take any accountability and blame towards us as their consumers, with no real reasonable logic. There was absolutely nothing we could have done differently given the resources that GoPro had provided to have avoided that outcome. When prying to ask to see the flight logs they said they were confidential and would not share them with me, yet used that as an excuse to say that they decided it was not their fault. The main thing they used to blame it on user error was by saying we didn’t properly avoid the possible “wi-fi interference objects” and then they provided a list of objectives you should avoid when flying. The ONLY applicable object in this case was water! Yes, water! So all those advertisements you see on this page and throughout their website and other marketing materials with water on it, turns out you can’t actually do what they are falsely advertising and we should have known that as consumers!!!! For goodness sake, their main video has a man literally launch the karma drone off of his kayak in the middle of the ocean!!! But I should have known to not fly nearby a cranberry bog reservoir!? After months of arguing and being pushed from one terrible customer service representative to another, they offered to replace the least expensive parts, still requiring us to invest $700 for those parts to even work, and spend more money with a brand we no longer could trust. After even more arguing they offered a jokeable 20% discount. And finally, I spoke with an extremely rude and condescending customer service “supervisor”, who by no means should be in this business, that basically sternly told me to give up, take the discount and that they wouldn’t do anything else even if we found it. For a brand that thrives off of human experiences and leverages happy life milestones, they certainly ruined our honeymoon (all our footage was lost) and our babymoon, which we had hoped to use this on as well and were still arguing with them about, and did not deliver the least bit enjoyable customer service experience. I would NOT RECOMMEND buying products from this company unless you are okay wasting your money when they prematurely break and do not anticipate any understanding from the manufacturer. I hope this saves someone months of frustration in dealing with this company and some money.
I am sorry you lost your pictures, but this sort of thing happens with drones of all types. My Mavic Pro has flown into trees, stopped in mid air because it thinks there is something in its way. This is an issue with all drones. A friend with a Phantom 4 had their drone drop from the sky. There is always a risk something will happen
 
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