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Magnetic Interference


Feb 15, 2019
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Hello Everyone,

Yesterday I was out flying the karma drone in the park near where I work. There is barely anyone that comes to this area early in the morning so I decided to go out and fly since the weather was nice. I was out around 10:30am so as to ensure no one was walking near me and I took off and flew for about 5 minutes without an issue. Looking to ensure that I keep line of sight with my drone, out of my peripheral view I see a large German Shepard walk past me with a collar on that read "Police". I stopped flying and looked to see a police officer approaching me. Okay quick mental check:

1. You are not near an airport or helipad
2. You checked the B4U Fly app to see you are in a clear zone
3. You have your FAA Certificate for registration
4. You have not flown over 400 feet and are over the river with no pedestrians around
5. You also have your flight logbook

The officer asks me if I have my ID and registration for the drone and I response that I do have it and it is in my bag laying on the ground. The officer did not want to see it and just asked me what kind of drone I was flying and where is it. I immediately flew the drone back to me and hovered about 50 feet off the ground so that the officer could see it. Long story short, he turned out to be a really nice curious person.

The officer left a few minutes later and then no more than 5 minutes pass and I instantly lost video signal to my drone from the controller. I was able to get the drone back to me and noticed that the video display started acting haywire and once the drone was within 10 feet of me the video came back and displayed the message "Magnetic Interference". Mind you, I have flown from this same location over 6 times in the last 3 weeks without this ever occurring. Once I got the drone about 1 foot off the ground getting ready to land I lost complete control and the video display went haywire again with the message "Magnetic Interference" displaying when the screen would come in to be seen for a second or two and then the video would go out again.

Long story short, I was able to get the drone to land about 70 feet away from me. Since I have been flying in this park for a while now, I am at a loss as to what can instantly cause this magnetic interference issue. I am a bit concerned about flying here again and wanted to reach out to the community for any ideas.

Thanks a bunch
Hmm. atmospheric interference maybe? Do you know what the KP index was? Did you calibrate the compas prior to flight?

I’ve certainly had “magnetic interference” and “compass interference” warnings, but never when I was flying.
Contact GoPro, they’ll have you upload the data from your controller & get an answer. My Karma, went up & took off at high speed, never to be found. GoPro looked at my data & told me it was not my fault, that it was magnetic interference. Then they sent me a new Karma, GoPro 6, battery & props...in other words everything that I lost.
Great company & great tech support. Thie replacement was at my house in less than 2 weeks from the incident?
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Hello Shon and Wilcoxads,

I was able to check the site swpc.noaa.gov yesterday to see that within the last 24 hours, the KP Index only registered at a highest rating of 3. I did not get to check the site until yesterday around 5:30pm so I can only guess that the KP Index was not much higher than that. I will make sure I check this before flying, after doing research on KP Index.

I did calibrate the compass before the flight. I have read about doing that on this forum and make that a regular part of my pre-flight process.

I did not think to contact GoPro but I definitely will reach out to them and ask for assistance and let you know the outcome. In the meantime, I am going to stay away from this area and try from another field that is much larger.

Thanks again.
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