Crashing a drone, even one with obstacles avoidance sensors like the DJI Mavic Air, isn’t hard at all. Small falls from a desk can also put your drone out of commission, easily damaging the sensitive camera lens or gimble. For those of you with DJI drones, they’ve got a fairly polished repair service you’ll hopefully never have to use. But things happen.
D1 store is DJI Authorised Retail Store in Australia. Here’s how the DJI repair process works and whether or not it’s worth the hassle, cost, or time waiting that provided by D1 store.
Find A Service Centre
DJI has authorized services centres in over 100 countries. Pick the service centre closest to you and select your specific drone (e.g. Mavic Air 2). The next few pages are where you describe the damage and how the accident occurred.
You might not know it but your drone keeps very details flight records (you can access from the DJI app). Every movement of the drone and controller input is recorded so forget about trying to make a crash seem like a manufacturer defect.
Choose whether or not the damage is a manufacturing defect or pilot error, remove the microSD card, pack up the drone, and send it to the DJI Service suggested to you.
DJI provide you with a shipping label, covering the shipping, but not packaging, costs.The average shipping time is about a week, depending on where you’re shipping from of course.
Whatever the repair status page says, it will take about 4 weeks.
A drone repaired by DJI is essentially refurbished. There won’t be any signs of previous damage, scratches, or dents. Damaged parts are replaced and repairs are very thorough for the price, essentially 28% the cost of a new drone in this case.
Important: Calibrate Before You Fly!
You may have noticed a few nicks on the Mavic photos in this post and be asking yourself, hey, I thought he said there weren’t any visible marks?! Well, there weren’t when I originally got the Mavic back from DJI but I crashed it nearly immediately. It was indoors for a small test but the Mavic slowly veered left, hitting a wall, then I used the emergency controls to shut off the propellers. I was lucky to have dodged another trip to the service centre.
After looking at the flight records, I realized why the drone wasn’t hovering stably on a horizontal axis. Although DJI tests drones they repair before sending them back, it seems they don’t calibrate the Inertia Measurement Unit (IMU). The IMU orients the drone so when it’s not calibrated properly, it usually drifts.
Calibrate All the Things
Be sure to calibrate the compass, IMU, remote controller, and gimble prior to flying any drone you get back from repair.
The DJI repair process is a thorough, but slow, process. Best to avoid it altogether by doing these 12 things before you ever fly a new drone, which will go a long way to prevent a crash in the first place. Given how easy it is to damage your drone combined with the cost of repair makes getting the DJI Care plan all the more sensible. The DJI Care plans cost about 10% the full price of a new drone plus cover two replacement units over the first year – whether or not the damage is your fault. Since it’s a very cumbersome process to add the DJI Care coverage after you’ve purchased your drone (with no guarantees), keep it in mind and part of your budget when shopping.
I strongly recommended that contact D1 Store to get a high-quality service when your drone needs repaired. Do not waste your time!