Take off issues

Hello everyone, I am hoping someone will be able to help with my issue.

I have tried searching for various terms which describe the issue I am having, such as;

Phantom 3 won’t take off … extract take off … negative altitude on take off

But I can’t seem to find any information with the same problem

I have calibrated the compass, calibrated the controller, reset the IMU settings and I still have the same issues - the drone is very erratic on take off, it essentially doesn’t take off and sort of hops about, and the altitude on the display goes negative.

I have uploaded a video to YouTube which I hope will be helpful to better show what I am trying to describe

Thanks so much!

A few questions:

Did this Phantom ever work as expected?

If it did work at some point, what changed between then and now? For example, did you crash it?

Do any of the props appear to be damaged?

Are you using OEM DJI props or 3rd party props?

Are the props installed on the correct motors?

Thanks for taking the time to reply!

Yes it has worked fine in the past, no problems the last time I flew

No changes between last flight and this attempt

Brand new 3rd party props as I could not find genuine props replacements

Yes props are installed on the correct motor, because as far as I can tell it’s impossible to put the props on the wrong motor as the threads are different?


Are you saying you changed nothing between the last successful flight and these from your videos? Or are you saying you attached brand new 3rd party props and now you cannot take off?


I suppose the answer is both.

The reason I have 3rd party props is because the last flight attempt was with genuine dji props, the drone behaved exactly the same as in the video (perhaps worse) because it flipped over completely and the props broke - So now 3rd party props are now fitted and the drone behaves the same as it did with genuine props on

I hope that makes sense. Essentially what you can see on the video happened with genuine propellers

Bad battery? Is it swollen, fully charged? How long since last used successfully. It acts like it need power.

WOW that is ODD. Never have seen that one.

Are you doing manual take off or the auto one?

I think you did this, but did you re-calibrate IMU - and if so was it on a flat surface away from any metals etc etc

Yes, that makes sense.

Are you sure you didn’t do anything else? Like maybe remove prop guards?

No, I haven’t ever had the prop guards on…

I will try IMU calibration again tomorrow, and it was on auto take off

I’m guessing you have a faulty ESC/motor.

New motors are £12.50 I think, might be worth a try considering it’s fairly cheap?

Or is anyone aware of a good reliable repair shop?

Soldering these motor wires are tricky. They are coated. You may try soldering the wires of the new motor right to the ESC board.

Hope you get sorted. When you do, perhaps taking off on a suburban street is not the best of places…

Altitude reading on a Phantom equates to a difference in atmospheric pressure while the drone is parked on the ground and while it is in flight. On take off the rotors are increasing the atmospheric pressure and so you get a negative altitude reading. Its best to forget the auto take off feature and just push the left stick up after the rotors are idling. Just raise it a couple feet and the irregular texture of the ground will not be a factor. Just be sure the ground is level or the drone till slip sideways until it corrects the drift. Have you performed the IMU calibration on a perfectly level surface? This is important.


Common DJI Phantom 3 Problems And How to Fix Them!

DJI Phantom 3 was released with crazy upgrades and a clean design. I think that’s why it is still in use and popular in the drone community. When going through DJI Phantom 3 users have faced, there are some common DJI Phantom 3 problems many users have faced.

In this article, we are going to talk about what are those common DJI Phantom 3 problems and how to troubleshoot them. This article would be definitely helpful for Phantom 3 users to fix issues related to their Phantom 3.

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Common DJI Phantom 3 Problems.

Here is the list of common DJI Phantom 3 problems. Click on your issue to jump to that part of the article.

  • Problem 1: DJI Phantom 3 not connecting to the controller.

Problem 2: DJI Phantom 3 not taking off.

Problem 3: dji phantom 3 not updating firmware., problem 4: dji phantom 3 not charging., problem 5: dji phantom 3 is not stable., problem 6: dji phantom 3 app (dji go app) not working, problem 1: dji phantom 3 not connecting to the remote controller..

Most of the time, DJI Phantom 3 won’t connect to the remote controller when the Phantom 3 aircraft is not paired with the remote controller.

Solution: Pair the Phantom 3 aircraft with the controller.

  • First, turn on the Phantom 3 and the controller.

dji phantom 3 take off fail

  • Connect the phone to the remote controller via Wifi.

dji phantom 3 take off fail

  • Open the DJI GO app and select the Aircraft and tap camera view.

dji phantom 3 take off fail

  • Go to the main menu and go to remote controller settings. Then scroll down and tap on the “Linking RC”. Then the remote controller will start beeping.

dji phantom 3 take off fail

  • Then tap “OK”.

dji phantom 3 take off fail

  • Then find the linking button located behind the camera and battery near to the little LED indicator of Phantom 3. Use a pin or screwdriver and press that button.

dji phantom 3 take off fail

  • Then the controller would stop beeping.
  • Phantom 3 would connect to the controller successfully.

dji phantom 3 take off fail

In many cases, DJI Phantom 3 won’t take off because of improper propeller installation. If you don’t follow the correct order to install propellers to the aircraft it won’t be able to take off (even though the propellers are spinning) or it would flip. Also, if you are in a restricted Noflyzone, you won’t be able to take off the drone.

Solution: Install propellers in the correct order.

  • There are two types of pairs in the Phantom 3 propeller set. One propeller pair has a silver mark and the other has a black mark on it.

dji phantom 3 take off fail

  • Place the silver mark propellers on the motor with silver threading. Then spin clockwise to lock them.

dji phantom 3 take off fail

  • Place the black mark propellers on the motor with black threading. Then rotate counterclockwise to lock them.

dji phantom 3 take off fail

Most of the time, DJI Phantom 3 not updating the firmware, and the Phantom3 aircraft keeps beeping because of rebooting the aircraft before the firmware update process is succeeded. Besides that, if the aircraft battery is low, the system would refuse the firmware updating process.

Solution 1: Charge the Phantom 3 battery before the firmware update.

  • Charge the Phantom 3 battery level above 50% before updating the firmware.

Solution 2: Update the firmware properly and patiently.

  • Power on the aircraft and controller.
  • Connect to the mobile device to DJI Phantom 3 and open the DJI GO app. Then enter the camera view.
  • Then enter settings and format the SD card.

dji phantom 3 take off fail

  • Power off the Phantom 3 and remote controller.
  • Visit DJI Downloads and download the latest DJI Phantom 3 / Standard firmware Zip file. Then extract the bin file from the downloaded Zip file.

dji phantom 3 take off fail

  • Take out the SD card from the aircraft and connect it using an adapter to the PC and move the extracted bin file to the root directory of the SD card.

dji phantom 3 take off fail

  • Then insert the SD card into the Phantom 3 aircraft and power on the aircraft.

dji phantom 3 take off fail

  • Once you turned it on the aircraft would start beeping as usual and the indicator LED near the SD card slot would blink green and red which indicates the firmware update process.

dji phantom 3 take off fail

  • You have to wait patiently while the aircraft keeps beeping, for a few minutes until the firmware update process completes.
  • After a few minutes, the beeping noise would stop and would start a smooth double beep. But the firmware updates process is not done yet. So don’t reboot the aircraft right now. Many users have faced this beeping issue after updating the process because of rebooting the aircraft before the firmware update completes (including me).
  • Wait until the LED indicator near the SD card slot turns green and the gimbal stabilizes.

dji phantom 3 take off fail

  • Power off the Phantom 3 aircraft and connect the SD card back to the PC.
  • Go to the SD card directory and check the created TXT file. If the txt file shows “Result: Success”, the firmware update process is successful and the problem is solved. If it’s not retry the process again.

dji phantom 3 take off fail

Most of the time, DJI Phantom 3 battery won’t charge if the battery has gone into hibernation or the battery is dead.

Solution 1: Wake the battery from hibernation.

Once the battery discharged to a certain level, it would go into hibernation to prevent further discharging.

  • Plug the battery into the charger and leave it for a few hours to wake from hibernation and get charged.

Solution 2: Follow the hack.

I saw this hack on youtube. I thought that would be worth it to try this hack safely to fix the issue.

Usually, DJI Phantom 3 won’t be able to fly stably, if the propellers are damaged, or the IMU is not calibrated well .

Solution 1: Inspect propellers.

Propeller damages definitely could unstable the drone. So it’s worth paying attention to them.

  • Take a propeller and run it through your fingers and feel whether there are some cracks or bents on the propellers.
  • If you found that some propellers are damaged, replace the existing propeller set with a new Phantom 3 propeller set.

Solution 2: Calibrate the IMU.

  • Place the DJI Phantom 3 on a flat surface.
  • Power on the Phantom 3 aircraft and the remote controller.
  • Then connect the remote controller to the mobile device via Wifi.
  • Open the DJI GO app and connect to the aircraft.
  • Then enter the camera view . Then tap the more icon at the top right corner.

dji phantom 3 take off fail

  • Then click on the drone icon (MS Settings) and scroll down and tap on Sensors.

dji phantom 3 take off fail

  • Scroll down and tap on the “IMU Calibration” button.

dji phantom 3 take off fail

  • Then wait until the IMU calibration is done.

dji phantom 3 take off fail

In most cases, the DJI Go app not working and keeps crashing when its version is outdated or the installed app is faulty. Most of the time, users face this issue after installing the DJI Go app from a different source instead of the DJI download center (IOS users are okay to use Appstore to install the DJI GO app).

Read the complete article:  DJI App Not Working And Responding (Why, How to Fix)

Solution: Download and install the DJI GO app from the DJI Download center.

  • First, uninstall the currently installed DJI GO app version from the device. This would clear app data and cache data.
  • Visit the  DJI Downloads center  using your mobile device.
  • Choose DJI GO 4 app. Then you’ll be directed to the app’s download page.

dji phantom 3 take off fail

If you are an IOS user,

  • Tap on the IOS icon and the app would be open in Appstore. Tap on the “GET” button and install the app.

If you are an Android user,

  • Tap on the Android icon and the apk file would be downloaded to the mobiles downloads directory. Once it is downloaded visit your downloads directory and click on the downloaded file. Then follow the simple steps prompted by the device and install the app.

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How to Fix a Drone That Won't Take Off


Let’s set the scene: you take a glance outside and instantly plan an entire shoot in your head. You rush to get started but, to your dismay, your drone just won’t take off.

Believe it or not, every drone pilot has to inevitably deal with such a scenario (or at least some version of it). And honestly, it can get pretty frustrating.

But don’t worry, fixing a drone not taking off is fairly easy. Here are the fundamentals.

You can fix a drone that won’t take off by analyzing the most probable causes, which include hardware damage, technical bugs, and battery issues. You can then apply an appropriate fix, like calibration or updating the software. This works as long as the drone isn’t entirely defective.

I’ve done the research to put together the best fixes, but it can still be a bit puzzling to point a finger at the most suitable one.

In this post, I’ll be helping you do just that - with some essential tips along the way.

How does a quadcopter get its lift?

Before we dive in deep, let me give a bit of context. Here’s how a drone actually takes off - in simple terms.

A quadcopter gets its lift primarily from the motor design and the propellers. The latter act as wings and push down on the air. In turn, a reactive force is generated and the air pushes the quadcopter drone upwards. The created lift grows more as the propellers rotate faster.

It’s also important to note that the propellers aren’t designed to rotate in the same direction. So, their orientation matters as well.

You’ll find this concept playing a role in some of the upcoming causes of your main problem.

Why is your drone not lifting off?

So, we know that the propellers are largely responsible for lifting a drone. There is, however, a bit more to it.

Several other concepts work in tandem to make it happen. And if something does go wrong, the drone may not take off at all.

Your drone may not be lifting off because of technical issues or calibration errors. You might also be in a restricted location. In some cases, the drone doesn’t turn on at all. This is generally the result of battery issues, internal damage, or a manufacturing defect.

Let’s look at these reasons in a bit more detail to see which one(s) might apply to you.

1.Jumping the Gun

This is one of the only causes that even apply to drones straight out of the box.

If you’ve powered on your drone and are instantly trying to get it up in the air, it simply might not be ready. This is because drones need to warm up before they’re fit for operation.

You might’ve already come across this requirement if you own a modern drone. The DJI Phantom, for example, notifies the pilot if it’s still getting ready for flight.

This process isn’t particularly noticeable, but it’s best to give your drone a few minutes before you get to your mission - especially if it’s cold outside.

2.Software Issues

While it may not sound likely, the drone’s software can single-handedly prevent the propellers from spinning.

This is particularly common with DJI drones and generally happens due to inconsistencies within the remote control settings.

Don’t get me wrong though, you may have to deal with software problems with a non-DJI drone as well.

Drones with outdated software can be riddled with technical bugs. These lead to a disruption in the connection between the drone and the transmitter, as communication signals fail to transfer accurately.

3.Uncalibrated Compass

In general, compass calibration might come off as more of a recommendation than a requirement. In your case, however, it’s something that’s especially important not to overlook.

When a drone is entirely unfamiliar with a location, it can prevent takeoff to avoid the risk of accidents. In such a case, you may be notified to initialize the calibration process.

But that’s not all.

It’s just as important to make sure the calibration is done right. This includes going through the steps diligently and away from sources of interference.

4.Battery Problems

In some cases, the drone may not be responding at all. This is generally to do with the power supply.

It’s possible that the drone is simply low on charge. This may sound a bit too obvious, but new owners often rely on their expectation of receiving a fully charged drone. Check out my complete guide on reasons why your drone won't charge its battery .

Similarly, a battery can also get damaged over time. This can particularly be the case if you got your drone wet or stored the battery in damp conditions.

5.Issues with the Components

The cause may be the components themselves, especially if you’ve tried your hand at adjusting them before.

As I’ve already mentioned, the propellers need to be mounted in the correct position and direction. So, if you ended up switching them around at some point, the drone might not be generating the kind of airflow needed.

It could also be because the controller isn't properly connected to your drone and it doesn't receive its inputs.

This part also applies to those who might have damaged their drone through a crash.

Another frequent issue is when you get an overloaded gimbal on your drone.

Accidents are fairly common, and they result in a new set of problems every time. Components, like the motors, propellers, or circuit board, might be too damaged for normal operation

6.Geofencing - prohibited location

This one isn’t really a common problem. But if your drone looks in tip-top condition, you really shouldn’t rule it out.

Most manufacturers integrate flying restrictions into the drone’s software to ensure FAA drone laws are followed. This means your drone won’t be able to take off in a prohibited location, regardless of the instruction you give it.

Geofenced areas include military bases, power plants, schools, and airports. This is, however, a pretty vague list. You can always try using AirMap if you really want to confirm your suspicions.

How do you get your drone off the ground?

If you’ve determined the root of the problem, the fix might have been self-explanatory. In most cases though, you’ll have to follow a series of sequential steps to get your drone up and running.

You can get your drone off the ground by fixing the problems it encounters during takeoff. Possible solutions include drone calibration, updating firmware, readjusting the antenna, and switching out the battery. However, some problems, like accidental damage, may require the help of an expert.

Needless to say, it’s just as important to actually know how to take off a drone. If your skills are a bit rusty, this YouTube video might help.

With that out of the way, here are what the steps look like for each solution.

1.Calibrate the Drone

This part mainly refers to calibrating the drone compass, but I recommend calibrating the drone completely to leave no room for error. This includes calibrating the IMU and the remote controller as well.

Compass calibration involves rotating the drone horizontally and vertically. Similarly, IMU calibration consists of placing the drone on different sides.

This may sound a bit overwhelming, but you can initialize both processes through the drone’s app. This makes calibration super straightforward.

If you have a DJI drone, the YouTube video might make things even simpler.

Remote control calibration differs from drone to drone, so it’s best to skim through the user manual to figure out which buttons to press.

2.Update Drone Firmware

We discussed earlier how technical bugs can end up obstructing basic functions. A simple way to counteract that is to check for firmware updates.

Since drone technology is always evolving, updates are released pretty regularly. You can generally find the latest one by connecting your drone to your device. The video shows what the process might look like.

On the odd occasion, you may start facing issues after the update. This means the manufacturer may have rolled out a new version without complete testing.

In that case, you can try restoring the drone’s firmware to a previous version. This process is a little different but just as simple.

3.Inspect the Battery

We already know the battery is the drone’s power supply. It makes sense to ensure it is, at the very least, in functioning condition.

The battery’s health status might tell you everything you need to know if it’s critically low. Still, I recommend checking for signs of damage as well.

You may have to place an order for a new one if it looks worn out. And as a side note, trying to cut costs by buying an unauthorized battery generally isn’t a good idea.

But that’s not all: you should also inspect the compartment itself. Make sure the battery connectors aren’t corroded or damaged.

4.Check the Antenna

This one applies to those who can’t seem to connect their drone to their device in the first place. If there are no signs of a communication signal, the drone’s antenna might be damaged.

An easy fix is to get it looked at by an expert or buy a new one.

This can get somewhat expensive though. If you’re relatively experienced, you might want to try your own hand at fixing it. This involves cutting off the antenna at a specific length, as shown in the YouTube tutorial.

5.Make Replacements

If the drone barely shows any signs of life and nothing seems to work, it might be defective or internally damaged.

Now, what does this mean for you?

To put it bluntly, this is where you’ve hit a dead end. You’ll have to send the drone off to a professional for a repair.

This is often the only solution for a drone that is tested with a severe crash, as it may require replacements for the motors, the sensors, and the battery latch.

And in other (rare) cases, you might have been supplied with a faulty unit. You should, however, be able to get the entire drone replaced through the manufacturer.

How do you fix your drone propeller not spinning?

This part refers to a situation where the drone successfully turns on and connects. Everything seems to be in order but the propeller(s) just won’t spin.

It’s easy to see how this could get annoying pretty quickly, but the fix is incredibly simple.

You can fix your drone propeller not spinning by launching the drone's app and accessing the remote control settings. You then select the stick mode you prefer and apply the changes. If this doesn’t work, the issue is mechanical and you’ll need to check the drone’s hardware.

The software problem is particularly common with DJI drones, as they tend to automatically switch settings. On the other hand, the issue is generally mechanical if the propellers aren’t functioning as a unit (some spin, others don’t).

You can try checking under the hood for an obstructed motor or loose wires. If one of the motors can’t spin freely, you’ll have to clean it. This video tutorial might help.

How do you reset a drone?

I’ve brought up software problems quite a few times in this post. If your drone seems to be plagued with them and nothing else seems to work, resetting it may be a viable solution.

You can generally reset a drone by connecting it to a computer via a USB cable. DJI drones, for example, make use of the DJI Assistant program to facilitate a factory reset. However, some drones don’t require any additional software and can simply be reset through the hardware buttons.

Here’s one thing to keep in mind: not all DJI drones work with the same version of DJI Assistant. So, make sure the program you’re using is compatible with your drone.

Once you’ve launched the program, all you have to do is select your drone and access its firmware settings - where you’ll find a “restore factory defaults” button.

For other drones, you’ll most likely be using the power button and the feedback from the LEDs for guidance. Specific instructions should be stated in the user manual.

How can you improve your drone lift?

Your drone might not be taking off because you’ve attached more weight than it can carry. At the same time, you don’t want to sacrifice additional functionality. 

Well, you don’t have to! As long as you manage to improve your drone’s lift capacity, that is.

You can improve your drone lift by modifying the drone. This refers to installing more powerful motors, adding more efficient propellers, and removing additional weight from the drone itself. If the drone has already reached its absolute peak, however, you may have to upgrade to a different model.

If you don’t want to take the DIY route , your best bet may be to make the drone lighter. You can do this by removing propeller guards and detaching accessories that won’t be in use.

It’s important to ensure safety by reading up on the performance of your drone model, so you don’t end up pushing it too far.

I’ve done a separate article on the payload capacity of drones , which you might want to check out.

Conclusion - what do you do if your drone won't fly?

There may be a few hiccups on your journey, but drones are rarely a complete let-down. You should be able to pinpoint a fix by using the right methods.

As a general rule, you should start troubleshooting by figuring out why exactly your drone won’t fly. The main causes are power issues, mechanical issues, and bad software. Once the root of the problem is identified, you can try applying a suitable fix, which may include disassembling the drone.

You should be able to land on the right fix through trial and error.

But don’t get me wrong: reaching out to a team of professionals is still the easiest way out, as they’ll know how to service your particular model.

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Dislodged GPS Module

Compass uncalibrated, safety mode is on, battery not charged, is the battery completely dead, problem elsewhere, recently used battery, battery not detecting charger, faulty charger, faulty battery, gimbal settings are not correct, dji firmware is out of date, imu is not physically calibrated, faulty gimbal, imu calibration.

dji phantom 3 take off fail

DJI Phantom 3 Advanced Troubleshooting

Phantom 3 Advanced GL300C controller "low battery" warning even when charged

Student-Contributed Wiki

An awesome team of students from our education program made this wiki.

Motor won’t turn on

When you go to start the motor, nothing happens.

Go outside with the drone and check to see if it connects with a satellite. If the drone does not connect, open it up and look at the GPS module. If it is unplugged, plug it back into the flight controller. If the GPS module is damaged, it will need to be replaced.

The motor will not start unless there has been a compass calibration, which needs to be done outdoors. To calibrate, tap the aircraft status bar at the top of the camera screen then press calibrate and follow the instructions.

To turn the safety off, which will allow the drone to fly, press both sticks on the controller down. This is also referred to as arming the drone.

If the motor still has not turned on, check the battery life of the drone. If the battery life is low, charge the battery.

Controller Low battery warning even after charging

If you controller is charging ok, e.g. lights indicate its taking charge and increases as such, but when you try to turn on controller the red light blinks to indicate low battery, you need to check two things

to do this check, after charging for some time (e.g. 30mins +), on controller click and hold, C1, Photo button and Power - You should see a green/blue light and controller should indicate level of charge. If no charge, likely to be a battery problem, However if 2/3/4 white lights show, the problem is elsewhere.

Assuming you have followed above step, The problem is likely with the regulator for the battery charging and release. There is a control unit which regulates the charge to the battery and also the release of charge. Its a 17.4 DC charger, but battery is 8.3v and this is in the design of the controller.

I am not 100% certain on how to fix this, but will come back later to update once resolved.

Battery is not charging

The battery does not charge when plugged into the charger.

If the battery was recently used in a flight, it may be too warm and will be unable to charge. Let the battery sit for a few minutes to let it cool off.

To force the battery to be in charging mode, press the battery button once and then immediately press and hold it down. Each LED will turn on until they’re all on. Once they are all on, some will turn off and then the current battery charge level will be displayed. Plug the battery into the charger. If the battery is kept on charging mode and doesn’t need to be charged, hold the button until all the lights turn off. This will save battery power.

If the charger is unable to charge other batteries, the charger may be faulty and may need to be replaced.

If your charger is able to charge other batteries, the battery may be faulty and may need to be replaced.

Video Horizon Tilted

When flying, the live video feed is not horizontal.

In many cases, the gimbal is simply misadjusted within the DJI app. If this is the case, you can access the gimbal settings within the DJI pilot app, and adjust the roll settings there.

Sometimes, the most recent firmware update from DJI fixes many past glitches that may cause your gimbal to tilt slightly. To be sure about which firmware you need, check DJI’s website to confirm the latest firmware.

The IMU, or the control board, controls the gimbal, so it is important this is calibrated correctly. In order to calibrate the IMU, the drone needs to be safely placed on a level surface. The IMU, along with other sensors, can be recalibrated through the DJI Pilot app.

If none of this helps, your gimbal may be faulty, and may need to be replaced.

Status Indicator Flashing Red,Yellow, and Green

After turned on, the status indicator repeatedly flashes red, yellow and green and it is hard to get the drone off the ground.

The red, yellow and green flashes mean the IMU data is abnormal. To calibrate the IMU the drone needs to be safely placed on a level surface. The IMU, along with other sensors, can be recalibrated through the DJI Pilot app.

ESC(Electronic Speed Controller) Status Error

After arming the quadcopter, the motors won’t turn on, and “ESC Status Error” is displayed.

Sometimes the IMU can cause the user to see this error, so it is important to calibrate the IMU correctly. To calibrate the IMU the drone needs to be safely placed on a level surface. The IMU, along with other sensors, can be recalibrated through the DJI Pilot app.

The ESC's within the control board may be faulty. If this is the case, the entire board must be replaced. To replace the control board, follow our Flight Control Board Replacement

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dji phantom 3 take off fail

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dji phantom 3 take off fail

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says motor overload how do i fix that on a djl phantom 3 professional

Rick Gann - Apr 24, 2017 Reply

I have one motor on my Phantom 3 Standard that won't spin with a take off command. I purchased another one and replaced it and it still does not spin. It does it's short dance like the others when I turn on the drone battery and jumps about a quarter of an inch when I engage a take of but that is the extent of it. Any ideas?

oldcontrols - Jun 30, 2017 Reply

I fixed the ESC error by power cycling the battery unit.

Shashank - Sep 1, 2017 Reply

How do you do that.?

Eric Hamilton - Dec 1, 2017

i have tried things to try and rectify this. my phantom 3 advance thinks its a P3P and i cant see the camera

henry - Dec 20, 2017 Reply

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Fly Safe with DJI — 8 Tips on How to Use Your New Drone

News 2015-12-23

Image title

Phantom 3 by Laurie Rubin

Is there anything better than spending time with your family and friends, an open fire crackling nearby, sharing stories from the year gone by? Or the excuse to indulge in some casual gluttony at special Christmas dinner with recipes passed from generation to generation? And let's not forget the all important Christmas tree and the presents underneath!

Many of you are going to be receiving a DJI drone this holiday and we want to make sure you know how to get the best out of your new companion. These eight tips will get you set up and ready so your first flight is as amazing as you've imagined it.

1. Inspect your aircraft and batteries

Before you head out to fly, make sure that the batteries in your remote controller and aircraft including any spares are all fully charged. You never want to have to land just when you've found a beautiful scene to film or photograph, and batteries sometimes are not completely accurate when showing their charged status. To avoid any such worries, charge your batteries over night or wait until they are all fully charge, and then head out and fly.

Check that all propellers are securely mounted to the motors and that none of them are damaged or worn. Inspect the rest of the aircraft and replace or repair damaged parts before flight. In case you need spare parts, they are available from the Official DJI Online Store with quick and safe shipping.

2. Calibrate your compass before taking off

Before you take off from a new site, you should always calibrate your compass. Each location has slightly different electromagnetic profiles and for best performance and most accurate positioning, you should calibrate for each specific location. Calibrating is easy — simply use the DJI GO app and follow the on-screen instructions. This will include how to calibrate the GPS in horizontal and vertical directions by rotating it around each axis.

To take full advantage of DJI’s safety features, including Return Home and position stabilization, wait for a strong GPS connection before taking off. Your take off position will then automatically be recorded as the Home Point and you will be able to use the convenient Return to Home button any time you feel it's time to land.

3. Fly in open, outdoor areas

Always choose a wide open area for every flight, well away from people and property. Head out to a large field or similar open space, with no or few trees and buildings. This way, you can more easily focus on learning to operate your aircraft and take your mind off having to precisely control the aircraft to avoid trees and other obstacles.

4. Do not fly over or near people and animals

Another thing to keep in mind when you choose where to fly is to make sure that it isn't crowded with either people or animals as a measure of safety. Though small and harmless, drones may still scare or irritate people and animals that are not used to seeing them. We want to make sure that our products have a positive impact on everyone they touch, so please be mindful of others when flying.

5. Fly no higher than 400 ft or below structures

In the U.S., the maximum allowed height for flying commercial drones is 400 ft., so as to not interfere with the aircraft in the regular airspace. It is also advised that you do not fly under any type of structures as that may cause magnetic interference that disturbs the compass in your drone. It could also block or degrade the GPS signal and make you lose contact with your aircraft.

6. Maintain your line of sight

Even though the Phantom 3 series of drones are capable of flying distances up to 3 miles (5km), you should still be careful to maintain a line of sight to your drone at all times. If you fly behind obstacles such as buildings or mountains you can easily lose orientation or have difficulty returning home when your batteries start to deplete.

7. Be aware of orientation and maintain full control

To make it easier for yourself, take off with the aircraft oriented with the green lights facing yourself and the camera facing forward. This way, it will be much easier for you to know where the camera is pointed when you want to capture a video or photo. You can also turn on Course Lock to lock the camera's direction, making it even easier to fly and capture footage.

The DJI Phantom and Inspire 1 series are incredibly easy to use thanks to the deeply integrated software and hardware and the smart functionality in the DJI GO app. However, you should still make sure to always have full control over your aircraft, even when using automatic functions such as auto-takeoff and auto-landing. Keep both hands on the control sticks to maintain control throughout each flight.

8. Coming soon: Updated airspace guidance in DJI GO

Our recently announced Geospatial Environment Online (GEO) system that will be included in an upcoming version of the DJI GO app shows live updated information on locations where flight may raise regulatory, safety, or security concerns. Once the new version is launched in the U.S. and Europe, GEO will help you make educated decisions about where and when to fly."

There are many ways to get better at flying. You can subscribe to the DJI Tutorials channel on YouTube to automatically receive new tips and tricks on how to best fly and capture aerial footage. You can also use DJI GO's built-in flight simulator to get to know the controls and functionality of your drone from the comfort of your home, so that you save time and learn even more quickly. Finally, you can practice the maneuvers in DJI’s Pilot Training Guide to perfect your skills and gain confidence in flight.

That's all for now. If you have any further questions on how to operate your new DJI drone, head over to our Fly Safe page or visit the DJI Forum and ask our great community. Have a great holiday and enjoy your new flying camera!


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  1. Phantom 3 won't take off

    #1 My phantom 3 standard will start up, but will not lift off of the ground. I read a previous post where someone calibrated their remote and that fixed the issue, but did not work for me. I cannot tell if I have the latest update on my remote because when I go to "about" in general settings, it shows a N/A for the Flight Controller Serial Number.

  2. P3 Advance-won't take off

    1#. Hi all, I have a P3 Advance that recently has been a bit moody about getting ready for flying. I usually have to power it on and off a couple of times before it gives me the green light that it is ready. This morning when I got it ready and tried to take off, it was completely unresponsive. I was getting video, and the camera would move ...

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  4. Common DJI Phantom 3 Problems And How to Fix Them!

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  5. Take off failed

    Take off failed Home / Products / Phantom Series / Phantom 4 Pro 9867 17 2017-4-29 Advanced Upload Hi, I just wanted to start my new P4P for the first time and had the message "take off failed". How can I find out, what the reason is?

  6. Drone flips over on take off?

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  7. How to Fix a Drone That Won't Take Off

    4.Check the Antenna. This one applies to those who can't seem to connect their drone to their device in the first place. If there are no signs of a communication signal, the drone's antenna might be damaged. An easy fix is to get it looked at by an expert or buy a new one. This can get somewhat expensive though.

  8. SOLVED: My Camera broke off

    2 Answers Filter by: Most Helpful Newest Oldest Chosen Solution L Pfaff @lpfaff1 Rep: 100.7k 8 166 355 Posted: Apr 11, 2017 Options @sznti ,Santiago, Hopefully the video links can give you some ideas on fixing the DJI Phantom 3 camera that has broke off as they deal with this issue and show repairs. Good luck.

  9. P3 Pro Connects and starts but won't take off.

    Upload Picture Add Link Emoticon Hey, Anyone have this issue? I have checked for updates, calbrated IMU, remote control and compass. I havent' flown in a while. The system all connects with no errors and the P3 starts. Finds the correct home point and says takeoff. When I throttle up I get a slight increase in rpm, but not enough to lift off.

  10. FAIL !!! DJI Phantom 3 starts to take back off after landing

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  11. take off fail

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  12. How to Properly Take Off and Land a DJI Drone MANUALLY [Phantom, Spark

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    7. Be aware of orientation and maintain full control. To make it easier for yourself, take off with the aircraft oriented with the green lights facing yourself and the camera facing forward. This way, it will be much easier for you to know where the camera is pointed when you want to capture a video or photo.