Mavic Pro Compass Error/IMU Heading

Given the lockdown restrictions lately I decided to live stream a flight from my Mavic Pro Platinum. We live on the Isle of Skye and it’s a very sought after holiday destination so thought it may be quite a popular post given the current climate. You can see the full flight below.

I had hovered the drone for about 5 minutes before we pushed live and there were no problems during that time. I flew out for about 150 feet and all of a sudden I got a Compass Error and IMU Heading error pop up on my screen. Of course with people viewing live there was a touch more pressure to make sure I handled the situation correctly and calmly (normally I may let out the odd sweary word)

Screenshots of the error.

As you can see the GPS has 18/17 satellites connected at the same time so losing GPS can’t be caused by the lack of satellites. Right? I’m no genius but I’m going with that theory. Feel free to comment if not though!

As soon as the drone lost it’s stability I immediately wondered what I had done differently this time. This is where it gets interesting. I put a gradient filter (non DJI branded) on the lens for the flight as I wasn’t shooting in d-log. The sun was kind of low so thought it was a good idea. So, once I got the drone under control (by this time it was blowing out to sea) I brought it back in and try and just remove the filter without restarting the drone. Restarting the drone was recommended but I decided against it. The first reason was because I had a live stream going on but the second was that to find out if it was the filter was to keep everything the same and just remove the filter. You can see this in the film above. I quickly removed the filter and throw the drone back in the air for a pain free flight.

The gradient filter I added to the drone before the flight.

Why would a filter cause a drop in GPS? I’m not entirely sure. Could it be the metal interfering with the GPS within the drone? I do recall my drone losing it’s GPS before when I was practicing for my license but I never brought it back in. I continued to practice with the drone in Atti Mode which is something I would recommend doing if you can. It’s more difficult but the footage is way smoother. I can’t remember if I had the filter on or not though.

I took the drone out this am and had a pain free flight with the filter attached. I’m not saying for sure it was the filter but I won’t be using it again just in case it does interfere. Moral of the story, don’t be cheap knock of filters!

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