This is an in-depth and detailed tutorial to help you get your drone back scouring the uncharted depths of the horizon after a crash. Yes, you witnessed the most harrowing and chilling scene you could ever have had imagined. Yes, you are wishing that it was a nightmare that would be over when you open your eyes. The irony here is that your eyes are wide open as you see your delicate, complex and high priced Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) equipped with an intricate camera ricocheting between branches of a tree and then getting slammed into the ground. Or perhaps you pressed on the gas and then suddenly let go of but the UAV would not listen to you anymore and off it went out of your sight. Don’t you worry guys! These stories can be related to even the most experienced of drone aficionados. However, not many among us are familiar with how to tackle such situations. Well, just to make life easier for you, we intentionally made our drone to go through an excruciating crash to explore what to do in case of a drone crash!
Option 1 – The Repair Center May be?
You think that the damage suffered by your machine is not significant but we would highly recommend you to pay a few bucks to a legitimate repair center. During the crash, the electronic circuit boards may have also succumbed to some destruction while it may not be evident from the outside. You can give a call to the product manufacturers or log onto their website to discover if they have any legitimate repair center in your neighborhood. Throughout the country, we would expect a dozen or two scattered in different states. There are only a couple of authorized repair centers that deal in DJI manufactured products. The remaining shops deal in Yuneec and products manufactured by other brands. The greatest advantage that you will get here is that you are likely to get your drone repaired in a much more shorter span of time. If you plan to send your drone back to the manufacturer (Option 2), be prepared to stand in a long queue of drones waiting to get repaired. They will ask you to get your drone back in a month and a half. In contrast, an authorized repair center can have your drone repaired in just a week or two. Moreover, you will deal face to face with the one responsible for your drone repair.
Option 2 – Let the Manufacturers Do the Drone Repair!
If you decide to send your drone back to the manufacturer to do the drone repair, you could be in for some serious trouble. Yes, you could be made to wait for a couple of months at the very least, treated with some poor quality customer service or you may even find yourself going through some mind-numbing warranty feuds. However, if you believe that you do not have any legitimate repair center in your neighborhood, then you will have to resign to sending your drone back to the manufacturer to do the drone repair. The manufacturers obviously have loads and loads of intricate and state of the art machinery in addition to some complex calibration equipment that will ensure that your drone is repaired appropriately. Are you one out of every 20 pilots who are so adept at flying drones that won’t let them crash? If the crash only happened because of some inbuilt malfunction not because of the human error and your device is still in the warranty period, then you will receive your drone repairs free of cost. Hey, if it was your fault, just admit it and do not endeavor to fool the manufacturers. Bear in mind that drones also come with internal black boxes that have the ability to capture all the mayhem that took place before the accident.
- Some of the manufacturers, on the other hand, have attempted to make the return process a lot more smoother and easier. This is in contrast to the excruciating customer service that one has to face when dealing with DJI.
- EHang provide the facility of repairing a GhostDrone 2.0 VR no less than three times in the first year of purchase. Moreover, they promise to get the drone delivered back to you once the repair is done in just a couple of weeks.
- Autel Robotics offer great customer service that is available 24/7, throughout the week and they claim that the repaired drone would be returned within a fortnight.
- There is another option available here. You could also go for the GoPro’s two year long Care Service at the cost of $149. They let you have your $800 Karma repaired as well as replaced within a couple of weeks for just $199 additional.
- DJI have also initiated their Care Service that can be availed for $219 for the DJI Phantom 4. They offer consumers drone repair up to the original cost of the machine. So, whatever drone you purchase, if you are being offered an insurance package with it by the manufacturers, go for without any hesitation.
Option 3 – It’s Do It Yourself Project Time!
One of your propellers got damaged after collision with a tree branch or if one of your camera components got cracked on a simple machine like Parrot Bebop 2. If the manufacturer has published a few drone repair tutorials on the internet, you will be better of going for the drone repair yourself. If you think you are not up to it, don’t go for it! According to Werner von Stein, an engineer and head of the SF Drone School in San Francisco, if consumers are good at soldering then they can certainly go on and replace a motor. However, he believes that if the drone has gone through a rugged landing, then some more complex issue could rise. Werner envisages that if the spare parts cost in the range of about $600 or $700, it is a lot better to go for a new drone rather than opting for drone repair. Brands such as Yuneec and Parrot also sell spare parts separately which can be bought in case you are interested in repairing your drone. DJI, however, does not sell a lot of spare parts. However, you can always go to eBay and purchase scrap drones and use their parts instead. And if you end up further damaging your drone to the point of no-return, then you can sell it as scrap at eBay and get at least something out of nothing!