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What to do if Your DJI Mavic Pro Won’t Hover Correctly

One of the strangest glitches that owners and users of the DJI Mavic Pro seem to be reporting is a sudden and complete inability to hover in place. The typical disaster unfolds in roughly this order: the pilot boots up their Mavic and preps for flight like any other day, gives it a little bit of throttle, and instead of lifting off straight the drone veers to one side at speed and smashes into a wall. While we don’t always know what causes this, we do know what solves it. 

Step 1 - Cool it Off

The first step is to switch off your Mavic Pro and leave it in a cold, dry room like a basement or garage for a number of hours. This is to bring all of the components of the Mavic Pro to a stable and complete rest. Some internet forums and pages have recommended refrigerating it, but that has the potential to draw condensation into the Mavic and cause unfortunate damage. DO NOT refrigerate your drones.  

Step 2 - Preparing

Once the Mavic Pro has had a chance to chill out for a while, we can begin the recalibration process. Make sure that you have the most current version of the DJI Go app, plug a fully charged battery into the Mavic Pro, and connect your phone to the controller as if you were getting ready to fly. 

Step 3 - IMU Calibration

Place the Mavic Pro, still folded up, on a totally flat surface. And I mean totally flat. Use a level to check it. This is resetting which way the Mavic thinks is down, and being off by even a little bit could introduce some drift. 

Power the drone on, and open DJI Go. Tap the icon that looks like a quadcopter to open Main Controller Settings, and all the way at the bottom you will find an option for “Advanced Settings.” This will reveal an option called “Sensors,” where you will see the option to Calibrate IMU. Follow the prompts in the app from here. 

When you are done, wait about 5 minutes before moving to the next step.

Step 4 - Compass Calibration

Find a good public park, a farm, or a field that allows you about 20-30 feet of separation from cars, buildings, cell phones, or anything else metallic or electrical. Leave your watches, rings, belt buckles, and cell phones far away. This is a sensitive magnetic process. In the Aircraft Status menu, go to Compass, and select Calibrate. 

From there, simply pick up the drone and spin 360 degrees while holding it level with the ground. The indicator light will turn green when you have done this. Then point the nose of the drone at the ground and repeat. Both of these actions need to be completed fairly smoothly to be successful. 

When you are done, wait about 5 minutes before moving to the next step.

Step 5 - Remote Calibration

In case the problem is simply in the way your controller is sending commands to the Mavic Pro, we will also calibrate that as well. Turn off the Mavic Pro if you haven’t already, and make sure the control sticks are centered. Just like in step 4, stay away from metal objects. 

Connect your phone and open DJI Go. Press the controller icon in the top right corner, and select Remote Control Calibration. Press Start to begin, and follow the on-screen directions. 

Last Resort

If none of this has solved your problems, you still have a two final options left on the table. DJI Forums user Chriscycling says: 

 “If these don't correct the drifting issues you'll have to download & use DJI Assistant 2 and calibrate the vision sensors. If after all that the last resort is a factory reset via the DJI Assistant 2.  If you're still having issues I'm afraid it's probably a hardware issue.”  

Don’t let that scare you. Almost all of the time that these issues come up, they can be corrected with some simple calibrations or with a change in flight location. Underground power lines can throw off the magnetic sensors.Pilots near the arctic circle find that at those latitudes, the difference between magnetic north and true north are enough to trip up the sensors. Drones are very sensitive, well-tuned machines that can get thrown off if not properly taken care of.

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