Unsurprisingly, DroneLife’s most popular article over the Christmas weekend was our post-holiday piece from last year “Help! I Crashed My New DJI Phantom. Now What Do I Do?”
And I would be lying if I said I hadn’t heard a few testimonials this week from new drone owners who have already lost and/or broken their brand new drone.
Tis the season for drone crashes, apparently.
While we still recommend you check that post out, a lot has changed in the last year so we thought it would be prudent to update it with some advice and recommendations for where to seek service if the worst should happen.
Consult the Internet
If you’re the owner of a recently crashed drone, chances are you’re also a technologically inclined person. If that is the case, your first resource for trying to fix your crashed should come as no surprise: YouTube.
Guess what? You are far from the first person to have that problem with your drone and someone else has not only solved it, but made a very helpful video explaining how you too can solve it with just a few household tools.
Some helpful YouTube channels to check out:
If you can’t find a video solution to your broken UAV, the next thing to look for is a written one. Forums on your drone’s manufacturer website as well as online communities like DIYDrones and r/djiphantom may be able to help.
Ship it out
If you really can’t find a fix online or your searches are ending with results akin to, “I had this problem and had to send my drone away…” it may be time to face the music and seeking professional help.
Before you reach out to the manufacturer directly though, Google “Drone Repair (Your City).”
The increased number of drones taking flight in the last few years has led to veterans of the RC community opening small repair shops all over the world.
The great thing about going this route, besides the fact that you won’t have to ship your drone so far away from home, is the people running these shops love fixing drones. They are generally convenient, inexpensive, happy to help and, most importantly, eager to educate you so that you don’t have a similar problem again.
As an example, we consulted with SkyLab Boston when we couldn’t find a fix for our Phantom 2 Vision + a couple years ago and our broken gimbal returned in excellent working condition.
Even if you can’t find a repair shop in your immediate area, a lot of the bigger players have extended their services nationwide.
The final straw
If the internet and a local shop can’t help, then it might be time to contact the manufacturer. We left this recommendation for last because the consumer drone industry has been notoriously lacking in the customer service department.
3D Robotics, makers of the popular Solo and IRIS drones, is certainly on the up-and-up in this department, and has at least acknowledged drone service is in need of an overhaul.
So exhuast your other options before you contact your manufacturer.
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com