Video shows risk of flying a DJI drone in Ukraine right now

Earlier today, Ukrainian reseller Taras Troiak posted the following video on Facebook as a warning to all people who are flying a DJI drone in right now.

The short clip shows a drone operator launching and shortly thereafter landing what seems to be a DJI Mavic drone.

Seconds after landing the DJI drone, a grenade explodes right next to where the drone had just landed.

You’ll note in the video that the timestamp shows a date of September 15th, 2016 which might have been caused by the settings in the camera not having been updated appropriately.

It is important to point out that we have no way to verify the authenticity of the video posted by Taras Troiak or the claims that he makes about the Russians using the DJI Aeroscope drone detection system.

Taras says in the post that the Russians have installed a system in Chernobyl with a working range of 30-40 miles to spot Ukrainian defense forces who fly DJI drones.

How to safely fly a DJI drone in Ukraine

Taras shared the instruction to safely fly DJI drones in his Facebook post. He recommends the following:

DJI Aeroscope can reflect in real-time:

Model of drone,
– position and height,
– the story of flight,
– home point (off point),
– the position of the pilot (with GPS included in the mobile device connected to the remote).

Based on this, this is IMPORTANT:

  1. Turn off GPS in mobile device, wi-fi, and mobile internet (better turn on flight mode)
  2. Run a drone at a safe distance from the workplace (turn on, take off and get back there! ).
    1. Turn on the drone exactly at the landing spot, not on the road, as it can update the home point and write down the history of the journey in hand, which in turn will show the direction to the workplace. Besides, a drone can be identified even on the ground without GPS (zero coordinates will be shown, but the fact that the drone is in the radius of DJI Aeroscope action will be known, just without the exact position until the drone catches the satellites and renews the home point).
    2. If you fly to your workplace, after completion, then in the history of flight it will be visible and p. 1 won’t help (since a pilot without GPS on a mobile device will show landing location).
    3. Turn it off also at the landing site, so that in the history of the flight there is a place of landing and landing.
  3. According to the documentation, the remote control is first turned on, then the drone, and the other way around (drone, then the remote control). If possible, it is better to do it with an assistant and to take into account the difference of distance from the point of landing and the place of work to the necessary object.

In response to these instructions, one commenter said:

Important: on iOS air[plane] mode does not turn off GPS. This can be easily checked by opening google maps. Be sure to turn off System/Privacy/Location Services.

DroneXL’s take

We at DroneXL do not have sufficient knowledge of the DJI Aeroscope system to verify if you can fly a DJI drone and stay entirely invisible to the DJI Aeroscope system.

Flying drones in Ukraine (or any warzone for that matter) should be considered very dangerous as the communication between the drone and the remote controller can be intercepted and may give away your location or even your identity.

Keep in mind that apart from DJI Aeroscope, the Russian army likely has access to other detection systems as well.

Please see this video, where the PIXL team talks to a former UAS pilot of the about the dangers of flying drones in warzones.

For more information on how DJI Aeroscope works please watch the video below.

Also, keep in mind that some DJI remote controllers have GPS built-in.

Please stay safe.

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Video Shows Risk Of Flying A Dji Drone In Ukraine Right Now 1

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Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of DroneXL.co, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and EVXL.co, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ dronexl.co or @hayekesteloo.

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