How to get a complete record of your DJI drone flights
To the best of my knowledge, the instructions which follow apply to any DJI drone, including the Mini 2. You will see not only how to access the videos, but also how to obtain and process the highly detailed flight logs. Please note that this guide applies to a drone flown using DJI's own software on an iPhone or iPad, and a Mac computer. If you're using Litchi or one of the other 3rd party apps, or a PC, then this guide is not for you.

Consider this: your drone doesn't just capture excellent 4K video (OK, so older drones might only be HD) but it also keeps incredibly detailed flight logs on the phone or tablet. The log as stored on the phone is compressed and encrypted but I'll show you how to process the log to get to plain-text data as well as a Google Earth record of the flight.

This guide is written for complete beginners as well as more experienced pilots. I hope you'll find it useful.


Getting the Video
The drone stores its videos in a standard form on the memory card in the craft. You may have flown for, say, 15 minutes withut pausing video recording, but the drone splits the video record up into 4.09 Gb chunks, each lasting just under five and a half minutes. But the chunks fit together perfectly, ie, not a single frame is dropped.

So the first step is to take the memory card out of the drone and load it into the Mac:



Opening this icon leads to



Opening this root folder will lead you to:



Then double-clicking on the 100MEDIA icon (it may be 101 or 102, etc, and you may not have a Panorama folder) reveals:



And there at the bottom you'll see today's videos.

Now what I do is to create a new folder within my DJI Mini folder and give it the date as a title. You don't need to do this but it helps to keep everything neat and tidy.



Drag today's videos from the card into this new folder. It may take several minutes:



But when that disappears you're done.

Now eject the drone memory card and put it back into the drone. (Suppressing memories of when I didn't do this and went out to fly with no memory card in the drone!!)


Getting the Flight Log
You're done with video now. The clips are safely stored on the Mac and we can move on to get our hands on the flight record. This is an absolutely amazing set of data. One simple file of up to about 3 Mb contains rows of 51 separate data items; the drone stores one such row every tenth of a second, so ten rows per second, 600 per minute. Not only is this data stored, but also a snapshot taken from the video, and a Google Earth track of the flight. How do we get it?

Step one: plug in your phone and find it in the finder sidebar. You'll see something like:



You want to click on files and will see something very similar to:



Click the arrow next to DJI Fly and you'll see everying the Fly app is keeping in its data files:



We are interested in FlightRecords. Drag that whole folder to the Desktop; you can't open it in place on the phone so we have to take the whole lot.



Open this folder and find the last entry:



And drag this into the folder next to the video clips. You can now delete that whole FlightRecords folder. You now have this:





Inside the Flight Log
Although it's a .txt file, it contains nothing readable. We have to go elsewhere to translate the data. Go to Airdata.com and create an account. It's free.



Once your account is set up click on My Flights then Upload:



Then, drag the .txt file in:



Click Upload then, a minute or so later you will see:



A wealth of information has been extracted from the log file. Data about the battery, time aloft, and various other statistics about maxima is shown. There's also a Google Earth picture of the flight, together with a snapshot taken from the video. For many of you this will be enough data. But should you wish to go further down this road, click on KML in the downloads and then CSV. Two files will download - drag these form your Downloads location into the folder with the video clips, where you now have:



If you have Google Earth on board you can double click the .KML and see:



and you can do all sorts of Earthy things with it.



But what about that CSV file?
Above I mentioned the CSV files which Airdata.com produces. As I said, it contains one row of 51 data items, recorded every one tenth of a second. Your mileage may vary, but many of those 51 items are either not terribly interesting, or just empty. I studied the data and worked out what I wanted to keep. I designed a database table to store the data, and wrote a program which takes the CSV, analyses it to extract crucial bits of info, and stores the data in the database.

So, in practice, all that data is reduced to a comprehensive analysis of my flight statistics. This is the design of the database table:

In effect, those hundreds of data items are analysed by the software to produce:

Date and time at the start of the flight
Max height reached
Max speed reached
Max distance reached
Max satellites locked
Date and time of the end of the flight
Total distance covered during the flight
Flight location (added manually; hidden in the screenshot)

That is one flight record. The software displays all this data in a tabular form, and additionally calculates various maxima and minima and totals. In this screenshot:



you can see the last three flights from the bottom of the table, in terms of the parameters already mentioned. Below that are the mins and maxes and totals. For example, 175 flights totalling 664082 feet = 125.77 miles, highest 714.24 feet, furthest 3051.71 feet, and so on. I can also see that on average I fly every 2.31 days.



My most recent DJI Mini 2 Flight
This data is extracted directly from the database table mentioned above.

Date and time:2022-09-24 10:09:21
Flight number:183
Max altitude:419.291352 feet
Max velocity:34.5159842 mph
Max distance:654.19621516 feet
Satellites locked:24
Distance covered:5897 feet