Art and Photography

I crashed our work drone, should I offer to pay for half of the repair bill?

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  • Feb 12th, 2017 11:48 am
[OP]
Sr. Member
Sep 4, 2016
702 posts
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I crashed our work drone, should I offer to pay for half of the repair bill?

We just got a Mavic Pro 3 weeks ago and I had a bit of an accident with it. I couldn't say I crashed it but I had a bit of an accident when landing. the day was too windy and as I was landing, a surge of wind came storming down and literally pushed the drone right to the ground from about 15ft from concrete. We didn't get DJI insurance on it (which we now deeply regret and you only qualify for it in the first 48 hours of activiating your drone).

Anyways, from what the repair tech here said, the gimbal cable broke and because of the size of the Mavic Pro, the gimbal, the camera and the ribbon cable and gimble cable are all one piece (huge downfall buying a compact drone like this). So even though we just broke the gimbal cable, because it's all one piece, we have to replace the entire camera since even if the tech was to take apart the camera and gimbal, it would require a lot more hours in labour and then you need to recalibrate it through software (and DJI doesn't release the software for the Mavic Pro).

We broke a couple legs and the vent grill needs to be replaced. Those are cheap, about $100 for all parts including labour. The camera itself is $310 but the tech is cutting us a deal and giving it to use for $290. These are brand new replacements sent right from DJI.

The bill comes to $450+tax including labour. My boss is not happy, he's quite upset. I feel bad, I really do. He gave me the drone for a few weeks to fly and get good with it and I was getting quite comfortable with it (flew it about 8 times prior to the accident), it's just bad luck that's all.

I feel bad and I'm wondering if I should offer to pay for half of the bill? Would you?
Last edited by DiamondDallasPage on Feb 9th, 2017 7:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
17 replies
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Jan 22, 2015
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It's your boss's responsibility to get insurance. If he didn't, so sad too bad.

Does your boss cut you in on the profits of the business? Are you a partner?

If not then why pay for his cheapness?

The damage to the drone is a business risk. It isn't your obligation to pay for wind gusts.
Deal Addict
Aug 17, 2008
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Sask.
I'm sure he understands you feel badly, but it's not your financial responsibility at all. Stop feeling guilty! :)
Deal Guru
Jun 15, 2012
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There's so many variables like your relationship with your boss, how long, can you afford it, what are the pros/cons if you did or didn't, etc., and you'll have to table that out to make your own decision. If you had said friend, I would personally pay for the whole repair, but if I accidentally break a tool at my own work, they're a big company, I have no obligation. A small struggling business, I might chip in if my boss is my friend. Lots of different personal circumstances we can't judge.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Sep 4, 2016
702 posts
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ElDealioSupremo wrote: It's your boss's responsibility to get insurance. If he didn't, so sad too bad.
True it's his responsibility but I feel bad and responsible for crashing it.
Does your boss cut you in on the profits of the business? Are you a partner?
No and no. Potentially down the future but as of right now, no.
If not then why pay for his cheapness?

The damage to the drone is a business risk. It isn't your obligation to pay for wind gusts.
I agree its a business risk. I just don't like to see him upset. I know he will eventually get over it but he's not happy about the repair bill.

I think both of us totally under estimated the value and important of having insurance on a drone, especially for first time owners. So I take some blame on that.

The reason why I feel liable and to blame is because I was the one who picked out this specfic drone, I was the one who ordered it. He just told me to find the best drone for us and to order it. It was my fault for not pushing and getting the DJI care. I feel I need to apologize on this matter.
Deal Fanatic
Aug 29, 2006
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Some credit card has damage insurance, if it was purchased with one there may be hope to have the repair or replacement covered.
The Devil made me buy it - RFD. :twisted:
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Dec 28, 2007
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If it was done during work hrs, I would say no. No different than getting into an accident with the company truck. They shouldn't expect or you don't have to pay for it. It's not like you did it on purpose.
Deal Guru
Aug 14, 2007
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DiamondDallasPage wrote: True it's his responsibility but I feel bad and responsible for crashing it.



No and no. Potentially down the future but as of right now, no.



I agree its a business risk. I just don't like to see him upset. I know he will eventually get over it but he's not happy about the repair bill.

I think both of us totally under estimated the value and important of having insurance on a drone, especially for first time owners. So I take some blame on that.

The reason why I feel liable and to blame is because I was the one who picked out this specfic drone, I was the one who ordered it. He just told me to find the best drone for us and to order it. It was my fault for not pushing and getting the DJI care. I feel I need to apologize on this matter.
I wouldn't bother. It's your employers responsibility. Things go wrong. Boohoo so sad about a $450 repair bill. You should see what happens when something at my work goes wrong, one screw up could easily cause thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage.

He should suck it up and not try and act all sad and guilty about the costs of doing business. At the most apologise for the accident, had he have purchased the insurance he wouldn't have had to worry about this.
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...and by the way, it's okay to feel bad about the accident. I, most of us would too, but that doesn't absolve your boss from his responsibility of ensuring that business risks are mitigated where they need to be. I don't mean to sound unduly harsh but you need to stand your ground -- you are the employee. You are paid for your time, and no matter how badly you feel or what drama your boss enacts, that's not something that is changed by you having picked out the drone nor having 'pushed' for the insurance.

Having said the above....can't the drone or repair be written off on the tax bill or something? Sounds to me this is a lot of Sturm and Drang over not much, other than the boss feeling like an idiot for not springing for the insurance. It was a mistake, and accident; write it off and move on. Oh, and I wish I had your job. Major jelly action over here. You got to buy and fly the drone! Wooohoo, lol.
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XtremeModder wrote: I wouldn't bother. It's your employers responsibility. Things go wrong. Boohoo so sad about a $450 repair bill. You should see what happens when something at my work goes wrong, one screw up could easily cause thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage.

He should suck it up and not try and act all sad and guilty about the costs of doing business. At the most apologise for the accident, had he have purchased the insurance he wouldn't have had to worry about this.
+1

Don't pay.

He gave it to you to train on. It was a training accident. From it you learned a valuable lesson that will likely prevent a crash into people who may decide to sue for much much more than the cost of those repairs not to omit the guilt you may end up feeling for the gruesome personal injuries the blades could cause.

If you feel like you have to because you may lose your job then you are working at the wrong place.

LOL about screw ups.... I recall a being at a mill installing an experimental product that, if it worked, would result in huge savings by eliminating downtime. Instead it failed fairly quickly resulting in extra downtime that probably cost on the order of $100K+ in lost production.

.
Last edited by NewsyL on Feb 10th, 2017 2:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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I dropped a supposedly $6K camera at work two days ago
no damage but my employer gave me a (warranted) dirty look, haha

then again few weeks back when he was working on something a piece of it came flying at my eyes. Luckily, I have prescription glasses.

moral of the story, shit happens. Unless this $450 is going to significantly affect his business, he can move on.
Russell wrote: We come here looking for deals. We use the savings on the things we buy to justify buying more things, thus filling our homes with tons of unnecessary consumer products. Such is the key to happiness.

[OP]
Sr. Member
Sep 4, 2016
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We are going ahead with the repair. My boss seems a lot more settled now with what's happened and has accepted it for what it is. I didn't offer to pay anything.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Sep 4, 2016
702 posts
203 upvotes
ElDealioSupremo wrote: ...and by the way, it's okay to feel bad about the accident. I, most of us would too, but that doesn't absolve your boss from his responsibility of ensuring that business risks are mitigated where they need to be. I don't mean to sound unduly harsh but you need to stand your ground -- you are the employee. You are paid for your time, and no matter how badly you feel or what drama your boss enacts, that's not something that is changed by you having picked out the drone nor having 'pushed' for the insurance.

Having said the above....can't the drone or repair be written off on the tax bill or something? Sounds to me this is a lot of Sturm and Drang over not much, other than the boss feeling like an idiot for not springing for the insurance. It was a mistake, and accident; write it off and move on. Oh, and I wish I had your job. Major jelly action over here. You got to buy and fly the drone! Wooohoo, lol.
Well the good news is that he wasn't expecting, nor did he ask for me to pay for some of the repair, it was just me who considered it for a short time.

I looked into it for him on Friday, there is no insurance on his Visa for damages on drones. He said that is fine but thanked me for looking into it and thinking of it.

There's a lot that I am very thankful for. I pretty much can keep and use the drone for my own usage anytime I want and as much as I want. I have all our work camera gear
(GH4's with multiple lens) on me all the time, so I can use them whenever I want for my own pleasure. But since I have my own cameras, I can toss on any of the work's Panasonic M43 lenses on my own G7 anytime I want (we have 5 of them), so I pretty much don't have to buy any lenses for myself lol (except for my Nikon DSLR), which is awesome because I can't afford too many of these M43 Panasonic lenses when they charge $900-1000 for them each. For instance, I still want a Rode Video Mic Pro for my own usage but since we use these for work, I can pretty much use them for my own pleasure whenever I Want, since I have them on me all the time, so no need for me to buy my own lol.
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Jul 12, 2010
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Just my two cents.

Yeah you're not responsible for the repair bill. - yeah he could write off the repair bill against his earnings and expense it off the business. If that makes you feel any better... But you really should have gotten insurance especially if it was going to be used for commercial use and not just hobbyist

But you could do something for him... Maybe buy something that his business could use that is like half the bill so like $250ish. That way you technically own it, but both you and the business could use it and improve your work quality. Could be mics / even battery grip or like camera rig. I don't know... even a tripod or those 2 feet slide stand thingies for video. To lessen the burden on your conscious
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Well, cool job [I am not going to say 'bro', bro, lol]. Thanks for getting back to us with the wrapup. :thmbsup:
Deal Addict
May 19, 2003
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Where are you getting your Mavic repaired? There are no authorized Canadian repair centers for DJI. The Mavic is so new there's now way this tech is properly trained
to repair it. I also doubt he's getting replacement parts from DJI. Unless you get it repaired in California, your warranty is going to be voided from here out. The Mavic
is unlike anything DJI has done before. I wouldn't trust any 3rd party to fix it.
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Also for someone's using a drone for "work" and didn't even get DJI Care you better have liability insurance and learn what a SFOC is.
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yep
you need SFOC
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