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Crashed Inspire Two

RBP

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Had just finished a waypoint mission using Litchi. Had it set to RTH and end of mission.
As she came in to land it seemed like a normal landing but about 10 feet off launch point. I lined it up with the pad. At about 10 feet off the ground and landing gear lowered the drone took off and slammed into a large construction forklift about forty feet away. I had no control of it. According to the flight data, I got an IMU error just before went out of control, no other data after that.
Needless to say it has extensive damage and is on it's way to DJI repair.
 
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Had just finished a waypoint mission using Litchi. Had it set to RTH and end of mission.
As she came in to land it seemed like a normal landing but about 10 feet off launch point. I lined it up with the pad. At about 10 feet off the ground and landing gear lowered the drone took off and slammed into a large construction forklift about forty feet away. I had no control of it. According to the flight data, I got an IMU error just before went out of control, no other data after that.
Needless to say it has extensive damage and is on it's way to DJI repair.
Yikes. Makes me realize I get accustomed to this equipment behaving rationally, and I forget how quickly things can go sideways.
 
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These are complicated systems it does not take much of a failure. My expiernce with my I1 and I2 have been good only one majore crash in 5 years. I have found that the self contained conroller and screen on my M2 Ent are less prone to having issues . Waiting for the Inspire 3.
 
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I don't know how you guys can stand those things. I've been pushing legacy firmware for years. Yet everybody still updates to the "latest/greatest" and in pour the crash reports. I don't know what DJI developers are doing, but someone needs to teach them to quit messing with the firmware. Find a solid, reliable version and leave it alone!

D
 
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I don't know how you guys can stand those things. I've been pushing legacy firmware for years. Yet everybody still updates to the "latest/greatest" and in pour the crash reports. I don't know what DJI developers are doing, but someone needs to teach them to quit messing with the firmware. Find a solid, reliable version and leave it alone!

D
What makes you think updated firmware that did that?
 
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He was using Litchi. Could be that as well. I had a weird glitch running Litchi and doing a manual takeoff before starting the Mission. Hit the sticks, props started and when I gave up-stick it was like the props seized. Since the P4Pv2 had begun getting airborne she flipped over. Log stated I did an Auto Takeoff (which I absolutely did not), yet it showed the left stick moving.
 
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What makes you think updated firmware that did that?
Erroneous behavior is what got me started down the rabbit hole of legacy firmware. It was pretty easy to find the reliable versions. Installing them, not as easy, but doable. I sacrifice some features (I assume), but I don't care. In the years I have owned Inspire 1's, Mavic Pros and P4P's, I've never experienced erratic or unpredictable behavior. They just fly the way they're supposed to. To give this more context, I fly the Inspire 1 and P4P every week almost without exception and have for years. The Mavic Pro not so much. But even after sitting for months, I charge the battery, charge the controller and her behavior is predictable and reliable.

I've always been a "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" kind of guy. But this is exceptionally true for firmware (and software) - regardless of the device. Never in my life - not once - have I regretted NOT updating firmware. I only upgrade when I have to, which is very rare. This goes for software, too. Which includes all DJI apps. I run legacy versions of those, too. Rock solid reliable.

All that said...

Dollars to doughnuts the Inspire 2 issues can be traced back to firmware. There are really only a few things that can mess up a flight and make a drone just take off erratically. Hardware. Firmware. Massive RF interference. User error. Hardware-wise, DJI is second to none. Their devices (at least for me) have been incredibly reliable and robust. Firmware has always been dicey (read above). And user error is...well...user error. Nobody can help that but the user himself. And anybody who doesn't check WiFi levels preflight - especially in urban areas - is just asking for trouble. I made that mistake ONCE last year and it cost me an Inspire 1. Lesson learned. Diligence level DEFCON 1.

D
 
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Erroneous behavior is what got me started down the rabbit hole of legacy firmware. It was pretty easy to find the reliable versions. Installing them, not as easy, but doable. I sacrifice some features (I assume), but I don't care. In the years I have owned Inspire 1's, Mavic Pros and P4P's, I've never experienced erratic or unpredictable behavior. They just fly the way they're supposed to. To give this more context, I fly the Inspire 1 and P4P every week almost without exception and have for years. The Mavic Pro not so much. But even after sitting for months, I charge the battery, charge the controller and her behavior is predictable and reliable.

I've always been a "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" kind of guy. But this is exceptionally true for firmware (and software) - regardless of the device. Never in my life - not once - have I regretted NOT updating firmware. I only upgrade when I have to, which is very rare. This goes for software, too. Which includes all DJI apps. I run legacy versions of those, too. Rock solid reliable.

All that said...

Dollars to doughnuts the Inspire 2 issues can be traced back to firmware. There are really only a few things that can mess up a flight and make a drone just take off erratically. Hardware. Firmware. Massive RF interference. User error. Hardware-wise, DJI is second to none. Their devices (at least for me) have been incredibly reliable and robust. Firmware has always been dicey (read above). And user error is...well...user error. Nobody can help that but the user himself. And anybody who doesn't check WiFi levels preflight - especially in urban areas - is just asking for trouble. I made that mistake ONCE last year and it cost me an Inspire 1. Lesson learned. Diligence level DEFCON 1.

D
What do you use to measure for RF interference?
 
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What do you use to measure for RF interference?
The Go App. Obviously, you have to connect your iPad to the controller. But unintuitively, to check WiFi interference, you do NOT have to connect to the drone. The RC on its own will check for WiFi interference. This is in the 2.4Gb band only.


D
 
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Nothing he just hates updates.
Hehehe....well....it's not an irrational, emotional "hated." It's more of an EARNED hatred....<;^)




Truth be told an update could just as easily prevent a crash.
Yep...depends on which version you had in the first place. There's a very strong bell curve with the "just right" firmware sitting right there at the tippy top. Early versions on the left side of the bell are improved upon. But newer versions on the right side of the bell are just trying to add features (or in DJI's case, "restrictions"), which almost always cause issues in other areas. You just have to find the perfect firmware and stick to it.



DJI is horrible at software. Since they are own the market there’s not much we can do about it. Be
Agreed on both fronts.

D
 
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The Go App. Obviously, you have to connect your iPad to the controller. But unintuitively, to check WiFi interference, you do NOT have to connect to the drone. The RC on its own will check for WiFi interference. This is in the 2.4Gb band only.


D
Hey Donnie,
Thanks for sharing the video, very informative!!!! Two questions:

(1) If I understood what you were saying, staying on legacy FW/app version gave you the max number of 32 channels. But regarding checking for interference and selecting the least congested channel, any FW/app version would work (with less # of channels essentially) right?

(2) Basically the auto mode wouldn't work at all?
 
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Hey Donnie,
Thanks for sharing the video, very informative!!!!
Hue Betchee.



Two questions:

(1) If I understood what you were saying, staying on legacy FW/app version gave you the max number of 32 channels.
Sort of. The 32-channel upgrade (from a mere 8 channels) is a hack. This hack is incompatible with newer versions of the Go and Go 4 apps. Going from memory, I use Go App v3.1.1 and Go 4 App v4.0.8.



But regarding checking for interference and selecting the least congested channel, any FW/app version would work (with less # of channels essentially) right?
Correct. As you elude to, you would simply have less choices (8 channels vs. 32).



(2) Basically the auto mode wouldn't work at all?
Correct. 2 points worth noting;

1) Auto mode only utilizes 8 channels, even if you have the 32 channel hack.
2) In high interference areas, fast/often channel switching can cause reception issues.

So with this in mind, I never use Auto mode. And I always check the WiFi condition before flying.

Worth noting, 5 years ago there was a lot less WiFi (microwave) interference than there is now. So 5 years ago Auto mode with 8 channels may have been sufficient. These days it is not uncommon for me to find ZERO clear channels. I have to pick channels with the least interference. I've had one crash. And it was last year due to massive WiFi interference in a new location I was shooting. I was in a hurry and failed to check the WiFi situation in that area. The result being that my rock-solid reliable Inspire 1 of some 6 years went crashing to the ground. I have since flown that area a couple dozen times without issue. But I make sure to select a working channel, I use a parabolic signal booster on my antennas (pointed directly at the drone at all times), and I monitor Uplink Strength throughout the entire mission.

Some may argue that lost WiFi signal between the RC and AC should initiate an RTH situation. And they would be correct. What I find in massive interference areas is that the drone interprets massive WiFi RF as erroneous commands. I was wearing FPV goggles at the time, so I didn't actually see the drone crash. But I can surmise that the motors just quit, the result being the beast crashing mercilessly on the asphalt below. Prior to the crash, my Inspire was showing erroneous behavior that I ignored, which included erroneous direction changes. Lesson learned.

I still haven't checked the log files. Assuming they are even retrievable, I may give them a gander someday. The wrecked Inspire 1 is in a box in my drone room at my house.

D
 
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Thank you so much for sharing your experiences!!! I don't fly a whole lot but have definitely seen my birds acting weird, from very poor signal downlink to going totally unresponsive within just a few feet above (not necessarily Inspire but all using Go4). I had no idea about the 32-channel hack until you mentioned it above. I probably can't downgrade Go4 easily (iOS device) but will for sure follow your suggested workflow to always check for interferences, even with only 8 channels available.

Hue Betchee.




Sort of. The 32-channel upgrade (from a mere 8 channels) is a hack. This hack is incompatible with newer versions of the Go and Go 4 apps. Going from memory, I use Go App v3.1.1 and Go 4 App v4.0.8.




Correct. As you elude to, you would simply have less choices (8 channels vs. 32).




Correct. 2 points worth noting;

1) Auto mode only utilizes 8 channels, even if you have the 32 channel hack.
2) In high interference areas, fast/often channel switching can cause reception issues.

So with this in mind, I never use Auto mode. And I always check the WiFi condition before flying.

Worth noting, 5 years ago there was a lot less WiFi (microwave) interference than there is now. So 5 years ago Auto mode with 8 channels may have been sufficient. These days it is not uncommon for me to find ZERO clear channels. I have to pick channels with the least interference. I've had one crash. And it was last year due to massive WiFi interference in a new location I was shooting. I was in a hurry and failed to check the WiFi situation in that area. The result being that my rock-solid reliable Inspire 1 of some 6 years went crashing to the ground. I have since flown that area a couple dozen times without issue. But I make sure to select a working channel, I use a parabolic signal booster on my antennas (pointed directly at the drone at all times), and I monitor Uplink Strength throughout the entire mission.

Some may argue that lost WiFi signal between the RC and AC should initiate an RTH situation. And they would be correct. What I find in massive interference areas is that the drone interprets massive WiFi RF as erroneous commands. I was wearing FPV goggles at the time, so I didn't actually see the drone crash. But I can surmise that the motors just quit, the result being the beast crashing mercilessly on the asphalt below. Prior to the crash, my Inspire was showing erroneous behavior that I ignored, which included erroneous direction changes. Lesson learned.

I still haven't checked the log files. Assuming they are even retrievable, I may give them a gander someday. The wrecked Inspire 1 is in a box in my drone room at my house.

D
 
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RBP

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Got the drone back from DJI repair, $1200.00 dollars damage. Apparently it was the IMU failure that caused the problem.
On the first flight I got an IMU calibration error. Recalibrated it and has worked perfectly since them. I have flown about ten missions since the repair and all is well.
I now know Litchi wasn't the problem and I have used Litchi for years now. I use Drone Deploy and Litchi more than any other software.
This drone has had over one hundred flight hours and 550 missions and has paid for itself over and over; so I guess I can't complain too much.
 
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RBP

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Thank you so much for sharing your experiences!!! I don't fly a whole lot but have definitely seen my birds acting weird, from very poor signal downlink to going totally unresponsive within just a few feet above (not necessarily Inspire but all using Go4). I had no idea about the 32-channel hack until you mentioned it above. I probably can't downgrade Go4 easily (iOS device) but will for sure follow your suggested workflow to always check for interferences, even with only 8 channels available.

I fly mostly construction sites, and these sites have powerful 2.4 routers so they can stay connected from any point on the site. I now just us 5.8 on auto and have had little or no interference issues.
 
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Had just finished a waypoint mission using Litchi. Had it set to RTH and end of mission.
As she came in to land it seemed like a normal landing but about 10 feet off launch point. I lined it up with the pad. At about 10 feet off the ground and landing gear lowered the drone took off and slammed into a large construction forklift about forty feet away. I had no control of it. According to the flight data, I got an IMU error just before went out of control, no other data after that.
Needless to say it has extensive damage and is on it's way to DJI repair.
I know it's not the same drone, but my Inspire 1 had a similar if not worse problem. Out of nowhere in the air, I notice the drone starts acting very odd. It started to drift a lot and my inputs were greatly exaggerated. It was very hard to tell what the bird was doing as I could only see through the stabilized gimbal, but even that was acting odd. Then it hit me. In a moment of realization I think it lost complete IMU readings, the GPS disconnected, and the Compass failed all at the same time. I think that happened at least. The drone while way out of sight just went completely into manual mode but worse, which by the way it doesn't have. Was one of the scariest moments when flying. At that moment I told my father who owned the drone that something wasn't right. Mind that this was a very long time ago. He took over and somehow managed to ground the thing. Honestly, it scared me and taught me to always be ready for something to go wrong at any time. Now mind that this was early in the Inspire 1's life cycle so it was still a $3000 drone at the time which for a younger me terrified me. The funny thing is that after landing the drone was fine. I didn't even have to power cycle it. It just worked again. It never happened again and we still have no idea what caused it. I guess in my case it wasn't worse because it ended up being ok but it was definitely an experience of fear. I have always been skeptical of autopilot systems that are not stock. I have had a flyaway once on a third-party app and luckily was able to take control after it flew I think a thousand feet if not more from the stopping location. After that, I always keep a very close eye when flying.
 
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RBP

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He was using Litchi. Could be that as well. I had a weird glitch running Litchi and doing a manual takeoff before starting the Mission. Hit the sticks, props started and when I gave up-stick it was like the props seized. Since the P4Pv2 had begun getting airborne she flipped over. Log stated I did an Auto Takeoff (which I absolutely did not), yet it showed the left stick moving.
Sorry I missed this. I have used Litchi for over four years now with very few issues. If you are doing a waypoint mission and move any of the flight controls during takeoff, I've been told it can disrupt the flight. I personally haven't experienced that, but I don't play with the controls when flying a waypoint flight.
 

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