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First scary moment!

May 26, 2015
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Hi all.

I'm very new to the Inspire 1, I've had it around a week now and have been flying it every chance I get. Up until this morning my confidence has been building with every flight, the aircraft has been doing exactly what it's told and has been a dream to learn to fly with. It was time to try something a little more daunting and fly over an area that I wouldn't be able to reach if it came down.

I got up just before dawn and headed down to the coast where there are some beautiful marshes that look really interesting from above. Wind speeds were a little higher than I'd flown in until today, I'd say around 10 - 12 m/h. I ran through my normal checklist, props secure, calibrated the compass, P mode, GPS good etc, all looking good. I normally start my flights by lifting off and doing a few test manoeuvres just to check everything is looking good.

I pushed the Inspire up to around 2 ft but the moment it left the ground it started heading off backwards at a steady pace, it was nose to the wind but it wasn't the wind pushing it because it was pitching back. The inspire had around 30ft of gravel roadway behind it and then a saltwater estuary so I had to act fast and instinctively tried to drop it back to the ground rather than take it higher and let it fly out over the water. In hindsight I probably should have just tried to correct the movement and brought it down that way but some panic was involved lol

As it touched the ground it was still pitching back so the rear legs touched ground first, it stood up on it's rear end and looked like it was going to flip but I ran up and grabbed it and then shut it off using the remote. The only damage was one of the props lost a tip and there are some minor scratches on the landing gear where it danced across the floor.

The biggest damage was to my confidence I think, I was tempted to call it a day but I decided not to give up. I replaced both rear props and took the Inspire to some softer ground and tried again without recalibrating the compass just to see if that was the problem, this time it held position and flew like a dream, no problems whatsoever!

The scary part is that I don't know what went wrong, it's certainly knocked my confidence somewhat. I know I'm going to make mistakes and have to learn from them so maybe i missed something here.

Any tips appreciated (pun intended).


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Hey Paul. .
welcome to inspirepilots.com! !
I'd suspect the compass calibration but since you flew in a different location without calibrating and it flew properly that leads me to believe that maybe you had some type of interference or didn't get a good start up..
Do you have a recording of the flight you could post?
If you're not using a screen recoding device or app i suggest you start using one so you can review your flight later on so you can learn from it and have it for backup in case of a accident. .
As far as your confidence just fly and build it back up a little at a time until you have several flights under your belt since this incident.
In the meantime just fly in an open area and leave yourself more margin for error ..
happy flying! !
Turbo. ..:)
Ya Paul it's called the shou app..
Mobizen is great but it's for android. .
also if you don't fly with a gps tracker on board you might want to get one just in case of a flyaway or if you run out of battery somewhere. .
A rf-v16 or tracimo are good choices for the i1..
I like redundancy so I use a locator 8 as well as a rf-v16 but would like a marco polo ..Not sure which model is better the pet tracker or rc tracker. .
turbo. .
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It sounds like you did absolutely all the checks and calibrations really well. I don't think there was an actual fault with the inspire but that you made just one small mistake.

I think that the wind was not helping you at all and that had you applied more push to elevate the craft it might well have stabilised itself. What could have happened is that you lifted up and immediately had a problem which meant that you probably lowered the revs leaving the the half powered craft to the mercy of the wind. Likewise when you had managed to bring it down again it did not have enough power or height to fight the wind which would bunting to push objects up off the ground. Just like a leaf.

But 2 good things happened. You assessed the situation quickly without overtly panicking. And without doubt it is a scary moment in the environment you were in with lots of water around. Secondly you were at such a low height that your undercarriage had not lifted and that protected the Inspire camera gimbal.

Despite scratching your new machine and denting your ego you will have gained considerably from this incident and how you have analysed it. Test the machine in a large field and reassure yourself that its all working OK.

The attached file that was posted on another forum provides an insight into Aeronautical Decision Making. OK we are not up there flying a Cessna or Jumbo Jet but the root mental processes are the same.


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Hi Paul
Been a long time phantom pilot and today was my first outing with the Inspire. Took it to a massive flat empty field after running all the required updates, calibrating compass, checking IMU values etc. A few things happened:-

1. Out in the field all the firmware needs updating msgs reappeared despite being green on the aircraft status before leaving

2. Compass error. I normally recalibrate at each new location but this process took around 30 mins as while I would get a green light on the craft, the calibration tool on the app seemed to freeze. After toggling beginner mode off, it seemed.to calibrate.

3. After good gps status, I took off. No wind at all. While lifting the bird swayed off to the right causing a bit of a sweat. I applied more height and brought it back under control but your experience sounds very similar to this. I have put it down to calibration problems but am probably wrong. Did you identify a cause?
I think that the wind was not helping you at all and that had you applied more push to elevate the craft it might well have stabilised itself. What could have happened is that you lifted up and immediately had a problem

Yes, I was going to suggest altitude. Altitude is definitely your friend. Perhaps a momentary loss of GPS, which is always helped by altitude. Plus altitude gives you the slack to gain control of the AC (fewer things to run in to at 150 feet) and gather your wits. Time to think about how the heck you are going to get this thing on the ground.

I had my inspire once (only once) fly off in a strange direction. After a minute or so at 100+ feet, the AC straightened itself out, it was fine the rest of the day. No explanation, I never lost the green GPS bar. I've probably added 100 flights since then with no issues.
Thanks for all the advice and comments. I'm really not sure what happened to be honest, I ran my checklist and part of that is checking P GPS mode enabled. If the GPS signal was lost in theory the VPS should have held it as it was only 2 ft off the ground and a nice contrasty gravel surface.

The only thing that would seem to make sense is that it was in ATTI mode, I wish I had a screen recorder as I'm sure it wasn't but thats the only thing that would make sense as it was drifting downwind and not trying to fight it's way back at all.

Is there a reason why DJI don't allow the VPS to be enabled in ATTI mode? In the event of wanting to work in ATTI the VPS could be really useful.
So I just discovered the flight recorder lol. Interestingly, as suspected I was in P-GPS yet the Inspire was still on a 1.5 mph trip as soon as it left the ground without any control input. Very cool being able to watch that data back.


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