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Important information about FLYAWAY situation (and questions)

Jul 29, 2015
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Hi all.
Today I had a fly away situation but I was lucky and got away with it.
Here is what happened and a little background. This information may or may not be important if it happens to you.
I have never had an issue with my Inspire 1 while flying the craft, until today. I have had an issue in the past where it fried itself on my coffee table but that's another story and an ongoing issue with DJI and the Australian importer. I have posted that episode and the impending legal battle in these forums which you can read about if you wish. I was hoping someone on this forum could maybe shed some light on what happened, whether anyone else has found the same issue and perhaps point me in the right direction to whom I could and should contact about it. I would really like to help DJI and whoever else is interested in getting to the bottom of this issue because it seems it happens with far too much frequency and it would be great to be able to supply some relevant data which may solve this problem. I am now a believer in the flyaway and may or may not have some light to shed. Anyway, back to today.
My Inspire 1, my 2 RC's and my 6 batteries were all updated to the latest firmware a couple of days ago.
I am running the latest version of the DJI Go app as well on my ipads.
I did an IMU calibration after updating the firmware when the Inspire had cooled down.
The day after updating I flew 2 of my batteries and deep cycled them thereby recalibrating them as instructed. These 2 flights were conducted with no issues. The new firmware and my bird performed flawlessly.
The next day, today, I took 2 different batteries out to do the same.
Both were fully charged, the compass was calibrated and there were no issues prior to the flight. I had good GPS signal and I took off, marked a good home point and flew the Inspire from 100% charge down to 30% with no problem. At 30% I flew back to my location and kept the craft close until the 20% alarm as normal. At 20% the landing gear lowered and the auto landing alarm signaled. I held the craft off the ground at about 3 feet and was draining it down to 5% for the deep cycle. The whole time I had good GPS signal. At this point it is pertinent to mention that I was standing directly behind the craft (at 6 o'clock). At about 7% I thought I would just slide the craft a little to the right - in the direction of 3 o'clock. I moved the right stick to the right slightly and the craft moved towards 8 o'clock! Because I was attempting to move very slowly and I saw the weird movement I let go of the stick and the Inspire 1 stopped and held position as one would expect (except for having to hold more throttle to maintain altitude). From here it did not matter which way I moved the right hand stick, the Inspire always moved in the 8 o'clock direction. I was flying at an oval and tried multiple movements with the right stick to see if it would come good. It did not and as I was running out of room and the battery was now at 5% so I had to land the craft and switched it off.
Now here is the thing, If I was flying and this happened I am sure my response, like most people it seems, would have been to try and fly it back towards me and this would have resulted in it continuing in the one direction it wanted to go, a FLYAWAY. As I was out of battery I did not have time to switch to ATTI and see if that would have corrected the situation, nor did I or have time to try CL mode or RTH. In that 1 minute I didn't have the presence of mind to try and yaw the craft and see if that changed it's direction, I just didn't have the time. The one thing that was absolute was when the right stick was let go, everytime the Inspire pulled up and maintained it's position as it should. I am convinced this is the same issue that people are reporting but I was lucky it was not at speed, at great height or distance and I had sufficient safe landing area to work with (I was not over water or people). Imagine if this errant direction of travel was heading out over water or to inhospitable terrain.
I then placed the next battery (the other full one) in the craft, and took off and hovered at low altitude. All good, no weird movements, no errors and the craft appeared to be back to normal. I assumed and even hoped that the situation would present itself with this new battery when it dropped to the critical level as before (I thought this may have brought it on the glitch) but nope, this time the craft always responded as it should, all the way down to 5%. I was hoping to recreate it under controlled conditions to see what the best course of action would be should it happen one day and it was heading somewhere bad. This is the only time anything weird has happened in flight and needless to say I am just a little apprehensive now.
My questions to the community are;
Who, if anyone, should I contact about it?
I would really like to help the community and DJI get to the bottom of this issue and resolve the problem for us all. I would love to supply any relevant data but would need to know how to retrieve it or let someone else do it, and where to send it.
Any comments, answers or suggestions would be much appreciated.
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Calibration was done for the first flight, the one where the problem occurred. I intentionally did not do a calibration on the 2nd battery to try and recreate the issue and see how to get the craft back under control but the issue did not return.
I can't imagine any compass deflection would explain all stick movements resulting in the 8 o'clock travel. Sounds more like some kind of GPS issue. If in doubt ATTI out!
Yeah I would've loved to of had the presence of mind to hit ATTI mode but just didn't get the time.
I always look at P-GPS as not having control of the aircraft, and have taught myself to only use it as a tool when required. I always take-off and land in ATTI unless wind conditions make it too hard, the last place you want to be when GPS freaks out is a few feet off the ground as like you say it leaves you no time to react. I have that video of the Inspire slamming in to a garage permanently implanted in my brain now... especially the sound!

In the end you did the right thing as you gained control and landed safely, it would be nice to understand what happened though wouldn't it.
Sure would, but what's really weird is with no control input, it was rock solid holding it's location.
Thinking about it, I wonder if you could even use ATTI in that situation, if the aircraft was trying to auto land, I'm not sure it would let you take control in ATTI even if you wanted to.
mmmm.... because I was deep cycling the battery, that was the only reason it was still in the air, usually I would land as soon as it hits the 20%, but my concern is if it happened mid flight, not in autoland mode eg, 50% battery and at a distance or dodgy terrain.
hey brad. here is the deal. it takes a lot to keep the inspire in the air doing all the things it does. almost no one on here realizes just how hard it is to make a aircraft hover perfectly as it does. when your fooling the system to drain a battery your asking for weird things to happen.

the software wants to land, your preventing it from doing so by a loophole in the system that allows the pilot to kinda "override" the fail safes. DJI has made the features for this aircraft pretty much lock out the pilot at any sign of trouble. this is how they want it, but as we have seen they are changing their attitude on this idea.

know this. DJI (currently) doesn't want you trying to prevent your inspire from crashing, they think their product is so good it will prevent crashes on it's own and have designed it this way. we all know this isn't the case but they have gone to great lengths to keep you from taking control of your I1 in harry situations. if you fight the system always be ready to weird things to happen, if they don't then consider yourself lucky.
Agree with everything you stated 'Shazbot4'.
I guess the concern for all of us is the 'lockout' situation and the bird goes off on its own. Like I said, not too concerned if it happens at 6% when its trying to auto land and 3 feet off the ground, but sure as hell don't want it to happen mid battery/flight and in a location where safe retrieval isn't possible.
I would think switching to atti mode would cancel any rth auto flight functions. Will have to test
I was referring to shazbots post, sorry should've quoted it. At any rate atti may have helped you as well if it was compass error, if the compass thinks north is actually east and gps is trying to hold position against wind or something and tells it to fly north and it flies east it will keep trying to correct position harder and fly erratic. If you switch of the gps auto flight it doesn't matter what direction the compass thinks is what, it only flies by stick input. On the other hand if the issue is regarding the imu which controls level flight then atti mode won't help you. It will try to correct for level and likely won't respond to stick input dependingI how far off it thinks it is.

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