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Inspire Never Flew Properly - Today Catastrophic Crash

Mar 6, 2015
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Have read through the various "erratic" behavior posts and haven't seen one exactly like this, a few erratically flying around, but none where the Inspire would only fly one direction. Posting mostly as a testament to another frustrated Inspire owner...

I've owned 4 Phantom 2's, ranging across the various upgrades, some with stock RC, some with upgraded, and my last (and still favorite) a tricked out one with LightBridge. So I'm a fairly experienced pilot and familiar with most things DJI.

Was excited to get my hands on the Inspire and literally ordered it the first day. Like everyone, frustrated by the delays, got it right after New Years Day in the first batch of shipments...

Well, haven't had a single good flight yet. On arrival I did the quick open and want to fly. Did all the basics, compass, IMU calibration, and saw the immediate first warning that a firmware upgrade was MANDATORY. Decided to skip that and at least get one flight done.

First flight, the Inspire goes up (P-GPS, GPS locked, full battery, no warnings) and immediately begins acting erratically - the Roll/Pitch will not respond reliably - occasionally no matter what direction I try to steer it, it will only go forward, then change to left. Yes, imagine ALL FOUR directions on the stick sending the Inspire the same direction (and not where you want it to go). After 10 minutes of careful manual piloting, I got it down safely.

Back in box for a while, while i use the Phantom/Lightbridge for the past 2 months for fun and shoots.

This weekend, have a big event at the beach we want to film, so I get the Inspire back out and do the firmware upgrade... goes smoothly... RC and Inspire and battery now all on latest firmware.

I do a compass, and gimbal calibration and a new IMU calibration... we go outside, set it down, and it won't take off, saying the sensor bias is too great, so I do another IMU calibration on the ground outside. Once that's done, motors start, we take off... and after going straight up, when releasing the throttle, Inspire immediately comes back down - FAST. I hurry and push throttle back up, release, Inspire comes down. It's not in failsafe or return to home, it's just coming down fast. I take it way up, try to fly around a bit, but no matter what i do, when releasing the throttle, it's coming down fast. I get it back over to me, let it come down, and I have to keep pushing up on throttle to slow it so it doesn't come down hard. We land, shut down... and reach for tech support. Live chat support gives the usual beginner questions - battery charged? compass calibrated? etc. They ask for the flight data to cloud, and then say "this is weird, we have to talk to R&D". At the same time, USA tech support picks up the phone, I describe the problem to them, they (like LiveChat) verify with me firmware is updated and on latest, then give simple advice to go fly in another location and try again.

So we do that. New flight in middle of grassy park. Take off, Inspire hovers a bit, (so far so good we hope), at least it's not trying to come down fast now. I take it up, it darts off forward towards a hotel, and then won't do anything but go up and forward. So SAME PROBLEM as the first flight before the firmware upgrade. The inspire, no matter what direction we move stick 2, will only go forward (away from us) fast. Throttle up and down work, but now i'm over people and can't bring down. We can go up, and each nudge of stick 2, up/down/left/right - all 4 directions - only move it forward... and, yes, finally into the building, where it hits the side and goes careening down the side of the building into a pile. I guess with each nudge of stick in any of the 4 directions, i was hoping that one time it would start reacting again and go a new direction. But EVERY nudge only sent it away from me - the same one direction.

So now it's broken and going back for repair.

3 flights, none of them successful. Not impressed with my Inspire. I had such high expectations.

Anyone else experience anything like this - where it will only go one direction or respond this erratically?
Never heard of this on any of the forums or from any owners previously!..... Very strange.
As you say, you are obviously experienced in things DJI since you have owned Phantoms and fitted various FPV gear including Lightbridge so I don't think we can put this one down to 'pilot error'.
I guess my only question would be, did you try resetting stick mode on the app back to mode 2 and did you try calibrating the TX sticks via the app?
Only other thing I would add (and it's being clever after the event) is with the erratic behaviour it showed from day one I think I would have brought it back down to Terra ferma sooner knowing I could only go forwards or up and down.
I hope you get things sorted and keep us posted on DJI's response but it does sound like a faulty flight controller maybe which I've heard a few have been replaced.
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Please keep updating your thread, this is very interesting and would also like to know the cause of error, somehow i feel that it may be a hardware issue and not a software issue.
Happened to me. Sent for repair. Took several weeks to repair after the crash, decided to wait for better weather before I test it again. Updated the firmware today and lost controller functionality. I am reading today about a new bug in the upgrade.

Can we please just get the inspire to work already???
Hey @MaxiVideos - interesting to hear it happened to you too... what happened this time on your new flight when you said "lost controller functionality"?

I agree the Inspire has some serious erratic issues - but strange that some seem to say their units are fine and others like us are having these crazy problems. I'm so scared to fly this expensive unit that is supposed to be the best. I have great luck and a lot of experience with my Phantoms and have never had a problem, but the Inspire has never flown right for me, it's like it doesn't want to pay attention to the controller.

Was yours just completely not paying attention to your RC control?

Also, when you sent for repair after your crash I assume (hope) they covered the repair under warranty? I'm frustrated that I ordered the unit the very first day it was available for pre-order, received one of the very first units, and that it was defective. I've flown my Phantoms hundreds of times with not a single problem. Yet the Inspire - CRASH. :(
I'm very sorry to read about your crash, you must be gutted. I hope it gets repaired promptly for free and you are able to get as much enjoyment out of it as you have from your Phantoms. My Inspire has had a couple of 'hold on tight' moments but on the whole has been very well behaved, other than the common GPS/ATTI issues frequently documented on here.

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