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Inspire pilot no more... crash story.

What drone mapping software do you use?


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Joined
May 19, 2017
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Age
62
#1
I am posting this for the conversation that might help find what caused my Inspire 1 Pro to fall from the sky.

I tested Drone Deploy on a simple mission to photo-map the roof of my house. I set it up on the tablet without issue. I proceeded to set up my Inspire 1 Pro on the driveway where I have flown successfully many times. I forced quit the DJI Go app and the DDeploy app found my bird. DD went through the checklist, all green checks. Launched, drone flew to 200 feet, oriented and went to the start point at the end of the house. It flew the mission, and stopped above the driveway.

At that point I debated whether or not to take over, but I could see that it appeared to begin a descent back to the home point below. So I left it to see how the landing would go.
Shortly thereafter I hear what sounds like low battery beeps. I launched the mission with a full battery (all lights on the battery) and the mission took all of 4 minutes. Then as I watched, the Inspire 1 shut off all rotors and fell silently from the sky. It crashed into the driveway with a sickening sound, scattering props and a $1200 Zenmuse X5 camera across the asphalt.

I have flown my house on numerous occasions, up to a week prior. GPS checked green before takeoff. Upon further inspection of the remains, the landing gear of the Inspire has been lowered. This is landing gear that is screw gear activated, it could not have been smashed into the landing position. The bird thought it was on the ground (???)

Battery was full on takeoff. Even if it was low, the mission was less than 5 minutes. I did not see any low battery warning. The battery did not come loose, as evidenced by the lowered landing gear. I was watching the display and could see the ground coming closer. My fingers were off the controls. I have seen this drone land itself under the DJI Go app and know what that looks like. The area around my house has full GPS with 11 satellites on average.

The bird turned itself off at 100 off the ground. Why did it turn off? Why did it not return to the home point? Why did it not just hover?

I am a certified drone pilot. I have been flying for over two years. I am methodical and deliberate in my practice runs. No one else was present at the time of the crash, so now we have just my word that I did nothing wrong. The carbon struts are broken in two, battery smashed, motors destroyed, camera gimbals wasted. It is a total loss. ( Do you know how bad customer support from DJI is? No help there.)

I know, it is just a drone, not my house, my kids, my car. But it represented an investment that I was committed to and have plans for. (Please don't inject the need for insurance at this point. No, didn't have it, yes would have been nice to protect my assets.)

Now to figure out plan B. Going to have a yard sale with remaining gear. Find another bird and another software.
M
 
Joined
Jul 17, 2014
Messages
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#3
I am posting this for the conversation that might help find what caused my Inspire 1 Pro to fall from the sky.

I tested Drone Deploy on a simple mission to photo-map the roof of my house. I set it up on the tablet without issue. I proceeded to set up my Inspire 1 Pro on the driveway where I have flown successfully many times. I forced quit the DJI Go app and the DDeploy app found my bird. DD went through the checklist, all green checks. Launched, drone flew to 200 feet, oriented and went to the start point at the end of the house. It flew the mission, and stopped above the driveway.

At that point I debated whether or not to take over, but I could see that it appeared to begin a descent back to the home point below. So I left it to see how the landing would go.
Shortly thereafter I hear what sounds like low battery beeps. I launched the mission with a full battery (all lights on the battery) and the mission took all of 4 minutes. Then as I watched, the Inspire 1 shut off all rotors and fell silently from the sky. It crashed into the driveway with a sickening sound, scattering props and a $1200 Zenmuse X5 camera across the asphalt.

I have flown my house on numerous occasions, up to a week prior. GPS checked green before takeoff. Upon further inspection of the remains, the landing gear of the Inspire has been lowered. This is landing gear that is screw gear activated, it could not have been smashed into the landing position. The bird thought it was on the ground (???)

Battery was full on takeoff. Even if it was low, the mission was less than 5 minutes. I did not see any low battery warning. The battery did not come loose, as evidenced by the lowered landing gear. I was watching the display and could see the ground coming closer. My fingers were off the controls. I have seen this drone land itself under the DJI Go app and know what that looks like. The area around my house has full GPS with 11 satellites on average.

The bird turned itself off at 100 off the ground. Why did it turn off? Why did it not return to the home point? Why did it not just hover?

I am a certified drone pilot. I have been flying for over two years. I am methodical and deliberate in my practice runs. No one else was present at the time of the crash, so now we have just my word that I did nothing wrong. The carbon struts are broken in two, battery smashed, motors destroyed, camera gimbals wasted. It is a total loss. ( Do you know how bad customer support from DJI is? No help there.)

I know, it is just a drone, not my house, my kids, my car. But it represented an investment that I was committed to and have plans for. (Please don't inject the need for insurance at this point. No, didn't have it, yes would have been nice to protect my assets.)

Now to figure out plan B. Going to have a yard sale with remaining gear. Find another bird and another software.
M
Wow! Terrible story man. I really feel for your loss.

But it goes to show, you can never trust any automated autonomous function to the full. There's ALWAYS a small chance it just doesn't work. Can be any reason why. Mostly it's a wrong setting or a misjudgement by the pilot. I always keep my fingers on the trigger and take back control directly after the last waypoint. Most crashes occur during an autonomous situation. But even then, we regard it pilot error for fully trusting these functions.
I know it doesn't help you. But I always stress people not to do auto take off's and landings. Those are the moments a pilot has to call the shots, never the craft.

But I'm very sure you know that already, being certified and all. It's more for the lurkers here who don't.
 
Joined
Aug 31, 2015
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#5
I tested Drone Deploy on a simple mission to photo-map the roof of my house....
Really sorry for your loss :(

I use Inspire 1 and MapPilot app in the past years for mapping purposes, the last multi-day mission I made was quite large, after the photos ware processed / stitched the total area was 2300 hectares.

I had some issues but nothing serious, but I always land the I1 myself, in fact, right after the flight is finished and the I1 start it's return to home (sometimes it happens when it's 2km away ) I always press stop in the app and switch from F to P on the remote, to fly the I1 myself on it's way back home (I sincerely don't like the path made by the app, going back at preset altitude, in my last mission was a little over 100m, and than land, when I fly back manually I always descend while flying back, so this helps me land even 1 minute faster, as when the I1 reaches the homepoint it's already at a very low altitude like 5 - 10m )

Do you have any logs ?
 
Joined
Apr 23, 2016
Messages
7
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4
Age
50
#6
Sir, very sorry for the uncontrolled descent... been there done it,, i sent everything to dji for repair,, i THINK the bill was about 625 ( better than the cost of replacement),, i broke all 3 carbon fiber tubes in the right side , And yes i had my X5 on as well which was hanging inly by wires... my bird fell at LEAST 60 feet face first and on the right side.... i would HONESTLY send it in and let them do an estimate... you might be really surprised w repair cost.... pls let me know.... be well !!! Jeff
 

The Editor

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#7
I am posting this for the conversation that might help find what caused my Inspire 1 Pro to fall from the sky.

I tested Drone Deploy on a simple mission to photo-map the roof of my house. I set it up on the tablet without issue. I proceeded to set up my Inspire 1 Pro on the driveway where I have flown successfully many times. I forced quit the DJI Go app and the DDeploy app found my bird. DD went through the checklist, all green checks. Launched, drone flew to 200 feet, oriented and went to the start point at the end of the house. It flew the mission, and stopped above the driveway.

At that point I debated whether or not to take over, but I could see that it appeared to begin a descent back to the home point below. So I left it to see how the landing would go.
Shortly thereafter I hear what sounds like low battery beeps. I launched the mission with a full battery (all lights on the battery) and the mission took all of 4 minutes. Then as I watched, the Inspire 1 shut off all rotors and fell silently from the sky. It crashed into the driveway with a sickening sound, scattering props and a $1200 Zenmuse X5 camera across the asphalt.

I have flown my house on numerous occasions, up to a week prior. GPS checked green before takeoff. Upon further inspection of the remains, the landing gear of the Inspire has been lowered. This is landing gear that is screw gear activated, it could not have been smashed into the landing position. The bird thought it was on the ground (???)

Battery was full on takeoff. Even if it was low, the mission was less than 5 minutes. I did not see any low battery warning. The battery did not come loose, as evidenced by the lowered landing gear. I was watching the display and could see the ground coming closer. My fingers were off the controls. I have seen this drone land itself under the DJI Go app and know what that looks like. The area around my house has full GPS with 11 satellites on average.

The bird turned itself off at 100 off the ground. Why did it turn off? Why did it not return to the home point? Why did it not just hover?

I am a certified drone pilot. I have been flying for over two years. I am methodical and deliberate in my practice runs. No one else was present at the time of the crash, so now we have just my word that I did nothing wrong. The carbon struts are broken in two, battery smashed, motors destroyed, camera gimbals wasted. It is a total loss. ( Do you know how bad customer support from DJI is? No help there.)

I know, it is just a drone, not my house, my kids, my car. But it represented an investment that I was committed to and have plans for. (Please don't inject the need for insurance at this point. No, didn't have it, yes would have been nice to protect my assets.)

Now to figure out plan B. Going to have a yard sale with remaining gear. Find another bird and another software.
M
I don't know what country you are in but what country allows you to fly commercially/professionally without mandating you have insurance in place?
That aside, my first suspicion and questions would be.
1.When did you last charge the battery (even though it showed full)
2. What was your lowest cell voltage under load once you started flying/commenced the mission?
 
Joined
Mar 16, 2018
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Location
Sakhakin island, Russia
#8
awful story, I'm sorry for your bird and the collapsed hope ....

I tested many applications for the flight, specified in the survey. However, I dwelled on the application of DJI GS Pro. I also realized that there was no problem, you need to work with two software at once.

It does not matter which of the listed software you use, but you need to enable DJI GO. I have revealed by testing that only the work of the two software can with greater confidence guarantee a good end to the mission.

I did not dig into the details of the interaction of different software with the software from the DJI GO, but noticed that sometimes there were problems in the operation of third-party software without the work of the DJI GO..
 
Joined
Mar 27, 2016
Messages
58
Likes
12
#9
I am posting this for the conversation that might help find what caused my Inspire 1 Pro to fall from the sky.

I tested Drone Deploy on a simple mission to photo-map the roof of my house. I set it up on the tablet without issue. I proceeded to set up my Inspire 1 Pro on the driveway where I have flown successfully many times. I forced quit the DJI Go app and the DDeploy app found my bird. DD went through the checklist, all green checks. Launched, drone flew to 200 feet, oriented and went to the start point at the end of the house. It flew the mission, and stopped above the driveway.

At that point I debated whether or not to take over, but I could see that it appeared to begin a descent back to the home point below. So I left it to see how the landing would go.
Shortly thereafter I hear what sounds like low battery beeps. I launched the mission with a full battery (all lights on the battery) and the mission took all of 4 minutes. Then as I watched, the Inspire 1 shut off all rotors and fell silently from the sky. It crashed into the driveway with a sickening sound, scattering props and a $1200 Zenmuse X5 camera across the asphalt.

I have flown my house on numerous occasions, up to a week prior. GPS checked green before takeoff. Upon further inspection of the remains, the landing gear of the Inspire has been lowered. This is landing gear that is screw gear activated, it could not have been smashed into the landing position. The bird thought it was on the ground (???)

Battery was full on takeoff. Even if it was low, the mission was less than 5 minutes. I did not see any low battery warning. The battery did not come loose, as evidenced by the lowered landing gear. I was watching the display and could see the ground coming closer. My fingers were off the controls. I have seen this drone land itself under the DJI Go app and know what that looks like. The area around my house has full GPS with 11 satellites on average.

The bird turned itself off at 100 off the ground. Why did it turn off? Why did it not return to the home point? Why did it not just hover?

I am a certified drone pilot. I have been flying for over two years. I am methodical and deliberate in my practice runs. No one else was present at the time of the crash, so now we have just my word that I did nothing wrong. The carbon struts are broken in two, battery smashed, motors destroyed, camera gimbals wasted. It is a total loss. ( Do you know how bad customer support from DJI is? No help there.)

I know, it is just a drone, not my house, my kids, my car. But it represented an investment that I was committed to and have plans for. (Please don't inject the need for insurance at this point. No, didn't have it, yes would have been nice to protect my assets.)

Now to figure out plan B. Going to have a yard sale with remaining gear. Find another bird and another software.
M
There is a good chance that the cause of this incident can be determined by looking at the .DAT log file. Here are some instructions for retrieving the .DAT. It will be large so you would need to upload it to something like DropBox or GoogleDrive and provide a link to the uploaded .DAT.
 
Likes: Ping^Spike
Joined
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#10
How bad is the battery? Can you check the current condition of it? I hate hearing stuff like this if you do send it to DJI be sure to mark everything with the case number. Drone Nerds is an official DJI repair shop and they do good work.
 
Joined
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Location
Baltimore, MD
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nvision4d.com
#11
It does not matter which of the listed software you use, but you need to enable DJI GO. I have revealed by testing that only the work of the two software can with greater confidence guarantee a good end to the mission.

I did not dig into the details of the interaction of different software with the software from the DJI GO, but noticed that sometimes there were problems in the operation of third-party software without the work of the DJI GO..
This sounds very, very dangerous to me. I've never heard of anyone advocating leaving DJI Go running while using 3rd party software. Everyone, including developers, strongly caution against that. In fact, some explicitly suggest that you go and manually stop the 'process' of DJI software before using another software.

Can you be a LOT more detailed about the tests you've done that prompt you to suggest this? I'm afraid new users may read this and get into trouble. We've all had it ingrained into us that you NEVER run two flight software apps simultaneously.
 

The Editor

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#12
This sounds very, very dangerous to me. I've never heard of anyone advocating leaving DJI Go running while using 3rd party software. Everyone, including developers, strongly caution against that. In fact, some explicitly suggest that you go and manually stop the 'process' of DJI software before using another software.

Can you be a LOT more detailed about the tests you've done that prompt you to suggest this? I'm afraid new users may read this and get into trouble. We've all had it ingrained into us that you NEVER run two flight software apps simultaneously.
Correct.
The Go App should NEVER be left running in the background whilst using a third party application.
This has been documented previously and can and has caused issues.
Glad you pointed this out, it is sensible advice.
 
Likes: adwb
Joined
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#13
I don't know what country you are in but what country allows you to fly commercially/professionally without mandating you have insurance in place?
That aside, my first suspicion and questions would be.
1.When did you last charge the battery (even though it showed full)
2. What was your lowest cell voltage under load once you started flying/commenced the mission?
Just in response to insurance, I have not seen any mention of insurance being compulsory as a part 102 operator in New Zealand. I could be wrong though. I don’t have that licence but have looked at the rules a lot. It may be something that is requested by a company that one may have to do a commercial job for more than anything. Cheers
 
Joined
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#14
Thank you all for your thoughts on this issue. Really demonstrates the integrity of these forums.

  • I have been in contact with Drone Deploy and have reviewed the log file for the flight.
  • All systems are within limits.
  • Battery checks out, no major deviations on the cells.
  • At 218 feet something triggered auto landing, something that happens in the DJI Go app. However, I specifically force quit the GO app before the flight. So this is a mystery.
  • Even if it was to auto land, it knew where the home point was and should have returned there. (I am assuming home point was recorded in DDeply at takeoff. Logs indicate proper elevation, so it had to know where the ground was.)
  • Motors stopping in midflight could happen with a CSC from the controller. The failsafe CSC command was never initiated by me, and there is no indication of that happening in the logs.

I am sending logs to DJI to see if there is more information there. As far the bird itself, I will try to get an estimate on repairs. DJI is the obvious choice, Drone Nerds are only able to replace. Let me know if there are other reputable repair outfits that you know of.
 
Joined
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#15
My Inspire 1 fell out of the sky from 15M the other day, 4th flight of the day, Powered up with fresh battery charged night before, waited for initialisation and home point to be updated, took off and retracted gear while climbing to 15M, stabilised in hover not touching controls saw 'landing gear retracted' appear in the GoApp then it shut down and fell to the ground destroying the I1 and X3.
The battery was ejected after ground contact and was still on with 4 lights.
Reviewed the playback and battery was at 100% on startup and was at 98% when the recording stopped, of course it didn't record any errors when it shut down....
Wondering if DJI will come to the party with repairs.
I powered up the drone with the same battery, it still indicated 98% and no battery errors in the app, no errors recorded in the log.
 

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