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Crash and Burn
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13353 57 2015-1-24
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peterbowers
lvl.1

United States
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First of all, let me preface I am new to flying and prior to November 14 had no idea I would be purchasing a photographic drone. Then, on November 14, I saw the DJI Promo videos, first "Soar" then "Vintage". Vintage sealed the deal for me - I do private wine tours in Napa Valley and photography is one of my hobbies - - so I thought, how cool,  aerial photography of vineyards and a nice add on for my tours.
I ordered an Inspire 1 from Dronefly, the DJI dealer in SoCal on the spot - Round 1 of shipments!!
Like everyone else, I was dissapointed not to receive the Inspire 1 for the holidays, but I understood that it was only a small delay and I "cooled my props".

The Inspire 1 arrived mid January, and after unboxing I updated firmware (version 14?), downloaded the IOS app, and had the bird ready to fly. Rather than going out and flying right away, I waited until I had read and re read the manual, watched all the videos on the internet and then picked an open field at Skyline Park near my home to try out the Inspire. Using all the auto features - it flew like a dream!!

Next couple of outings were also very positive and fun. I flew it on an open field next to winery in Oakville and took some beautiful shots of the approach to the winery. All througout, as a member of this Forum I was keeping abreast of new developments and after a short trip out of town was ready to fly again.

Then the nightmare began. Before my next flight the Inspire 1 required the firmware upgrade to version 16. The upgrade went well, advanced IMU callibration was performed, IOS app was working fine > lets go flying. This time, I invited my wife to come along and see my prowess.

We met in the early afternoon at the same fallow field in front of winery in Oakville. Blue skies, no wind, no structures emmiting electromagnetic interference, keys and cell phone in the car, compass callibrated > GPS signal acquired > Safe to Fly on RC on > Lift off!!

About 15 feet off the ground, bird is hovering, when all of a sudden it starts to drift > RC light flashing yellow lost connection?? > Inspire 1 crashes into an oak tree, fortunately clipping only the lower branches it tumbles to the ground suffering no damage. Phew!! Wife freaking out.  If the Inspire had'nt hit the branches it would have flown over and crossed the road (not a lot of traffic but still kind of dangerous). Composed myself, examined bird, go through start up procedure and perform 2 succesful flights before batt goes down to 30%. Wife - mas tranquila - but pointing out the potential hazard to others of drone flying.
After the Silver Oak drifting incident I wait a few days and decide to fly in the city park which has a field dedicated to RC. Nice open area, no traffic, just the river alongside.
Perform all pre flight steps > acquire GPS > RC shows green Safe to Fly > Auto lift off > 30 feet high > testing controls > get ready to start recording > bird starts drifting north accross the parking lot towards another open field > Push RTH on RC > Nothing > Notice RC flashing yellow lost connection > Push RTH on app > Nothing > Bird still flying away, now 150 yards way and still going > start to bring it down manually it lands hard on the grass > run to crash site and find Inspire 1 is upside down, smoke is billowing out of the motors because the props are caught in the grass and can't freely spin. Manage to power down the craft and as I pick it up 2 of the motors, now hot as lava, they tumble over in slo-mo and detach themselves from the craft becaus of the intense heat.
Inspire 1 is toast.

Reality sets in - DER FLIEGER ist KAPUTT - I pick up the parts and pieces and call Dronefly the dealer. Quick response, they tell me to call DJI inmediately. I do and after holding for 1 hr I get one of their support guys on the phone. Explaining the facts - no emotion, just the facts - the rep issues an RMA # and prepaid UPS shipping label - the charred bird is on its way back to DJI for repairs.

If you are still with me, I just want to make ONE quick point. The reason I purchased this "Uberexpensive" toy was because I was under the impression that the craft was simple to fly, and once you performed your start up due dilligence, then the focus was going to be on the symbiotic marriage of flying and photography. If things got out of hand, RTH was there to save your bacon. My personal expereince after the firmware upgrade has been just the opposite. Instead of focusing on photography, which is why I bought this craft in the first place, I was dealing with an uncontrolable flying machine that loses connection to its master and Remote Control inexplicably after take off.

As the Inspire 1 travels back UPS ground for repairs, I will keep you appraised of what follows....

2015-1-24
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mlglisson.email
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Wow I'm glad no one was hurt nor was a fire started. I'm so disappointed in all these horror stories.
2015-1-24
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jarek33.email
lvl.2
Flight distance : 466696 ft
United States
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keep us posted, sorry it happen
2015-1-24
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gizadog.email
lvl.3
United States
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mlglisson.email Posted at 2015-1-25 00:04
Wow I'm glad no one was hurt nor was a fire started. I'm so disappointed in all these horror stories ...

Ive been flying since Ive got mine and had nothing but awesome flights! The one does not spoil it for the rest.
2015-1-24
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Blip
lvl.3

United States
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I'm very sorry buddy. Thanks for letting us in the know.
2015-1-24
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Captain Obvious
Second Officer

Australia
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Then the nightmare began. Before my next flight the Inspire 1 required the firmware upgrade to version 16. The upgrade went well, advanced IMU callibration was performed, IOS app was working fine > lets go flying. This time, I invited my wife to come along and see my prowess.

We met in the early afternoon at the same fallow field in front of winery in Oakville. Blue skies, no wind, no structures emmiting electromagnetic interference, keys and cell phone in the car, compass callibrated > GPS signal acquired > Safe to Fly on RC on > Lift off!!

About 15 feet off the ground, bird is hovering, when all of a sudden it starts to drift > RC light flashing yellow lost connection?? > Inspire 1 crashes into an oak tree

OH god...Another bad experience followed by death of yet another bird.
My head is starting too spin Now I'm thinking is it going too be worth it? Honestly if this keeps happening too people
and they sound like they know what they are doing and did all the correct pre flight checks will mine do a Swan dive
and go up like a mini Nuke or Fly away and never be seen again. Or dose this thing have a mind of it's own it's that good.....



HAL (2).jpg
2015-1-24
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lrwskyfilms
lvl.3

United Kingdom
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Very sorry to hear that, best of luck.
2015-1-24
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Blade_Strike
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This sounds like the unit going into Atti mode. The unit never lost connection or you would have not been able to bring it down . When unit goes into Atti mode you will not have gps lock. The craft will drift like you said. Sorry for the crash!


2015-1-24
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peterbowers
lvl.1

United States
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I think you are right on Blade_Strike - it went into ATTI mode, but why did it not RTH when I commanded it to?
2015-1-24
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jackiedh
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Blade_Strike Posted at 2015-1-25 00:34
This sounds like the unit going into Atti mode. The unit never lost connection or you would have not ...

Notice RC flashing yellow lost connection--

Blade then why would he get the above indication--lost connection?

Jack
2015-1-24
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Blade_Strike
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Atti is also yellow, just not as fast.
2015-1-24
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Blade_Strike
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@Peter

Did you hold down rth? Did the controller indicate that it was in RTH?  
2015-1-24
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ghoonk
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Blade_Strike Posted at 2015-1-25 01:27
@Peter

Did you hold down rth? Did the controller indicate that it was in RTH?

Agreed - you need to hold down the RTH button until the controller starts beeping. It's covered in the manual.
2015-1-24
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peterbowers
lvl.1

United States
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Yes and also tried to activate from the app - it just kept going.
Why did it switch to ATTI out in wide open field with plenty of GPS signal at the start?
Only started with FW update, see others with similar behavior
2015-1-24
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Blade_Strike
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When a compass error is detected it will jump into Atti mode. New feature of the last fw.
2015-1-24
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daver/m
Second Officer
Flight distance : 206503 ft
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Sat lock number needs to be listed instead of Ready to Fly ..beside other issues with the 1 , have fun No big anyone can do it is a bunch of B.S. , flip a switch accidentally or miss one thing trouble begins fast your mind panics and you have to correct things Now and regain control or crash and burn .. if you've experienced RC flight already you know then that crash you will , New guys or just camera pros whom never experienced RC flight Beware , try flying a ducted fan jet with No camera , No GPS , No return home  , no safety features , just your eyes and a control sticks !  Haulin ass at the runway coming in Hot ! Ever see a guy build a jet rc aircraft for months only to see it crash and burn on its 2nd or third flight it's not pretty and way more $$$ than a quad copter  ... but rc guys and gals usually already know this can happen in an instant . Can't wait for my dang inspire to get here too !
2015-1-24
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nwellborn85
lvl.2

United States
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I've flown my Inspire over the last week without issues.  However, today I had a similar problem you experienced.  After takeoff, the Inspire quickly lost GPS and switched to ATTI.  It started to drift hard but only lasted a few seconds.  It happened twice shortly after takeoff but would then go back to normal.  I think it just needed a little bit more time to gather GPS info before taking off or something.  It was a little nerve racking but seemed to stop once I was cruisn'.
2015-1-24
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jackiedh
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Blade_Strike Posted at 2015-1-25 03:41
When a compass error is detected it will jump into Atti mode. New feature of the last fw.

Can they do something to alleviate this to some degree? Does not seem to be the greatest new feature!!

Jack
2015-1-24
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Blade_Strike
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I'm told they're working on it. I do agree it's not the best way to handle this. Maybe a delay or a larger span for errors? Their other fc doesn't do this, so I do have hope.
2015-1-24
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jackiedh
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Blade_Strike Posted at 2015-1-25 10:09
I'm told they're working on it. I do agree it's not the best way to handle this. Maybe a delay or a  ...

Thanks--
jack
2015-1-24
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vpiombo.email
lvl.1

United States
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Hey! I live in Napa too and just ordered my Inspire 1. When it gets here can you show me some quick tips/ the basics?? Hope you got your bird fixed!
2015-1-24
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vpiombo.email
lvl.1

United States
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Such a sad story BTW.
2015-1-24
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chrisgeigerphot
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Sorry to hear your story. I am also having problems with the GPS lock after doing the firmware upgrade to version 16. After talking with Daniel Huang of DJI, I recorded a flight today. I did a fresh compass calibration and flew in an open field. During  this 10 minute flight, the compass error occurred 5 separate times. I have uploaded the flight data log and video to DJI for analysis. This entire flight was slow and deliberate. No racing around. When the compass error occurs the aircraft switched to atti mode. I also notice that often when the compass error occurs there is also a gimbal reset or loss of gimbal orientation at the exact same time.  

Never once did I loose GPS lock when I was running version 14 of the firmware. I had three hours of flight time with version 14. Never once during that time did the aircraft not feel like it was locked in. Both the compass and GPS worked perfectly. Every single flight with version 16, I loose GPS mode due to a compass error at least 2-3 separate times during the flight. Some times the aircraft just goes in and out of GPS and ATTI mode. Just back and fourth.


For those flying the Inspire, it is important to know that when the compass error occurs that the aircraft switches to ATTI mode and will float on the wind. If you are not familiar with how to control an aircraft in ATTI mode it may result in the aircraft seeming to float away. During the time you are in ATTI mode the aircraft will not be able to return to home. I have seen and recorded airborne GPS outages as long as a minute.

2015-1-24
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lcarpenter.emai
lvl.1

United States
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I just placed an order for the Inspire - I'm in the third shipment.  My Vision 2 Plus hated me and kept flying away...I did toggle between GPS and ATTI to gain control and then one day it left (to be found)....so thinking that this was just a hobby toy I've vacillated between the Inspire and the 3D Robotics x8-M...  I need something to work and read another post and it basically said,  the birds will fly away and you just have to realize this.  They are not toys....  none of my other work equptment runs off so it's tough.

I'm wondering if any of you tried the toggle back and forth and it still took off?

...would you buy Inspire or 3d?  Any thoughts?
2015-1-26
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ebarronh.email
lvl.2
Flight distance : 10203 ft
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You probably have already seen my post as well. Mine also crashed after drifting apparently due to the IMU bug. They also sent my the RMA and pre-paid UPS. They have apparently already received it yesterday (Mon 26th) but I'm still waiting for their confirmation and future steps to be taken. I'm seriously thinking of placing a lawsuit since this could have ended in a worse tragedy.
2015-1-26
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InspiredOne
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"I'm seriously thinking of placing a lawsuit since this could have ended in a worse tragedy."

Yes, it was a tragedy, and I fully appreciate your frustration, but only the lawyers will benefit from a lawsuit. Very expensive propositions, these lawsuits.
2015-1-27
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mtnred.email
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I own a winery in Saint Helena and have an Inspire and vision + .I would not have wanted to learn to fly the Inspire as my first bird. The vision + is so much better to start with .I have had some great flights with my Inspire but it a different bird and more complicated to fly .You would be welcome to come to my winery and fly .You could start on my + and then move to the Inspire 1 . I hired someone to teach me to fly and it was money well spent .P.M if you want to meet .We are not around next week .
2015-1-27
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david.martin.em
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vpiombo.email Posted at 2015-1-25 11:13
Hey! I live in Napa too and just ordered my Inspire 1. When it gets here can you show me some quick  ...

I also live in Napa. I have the I1 and 2 phantom 2's. Happy to meet up with you both. You can message me at http://www.facebook.com/cirruspilot
2015-1-27
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rsghowellnj.gma
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I have been flying now for about 1 year with a different manufacturer's Quadcopter.  It is using a DJI Naza-M controller and was impressed like so many others with the Inspire.  After reading about all the problems in this post as to how the Inspire jumps out of GPS Mode to ATTI Mode causing the craft to drift is pretty scary.  I'm not having that problem with my current Quadcopter but I'm really starting to be concerned about investing in the purchase of the Inspire.  I would assume that if I'm not having these issues with my current Quadcopter (using the DJI Naza-M Controller) I would not see these problems flying the Inspire in the same flying field right?  Has anyone gotten any feedback from DJI as to what there plans on in fixing this problem or do you folks feel that allot of this is due to pilot error?
2015-1-30
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dbeck.promobox
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Too many instances of what you just desribed to ALL be pilot error.  Theres something amiss here and DJI is silent on the topic
2015-1-30
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paul.swieconek.
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dbeck.promobox Posted at 2015-1-31 04:19
Too many instances of what you just desribed to ALL be pilot error.  Theres something amiss here and ...

They say that most accidents are a result of multiple things going wrong at the same time.  1st - yes, you were caught off guard with the upgrade. .16 release has a problem with GPS lock for sure. 2nd - you purchased an extremely expensive bird for someone that is new to flying.  ATTI mode should not be a problem for you if you now how to fly and relying solely on automated flight is a bad idea.  Buy yourself a $150 Blade QX and bounce it off the walls inside your house and learn how to fly without injuring anyone. You should be able to take off, land, hover  in place etc. without GPS before you are safe to take a large, potentially destructive bird like the Inspire out where you can do some damage. You will find that there are a lot of pilots that only fly ATTI mode as its steadier for photography.
2015-1-30
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dbeck.promobox
Second Officer

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Thanks for the tips  I have dozens of flights with my PTV2+    No crashes. I dont need a trainer Quad. Sorry, but you cannot excuse the multiples of issues with the Inspire1 . From SW/FW issues to the props, to the camera to the shaking...etc.,, shall I go on? There are DOZENS of totally unexplained crashes reported here and elsewhere that have nothing to do with flying in NAZA mode or ATTI mode from EXPERIENCED pilots. And sorry, ATTI mode is not necessarily better for videography, it depends on the shot, wind conditions etc.,
2015-1-30
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Mike-the-cat
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Would you buy a Lambrogini as your first car before you learn how to drive after being told 'its a super cool car'?  Flying is flying. The Inspire is a well engineered craft but flying is complex.

An Airbus is probably 'easier to fly' than an old propellor drive transport aircraft. It is loaded with flight control computers. People learn to fly in simulators these days and can get certified at a much shorter time than previously. But you can still crash an Airbus if you don't obey physics and stall a craft.

ATTI mode is what you probably went into inadvertently. In ATTI, RTH is turned off. This is how you regain control of a craft that goes into RTH mode because its out of radio control but later returns to  within range and sight.

Sorry about your loss but please, take time to learn before posting such material and insinuating that you have no responsibility to read the manual and test fly thoroughly before showing those skills off.
2015-2-7
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rmaxwell.email
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Welcome to the real world of aviation.  Many modern airliners can be flown by a fully automated Flight Management System.  It can takeoff, climb, cruise, descend, and auto land.  However, when some part of the automatic system fails, there are two pilots who have been trained to fly the aircraft under full manual control.  When the pilots are not fully competent to do this you have an accident like the airplane that hit the end of the runway at San Francisco or the jet that went down in the Atlantic off the South American coast.  Because the aircraft has automatic systems does not releave the pilot of full responsibiltiy for the safe flight of the aircraft.

If you do not have the training to fly the Inspire One under ATTI and manual control, you are not qualified to fly as a pilot.  Get a qualified pilot and learn to operate the camera if you are a photographer.

Do you understand why they have designed the Inspire One so that it can be flown by a pilot and a camera operator using two controllers?

I fly full scale airplanes, gliders, R/C airplanes, R/C helicopters, and camera carrying multi-rotors in television commercials and feature length films.   I do all of this while observing all Canadian Air Regulations and safety practices.

I think we may see a requirement for a pilots license in the near future if people continue to fly these aircraft without the proper training.
2015-2-7
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daninperth
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United States
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I had an event of sorts.  Still watching mine very carefully.  Keeping IMU calibrated.  I don't know what happened in your case for obvious reasons.  If you have it in P mode it should stay in P mode.  If it is in A mode it still will not do anything but drift away in accordance with wind conditions.  I would not be so fast to imply pilot error, inexperience or simply panic reaction to a natural event. Assuming those things as a cause of what happened could lead to a humbling experience one day.  

Overall I am very happy with the way this thing flies.

Dan
2015-2-8
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xzces
lvl.4

Suriname
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I also experienced this behaviour. The first time it got me off guard and It drifted into a tree, luckily without damaging the quad. Since then I've been flying only on open fields and got atti mode multiple times. I also had an error were the tablet disconnected, but I was still able to fly. I don't care what people say about pilot error and such because not even once have I got any of these issues with my phantom. I wouldn't dare to fly the altitude and distances I am flying with my phantom. I do hope DJI responds to this matter soon and fixes it, because it's a serious bug for a quad marketed as stable and easy to fly!
2015-2-8
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mgilliam
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It seems that the DJI Inspire 1 cannot be trusted.  The DJI Naza M V2 flight controller is more reliable than whatever is in the Inspire 1.  I've built and flown the DJI F450, F550, and TBS Discovery Pro, each with the Naza M V2, and not had any of the problems being experienced here.  If DJI cannot isolate and repair the problems with the flight controller, they shouldn't be selling these things at all.  Stop all shipments.  Work overtime during the Chinese New Year.  Fix it.  Communicate openly and honestly with your customers.  Then relaunch the product.  Does anyone (everyone) out there agree?  
2015-2-8
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CrabHawk
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mgilliam Posted at 2015-2-9 10:12
It seems that the DJI Inspire 1 cannot be trusted.  The DJI Naza M V2 flight controller is more reli ...

I concur. In fact I was thinking of canceling my order (Since Nov last year no delivery yet) and transferring the money to a Walkera voyager 3 which will be out in April (Hey I've already waited 2 1/2 months what's a couple more)
2015-2-8
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pedi
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Hi all,

New to flying and after reading this post, I will be booking some flight lessons.

P Mode = large open fields with no possibility to harm animals or humans + super GPS feeds
Atti Mode = I know how to fly mode and can manoeuvre aircraft through tight passages, etc. Aka, insurance mode

C&B = technical glitch and time to say goodbye to the bird ;-)

I've been in RC for many year...mainly racing high-performance RC cars and the worst type of crash is the one caused by a radio glitch.

Sad to read about your crash & burn but it sounds like you could still control the Inspire but lacked the skills to do so. Pure speculation on my part. Having good flight skills might have saved the day...

I get my Inspire 1 tomorrow and it will stay in the case till I have at least 5 hours of flight time in Atti mode on cheap quadcopter...any ideas on a good one to train and does not cost a foot and a leg?

Any ideas on a good training simulation program or is the one provided by DJI Pilot App sufficient?

Happy SAFE flying and don't stop looking for those awesome filming opportunities.

Pedi
2015-2-9
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dmytchak
lvl.4

United States
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Really sorry to hear about your bird.   I just received mine 1 week ago and have not had any issues what soever.  However, I strongly recommend that you buy a simulator (Realflight 7.5, Phoenix, something) that you can practice on while you're waiting for your bird to be repaired. The money is WELL worth it.  The simulator will get you very comfortable with orientation, transitions, landings, nose in/nose out operations and will make ATTI much more comfortable when you are forced into a non GPS flight mode(intentional or not).   

You made a huge investment and to be honest, you bought a Ferrari for your first car.  Not ideal in my opinion.   Things happen - you need to know what and how to recover from unexpected issues. It's part of the package.  Things fail, even the IMU.   Best to be comfortable with "OH CRAP" situations.  

I'm not advocating that you sell your bird and get a cheaper one.  You already made the investment.  I still strongly recommend you purchase a simulator and fly in a virtual world to get your orientations down and muscle memory started.

Hope I'm not preaching.  I am sorry to hear about your circumstance.  

-David
2015-2-9
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