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Explain to me why my unit fell from the sky.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by BrianSelf, Jun 25, 2016.

  1. BrianSelf

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    I got my early 2015 Inspire 1 out today after a few weeks of storage. The battery was self leveled to 54% as read by the application. I figure "Hey, quick demonstration flight to show my friend, 54% charge. Plenty enough" I gave myself the green light.

    Turn it on, go outside and I placed it on level ground. No warnings, everything green and ready to fly, just like the other 60+ flights I have done. Same environment as usual, no new radio signals, nothing whatsoever that would throw up a flag. I take off, hover for a few seconds, raise the gear, and go up about 40ft. Proceed to look at the phone display and show my friend... And then it happens.

    As soon as I look down at the phone screen, I hear no more buzzing from the props. A second or so later, it falls like a rock, straight onto my roof. Gimbal literally busted into numerous pieces, landing gear all busted open, lower camera scuffed up, and I believe the mechanism that raises and lowers the gear is trashed.

    What in the hell could have caused this. I'm experienced. At least I thought. I've NEVER had any malfunction out of it. Never a close call. I even wax this thing to keep it in perfect physical appearance. WHY. I haven't even upgraded the firmware as I know there were some bugs a while back that caused issues, so I didn't chance it. But look where I am.
    Please someone. I don't know what to do. This thing was one of my children. I loved it. I don't understand how the motors just shut off.
     
  2. arcaine25

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    How many weeks and what firmware are you on? I only ask because in my limited inspire knowledge or firmware past, that certain firmware caused a battery depletion that rendered batteries useless. There was a firmware release that fixed this issue, but DJI also recalled all those batteries in question (this is what I read anyway)

    The only thing I can tell you from experience flying Phantoms is this (I am sure it applies to our Inspires as well) if you r battery enters into self discharge mode, or if it's been stored for a length of time, do NOT fly before charging it to 100% unless you want to experience erratic issues. Similar things have happened in the Phantom world after flying a battery that was "stored" and not charged before flying.
     
  3. BrianSelf

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    I will have to figure out if I'm able to pull any data from the device. I couldn't give an accurate representation for the firmwares. But I was never alerted about a recall, as I'm not very active on the site. I just got the Inspire, and enjoy my time with it. Am I in the wrong for not knowing about these issues? I feel like they should have contacted me about the battery recalls or dangerous firmware?


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  4. licensed pilot

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    Wel, DJI instructions warn never to start a flight with a battery less than fully charged. Why take chances? I've hear enough stories like yours to never, ever start those motors unless there's a fresh battery in the bird. Just saying.
     
  5. arcaine25

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    All I know is they contacted (DJI) their vendors to recall all possibly bad firmware loaded batteries, not individuals. The firmware simply caused a battery, that once it starts to discharge itself, after so many days (90? maybe sooner?) that it would completely destroy the battery. It may or may not be related to your issue, but it was a problem for sure. But no matter what, never fly on a partially charged battery, especially if it's been in storage. ALWAYS charge it before a flight. Hopefully you can get some data and get a repair, I would be sick, which I am sure you are, to see that much money gone in a snap.
     
  6. BrianSelf

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    It's the worst feeling I've felt in years. I remember seeing something about not flying on partial charge. It's just such an odd guideline. I mean, 54% is still 54%... That's what eats me up.. Why even allow the software to start the motors if it's such high risk? At least have like a toggle?
    I believe I'm just making excuses for myself now...

    Well, do you guys know what path I should try to head in now? Contact DJI? Or just see if possibly my homeowners insurance will be able to assist me?


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  7. Steve Domigan

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    What does your flight log on your hand held screen show? This is independent from the bird and will still show up even if the machine is written off. Be interesting to read the battery % throughout the flight and any warnings.
     
  8. lake_flyer

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    You would probably just see that it was 54% and the next moment 0%.

    @BrianSelf
    Indeed not nice that there isn't a warning in the Go app NOT to fly with a freshly placed battery that is not 100% charged. But the manual says it clearly not to do so. And it has been discussed zillion times on every forum.

    You can only fly with a partially discharged battery if the discharging is the result of the previous flight, AND the battery hasn't been changed for another between flights.

    Sorry, but I'm afraid DJI will tell you the same thing. I'm however curious how they deal with you in this case.
    Sorry for your loss.
    Keep us posted.
     
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  9. BrianSelf

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    I just reviewed the in app log. All it shows is take off, goes up to 20.0m, at 20seconds, then the log ends. No other data.

    Yeah I know what you mean by the battery issue being discussed many times, and I am no way using this as an excuse for my ignorance of the issue, but when I got the Inspire I didn't know that I had to watch out for such issues online instead of just trusting the firmware that was given to me. After all the firmware issues that were out a while back, I just decided to stay away from the sketchy updates and continue with what had been working for me.


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  10. Mazz

    Mazz Moderator
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    Unfortunately, here, it is well known that if the battery has started its discharge, it is not usable. They will always drop voltage after start. Even with 90%, it will drop. Happens every time. Never fly with a battery that has started self discharging. Also, never fly with a battery that has been at less than 100% for more than a day as a precaution.
     
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  11. BrianSelf

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    The amount of Disappointment this information brings is insane


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  12. Mazz

    Mazz Moderator
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    It should be made more well known. I don't blame you for being pissed at it. Dji and everyone knows it happens but the information is hidden at best. Sure it is recommended only to fly with full batteries but the information about the discharging battery and what actually happens when you use it should be made common knowledge but it isn't.
     
  13. BrianSelf

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    I'm just really hoping homeowners insurance will cover the loss. I have a 500$ deductible. Other than that I would be able to get a replacement unit. If not I would attempt to see if DJI would replace it under the circumstances, the chances of which being extremely slim to none.. Which is why my options will be played out in such order. Honestly at this point my love for the Hobby is at such a low, I don't know what I want to do about all of this..
     
  14. BrianSelf

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    After such a catastrophic incident, being a total loss on my first incident, it's going to take me a while to get up the nerve to trust such an investment in the sky. Almost like a cheating girlfriend haha. I'll never give my full trust because I've seen the other side and what it brings. Which is a shame. I just hope nothing like this happens to you good guys. It truly is an awful feeling to see such a powerful piece of engineering fall to nothing in an instant.


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  15. pixl45

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    I hope you go after DJI about this. It's nowhere in their documentation, and you have to dig about the subject on third party sites like this one. That fact alone makes them culpable, IMO.

    Imagine if you bought a car and there was an undocumented issue that it would likely crash if you drove it with a half a tank after parking it for a couple weeks? The lawsuits over that would be the end of the company.
     
  16. arcaine25

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    I hope DJI can help you as well, but to add to my comments above.... if they get the unit and realize it's not on a somewhat current firmware release, they have a tendancy to use that as an "out". I have seen that as well, they blame the individual for not updating the firmware where they claim to have "fixed this issue or that issue" and then pass the blame, as well as the repair, on to the end user. It's not always the case, but I have seen it happen in Phantom 3 cases.
     
  17. The Editor

    The Editor Moderator
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    Ford Pinto?.....o_O
     
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  18. pixl45

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    Ahhh... the Pinto would explode with just about any amount of gas in the tank, no storage required. Nice try though.
     
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  19. The Editor

    The Editor Moderator
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    Yes - you would burn to death in a fireball.
    Didn't finish off Ford though and they did their calculation of what x amount of deaths would cost versus a full recall.
    I take your point though but we are talking about a Chinese company with DJI so they really don't give a monkey's doo dah! ;)

    Sorry......gone OT a bit.
     
  20. DennisR

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    I know how you feel I have an Inspire Pro in pieces as well but there is not a hope in hell you can claim it on your house insurance. That would be stupid for any insurance company to do. Most drones will reach. How can they be expected to pay out on house insurance. I have had to get aircraft insurance which is expensive but they will only take licensed people and thats ok with me. Sorry for your loss.
    I feel much the same and still using my P3 at the moment till I get my Inspire fixed. The trouble is the P3 doesn't take good enough images or video for commercial use. Im getting away with it for the moment .
    I have a M600 ordered and will get another X5 which I can use on my Inspire as well.