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Loose arms almost caused crash

Discussion in 'Inspire 1 Help' started by OakHillPhotography, Oct 15, 2015.

  1. OakHillPhotography

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    Hey pilots,

    I have read up on the threads discussing loose arms on the Inspire 1, so being that one of my arms had a little play and my inspire was working fine I continued to fly my inspire. However, yesterday during a flight for some reason my inspire 1 started going out of control, suddenly lurching in one direction and then immediately stopping and spinning in 360 degrees.

    By no small miracle, I was able to handle the aircraft and bring it down for an easy landing on the landing gear.

    Upon inspection of the aircraft, it turns out that the loose arm that had had just a little bit of play now falls toward the aircraft at a full 90 degrees. The only reason I was able to get it down safely was because it would also fall back "up" to its normal position intermittently.

    The fix for this is simple, I just need some electrical tape and a hex key, but if I do it myself apparently it voids the warranty. I will be calling DJI support as soon as they are open but in the mean time I would like to get some feedback from anyone with experience on doing the repair or talking directly to DJI about the problem. I would like to keep my aircraft for the weekend if at all possible.

    Thanks!
     
  2. OakHillPhotography

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    Thanks very much for that reply. Good to hear from someone who had a similar problem, most of the other information I found was from people complaining about vibration. I had something important that I wanted to shoot this weekend but I don't want to take the chance of repairing it myself and losing the inspire 1 for good or the warranty, so I've decided to send it off.

    Also just got off the phone with DJI and opened a ticket. They seem to be very responsive and I won't be spending a dime sending it in so this is the much smarter and safer decision.

    For anyone else who might be searching this topic in the future, my inspire 1 was completely updated with the latest update. My inspire 1 has had no history of previous malfunction with plenty of flight time so I believe this issue can be attributed solely to the arm.

    I think that any sort of play or looseness in the arm is a problem and it is dangerous to keep flying your inspire 1 in that condition.
     
    Lucan likes this.
  3. Machoman

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    Which Inspire Version do you have?
     
  4. brad90631

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    mine has had some movement since day one. even the one that the RC depot had on display had about the same amount of movement.
     
  5. OakHillPhotography

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    Sorry for the delay in replying, I don't check this site too often. I have the inspire type D.

    My right arm also always had a little bit of play, but after checking several threads here I wasn't concerned, especially since it flew perfectly and didn't have any camera shake. However, since this happened I feel like anyone who has that little bit of play should be concerned. Call into DJI and see what they have to say about it, don't take your advice solely from online threads. :) (including this one!)
     
  6. ZoomHome

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    Same loose arm problem (I think) today resulted in hard landing and damage. I was filming my son in a new shifter Kart we got and was flying side ways back and forth in a mild to stronger wind and had not had any issues at all. We'd flown this about shot 8 times before with landing in between, then the 9th run I got a weird notice that said "gimbal was at limit" (I think that's what it said as it popped up then disappeared quickly) but it still seemed to be flying fine, so I decided to land anyway. I started to come in to land and as the legs came down it started a wild spin and in the end one arm had spun about 45 degrees with the blade hitting the gimbal mount and tore off the cover scratching the camera edge and mount and damaging two of the blade tips. Here is the video from that last flight where it runs find up to about 1 min in where it seems to loose a bit of control but not really an issue until I started to land then spins out of control. Youtube video of problem and landing aftermath I'm wondering what the issue was and how DJI responds to these and who and how do I contact them to solve this problem? My bird has latest firmware and I've had no problems with well over 225 flights and have not had a hard landing, hit anything, or crashed. Upon landing and the twisting, I see that side's sticker is twisted and has come off but the screws or mounts were never touched before.
     
  7. The Editor

    The Editor Moderator
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    What is your airframe inspection interval?
     
  8. ZoomHome

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    I check it before each flight and found no issues. That said, there was always a tiny bit of play in the arms and from looking at the threads it appears everyone says not to mess with it and it should move some so it will lift and set down legs ok without binding. I always check the setting prior to every flight and location to make sure it's in spec and replaced props and mounts at about 150 flights "just in case".
    As I said we took off and landed about 3 times during this filming with no issues at all, hovered fine and steady. This set of flights I was flying sideways to the wind (you can see the trees moving but I had done this same thing about 6 other times during our outing and landed no problems. It seemed ok until the legs came down then just started to spin and when it actually came to the ground the camera was off the ground just enough not to hit, but the arm had spun at a 45 so that the blade was hitting the camera which is why it was shuttering at the very end of the video.
     
  9. Mr Phantom

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    I have some play in the arms of the I1 and it seems many people have, and after i started to look into this thing most people on the forums said it is fully normal with some play in the arms and some even said there should be a little bit of play to absorb vibrations from the drone.

    I even contacted DJI and got an answer from them that its normal with a little bit of play.

    So what exactly happens when the arms turn like that? Is it some screws that gets loose or what?
     
  10. ZoomHome

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    What happened was the thing got impossible to control as it started it's spin. Lucky for me I was landing at the time so it was only about 1 foot off the ground but as you see it started to spin out of control as I was bringing it down and by looking at the video it appears the legs with that side were "flapping" around back and forth. The front blade hit the camera and gimbal and tore off the cover between to two and scratched the gimbal quite a bit. If I had been higher with the blades up I'm not sure what would have happened but suspect that it would have been a totaled Inspire as there was no way to control it. After the crash I spoke with DJI and they said "that's not supposed to happen" and gave me an RA and it's on the way back to them and will see what they do. I did have to twist the arm back to get into the box as the screws were not loose at all and still very tight so it took a lot of pressure to turn them back. I had done and do check of all of that prior to each flight and had never touched the screws on the side or the larger one on the arm itself.
    The only weird thing I noticed and did when I was flying was moving side to side filming and as my son did a turn around I would move pretty quickly the other direction. we had been flying that battery for 6:25 min and about two moves before landing I got a warning on the phone that said "Warning - gimbal roll reached the end position". So I am wondering if the side to side movement some how caused the arms to turn a bit and when the landing gear activated allowed it to flop to one side. I have according to the app 226 flights on it and have never had any problems at all, always worked great and never even had a hard landing until this past weekend. Even with this landing it barely scratched the bottom of the feet.

    I'll post what DJI says and does once I get it back as they say 2 to 3 weeks once it's back in their hands but we'll see.
     
  11. Mr Phantom

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    You say that the arm are still tight in its wrong position, that sounds worrying since that makes it sound as the arms can suddenly turn without anything becoming loose on the arm, for example screws and such, i.e. the arms turning in a perfectly fine aircraft without anything having failed on the aircraft?

    One might think that some screws or whatever holds the arms in place has come loose as a reason for the turning of the arm.
     
  12. ZoomHome

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    Yes they were still tight enough that my son had to hold the body and "T" member while I used both hands to turn the actual arm back to get it straight enough to put into case for shipping. All screws were there and as I did not try to tighten them I assume they were still tight due to the amount of pressure needed to turn the arm back into place.
     
  13. OakHillPhotography

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    Update on my end. I got my I1 back from DJI in California last week and am back flying normally again. They handled the situation very well and even replaced my Zenmuse X3 with a new Zenmuse X3. I also looked into the loose arm issue before I kept flying, and when I called DJI they said that a little bit of play in the arms is completely normal, but despite what the support on the phone told me I believe it was a major factor over time that ended up almost wrecking my I1. In addition to that, after sending in my I1 for maintenance it was sent back with rock solid arms. Absolutely no play at all. So while the support on the phone may be saying one thing, my personal experience and the guys in the maintenance shop say another. Just my two cents.
     
  14. ZoomHome

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    My update, got my I1 back about a week ago after being with them about 14 days. Total time away was 3 1/2 weeks including shipping to California. It almost looks like a totally new uni, arms are all tight and a new X3 for sure. The one controller sent back is totally new too, so as far as service, all I can say is that it was great and hope it's a sign that they have been getting better from all the stories I've read. Flew twice so far and is great, so two thumbs up DJI for your help.