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Evo ii loss of control and crash in woods

VIP UAVs

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Although I’m new on the forum and have lurked for a while I finally thought I’d sign up to report what happened last night. Let me first start by saying that I’ve seen the YouTube on 808 about his thoughts on the articulating props and resistance in the pin at the hub, etc; and have flown many different aircraft over the last 25 years both RC and myself as PIC.

Now on to the story. I was capturing some sunset photos of a customers property while it wasn’t unbearably humid (live in FL) and was my third flight of the night. The first two were textbook perfect. Normal Start sequence, take off, stabilize, and off she went. The last and final flight I was attempting, I started, brought it up to a hover about ten feet (I know its out of reach but also above head and car window height not to mention I was sitting on my truck bed) and all was normal. I then manually positioned it about 150’ in altitude and about 300’ south of my position. I looked away from the drone to see which way the birds were going that were nearby and when I looked back at the drone a moment later, it has not only moved laterally but also vertically. Initially stopping the drift, I looked down at the controller and and it had shifted from GPS to ATTI mode. In the moment of confusion, I looked back up at the drone to watch it turn about 80 degrees on its side and from there it was 100% unresponsive to any input I commanded via the sticks, go home button (green bar would load and then nothing…), land here button - nothing! was a rogue robot. It then proceeded to buzz about 5’ about a few housetops while I was trying to keep a visual and control it before it bee lined it right for a wooded area (of course it wouldn’t go towards the cattle fields or golf courses). It then crashed 700’ east-north east of my position after no less than 3-5 minutes of it flying at high speed.

It didn’t take too long to find it in the woods, it had come to a rest about 25’ in a tree located in the middle of Florida wetlands. Was able to get a tall ladder, braced it on a branch, and angle the fall away from the water below where it impacted its top. Although no visible damage, when I found it in the tree, I took note that all 4 props were on, 3 were extended outward in normal operating position, but the front left was folded back as if it were to be put in the case.

Although that wouldn’t necessarily explain the GPS to ATTI, it could potentially explain the flight characteristics that it demonstrated. From hearing it, I could hear the motors revving on and off and it just didn’t even sound right.

I’m about to submit a support ticket at Autel, first downloading the images I did capture, but I’m concerned in the fact I’m to film an event in October and if it, or any drone behaved in that manner, it could be highly dangerous. Of course I’m cautious around people, do it by the book, etc and am alway ready to manually, but it doesn’t matter if I ‘can’ if it is completely unresponsive. Maybe it was my years in a cockpit but watching my money fly away made me wish that there was a redundant computer that I could switch to for even basic handling.

Thank you!
 
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herein2021

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Although I’m new on the forum and have lurked for a while I finally thought I’d sign up to report what happened last night. Let me first start by saying that I’ve seen the YouTube on 808 about his thoughts on the articulating props and resistance in the pin at the hub, etc; and have flown many different aircraft over the last 25 years both RC and myself as PIC.

Now on to the story. I was capturing some sunset photos of a customers property while it wasn’t unbearably humid (live in FL) and was my third flight of the night. The first two were textbook perfect. Normal Start sequence, take off, stabilize, and off she went. The last and final flight I was attempting, I started, brought it up to a hover about ten feet (I know its out of reach but also above head and car window height not to mention I was sitting on my truck bed) and all was normal. I then manually positioned it about 150’ in altitude and about 300’ south of my position. I looked away from the drone to see which way the birds were going that were nearby and when I looked back at the drone a moment later, it has not only moved laterally but also vertically. Initially stopping the drift, I looked down at the controller and and it had shifted from GPS to ATTI mode. In the moment of confusion, I looked back up at the drone to watch it turn about 80 degrees on its side and from there it was 100% unresponsive to any input I commanded via the sticks, go home button (green bar would load and then nothing…), land here button - nothing! was a rogue robot. It then proceeded to buzz about 5’ about a few housetops while I was trying to keep a visual and control it before it bee lined it right for a wooded area (of course it wouldn’t go towards the cattle fields or golf courses). It then crashed 700’ east-north east of my position after no less than 3-5 minutes of it flying at high speed.

It didn’t take too long to find it in the woods, it had come to a rest about 25’ in a tree located in the middle of Florida wetlands. Was able to get a tall ladder, braced it on a branch, and angle the fall away from the water below where it impacted its top. Although no visible damage, when I found it in the tree, I took note that all 4 props were on, 3 were extended outward in normal operating position, but the front left was folded back as if it were to be put in the case.

Although that wouldn’t necessarily explain the GPS to ATTI, it could potentially explain the flight characteristics that it demonstrated. From hearing it, I could hear the motors revving on and off and it just didn’t even sound right.

I’m about to submit a support ticket at Autel, first downloading the images I did capture, but I’m concerned in the fact I’m to film an event in October and if it, or any drone behaved in that manner, it could be highly dangerous. Of course I’m cautious around people, do it by the book, etc and am alway ready to manually, but it doesn’t matter if I ‘can’ if it is completely unresponsive. Maybe it was my years in a cockpit but watching my money fly away made me wish that there was a redundant computer that I could switch to for even basic handling.

Thank you!

Did you happen to take off from cement or get any kind of compass error prior to this? Of course without logs its impossible to know but it sounds like a compass error or IMU failure.
 

VIP UAVs

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Did you happen to take off from cement or get any kind of compass error prior to this? Of course without logs its impossible to know but it sounds like a compass error or IMU failure.
My departure point was a large brick driveway and it may had shown a warning or advisory message and missed it if it flashed fairly quickly.
 

herein2021

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My departure point was a large brick driveway and it may had shown a warning or advisory message and missed it if it flashed fairly quickly.

Brick should be fine but I still would have avoided it and used my hard case + soft grass technique; but if you missed a compass or IMU error that could have caused the type of crash you described. Here is another thread where I discuss my takeoff routine; never had an issue since 2014. Of course that is not to say you did not experience some other type of unavoidable failure.
 

VIP UAVs

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Brick should be fine but I still would have avoided it and used my hard case + soft grass technique; but if you missed a compass or IMU error that could have caused the type of crash you described. Here is another thread where I discuss my takeoff routine; never had an issue since 2014. Of course that is not to say you did not experience some other type of unavoidable failure.
Actually I read that thread this morning! And it’s 100% true in several aspects. But the key highlight I got from that post was ‘routine’ and why you do the controller first etc. it might be a carryover from my cockpit days, but I’m a big believer in doing a flow, that way when something isn’t right it stands out a bit more.
Unfortunately in this case from the time I first noticed it was off from no control was about 7-10 seconds of wondering why it’s sluggish etc and for me to hop off from sitting on the truck bed.

Future reference I’ll be landing it if I experience a situation like that again… small repairs from a soft crash landing are better than hunting it down from inside a tree…if it can be found! Also departing from the case is a good idea.
I put in a service request at Autel a bit ago, awaiting a reply.
 

VIP UAVs

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I still haven’t heard from Autel about any of this, but I opened up the flight history on today and noticed although it didn’t save everything such as map data, what it does show is the attitude/roll of it, airspeed going from 0-40+ and stop, change altitude and repeat in another direction randomly. It also showed no stick input recorded; as well as it switching rapidly multiple times throughout fro Starlink to ATTI mode.

Would love to know what exactly went wrong for it to behave that way and where I could had seen something earlier to had not let it got that far.
 

Rubik3x

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It seems to me that if one set of blades had not unfolded, there would have been a lot of vibration and unusual noise, if it could even fly that way. I think you would have noticed the difference. The prop pivots on the EVO II are pretty stiff so I make sure the blades are extended before taking off.

When you said "turn about 80 degrees on its side" are you saying the craft was no longer horizontal? In that condition, it would fly rapidly horizontally and possibly loose altitude, explaining buzzing housetops and making a bee line towards the trees.

Flight controllers can and do fail. I would not fly it again until you have a chance to test it in a very safe location or with a tether.

I hope Autel will help you.
 

gschulzuio

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Although I’m new on the forum and have lurked for a while I finally thought I’d sign up to report what happened last night. Let me first start by saying that I’ve seen the YouTube on 808 about his thoughts on the articulating props and resistance in the pin at the hub, etc; and have flown many different aircraft over the last 25 years both RC and myself as PIC.

Now on to the story. I was capturing some sunset photos of a customers property while it wasn’t unbearably humid (live in FL) and was my third flight of the night. The first two were textbook perfect. Normal Start sequence, take off, stabilize, and off she went. The last and final flight I was attempting, I started, brought it up to a hover about ten feet (I know its out of reach but also above head and car window height not to mention I was sitting on my truck bed) and all was normal. I then manually positioned it about 150’ in altitude and about 300’ south of my position. I looked away from the drone to see which way the birds were going that were nearby and when I looked back at the drone a moment later, it has not only moved laterally but also vertically. Initially stopping the drift, I looked down at the controller and and it had shifted from GPS to ATTI mode. In the moment of confusion, I looked back up at the drone to watch it turn about 80 degrees on its side and from there it was 100% unresponsive to any input I commanded via the sticks, go home button (green bar would load and then nothing…), land here button - nothing! was a rogue robot. It then proceeded to buzz about 5’ about a few housetops while I was trying to keep a visual and control it before it bee lined it right for a wooded area (of course it wouldn’t go towards the cattle fields or golf courses). It then crashed 700’ east-north east of my position after no less than 3-5 minutes of it flying at high speed.

It didn’t take too long to find it in the woods, it had come to a rest about 25’ in a tree located in the middle of Florida wetlands. Was able to get a tall ladder, braced it on a branch, and angle the fall away from the water below where it impacted its top. Although no visible damage, when I found it in the tree, I took note that all 4 props were on, 3 were extended outward in normal operating position, but the front left was folded back as if it were to be put in the case.

Although that wouldn’t necessarily explain the GPS to ATTI, it could potentially explain the flight characteristics that it demonstrated. From hearing it, I could hear the motors revving on and off and it just didn’t even sound right.

I’m about to submit a support ticket at Autel, first downloading the images I did capture, but I’m concerned in the fact I’m to film an event in October and if it, or any drone behaved in that manner, it could be highly dangerous. Of course I’m cautious around people, do it by the book, etc and am alway ready to manually, but it doesn’t matter if I ‘can’ if it is completely unresponsive. Maybe it was my years in a cockpit but watching my money fly away made me wish that there was a redundant computer that I could switch to for even basic handling.

Thank you!
Couple reminders, checklist items, things to look into:
Do a compass & imu recalib, then go to a wide open area to do test flight.
Make sure props are in right locations and firmly attached, as well as will move when spun up.
Make sure legs are in open/flight mode, clicked into place, also make sure there are no cracks on the legs/arms that would allow arm to flex, motor to rev, and, well, fly sideways.
Was the wifi/phone disabled on your device (phone/tablet) attached to controller.
What if any error messages popped up, did you wait until they all cleared?
Have seen sometimes a time lag waiting for gimbal, attitude, gps to be good to go, simply wait.
After takeoff, go up a couple of meters, not very high, let aircraft hover, how does it respond, the lower, the quicker you can get it back down on ground if needed.
See what your logs show, use a tool such as air data (free version), upload your logs, look at general, as well as specific, the sensor status, were you getting errors, was there a GPS drop out or reduction in sat coverage, interference, others.

Btw, you can also fly using just the controller, no device+app, use the display on the controller to see if any difference, or, remove a variable from the chain of events, things to look at.

In general have found the Autel EVO IIs to be far more tolerant (knock on wood) and not as sensitive to compass issues than DJI (knock on wood).
 
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GeoDrone SRL

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Couple reminders, checklist items, things to look into:
Do a compass & imu recalib, then go to a wide open area to do test flight.
Make sure props are in right locations and firmly attached, as well as will move when spun up.
Make sure legs are in open/flight mode, clicked into place, also make sure there are no cracks on the legs/arms that would allow arm to flex, motor to rev, and, well, fly sideways.
Was the wifi/phone disabled on your device (phone/tablet) attached to controller.
What if any error messages popped up, did you wait until they all cleared?
Have seen sometimes a time lag waiting for gimbal, attitude, gps to be good to go, simply wait.
After takeoff, go up a couple of meters, not very high, let aircraft hover, how does it respond, the lower, the quicker you can get it back down on ground if needed.
See what your logs show, use a tool such as air data (free version), upload your logs, look at general, as well as specific, the sensor status, were you getting errors, was there a GPS drop out or reduction in sat coverage, interference, others.

Btw, you can also fly using just the controller, no device+app, use the display on the controller to see if any difference, or, remove a variable from the chain of events, things to look at.

In general have found the Autel EVO IIs to be far more tolerant (knock on wood) and not as sensitive to compass issues than DJI (knock on wood).
I must contradict you, as we have a fleet of Autel and DJI.
I have started A2S from wood pallet and had large metal bars under it...No problems, no issues, no warnings.
Evo2 PRO exactly on same spot was screaming "Compass...Compass..."
Was not silent until I moved it far from metal bars (around 2 meters away)...
DJI at new drones is far more tolerant on Compass issues than Autel Evo 2 Pro...Even Mini 2 had no issue with compass on same spot.
Of course, this is just an observation from that point, as I don't debate what is better than other....But felt the need to share with you our observations.
Cheers.
 

gschulzuio

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I must contradict you, as we have a fleet of Autel and DJI.
I have started A2S from wood pallet and had large metal bars under it...No problems, no issues, no warnings.
Evo2 PRO exactly on same spot was screaming "Compass...Compass..."
Was not silent until I moved it far from metal bars (around 2 meters away)...
DJI at new drones is far more tolerant on Compass issues than Autel Evo 2 Pro...Even Mini 2 had no issue with compass on same spot.
Of course, this is just an observation from that point, as I don't debate what is better than other....But felt the need to share with you our observations.
Cheers.
No worries, ymmv, your experiences and observations may also vary, good to hear you have had good success with your DJIs being more tolerant than your Autel. With my fleet of DJI and Autel, have experienced many more compass errors, requests to calibrate compass on DJI Mavic Mini, the fewest on the Autel. Thus your experiences with the different aircraft can vary, do what ever you need to do with that particular aircraft so it is happy (e.g. no compass, no imu, no gps issues, etc) so that you can fly safe.
 

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