IRIS+ Flyaway and crashed into an apartment

Hi Everyone,
I’m still kind of frazzled by this.

I’ve had an IRIS+ since late April and have made 18 flights or so.

Today I used the copter to fly a mission (which went as expected). When I was finished, I placed the copter into loiter mode to bring it back to my position.

While in loiter mode, the copter started operating normally, however once I brought it closer to my position, it began to increase in altitude and flew south… completely out my control.

I enabled CH 7 (Land). The logs show the copter received the command, but didn’t acknowledge it… kept flying away.

I then enabled RTL. Once again the logs show the copter received he command, but didn’t do anything about it.

As a last ditch effort, I placed the copter in Stabilize mode. At this point the copter turned sideways and crashed into a 3rd floor balcony.

The copter is significantly damaged. We searched for 3 hours and were fortunate the guy came out any saw it on the balcony.

I tried to check the logs and the following 2 errors occurred when it began acting erratically: EKF_CHECK-2 and FAILSAFE_EKF-1

As mentioned, the copter flew 300m south from from home. At this point FAILSAFE_FENCE-1 and FAILSAFE_FENCE-0 were triggered (I had the geofence set to 600m at this point)

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

And here’s a quick screenshot of the KML file

Blue - Mission
Purple - loiter (you can see where it jumped in altitude at the end of the loiter)
Pink - Land
Red - RTL
Orange - Stabilize

Geeze, I hate to hear these stories. I’ve yet to try an auto mission, for fear it “might” fly away. I did print some stickers with my phone number, and “REWARD” in big letters, that I’ll stick on my Iris+. But, my area has a lot of trees, so I also got a “battery monitor/discovery buzzer/signal loss alarm” gizmo to install. There are so many variables, it’s hard to find out what exactly caused your problem. Could be something as simple as a loose wire. I’m still trying to learn how to interpret the logs, but I’m getting a better idea, as I plow along. Good luck on solving your problem. I’ll be watching. :wink:

The interesting thing is the mission went perfectly. In fact it was the second mission we flew that day (on a new battery of course). The copter didn’t start acting erratically until I was back in loiter mode after the mission was done.

I was so stressed (and yes in hindsight I should have had an “IF FOUND” sticker on it. We spend 3 hours searching the woods around the last coordinate the copter transmitted to the remote.

It was compete luck that 3 hours later we were out near the parking garage of the apartment and saw someone walk out onto their balcony and pick up a part of copter. We yelled up to him and he fortunately had all the pieces (he was quite interested to hear what happened too).

I will admit it’s freaking scary to see it fly away and not respond properly to the commands you’re sending it to come back.

The problem looks like something started high vibrations, which caused the increase in Altitude, then you switch to Alt-Hold, not Stabilize, which still would be effected by the hi AccZ. In stabilize you would have been able to bring it down.

Maybe you had some connection come loose inside the Iris+

That said, looking the vibrations are not that high. When you lower ThrIn, the copter starts coming down.

It looks more like you where probably disoriented with your control, and was unsure how to regain it without crashing. you may have bad trim, so it naturally drifts. or a motor was causing the drift?


Sorry, I meant to say “Alt Hold”, not stabilize.

The odd thing was while I was in loiter, I was standing behind the iris+ to bring to back to my home position. When it started to climb, I checked with the controller to make sure both controls were centered (neutral position).

At this point, the copter continued to fly south.

That’s when I initiated the Land. When that didn’t respond, then I initiated the Return to Launch, and then the “Alt Hold” as a last resort to try to get the copter to maintain its position (so I could land it safely)… unfortunately as mentioned the copter turned on its side at this point.

Anyways I’ve sent the logs to 3DR so just waiting back to see what they say.

I am not sure how 3DR will respond to your request. Good Luck.

My only advice is that if you are in an Auto Mode like Loiter/Position Hold which uses GPS and your copter is drifting, the only options are to go Alt-Hold or Stabilize. RTL & Land depend on GPS. If you swicth to alt hold, and it’s rising in alt, stablize is the best option (I switch to stabilize when things look like they are going wrong, and I am not the best flyer by far)

When it AltHold & Stabilize and you have lost orientation, opt for a ‘controlled crash’ i.e. just use the throttle to reduce altitude in a controlled manner. (in your logs pitch and roll go all over the place when yo switch the ALT hold) The copter will keep level pretty well, so will drift slowly. actually trying to put in roll pitch movements make it worse. If I really can’t control it, i just cut the throttle.

Anyway, hope that helps :slight_smile: sorry you crashed, it happens to all of us, it sucks!

Yeah the biggest problem at that point was it was already 300m away and kept going. At that point, Alt Hold was the only option I had avaiable in hopes to have it stay in one position (of course, the copter didn’t agree and decided to nosedive)

After this experince, I realize I need to program some form of failsafe or otherwise I won’t feel comfortable flying it again.

I already programmed CH8 on the remote for “Simple Mode”. I may program it for access to “Stabilize”. Either that, or have Mission Planner / Tower connected with the USB Radio for access to the additional flight modes while flying.

If you don’t mind me asking, what method do you use to access the stabilze flight mode?
Did you replace the “Alt Hold” position with stabilize?, program an additional switch (CH8)? or access it using Mission Planner and the USB Radio?

I use a Taranis but I do have the Iris FLYSKY controller as well. I have it setup for six modes from two switches … or-turnigy

I have it so both sticks pushed away from me is stabilize.

I’m not sure if the Iris controller has flight mode, but you can do this also … light-mode

This is how to add CH8 … iris-quad/

I’m not sure if it’s configured out of the box or not for Iris+

Thanks a lot for that information, I’ll check that out.

I was originally hoping to associate it with CH 8, however I saw the flight modes can’t be associated with that switch (only features like RTL, Land, Simple & Super Simple).

I MAY re-associate CH8 with RTL and then that gives me 3 additional flight modes (4 - 6) I can use for stabilize, as well as some other fun modes (like drift and simple mode).

I rarely use RTL anyways, so I could move it to one of the back switches.

Thanks Again

They can because you can make E9x firmware (the software that runs on the controller) make the channel 5 output change to a signal level that triggers any mode i.e. override the other switch positions. I do just that on my controller to have a second RTL switch assigned. This means I can assign CH8 and CH7 to other specific tasks.

Any, i’ll shut up, since its overload on information. The Tranis controller is pretty cool as it can also have audio feedback and haptic feedback so you know what modes you are selecting

I have one of my 6 modes set to stabilize “simple”, for the oh chit moment. :astonished: