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Disappointed... cartwheels to thud

Jul 22, 2016
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My father invested in the H a little bit ago and has had a fairly rotten experience so far. I'll start by saying that my experiences with my Q5+ & 4Ks have been fine with plenty of airtime on all 3.

When it first arrived it would fly but slightly drift as well as some issues with RTH. I had not been over to visit yet to admire his recent investment. On my first visit, (not his first flight) it started drifting and he got it to the ground nearly in time but the dreaded weak gimbal mount broke. This is the first shipment to Yuneec for repair.

Once the cam/gimbal returned he was excited to get in the air and got everything ready for another flight. When I got there he was in the air again and things seemed great. I took control for a flight and noticed that lateral movement was sluggish and it would continue to drift. When it was on the ground and motors off, you could head a beeping. It was not constant, but something wasn't right. When sitting disarmed, the light would bounce between ready and some other unidentified flash mode accompanied by beeping. I advised him to call yuneec and keep it grounded. They had him run through some diagnostic tests on the ST16 to find that the right stick was not functioning correctly. Awesome (so I thought) that it was intelligent enough that the airframe would notify of a ground-station hardware input malfunction. But then I wondered.... why wouldn't this malfunction be indicated on the display somehow without reaching into a buried diagnostic pass/fail screen? Yuneec replaced his ST16 and if I'm not mistaken the only cost was to my shipping account to send the bad one back.

Yesterday the new ST16 arrived and I went over to help with binding and compass calibration. This time we went into the same diagnostic screen to test controls as well as a full preflight check. A full powerdown to make sure we started fresh after the binding/etc and out to the yard we went. Full power-up went great, sats came in fast for both units, preflight was all good... I took it up. Basic check out at about 10-15ft elevation checking individual direction and inputs(minus landing gear, I'm not used to that since mine lack that function) which all resulted in expected action-vs-inputs. I walked backwards a little was and it followed. Great! He's finally got something usable. No issues on the screen, lets hit record and grab some altitude.

Up to approximately 100ft and 300ft away to the south doing a lazy counter-clockwise circle it started spinning. It was dusk so the lights gave a very good visual as to what was happening. On the screen the gimbal was getting a workout, but no indication as to what is going on. I look back to see it doing cartwheels and dropping fast, nothing on the screen. And there's the loud THUD. Yes, I hold my ground-station within my line of vision slightly, I'm an old school line-of-site pilot, so I keep my eye on the bird near constantly. Notice I said I was watching the lights? Yes, it was under power the whole time. As we start walking in the direction of the thud, the ST16 screen pops up '5 rotor' warning advising to land immediately. UM... kinda late IF that was the case. The warning appeared AFTER the thud of hitting hard TX dirt/clay.

The crash site shows all props attached securely, camera laying dead to the side, power was still on as the lights were still on, but most interesting is the status light.... showing GREEN. Dad reached down to pick it up, but I told him to turn it off first. But the carnage is unbearable. I snatched the card from the camera, but didn't have the heart to really start dissecting the wreckage and get into the nitty-gritty details, so I haven't checked the ST16 data.

I am still completely dumbfounded over it's powered tumble from the sky, and yet even more by it's notification after-the-fact and 'ready to fly' AFTER the thud. The way dad has been treated in his past two experiences with yuneec, I think at this point he's wasted his money. If I even thought it was my fault, I would simply buy him another bird. But even he knows that in this scenario, there is no way you can get the bird to tumble the way it did and pilot error isn't possible here. He's heartbroken. Maybe I'll get him an inspire if yuneec doesn't step up.


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Do not ask for it to get repaired. Ask do to this is the 2nd time having problems I want a Brand new replacement. Send them your logs. Make sure if the person your talking to cant auth a brand new replacement. Get them to transfer you to someone higher up who can.
Normally spinning (not doing circles) is the classic Typhoon sign of a motor issue (missing or broken prop or engine problem). Normally it will not spin if it's already in a hover position, but if was in a turn already or hit something in the air (i.e. bird) when a motor/prop suffered an issue, it will spin.

Not saying this is what happened but it came to mind based on your description.
In this case the area was clear and we had it clearly in sight. No birds or anything in the area.
All prop pieces were recovered from the crash site except approximately 1/4" of a tip.
not sure but your photo shows the battery not fully inserted . looks like it sticking out some if you zoom in .
could be due to crash or may have been making and breaking connection .
I do happen to have the telemetry files available now. We'll be calling Yuneec on this.

No, the battery was fully inserted and the lights were still in operation after the wreck.
It actually took more effort than normal to remove the battery before picking it up to carry back.


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That is gutting to see that, I honestly think I'd cry if mine died like that.
As stated above ask nicely for a new one if not demand one and make sure you get it, I don't think you will have an issue though. Fingers crossed for your dad [emoji111]️

Sent from my SM-G925F using Tapatalk
As an update: Dad contacted Yuneec and they requested logs, provided a case number and UPS shipping label. It is already on the way to them. He did request "new replacement" over repair of the wreckage.
Did he make a hidden mark on it?

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