I am done with Arducopter! I have been trying to get this platform to be reliable for way too long.

I don't even want to add up all the damage, time and money I have wasted trying to get this flight

control system to work as advertised.

I actually thought with the new firmware and M.P., that the developers had finally got out all of the



As I write this, I notice that the top discussion is unexpected scary start-up.

This is what happened to me:

I dumped all programs from my computer, and reset my APM 2.5, I started over.

I downloaded the new versions clean, without any of the zillions of updates.

I was so excited to see that my project was finally working very well, a doing what I told it to, and it

worked very well for two days. On the third day, without any changes at all to anything, it did a full

throttle cut. I turned it off, rebooted my computer, and started over. It behaved normally for about two

minutes, then two motors cut out. I was only up about six feet, and over a lawn, so no damage.

As I approached my machine, to unplug the battery, two motors started to spin at different speeds.

Then they all spun up to full throttle. I always carry my Aurora 9 with my left thumb on the throttle

stick, so there can not be an accident.

OFF IT WENT, into the sun. Hit return to home, no joy. I said goodbye to it, as it went to an unknown

altitude, and into the sun, (downwind, it was just trying to go straight up).

I found it the next day, see the picture. Two miles of walking and searching and cussing.

I went over the logs, and determined that there were error codes all over the list, and it breached the

geofence, but kept going anyway. It had a mind of it's own, TOTALLY NOT COOL, and VERY, VERY


If this had happened in a more densely populated area, I might be in jail right now, or being sued, or

worse. "Drone kills baby", on the eleven o'clock news. My machine is big, heavy and damn-near

indestructible. I do not know how far it fell, I going to guess at somewhere between 700 and 1000 feet,

(angle of sun, do the trig.) Now it's broken.

I want the FAA to let us do this, but if these kind of failures keep happening, someone's going to get

hurt, and then the Government will make it illegal!  Game Over!

What is up with all the flaws in this platform? Ardu may kill any chance for guys like us to go out and

make money with this tech, before the FAA and Congress even make their decision next year.

Oh, and by the way, I was to show and demonstrate my machine to a government contractor, with a

C.O.E., who shall remain nameless, the very next day. I got to show them a hulk. The only plus was  

they were impressed by my build, because it's still repairable, and the expensive stuff lived.

My suggestion to ARDU is to get your shit together. Something very bad is going to happen, it already

has to me, and if someone had gotten hurt the other day, and I was being sued, I would sue ARDU.

Then it's all over the news, and all over for us. This "mishap" was of no fault of mine. Does the

software rewrite itself? Did someone embed malware into it? Did the hardware just "decide" to melt


You guys need to perfect this, or it's not going to go well with the FAA.

If they were to ask me if it is a safe and reliable platform, I would have to answer "HELL NO!, take it of

the market, before somebody gets killed." I am not giving up on this technology, just Arducopter,



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Florian, with your Naza maybe it's just luck.
I destroy an octo with Naza of a friend, watch this,i'm in Manual (and i know how fly an octo), after a soft turn is totally out of control.
A friend after a dozen flights had a fly-away with Wookong-M and its S800 with Zenmuse and threw away almost everything, the only thing that has saved it is the WKM, now its unity that comes from crash is installed on one of my big birds and I've made ​hundreds flights without a single problem... then?
For over a year I have thousands of hours of flight during my intensive testing phase with APM Copter and I've never had a single crash or fly-away, I own 9 multirotor with Pixhawk and VR Brain.
For me the most important thing is the assembly, hardware selection, tuning and how to handle emergencies... the experience.
After thousands of hours of flight can not be was just lucky, there will be some other reason why I never crashed.
I have to say that, I know what I do, unfortunately I believe that today the possibility of crash is very much tied to a hardware problem, the software is very reliable, it certainly can not be completely bug-free, but I've never seen so dangerous to completely lose control of my multirotor.
When I entered the world of APM Copter I swear that every day at the flying field I wondered if I cant broke something, now I wonder if it should happen instead.

Mr thousands of hours of flawless experience:

Your Arducopter Flyaway Jan 2012 Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcBIHFDDQ1k

Nearly crashed your rig with Autotune, pure luck there (12.Jan 2014) http://tinyurl.com/ousfxor

Even if it is an SimonK issue, well that FW is on Iris ESC as well?

Lol - woops, I think he got you there Marco..:-)

After a software bug leading me to go to the hospital and getting my arm put together again, after many many crashes etc.

Made me chuckle that one.

That's right, the one in the video was my last crash with APM Copter, thousands of flying hours ago.
And with AutoTune I was fine because I had my finger ready, i'm a pilot and i'm a tester ready because i know the risks, I knew that operation could cause problems, they had already had a small quad... :-)
It's not just luck, fortune is that those operations do high enough and in that case I was low, it was my fault but I was able to resume emergency, there is the log, if you do read it you can see it alone.
But I have not crashed, as I have already written.

And about this "dangerous AutoTune" is not an APM Copter bug, only a SimonK firmware know issue.
How many fly-aways event due to gps glitch in APM Copter?
A lot (same here), but many
users try to retrieve the fly-away quad switching to RTL or Loiter... that's cool! :-)

Ahh, hopefully the NOT-bug will not affect the SimonK ESC in Iris.

Hello John,

i am not sure what software crash or whatsoever this was. It has been about 16 months ago. The scars on my arms however are still visible today, so i did not dream it. I overall own 5 copters (4 with N***, one with Multi-Wii) - also with MultiWii we have got unfortunately outstanding issues with the copter of a friend. Last summer we tried to make it work but never could do stable. Now the multiwii is in a state where it switches off all the motors in mid flight and we do not know why even it happened before quite ok (see video here, flight performance is quite impressive: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySvZ2nSIOj4 - in any case, we never made it work that well again)

Back to Arducopter:

What happened was: Arducopter (in this case with a APM (the blue one) (i still have two APM 2.0 around here which i never dared to fly after this, if anyone wants to buy one..) - after landing spinned up the props to a very high throttle (maybe 100%, difficult to say). In the first case it cut my arm. When re-trying it happened again, but someone was able to push the device with the hand into the ground. There have been numerous crashes with APM before - here is a nice selection of crash videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSIp9zY4dxM

The only issue i had with the three lettered flight control was actually related to ESC bullet connectors which caused it twitching. After replacing them all it is ok now and i did not have any issues anymore.

I may try the Pixhawk again at some point, but i am not sure if i want to spend 300 USD again on a flight control where i have no confidence that it works. Wasting the money on three APMs out of which two have never flown i am not too positive that i want to do this..

Anyone interested in two APM 2.0's ? - Maybe as a trade in for a Pixhawk ? ;-)


Instead there may be some problem on this SimonK mounted on IRIS, is possible but this ESC it doesn't work at high voltage, the out-of-sync problems are much more likely with LiPo 5s or 6s.
Follow my "AutoTune" thread if you want some info about this.
Many tests can be done on the ground thus avoiding the crash.

I have been using ardpilot commercially for a long time, I derive a living from uav platforms using the apm 2.5, its the backbone of my business, I don't have a problem and consider the product very good, make no mistake apm is a good product. 

What I mean is that anyone can crash in flight, at any time, the important thing is try to take all possible precautions in both hardware and software in order to minimize this risk, same in flight, same thing in the air, you need to know to handle emergencies when possible.
There are too many electronics on board of these things, it is obvious that something can always happen.
Imho does not mean to point fingers at APM Copter, there are too many other things to take into consideration.

For example, i open all my ESC for reflashing, change all cables redoing the welds from zero (motors, power and even those of the pwm signal), remove the cooling fin and i check with a magnifying glass if the FETs are welded correctly, and if there are residues of hazardous tin... how they do it, and to say how much better they are able to do so?
1 in 1000? Well, the other 999 are more probability to crash... ;)


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