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Uncommanded altitude descent and climb

Hawkwind

Member
Join
Apr 19, 2018
Messages
10
FYI:

Yesterday I was flying in an area that I fly regularly and had my Spark do an uncommanded descent then climb. It dropped about 70ft, then ascended 250ft over about 50 seconds. As I play back the logs and watch the stick inputs, neither the descent nor the ascent were commanded.

Prior to this, just after launch, I did briefly get "Weak GPS signal" (with 15 satellites!), then "IMU heading error, please restart the aircraft" and "Compass error, exit P-GPS mode".

Before the descent and ascent, it seemed to respond and everything appeared normal after the error messages. During the ascent, I brought it back closer to me, it dropped altitude without stick inputs. From there, the aircraft appeared to respond normally, so I continued the flight.

Afterwards on this flight and the next flight, I had no issues. I checked the IMU and compass later and there were no errors.

Next time, I will plan to bring it back home and restart the aircraft when I get IMU heading and compass errors.

I have many hours (and miles) of flying this spark and have never encountered this before. This aircraft and system are a robust integration of technology that has way exceeded my expectations. I'm not sure what caused the weak GPS and error messages.

Bottom line, be aware, when in doubt, bring it back.
 

Hawkwind

Member
Join
Apr 19, 2018
Messages
10
Agreed. You were fortunate to get home safely after 3 major error messages.

Your story reads like the beginning of a fly away incident. Glad that was not the outcome.

Any one of those messages warrants an immediate RTH.
Yes, I agree. The aircraft was essentially at home when the messages appeared. This was just after launch.
 
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Miket

Well-Known Member
Join
Jul 12, 2018
Messages
83
Age
69
FYI:

Yesterday I was flying in an area that I fly regularly and had my Spark do an uncommanded descent then climb. It dropped about 70ft, then ascended 250ft over about 50 seconds. As I play back the logs and watch the stick inputs, neither the descent nor the ascent were commanded.

Prior to this, just after launch, I did briefly get "Weak GPS signal" (with 15 satellites!), then "IMU heading error, please restart the aircraft" and "Compass error, exit P-GPS mode".

Before the descent and ascent, it seemed to respond and everything appeared normal after the error messages. During the ascent, I brought it back closer to me, it dropped altitude without stick inputs. From there, the aircraft appeared to respond normally, so I continued the flight.

Afterwards on this flight and the next flight, I had no issues. I checked the IMU and compass later and there were no errors.

Next time, I will plan to bring it back home and restart the aircraft when I get IMU heading and compass errors.

I have many hours (and miles) of flying this spark and have never encountered this before. This aircraft and system are a robust integration of technology that has way exceeded my expectations. I'm not sure what caused the weak GPS and error messages.

Bottom line, be aware, when in doubt, bring it back.
Your bottom line is the best rule in the book. The theory to 'ignore it, and hope it goes away' will probably come true, but it will be sparky that goes away. I love my spark too much to take a chance on losing it.
 
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