Date Released: February 8, 2023
Subject: Grounding of All Astro Aircraft – In-Flight Software Failure Investigation
Effectivity: Effective immediately
Required Action: Suspend all Astro flight operations and ground aircraft until further notice from Freefly Systems
Affected Part Numbers:
- Astro Base – Sku: 950-00108-01, 950-00108
- Astro Map – Sku: 950-00106-01, 950-00106
This Service Bulletin is issued to recommend temporarily grounding of all Astro aircraft due to an in-flight software failure causing a crash and an ongoing investigation to determine the root cause.
On February 7th 2023, A customer flying Astro had an in-flight software failure, resulting in a crash. The Freefly team is conducting a thorough investigation to determine the root cause of this crash. As a precaution and given the severity of the issue, all Astro aircraft should be temporarily grounded effective immediately, until further updates are provided by Freefly.
An Astro flying with release firmware version 1.1.14 had a temporary hang for 1.1 seconds, causing flight control to either cease or function improperly. After 1.1 seconds, despite the flight controller appearing to regain control based on the log data analysis, the aircraft did not have enough time to recover and gain altitude before it crashed.
Investigation thus far reveals that a logging thread on the flight controller failed to write to the SD card prior to the event. Post-recovery, the flight controller appeared operational based on telemetry data, and resumed control over the vehicle.
This failure affecting the flight controls should have been prevented by the system design, but it failed in this instance, requiring further investigation.
We understand the impact that this has on our customers’ operations and are tackling this investigation with the highest urgency.
- Suspend all flight operations with Astro and keep aircraft grounded until further notice
- Monitor for any Freefly communications regarding this Service Bulletin and required customer actions.
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