Why your quad flips out when you try to take off and how to fix it

This will happen to you. It has happened to every pilot at some point, so it’s not a matter of if, it’s when. 

Here are 6 things you should check if your quad flips out when you try to fly – and hopefully a fix for each one that will work out for you and your quad.

Number One
The Props are incorrectly installed. Double and triple check that your props are spinning the right way.  Refer to the diagram of the quad on the Configuration Tab for the correct orientation.

Number Two
One or more of the motors is spinning the wrong way. Take off your props, go to Betaflight. Go to the Motors Tab, check the box about risks, slowly increase the slider for each motor and check they are spinning the right way. Refer to the diagram on the Configuration Tab for the correct direction for your motors to be spinning.

If you do have a motor spinning the wrong way you have a couple of options.

If you have BLheli_S ESC’s, use BLHeli configurator to change the direction. If you have BLheli_32 ESC’s, use BLheli_32 Suit to do it. Or you can simply swap and resolder two motor wires, which will manually change that motor’s direction. 

Number Three
Channel Mapping. Your radio is probably going to be Mode 2 – which is throttle and yaw on the left stick and pitch and roll on the right. One reason your quad might be flipping out is you have the order wrong. Go to Betaflight and the Receiver Tab. Check that when you raise the throttle, the throttle bar moves in Betaflight. Check yaw, pitch and roll also. If the order is wrong, you can just rewrite the order displayed on the right. It may be AETR1234, but you may need to type in TAER1234 instead.

Number Four
Motor mapping. One or more of your motors is mapped incorrectly. This will usually only be the case if you have installed a 4 in 1 ESC in the wrong orientation. You can either take your quad apart and right the ESC, or you can remap the motors to correspond with the funky ESC position. It’s not super complicated. Go to the CLI Tab in Betaflight, type resource and hit enter to see the original mapping. The motors will be listed like:  
                       

resource MOTOR 1 B03

resource MOTOR 2 B04

resource MOTOR 3 B06

resource MOTOR 4 B07


Go to the Motors Tab and take note of the number of each motor on this screen. Click ‘I accept the risk’ and slowly spin up each motor one by one. (you can use the slider or click on the slider and then use the up and down arrows on your keyboard this method is a bit more precise.)

If you spin up motor 1, but it spins the motor where the number 4 motor should be,you need to swap those two in the CLI. For the above example, you would type in the following.

resource MOTOR 4 B03
resource MOTOR 1 B07

save

It is best to do this step with some pen and paper. Or you can do it by trial and error in the motors tab. 

Number Five
You accidentally checked the reverse motor direction in Betaflight on the Config Tab. This is an easy one that is often overlooked by troubleshooters.
This feature doesn’t actually change the direction of the motors or ESC’s. It simply tells Betaflight you reversed the motors. You only need to do this if you want to run your props in the opposite direction. Just leave this turned off unless you know what you’re doing. 


Number Six
Flight controller orientation. Go to the Setup Tab in Betaflight. Check that the 3D representation of your quad is moving as it should. Make sure the quad is on level and upright surface. If your orientation is correct, It should appear to also be upright and level in the model. Pick up the quad and tilt it down, the green arrow at the front of the model should be tilting down also. It becomes obvious pretty quickly if the orientation is wrong.

If this is your problem you can fix it by going over to the Configuration Tab in Betaflight. Look for the Board and Sensor Alignment section and change it depending how the quad was reacting. You may need to adjust the YAW and ROLL degrees to match how your flight controller is sitting in your quad. It is most likely going to be a YAW axis issue, so start there.

For example, the opposite end to the green arrow tilts down when you tilt the quad down – change YAW degrees to 180. 

Resources:

Motor Remapping

https://github.com/betaflight/betaflight/wiki/Remapping-Motors-with-Resource-Command-(3.1)

BLheli_S Configurator

https://github.com/blheli-configurator/blheli-configurator/releases/tag/1.2.0

BLheli_32 Suite

https://github.com/bitdump/BLHeli/tree/master/BLHeli_32%20ARM

If you are still stuck after trying all of these fixes, come join us on the Discord and someone will be glad to help.

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