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Another P2 on v3.0.4 lost at sea

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Discussion' started by damoncooper, May 26, 2014.

  1. damoncooper

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    Against my better judgment I re-upgraded to 3,0.4 after reading about folks who had no problems with it "flying smoother than ever", etc. I did a deep IMU calibration, Controller calibration (RC, then PA), and did a short test flight that was stable.

    I then took it out to a beach area and took it up. Full disclosure: winds were about 20mph. Periodically a nearby US flag went out on the mast. I had second thoughts about flying.

    Went up, seemed stable. Took it out over the water, about 20m up, about 60m out.

    I saw it buffeted by a few wind gusts and figured I'd bring her back, but as I began to maneuver around to bring it back, it began a death wobble, then to my horror it literally fell from the sky and several bystanders gasped and then SPLASH.

    Salt water, all is lost.

    Very sad day.
     
  2. IrishSights

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    20mph is a bit steep for me. I chicken out at 15 or even less! Your subject title might be a bit confusing to some as it sort of implies a crash as a result of 3.04.

    Sent from my Galaxy Note 8
     
  3. damoncooper

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    The wind reference was only a disclaimer. The aforementioned stable test flight actually was today with the same conditions.

    I do believe dropping from the sky after the 2-3 second death wobble was in fact a result of the new firmware.
     
  4. N017RW

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    I do feel for anyone who looses an a/c.
    When you fly r/c for a number of years (decades) you understand things happen, fail, and sometimes you [will] lose.

    But to blame the firmware is baseless. You'll need to look for another cause because you haven't proven this one.

    In fact you have contradicted it: 'Against my better judgment... ".

    I'm sure I'll draw some venom for saying such but the 'death wobble', if you are trying to evoke such in the recent common vernacular for VRS, has NOTHING to do with firmware. Its more about understanding the physics of flight dynamics, judgement, and more importantly responsibilty.

    The more I fly this particular a/c the more confident I become that most of the losses are in fact operator error in one form or another.
     
  5. IrishSights

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    I would tend to agree

    Sent from Samsung S4 via Tapatalk
     
  6. Kelso Kubat

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  7. damoncooper

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    A few additional points worth noting:

    - I was stable on v2.0 since it came out, aside from the TBE compass declination issue. The upgrade to v3.0.4 was the factor that changed.

    - There are other myriad of reports of upgrades with similar outcomes which do start lining up dots pointing in one direction. I posted this story as another dot, not as any kind of concrete evidence.

    - If enough of these occurrences take place after upgrades to v3.0.4, perhaps it'd be enough to say a pattern is emerging and DJI can add "dropping from the sky - non-vortex cases" to the list of issues they seriously must attempt to reproduce and fix.

    - Its unlikely VRE was at play here with a steady 20mph wind. I'm sure it's within the realm of the possible but I think system failure as likely if not more so than VRE given the craft was moving and the wind was steady, refreshing the clean air under the craft. The death wobble lasted for a few seconds and the quad literally fell straight down into the sea, splashing down on its side from what I could tell. It appeared it was powered off or similar by its behavior.

    - I can't rule out pilot error. Letting go of the sticks, pushing up on throttle etc should have some effect and no inputs had any effect once the death wobble began.

    So...

    - VRE? Maybe.

    - Too windy? Maybe, but I flew a longer flight earlier same day over water with rock solid results.

    - v3.0.4 upgrade? I can't rule this out and I certainly want to share the experience in case it helps identify similar cases or circumstances resulting in similar outcomes that may be tied to v3.0.4.

    If you guys encounter fatal drops in the next weeks, I'm sure the posting here would be a reference point.

    For the record, replacement gear already ordered. Back on the horse.

    D
     
  8. N017RW

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    No 'firmware' will ever compensate for poor judgement and flying beyond personal and a/c operational limits and capabilities.

    Feel free to blame software but those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
     
  9. damoncooper

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    See above. I'm not ruling out pilot error. I'm not calling DJI or clamoring for free replacement, etc.

    However I listed four possible contributing factors above: VRE (unlikely in my opinion, see above), pilot error, wind and v3.0.4, which has been blamed repeatedly for incidents with very similar characteristics and outcomes.

    This is a dot in the data landscape. If it turns out there is in fact an issue with the firmware, this incident might help demonstrate the case. If not, you guys will not be dropping from the sky in a deadfall and all will be well.

    D
     
  10. N017RW

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    I read this:

    "I saw it buffeted by a few wind gusts and figured I'd bring her back, but as I began to maneuver around to bring it back, it began a death wobble, then to my horror it literally fell from the sky and several bystanders gasped and then SPLASH."

    Were the winds on-shore or off-shore?

    Can you state in what way you feel specifically the firmware is to blame?
     
  11. damoncooper

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    - Winds were blowing into the water (a flag pole was nearby) from onshore in a diagonal direction. I was facing the Atlantic (facing east), winds were approximately 20mph from aprox W or WNW.

    - I've posted the results of my attempts to upgrade to v3.0.4 in several posting here, with my first attempt flying Sat. Multiple flights were a mixed bag and one flight was so erratic I brought it down in fear that it may injure or kill someone (mostly empty park, but the behavior really scared me).

    I backed off to v1.0.8 and did a test flight. 3D gimbal worked and all seemed well.

    I then read in these forums postings from the two guys commenting in this thread and others that v3.0.4 was smooth and they were having no problems.

    So I tried again. It was a main factor that changed. That's all. I am NOT pointing the finger at DJI. There are four likely causal factors in this loss. However, given the similarity with other "dead fall" cases with striking similarities to my case where the pilots DO blame DJI directly, firmware can't be ignored.

    I could have kept quiet and just let my case go undocumented but I figure this is a community and data points can be useful for hard to reproduce issues. So I posted my experience.

    My listing of v3.0.4 as a possible cause shouldn't be taken personally. It's just a data point. Pilot error, wind, VRE, all possible factors.

    Time will tell. If other cases continue to be reported I think it's a serious enough issue that it would warrant critical action. Imagine dead falls in populated areas.

    Hopefully you guys are right and it was just another case of pilot error or excessive wind.
     
  12. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    Couldn't agree more. Complacency. I catch myself overlooking something from time to time.

    OP, sorry about your loss. Were you descending at the time it lost control and fell? Were you flying upwind or downwind? When you say dead fall, did it lose all power? Several people are using 3.04 with no issue so that alone would lead me to believe something else is at play here. Rarely do firmware issues get experienced by only a couple of people.
     
  13. damoncooper

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    I was not descending at all, no. The wind was from the left/rear if you will as the quad flew out over the water. I noticed turbulence and decided to bank left to bring her back closer to me, opposite my shore position. That's when the wobbling started and then the drop after it seemed to struggle for a few seconds.

    Once the drop began, no stick inputs made any difference, including left right, forward backward. VRS came instantly to mind so I tried to get clean air but no response from the bird as it fell to the water. I couldn't tell if power had been cut or what, as it happened pretty fast.

    For the record, I've ordered a small portable anemometer. Hopefully that will give me a hard metric to determine fly/no fly, as it's hard and imprecise to guess wind and gust speeds.
     
  14. Sanababit

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    I feel your pain, you are describing what i am going through with my heli, i am a little afraid of using it in winds above 5 mph, the thing just wobbles or twiches when i make a turn, It looks like its going to fall, i do calibrations, i have changed the props, i have used firmwares from 1.08 to 3.00 (im on 2.00 now), the only thing i have not tried is remove the prop guards, but i like them and since i am new to this, i need them on, oh and dont let me start with the jhook and TBE

    Sana
     
  15. Kelso Kubat

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    another test today with 3.04.
    working great.
    did you lose a vision or non vision?
    :shock:
     
  16. damoncooper

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    Thanks. First post of empathy. I appreciate that :)

    The issues with even "happy" users with drift, J-hook, compass, TBE etc are really unfortunate. DJI needs to expand their engineering and QA teams IMO and institute a world-wide beta program for any new software/firmware, or expand it if they have one.

    It's only a matter of time before someone gets seriously injured as a result of these defects and that will be bad for everyone and the hobby itself.
     
  17. Sanababit

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    You are most welcomed, lol, btw damon, where you using propguards at the time of the accident?

    Sana
     
  18. xgeek

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    Really sorry to hear about your loss man it totally sucks!!

    I am still waiting to do more testing on 3.04 but the 2 flights I have had have been very stable. We probably won't ever know the reason for your loss but it does show the unexpected can happen anytime we fly.
     
  19. damoncooper

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    If you're feeling confident, take er up in 20mph winds and try some maneuvers.

    I had a P2 non-vision with ts352, Flytrex Core v2, H3-3D, GP Black 3+.
     
  20. damoncooper

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    Thanks for that.