Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

Sign up for a weekly email of the latest drone news & information

Broken hearted today...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by robfern, Jul 24, 2015.

  1. robfern

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2014
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    5
    I lost my good friend today...so please don't give me a hard time about woulda/shoulda/coulda.

    I'm just sharing my story as it might help someone else, and perhaps for cathartic purposes for me.

    I've had a Phantom 1.1.1 with Stella Gimbal and GoPro Hero3+ Black for about 1.5 years. Started off with no confidence, and ended with probably overconfidence. I flew over a hundred times in various conditions and all with great footage. I've done some dumb things to be sure, but with your education, I've been what I consider a responsible droner.

    We are on vacation at the beach in Florida, and I figured yet another great venue for footage. I kept away from people as I began to wander out a bit further each flight over the ocean. No risk no reward when it comes to good footage, in my book, as long as you stay safe.

    After about 8 successful flights, my ninth was the nightmare I hoped would never come. Did a preflight check, all looked good, and had an uneventful takeoff. Once I felt everything was stable, I ventured off over the ocean. About 200-300 feet in altitude and about 150-200 yards out over the dark blue. My intent was to hover searching for marine life, then work my way back and take some riskier water skimming footage. Instead what I got was an exploding (shattering) propeller at the pinnacle of my ascent.

    I watched in horror as the drone took a death spiral down to the ocean with a painful splash. Again, nowhere near people, but of course I'm not happy with my contribution to the ocean...both for myself and the wildlife.

    I wandered out in a kayak for some sort of salvage attempt, but I'm confident its on the ocean floor.

    My heart is broken. I've truly enjoyed my time with my phantom. Homeowners does not cover the loss. DJI phone lines are too busy to get in a call at this time, but I doubt they will help me.

    Not sure why the prop failed, but it did, and it is what it is now. Just sharing my heartbreak with you guys.

    Thanks for all your expert advise over the last year...it was fun while it lasted.

    Robfern
     
  2. saylor

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2015
    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    GARLAND TEXAS BABY ! ! ! 1
    **** that sucks eggs
     
    robfern likes this.
  3. izzydrone

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2015
    Messages:
    238
    Likes Received:
    51
    Phantom 1.... Geezers it was a blessing .... Would you fly in a older plane ? Or newer plane? And if you flew in a older one you should service all parts frequently . Just saying but what do I know
     
  4. LUISMARTINEZ

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2015
    Messages:
    759
    Likes Received:
    272
    Sorry, man. Stuff happens and I would shed tears if that happened to my P3P. Thank you for sharing your story as reinforcement of the wisdom of following the guidelines, (attn. forum police-notice I didn't say rules) not to fly over people. Technology will fail. I commend you for your concern over following safety guidelines.

    Just curious, how many hours on the props?
     
  5. robfern

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2014
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    5
    Not much Luis. I would say about 20 flights at about 8 minutes each. Relatively new DJI props.

    And for the record, I've had the Phantom 1 since Dec 2014. I don't consider that old, and it was always serviced. She was my baby. I had no indication of a weakness in any of the props, or I certainly would not have taken it up...have plenty of replacement blades sitting right next to me.
     
    JKDSensei likes this.
  6. BlackHawk388

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Messages:
    507
    Likes Received:
    202
    Location:
    Point Washington, FL.
    **** brother. I'm sorry to read of your loss. It is a completely human thing to attach emotions to objects and I've done it myself with this battered old SR120 Heli I have. Which is why I'm in the midst of repairing it once again. lol

    On the plus side of things, you have everything you need to fly except the Quad itself. Once you've come to grips with the loss, start looking for another quad to replace your lost one. Get back on that horse my man. The cost of replacement will be much less than initially. Or, if you're so inclined and financially able, do a complete upgrade to a P3 and then, sell of the parts you have left over to offset the cost of acquiring a new craft.

    I know it would cause me to be sick to my stomach to lose this P2V+ V3 I currently have. Even more so because it was a gift to me from a family member and not something I could afford to immediately replace myself were it to be lost. So I take extreme measures to examine it.

    This is something I'll make a separate thread about.
     
  7. Tbock

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2015
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    25
    Think positive, at least this gives you a reason to upgrade to a P3. Maybe throw on the red stripes in memory of your fallen friend ;0)
     
    robfern likes this.
  8. robfern

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2014
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    5
    Thanks for the kind reply. Ironically, I texted my best friend immediately afterwards: "Blackhawk down, recovery mission failed".
     
  9. RedHotPoker

    Joined:
    May 3, 2015
    Messages:
    3,972
    Likes Received:
    1,365
    Location:
    Edmonton Alberta
    Hey bro,
    Broken hearted yes, but healing very nicely, from the inside out.
    I am very sorry for your devasting loss. I can sympathize with your feelings and have been there plenty of times in my own life.
    Please don't give up on the sport, hobby and fantastic lifestyle.
    The older Phantom can be replaced, and the newer ones, when they're flying right, are even more fun, than those first early models.
    Please save up some money and get back in the race, you can do this. Sure it may take a bit of time, but that's all we have in life, is some time here on Mother Earth. If the horse throws you, get right back on, and ride... You need this... We want you to be around for a long time to come, so just know you have friends here that support you. Again, very sorry for your loss, but if can be replaced. So please cheer up, ok? ;-) it's going to be ok.

    RedHotPoker
     
  10. LUISMARTINEZ

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2015
    Messages:
    759
    Likes Received:
    272
    Well y
    You have prompted me to add a close (using magnifier glass, which I just added to my toolbox) inspection to my preflight checklist. Thanks for sharing.
     
  11. snowghost

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2015
    Messages:
    1,058
    Likes Received:
    213
    Location:
    SoCal, USA
    Could it have hit something to shatter like that?
     
  12. robfern

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2014
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    5
    I suppose anything is possible, however I did not see any birds in the area, and I only saw one object in a death spiral, and it was my phantom. I had a good eye on it and a spotter in case. Neither of us saw any obstructions.
     
  13. BlackHawk388

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Messages:
    507
    Likes Received:
    202
    Location:
    Point Washington, FL.
    I knew all of the Blackhawk Crew Members on that ill fated mission. Was close friends with Tommy and Bill. A few of the ones wounded I'm still friends with to this day. Mr. Franks was the first pilot I flew with in my old unit. When Mr. Durant returned to our flight line at Fort Campbell, Lee Greenwood was there to sing his song, "God Bless the USA" while Durant was being unloaded from the aircraft on a hospital bed. Bitter memories, but awesome as well. Conflicting in nature for sure.

    If my son were to have been due just two months later, I would have been on that mission myself.

    It is one of many things that still cause me to lose sleep from my time in Army Aviation. However, I remain so very grateful to have been there to experience it. Even the difficult times. All of the experiences have defined me as a man in this world. Indeed, my name on this forum reflects the MH-60K aircraft I took from being the biggest hunk of **** to the Flight Lead aircraft of choice.

    Sorry for the rambling. Your statement about "Blackhawk Down" brought up some memories.
     
    Grimfever likes this.
  14. RoyVa

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2015
    Messages:
    2,246
    Likes Received:
    449
    Location:
    Virginia
    Oh man that is a killer. Sounds like you may have sucked a bird into your engine. (Prop) as the two will not and cannot mix. Birds seem to be curious or intimidated by the quad or the sound produced. Have seen many videos of them attacking. Every once in a while contact is make and over water it's costly. We feal the pain and your loss. As they say down Texas way. She was a good ole gal!
     
    robfern likes this.
  15. robfern

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2014
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    5
    Ouch...sorry about that good sir...I certainly didn't mean any disrespect, as in my world I was simply quoting a movie. My accident today is not even on the same planet as that incident.

    Thank you very much for your service to this wonderful country...we all owe you a debt that cannot be repaid.
     
    BlackHawk388 and Marlin009 like this.
  16. dirkclod

    dirkclod Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2014
    Messages:
    10,687
    Likes Received:
    5,713
    Location:
    Amory Mississippi
    Hate to read this rob.. get you another and keep on flying !
     
  17. BlackHawk388

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Messages:
    507
    Likes Received:
    202
    Location:
    Point Washington, FL.
    Please, do not think you need to apologize! If I expected apologies from everyone in an aviation related hobby or career who used the same phrase, I'd be doing nothing but looking for apologies! ;)

    I've used that phrase myself in the past when referring to a few of us Helicopter junkies crashing one of our R/C Heli's. No offense taken. For some reason, it just caught me off guard. Been a while since I've heard or read it.

    Hard to believe it has been over 20 years since that experience. Man, time goes by so quickly!
     
  18. timmer

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2015
    Messages:
    252
    Likes Received:
    74
    Location:
    New Orleans
    robfern - First off, sorry for your loss. I'm thinking about getting one of these to help me recover my Phantom when over water.

    BlackHawk388 - I remember the incident in Somalia well. We can thank Madeleine Albright for that fiasco.

    Tim - Navy A6 bomber Electronic Tech.
     
  19. BlackHawk388

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Messages:
    507
    Likes Received:
    202
    Location:
    Point Washington, FL.
    More so, we can thank Bill Clinton for not sending in the available, and offered, Pakistani armor forces, as well as our own.
     
  20. rhj12345

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Arvada, CO
    I have had birds attack my P3 a few times. Still waiting for the laser upgrade!!