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Crash, no burn. Got lucky.

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by StumbleBee, Sep 6, 2016.

  1. StumbleBee

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    My brother was very interested in learning to use my P3P and so lessons were in order. By the fifth battery he was ready to 'solo', with me only watching. Little did I realize that instead of the usual 150' he'd always flown at he went up to 120' (40 meters). He was flying above a ten acre open field edged by tall old growth pines. Some were on a hill.
    Unfortunately the pines on the hill went up to 121 feet and I watched as the screen went blank with the 'motor interference' screen lit up, followed by 'disconnected'. I knew StumbleBee wasn't coming home.
    I was able to pinpoint the exact signal loss point, complete with video of the bird spinning wildly and plummeting 25 feet before the battery went its own way. Retrieval required a long walk to the hill. Naturally I was prepared for the worst.
    To my near shock I immediately found the P3P, on it's side embedded in a pine needle blanket and the battery only a few feet away. The body was a little scarred, and the props looked like they had blended a pine tree, but there were no cracks visible and the gimbal was intact! That last bit was a real surprise, I had been trying to recall what a new assembly would cost me as I hiked over. Apparently the only damage I had was that the CF gimbal/camera guard from DJI which I had installed was broken in half. I reinstalled the battery and fired the bird up. After running through my usual preflight I lifted off and hovered at 4' for a minute before landing. All was good.
    I have now replaced the props -just because, and done some further tests and evaluation. Everything looks good to go. I've flown half a million feet without an incident and my failure to check a newbie closely almost cost me my P3P. A cheap lesson learned!
     
    dec and Dirty Bird like this.
  2. RedHotPoker

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    So you brought her home, intact infact & ready to fly another day.

    If there was a moral to this story, you learned a valuable lesson...

    RedHotPoker
     
  3. iflyhelis

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    You are so lucky!

    BTW

    I ran into a propeller loss in flight, have you ever had that happen to you?

    Also, they say to only tighten the props 1/8th turn beyond hand tight, I now do not understand that is proper & I am now using a tool that I was given by a vendor to help hold the motor, while screwing on the prop.

    Kurt
     
  4. StumbleBee

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    Yes I did. Although I put new props on I decided that all the marks on the body would remain. Kinda like battle scars. Adds a little character I say. I ordered a new gimbal guard from Amazon, that really saved my butt!
     
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  5. StumbleBee

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    Ouch. Propeller loss is something I try to make sure never happens to me. I try to tighten but not overtighten whenever installing them. The fact that I can keep my props installed between flights is a help. I have a big case.
     
  6. RedHotPoker

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    Unlike he, who tries to remove any telltale marks, representing pilot error. Hahaha
    No, Not I though, no, Never.. ;-)

    Keeping her clean is a priority, & I have two brilliant reasons why.
    [​IMG]

    Sure, I wear my personal scars proudly, but never let my drone be seen in that light. Especially now, as the light is very bright indeed!!

    I have not had the "miss-opportunity" yet to test my 3D printed gimbal gaurd, and hope that I never do!!

    RedHotPoker
     
    #6 RedHotPoker, Sep 6, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2016
  7. StumbleBee

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    Hey, you mention that light one more time and I'm thinking you own stock in the company! ;)
    I accept blame for the crash, even though I was not at the controls the pilot was under my observation and I failed to ensure something as basic as altitude was correct for the flight plan. I was happy when we found StumbleBee, but my brother was overjoyed. He thought he killed it. I had already told him it was my responsibility. Still, he felt like he should have known to make it fly higher. His eyesight isn't so good and he kept it lower so that he could more easily see attitude and the effect of rudder manipulation.
     
  8. RedHotPoker

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    Stock? No, I'm just affiliated..
    Thankfully It all worked out in the end, and most thankfully no one was hurt. ;-)

    I think we all experience these failures from time to time.
    Having a good attitude is helpful. Ha


    RedHotPoker
     
  9. iflyhelis

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    Like I said, holding the motor & trying to make the prop tight, then using the tool, I was able to tighten it even more.

    I feel, that when you maneuver around, drastically then do a downward descent, you then allow the motors to slow down with the possibility of it un-screwing the prop.

    So, I am using the tool to tighten the props now!

    My initial contact with DJI was not what I expected, but I have since checked out everything & flew it today with great success!

    I told DJI, if I ever lose a prop again at a greater altitude than 5 feet & it gets destroyed, I will be fileing a claim.

    I was tempted to state a "Class Action Law Suite" will be coming soon! But I didn't do that, but I will if it happens again1

    I have flown RC Helicopters for 12 years, they at least can auto-rotate down for a safe landing, these things don't have that ability!

    Kurt
     
  10. impilot51

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    The tool is really to remove props, not to tighten them. You run a real risk of thread damage doing this.

    Tighten the prop roughly 1/8 of a turn past when it stops on its own if you spin them on. That's plenty tight.


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots
     
    razzyh likes this.
  11. RedHotPoker

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    Yes, never a need to horse them on. Yes haw!!

    & No white knuckles, until you are actually in flight. Whoa boy...

    Then it's high-time to get a grip, so to speak!!

    RedHotPoker
     
  12. Trinimon

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    Count your lucky stars!

    I had similar luck a few weeks ago on my first crash. Was shooting resort videos one early morning for my buddy and I figured it would be cool footage to fly up over the pool then down between these two resorts and follow the boardwalk down to the beach in one seamless take. Well it started off good and just as I'm starting to fly between the two resorts, a woman staying at one of the resorts comes over and asks if she could watch. Turned my head for a sec to say "sure" and by the time I turned back, the drone was drifting towards the side of one of the resorts. Well, guess you can't stop these things on a dime, right? BANG!! Right into the side of the resort and I watch in horror as my bird fell limp 25feet down to the ground. I turned around and the woman was nowhere to be seen. She'd taken off the second the drone crashed. My heart was racing as I started walking over to retrieve my drone expecting to see it in pieces. I lucked out! The drone fell right into a fluffy hedge which helped break the fall and then tumbled onto the soft lawn. No damage except some impact scratches to one prop and light scuff on the shell. Knock on wood, no cracks and gimbal/camera in working order. Managed to carry on shooting the rest of the week. Shudda bought myself a lottery ticket! lol
     
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  13. StumbleBee

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    We must have both used up all our luck in one shot. Fly safe, and don't get distracted for a second. My mantra from now on!
    An interesting side note. I 'blew up' the GPS overlay on the Google Map and I can see that the bird first contacted the pine and sort of boomeranged in a small loop, still flying. The problem is that it flew itself directly back into the top few inches of the tree. The second time was the last time. You fell into a soft bush. I had a long way to go to the ground but it was through small pliable branches, some twigs, and then into a mattress of pine needles. I couldn't have planned it better. If I was planning to crash that is.
    PS I'd change those props anyway. Cheap insurance if any microscopic cracks got started.
     
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  14. Trinimon

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    Yeah, didn't think of changing the props since I didn't notice any damages other than a slight scuff on one hub. I didn't think of possible micro fractures. Maybe I got lucky a few more times since. Whew! Guess I know what I'm doing before my next flight.

    I guess you lucked out twice yourself, had the drone not boomerang back into the tree, it might have just fallen straight down into the dirt. Kaboom!

    Does anyone else get nervous when someone other than yourself is flying your bird?
     
  15. jai

    jai

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    what a noise when you flip it on landing
     
  16. iflyhelis

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    I understand that the prop threads can strip out, someone here had that happen.

    But, I can't hold on to the motor tight enough & it slips in my hand, so I use the tool. I am almost 70 years old & my grip with my hands on something like this, isn't enough.

    Kurt
     
  17. WayneMHK

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    Lost a prop once. Was in a hurry, didn't get it on squarely, (felt tight), but I remember it seeming odd at the time. Sure enough, it came off in flight. Knew the instant it happened what I'd done. Still confident that if they're on correctly, hand-tight is plenty.