Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

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

Disaster struck today - drone fell from sky

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision + Discussion' started by russianfront, Dec 19, 2014.

  1. russianfront

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2014
    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    Disaster has struck and my new drone is trashed after about successful 10 flights.

    Was flying in a completely open area (over a soccer field). Went through my pre-flight checklist. Calibrated compass. Had 95% battery power. 7 satellites locked at takeoff, 9 once I was up in the sky. Could see the drone the entire flight which was only about 8 minutes. Was bringing it back to me (say 200' up and 100' away) when all of a sudden I heard the props switch off and the drone simply plummeted to the ground. I saw every painful second of it. Landed on the soft grass turf. Pretty big damage - Landing gear broken, prop broken, prop guard broken and camera/gimbal all messed up. Battery popped out on impact. I've been flying it for 2 weeks with no problems at all except for the occasional "control signal lost" when I hit 400' altitude or so. I updated the firmware and everything else. Phantom Assistant software reported everything was up to date.

    What should I do? Send back to DJI? I am now wondering how safe these things are. I shudder to think if I was flying over a house, street or people when I decided to act like a flying brick. I have read a lot about "flyaways". This was no flyaway. It looks like the power cut off for whatever and it crashed hard.

    I was thinking of stepping up to the new DJI Inspire One. Not going to happen until DJI makes these things bombproof. I am starting to realize that these things are dangerous if they malfunction.


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. hunch

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2014
    Messages:
    1,500
    Likes Received:
    225
    If you decide not to send it to Dji, send it my way and I will get her up in the air for you.
    Hani

    Btw does it still power up and do the motors spin up when you do csc?
     
  3. jason4vu

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2014
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Maybe motors were shut off by having the throttle all the way down for 2 secs. I believe the motors can be shut off that way
     
  4. Nathan Carter

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2014
    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Only if you simultaneously had an failure on the onboard barometer(altimeter). The motors shut down if throttle is all the way down for 3 seconds AND if during that time the altitude does not change.

    you could only shut them down in mid air if you execute an CSC(the sam thing you do to start them).

    @russianfront: sorry for your mishap, I hope you get it fixed! If I had to speculate about the cause I would say a loose power connection. Maybe even the soldered point on the main board got loose under vibration. That would be either a factory issue or a problem caused by any potential crashes that you had before....
     
  5. flyNfrank

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2014
    Messages:
    4,211
    Likes Received:
    907
    Location:
    Indy, USA
    That is not what happened on this crash.

    It looks to be a product of the GPS issue I warned everyone about. The reason I say that is, his quad never lost power before hitting the ground. The telemetry shows data at 36.5ft which takes a gps signal for that info. I think his quad reacted to a broken gps plug connection, and then went into a combo of Manual & Atti mode. It then dropped from the sky until I switched S1 from GPS mode to Atti made and back to GPS mode. As soon as it went back to GPS mode the motors spun up and it was like hitting the brakes.

    Anyway, that's what I think happened here. Btw, sorry your quad was trashed.
     
  6. Nathan Carter

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2014
    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Hmm interesting point. But I don't belive that's what happened here. For several reasons, he said he "heard the props switch off", and if it was a loose GPS connector it would not show 9 satellites in the frozen telemetry shot. Also after you pointed out to the telemetry photo, it got me thinking and I'm now almost 100% sure he lost complete power in flight. The screen shows "Phantom Connection Broken" which means WiFi on the phantom turned off. Also he said he heard it went silent. That would indicate that everything had shut down. So either a dead battery, or loose battery connector or fallen soldered connection on the main board.

    As a side(not related) note, flyNfrank, you mentioned "36.5ft which takes a gps signal for that info". For altitude GPS is not needed, barometer is being used... But to be honest I'm not quite sure you even implied it was needed, maybe I misunderstood your sentence.
     
  7. justin00

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2014
    Messages:
    1,143
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    Australia
    Could be what others are reporting.. new motor wire insulation melting off and shorting out... could be 100 things.
    I tested the gps plug.. I started up the motors and went to full speed.. and yanked out the plug.. the motors kept going but tele data dissapeared.. After about 5 seconds it said connection lost and the camera / wifi stopped but the motors were still running at full speed and responded to controlls.

    Id take off case and check if gps cable is firmly attached as Frank is suggesting... then check if any burnt components/wires on the motors/ESC/anywhere.
    When you take it off do it very slow to check if gps cable is attached, if you pull it off to quickly it will pull out the cable and you may think it was not attached.

    Reason I say to check yourself is... i dunno where you got it from, but not all shops are honest... they might open it up and not mention the inside is fried which couldnt be your fault..and should entitle you to a new one..
     
  8. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2014
    Messages:
    7,695
    Likes Received:
    3,425
    Wrong - very wrong. Phantom pilots bring their machines down that way all the time.
    You cannot shut off the motors in the air by holding the throttle down - even for much longer than 2 seconds.
     
  9. burlbark

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2014
    Messages:
    502
    Likes Received:
    16
    It looks completely repairable but I hope you where under warranty.
     
  10. Fplvert

    Joined:
    May 28, 2014
    Messages:
    1,559
    Likes Received:
    708
    Location:
    Southern Idaho USA
    :roll:
    Sure, right after general aviation is "bombproof."

    I have high hopes, but not high expectations. :cry:
     
  11. russianfront

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2014
    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    Just to be clear...
    It fell from at least 200' in the sky. Could have even been 300'. It hit soft turf (been raining a lot and the ground is soaking) or else there would have been a big parts explosion I'm sure. I absolutely could hear the blades turning until it just went silent and started its death plunge. Its strange how slowly it seemed to fall. Time stands still at these moments. Again I took off with about 95% battery and according to my frozen app it had 60%+ remaining. The only noteworthy part of the brief flight is that I got 3 different "control signal lost" warnings even as low as about 400'.
    I am going to send it back to Amazon tomorrow for a refund and then get another one. In the future though I am going to be super paranoid about where I fly it. I don't care about the value of the drone but I do care about human life and this thing bricking out on me could have ended in tragedy if I was flying over a street or a crowd of people. Today was humbling for me. I realized once again that no technology is failsafe. The difference between a TV and a drone malfunction is that the drone malfunction could kill someone as a result.
     
  12. russianfront

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2014
    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    No crashes or hard landings. Only flew it about 15 times over 2 weeks. Babied it and tried to do everything right. Been living on these forums and watching Youtube videos for tips for weeks.


     
  13. SteveMann

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Messages:
    1,977
    Likes Received:
    652
    Location:
    Westford, MA
    There was a crash a few weeks ago where the wire from the battery to the mainboard had a cold solder joint and suddenly all power was lost. Open it up and see if you have the same problem. If so, then you may have an argument to take to DJI.
     
  14. EMCSQUAR

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2013
    Messages:
    1,692
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    N 44.895 W 93.354 Minnesota
    Cold solder joints coming loose have been a long time issue w/DJI. Anytime I have one apart or build one - everything that could possibly shake loose gets a blob of hot glue just for insurance.
     
  15. russianfront

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2014
    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    I am almost 100% positive that the Phantom suffered a complete power failure in mid flight. It went down to its demise without even a whisper. . See the following threads:

    viewtopic.php?f=7&t=14282

    viewtopic.php?f=7&t=5305

    By the way it powers on and the props spin when started up by the controller. This makes me suspect it is an intermitent problem. Not going to try to fly it as its on its way back to Amazon tomorrow.

    Gimbal is all messed up. It is tilted over on its side and is making a clicking noise.

    I was thinking of trying to crack open the shell to see what I can find on the inside but I decided not to as I don't want to be accused of tampering with it. I will put my faith in Amazon that they will make this right. DJI quality control seems abysmal the more I read about their track record.
     
  16. 4wd

    4wd

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2014
    Messages:
    2,532
    Likes Received:
    421
    Location:
    North York Moors
    With early versions of phantom assistant, you could select or deselect "intelligent shutdown", so I understand why that possibility is suggested.
    Maybe the battery connection failed in this case, that's a previously documented though rare fault.
     
  17. knowonecares

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2014
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Long Beach, CA
    That's why I'm flying with a GoPro attached to my forehead, a second pair of eyes and ears. I'm a newbie as well and am now hesitant to fly before I check out all the solder points, motor magnets, ESCs, ribbons, gimbals, props, RCs, LED patterns, GPS plugs, battery contacts, firmwares, softwares, upgrades, wind apps, magnetic declination zones, Kn Indexes, and then maybe go have some fun; if it stays in the air and does as its told. Thanks for the posts by all, you are saving people money and heartache...
     
  18. robinb

    Joined:
    May 10, 2014
    Messages:
    2,907
    Likes Received:
    503
    Location:
    A place in the sun
    A power failure sound obvious but if thats the case why does the phone show current battery power and GPS signal ?
     
  19. rbhamilton

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2014
    Messages:
    538
    Likes Received:
    12
    Good thing you bought it from Amazon. I love Amazon.

    Don't open it up. Just send it back. Let DJI try and figure out what happened.
     
  20. DrJoe

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2014
    Messages:
    591
    Likes Received:
    96
    Not a GPS fail, proven by satellite readout.
    Not a battery failure or power failure, proven by battery telemetry
    Not an ESC failure, since all motors stopped.
    Inspection will likely prove no solder joint failure of power wires (likely none, I will assume this is the case)

    Ruling out all of the above, this was an inadvertent CSC. While CSC's are a decent attempt at a "fail safe" by DJI, giving the pilot an emergency way to shut down even when flying, it is possible to inadvertently shut down if the pilot makes that error.

    Final determination: Pilot error caused by inadvertent shut down command (CSC).