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DJI Update - Phantom dropped from the sky at 400ft w/video. Options for sending in?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Dustin_W, Oct 5, 2016.

  1. Dustin_W

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    UPDATED 11/1/16

    Just got word back from DJI that the repair is covered under warranty. That's good news because it looks like it would have cost around $415 to repair if it wasn't.

    Go to my post where I was confused if I had to pay or not. The follow post after that is after I found out that I didn't.

    Phantom dropped from the sky at 400ft w/video. Options for sending in?


    Original Post

    I am trying to get a definite answer from DJI, and all I keep getting is "Send it in." I'm trying to figure out if it will just be easier and quicker, and just as much to just buy a replacement.

    Here's my situation.

    This past saturday I was flying my P3 Pro. I was flying over an old minor league ballpark converted into apartments. The facade and field are still there. I had just reached 400 feet, and then was going to track back. The camera was facing straight down. Just a second after starting to move back, the drone took a hit. My guess was a bird. The left side landing gear and front left propeller (from the POV of the camera) were instantly in frame. From that point on, the drone tumbled down 400ft end over end.

    My app logged that at the moment of impact it was going about 130 mph down, and about 52 mph laterally. It hit the roof of the building, and skipped off it. I was super lucky to find the drone had landed on the ground in about a 10 foot wide patch of grass, and not on top of a car in the parking lot just feet away.

    The drone is completely busted. Two arms are broken, one side of the landing gear is broken. The drone has split at the seam and a PCB card is popping out with some cables. The body has crease damage. AND the camera/gimbal completely snapped off. The base with the memory card was still barely attached, but the the camera rig snapped off just below that. I was unable to locate the camera or gimbal.

    I have contacted the building to see if they'll let me, or send someone on top of the roof to look for the camera, but haven't heard anything back.

    So my question is. This drone is probably a total loss. I can't imagine that they've seen much worse. The question that I cannot get out of DJI is, if I purchase the Care package after the crash, can I still apply it to this drone. I know that they'd be able to tell when the crash was, so I wouldn't try to hide that fact. All I keep getting is "fill out an RMA so that we can inspect it and to see if it's under warranty."

    This was purchased in June '16 from Amazon. I was 300 ft above running into anything. The stadium lights are still up, and in the video, you can clearly see I'm way above them. So I am 100% confident that I did not cause this issue.

    Anyone have any insight as to what my options are, or a better idea at how this process will work? I see I can purchase a replacement for just over $700. If I send it in without any warranty or Care, and it does need replacing and not fixed, will it be any cheaper? or be more because of the inspection and shipping?

    I've attached a screenshot of the log the app took at the last moment.

     

    Attached Files:

    #1 Dustin_W, Oct 5, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2016
    Reed L and Rob1962 like this.
  2. Dustin_W

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    I know the screenshot says P-Atti mode, I was flying in GPS mode. As it was tumbling, it lost GPS signal.
     
  3. Joshua Horn

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    From what I've heard you can't apply DJI Care to preexisting damage.

    If it's under warranty I'd still send it in. They'll pay the shipping, and you might find it's a lot cheaper to have them "fix" it, even if the drone is totaled. That's what happened to me - they sent me a 3 Standard back for $175 - a lot cheaper than buying a refurbished one.
     
    Dustin_W likes this.
  4. GMack

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    Has anybody on here had DJI repair their crashed drone for more than $350?

    No doubt repair will send a refurb/replacment for less than you can buy one new. I haven't read about a "Beyond economical repair" ... yet.
     
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  5. Dustin_W

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    Bah. Hate refurb equipment. In most cases whenever I get a refurb unit, it's in worse condition than what mines in. Even had a couple DOA's with things before.

    What's the standard warranty timeframe? I tried to find an answer, and looked like it was only like 15 days? is there something that's covered longer than that?
     
  6. flpholt

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    pilot era dji wont warranty it
     
  7. Dustin_W

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    Here's the video that was recorded to my phone.

     
  8. flpholt

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    dam good day going bad where all the props still on it when you found it
     
  9. rkingsb353

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    When my drone went down DJI told me that if the repair was over half the cost of a new one that was the cut off point to getting a new one. This happened two days before the warranty was up which was one year. It was repaired at no cost to me. When I got it back could not get it to take the firmware after trying two days.Called DJI and they had me send it back telling me it would get priority in repair and had it back ready to fly in about a week with no cost in shipping or the repair. If you got it in June I would send it back and they will give you a estimate. The repair was in Carson,Ca. USA.


    Sent from my iPad using PhantomPilots
     
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  10. Dustin_W

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    From the Camera's point of view, the front left was the only one that was completely gone. There was nothing left attached to the motor. Two other ones had one blade snapped off each, and the 4th one looks like it's perfectly fine.

    The one that was completely missing had dirt in the treads of the motor. So it hit the ground without anything attached. But I cannot tell from the video that there was ever a blade on that motor as soon as it started falling. There were no "dark blurs" in any of the frames where that arm was visible from the camera.
     
  11. flpholt

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    sounds like a prop flew off wasent tight enough on bird
     
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  12. captainmilehigh

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    Agree. Sounds like she lost a prop. Sorry for your loss.


    Sent from my iPad using PhantomPilots
     
  13. Dustin_W

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    And I guess I never really thought about HOW a prop could fall off mid-flight. I figured a bird hit it, and it just shattered it. But I suppose it could have held the prop in place long enough for the motor to spin itself off. Hmm. That kinda sucks. Would that be user fault, or warranty coverage?
     
  14. Cobs

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    Is it legal for you guys to fly over built up areas? Dont be surprised if the building owner does reply ... and hits you a bill for roof repairs, its happened on here already.
     
  15. Dustin_W

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    I fully took blame and offered to pay for any repairs that may have been caused.

    I'm not sure what's the worse that can happen to me. I live in Indianapolis, and a few months back someone crashed their drone on top of a war memorial. The news ran with it. They interviewed the police, government, and bystanders. No one fessed up to it at that time. But the government official said that what they did wasn't illegal, it was just stupid and disrespectful. Their main concern was how they were going to get it down. The war memorial is a massive building that houses a museum. And this drone was on a part of a stair-stepped roof that was about 10-15 stories up. No access to it without a big crane being brought in.
     
  16. flpholt

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    user fault
     
  17. flpholt

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    yes it is allowed
     
  18. syotr

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    It is pretty clear that you lost a prop in flight. The light is still lit on that arm but no prop is visible. She is still transmitting as she falls. DJI will likely say it is pilot error and that you did not properly tighten the props. There are other reasons that a prop may come off. If there is a glitch in the ESC, it can stop the motor dead and throw off a prop that was installed very snug. Hitting a bird would tighten the prop. Even if the prop shattered, it would likely leave one blade or at least the hub attached.
    Good luck
     
  19. m0j0

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    I would send it in. How does a prop come off while under a load. I'm not sure but you should still be able to find out why it went down with the flight data. To bad you couldn't load it up here. One of the really sharp guys would be able to tell you what happened.
     
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  20. Dustin_W

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    Yeah, suppose you're right about tightening if it hit a bird. Guess I was thinking backwards.

    So under normal circumstances, how would a prop just fly off? How is it possible to get that far with it on? When I install the props, I spin them until they stop, and then give it a light snug down.

    Could it have been the threads just gave way?