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...Flew away, but managed to find it 3 weeks later :-)

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by oldengineer, Sep 13, 2013.

  1. oldengineer

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    ...Just had to post this as we don't hear too much good news.

    About 3 weeks ago I had a phantom flyaway for good, as far as I was concerned...

    At the time I was pretty sure that it was combination of the gps signal dropping and me panicing.

    ...3.12fw, normal green lights, took off, saw one flash of red light, then the thing went forward and no inputs from the controller worked, it just shot off on its own. Hoping that it would RTH I switched the controller off, but nothing....By this time it was out of site.

    ...So I walked to where I last saw it, but nothing. Ended up walking many miles, criss-crossing the likely area.

    About a week later I bit the bullet and bought another one, same set up with a GoPro 3 etc.

    ...This time though I promised myself that I wouldn't fly it unless I could track it.

    So waited another week for a Garmin GTU 10 to arrive.

    ...Then the weather turned bad for flying.

    Anyway I read on here about one guy finding his phantom on top of a building, after using another (phantom) to film the area.

    Last night the wind eased just enough to allow a flight, so I walked out and sent the new phantom out to take some stills of the area...

    ...As you can imagine its like looking for a needle in a haystack, didn't hold out any real hope as it could of gone for miles, or during the last 3 weeks anyone could of picked it up.

    The area in question, that I couldn't walk across was a field full of thistles and stinging nettles, standing about 3' high. Under these the actual ground is riddled with badger, fox and rabbit warrens...Real nightmare terrain...But my only hope was that if it crashed here, no one would see it, or bother looking.

    Anyway, took the stills, went home, scanned through, nothing of any use, most looked to high to me...Then one purely random photo had a tiny white mark on it! ...Surely not! ...So I blew it up and it formed an 'X' shape....I looked at my wife....She grabbed the car keys and said "come on lets go!"

    ...The urgency being we only had like 10 minutes before it went totally dark!

    I ran most of the way to the field and headed straight to where I thought it was on the photo, but nothing...Bugger!

    ...It was now dark, so I'd have to waited till morning I thought, then as I crossed-crossed back across the field to find the exit (after falling down a rabbit warren!) out of the corner of my eye, there was the phantom!!!

    Totally intact, landing perfectly in 3' high grass :)

    The GoPro had fired off about 7,000 stills before going flat, and a few make interesting viewing.

    It looks like it got to where it landed, then entered RTH mode as you see it going up in the air. But instead of going back, it just went up then down onto the ground, with no damage.

    I think it even switched the props off when it landed as they look so clean.

    The only fault I can find is that the battery has blown up like a football. The battery was made by Elbar and had never been used, just charged carefully. Its first flight, was its last flight.

    Does anyone think that the battery might of been to 'blame' as in, it was literally failing as soon as it took off?

    ...Or did the battery just 'blow' up because it sat in a field getting wet for 3 weeks?

    ...At the moment I've got the phantom drying in the airing cupboard, doubt it will ever work again, but at least I got some of my investment back, and it goes to show that you need at least 2 phantoms at all time, lol.
     
  2. Driffill

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    The battery has blown up because its been deeply discharged, take great care with it now as it will be quite dangerous.

    I'd be plugging the naza in to the computer and checking the RTH setting, and making sure its not set to "just land". Apart from that, maybe messaging dji and saying you have recovered a fly away, and is there any data they could use?

    Always glad to hear of people recovering their quads :)
     
  3. oldengineer

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    Yeah the battery I immediately made safe, storage wise, and disposed of it today.

    Will be interesting to see if RTH has changed, it was originally set to return home, I'll check it when its dried out.
     
  4. GearLoose

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    That's quite a tale -- the battery is obviously a goner but unless the lost Phantom was repeatedly soaked by rain, I would expect it to fly again.
     
  5. oldengineer

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    ...After letting it dry it for a day I plugged a battery in and can confirm that it works a treat, even though it got rain soaked for 3 weeks and had loads of bugs and things living in it, it still works!

    ...I hooked it up to the P.C and all the settings were exactly as I had left them i.e. it should of returned home and land, rather than just land.

    ...Incidently looking back at the photo's it actually sat hovering in one place for 4 minutes, before finally touching down in the same spot.
     
  6. Driffill

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    Any obvious damage to any GPS wires? I don't know exactly what the RTH would do if the GPS puck data was lost, but it would have no way of working out where to go to land!
     
  7. RedFishChaser

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    Great to hear on your recovery!

    Fantastic!
     
  8. oldengineer

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    Just to be sure nothing was amiss, I stripped it down this afternoon...All good, nothing damaged or displaced.

    ...Bearing in mind I didn't expect to get it back I thought what the hell I'll even try updating it to 4.0fw...Even this went without a hitch!