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Fly Away??

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by Matchlock, Sep 12, 2016.

  1. Matchlock

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    Yesterday afternoon I was out with my Phantom 3 Professional and what a time it was.

    It was a little windy, (14mph). I was up about 100 feet when suddenly I a gust of wind took the Phantom off to the west in a rather hurried fashion. I tried steering it home but I guess the wind was so strong at that altitude it just seemed to take over.

    In a bit of a panic, I hit the return to home button and heard the voice of the Phantom say "Initialising Return To Home Function." The Phantom rose to a new altitude and kept flying away to the west. I had lost control so it seemed.

    A few seconds later it disappeared over the tree tops which were over 100 feet as I watched in horror on the video on the iPad Mini, the Phantom crashing into the top of a very tall Poplar. You could also see the subsequent tumbling down of the Phantom from the tree top, and then everything just stopped dead!!

    Now the fun began. My son ran off toward where he thought the Phantom hit the top of the tree but didn't see any sign of it. He asked me to review the video which we did and he was able to figure out by some fence rails stacked on the property, about where it had hit a tree, and so off he went to look there. After about a half hour search, he found the Phantom on the ground at the base of the tree with one of the quick disconnect propeller guards badly broken and one propeller was broken off about two inches from the end.

    The top shell is a little out of alignment with a gap between the seams. (I haven't figured out how to fix this case damage yet). There's a tiny piece of white plastic sticking out at that point preventing me from snapping the case back into place there. Oh, and the battery was lying about five feet from the Phantom when my son found it.

    That was about the extent of the damage. I was extremely happy that the day before, (Saturday) I had installed the Killer RC Gimbal Guard I bought earlier at $47.99 The camera and gimbal were intact and working just fine.

    DIAGNOSIS

    I figured, as I said, that after hitting the RTH function, the wind at the higher altitude was just a bit too much for her and off she went. When I got home however, I noticed that I must have inadvertently slipped the Flight Mode Switch over to the "A" ("ATTI") mode and that's why the wind caught it a took it away.


    CONCLUSION

    I need a lot more practice at (lower altitudes). More practice on calmer, less windy days, and just generally do a lot more reading. At 70 years of age, this isn't a toy to be messed with. It's a serious piece of photographic equipment that I purchased, thinking it would be a breeze to fly and take photos and video.

    Make no mistake. They aren't difficult to fly, but they do require a very keen and concentrated mind when operating. There's a lot to think about when operating one of these types of birds and one must be "on his game" with complete and full attention to detail while the Phantom is in the air. I made a mistake yesterday, but I hope to learn more and try again real soon. Perhaps flip it back into the beginner mode for a while until I get a lot more experience and feel more comfortable with it. The video I get I'm quite happy with. It's my Phantom Flying skills that needs a lot of work.

    All in all I was very lucky to have my son with me as it was he who found it and saved the day. It's working fine again and I chalk that on up to pure luck.

    If anyone can give me an idea how to fix the out of alignment body parts I'd very much appreciate it.


    Bud
     

    Attached Files:

    #1 Matchlock, Sep 12, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2016
  2. Quadcopterpilot

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    Wow...at least you got her back and know why it happened.
    Could it be a piece of the propeller and just be removed carefully with tweezers?


    Sent from my iPad using PhantomPilots
     
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  3. royster

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    ATT mode will certainly test your ability to fly! I had the exact same expierence,a 10 mph breeze at ground level, 100' up into ATT mode & off she went like a rocket sideways! If I didn't know better, I'd be yelling FLYaway, Flyaway!!
     
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  4. Sagebrush

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    It's a good thing these things don't have a seat in them. (Or I too would be in the dust.)

    SB
     
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  5. ElGuapo

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, the Go App will show in the top center of the screen the mode you are flying, P-mode, A-mode, F-mode. It will show something like "safe to fly GPS Mode", can't remember exactly.
    You should try to see what the Go App shows in the top center of the screen to save yourself the pain of trying to recover the bird. You can even try this at home, don't even need to install the propellers.
    Power up RC, AC, Go App, start up the motors (without the propellers) as if you are going to launch, pay attention to the Go App in P-mode. Then move the switch in the RC to A-mode paying close attention to the center of your screen, and then move the switch to the F-mode.

    I'm happy you got her back and the crash was otherwise inconsequential, live to tell the story.
     
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  6. Matchlock

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    I tried removing it but it's in there good and tight. I think it's a part of the Phantom, like an alignment clip or something.

    Bud


     
  7. WetDog

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    Ah, the famous 'flying is easy until it isn't story'. Sounds like you kept your head and at least figured out where it went down. But this sort of thing is why 'real' pilots practice in simulators all of the time. When something goes wrong, it tends to do so quickly.

    The 'cure' for this is to fly more. And spend some time practicing ATTI mode, P-A-F (or whatever it is in a P4) switches and making sure that you understand the how the display shows where the aircraft is. You ** might ** have been able to control the AC in ATTI mode (you have a bit more power) or at least been able to safely land it away from the tree line.

    You probably won't make this particular mistake again. Leaves room for other ones.
     
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  8. RJ_Make

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    Yeah, I dread the day when I get caught in a wind current and loose GPS. I don't think I'm skilled enough at this point to get it back safely.

    That little piece of plastic is a part of the shell connection system. I believe it's a connection guide. It will be difficult to get it back in it's correct position with out opening up more of the shell. Others may have 'tricks' to get it back up into place with out opening the shell more.
     
  9. Matchlock

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    Thank you gentlemen for all your comments and thoughts. Most appreciated.

    Bud
     
  10. Matchlock

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    I'm hoping that someone can help me with this problem. It's not doing any harm, but it's an ugly reminder of what I've done. I think it's laughing at me actually.

    I'm a little afraid of opening up the shell as I've never done so before and I don't want to break anything.

    Bud


     
  11. WetDog

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    Have you thought about trimming it off with a sharp knife? It's looks to be a snap connector that got twisted around. Bonus feature - you are making it lighter.
     
  12. fastfed

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    I always fly in atti and enjoy that type of flying much more then normal gps mode.
    I've flown in much heavier winds too, but now you know when in fear flip the switch not hit the button lol
     
  13. Neon Euc

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    Looking at the picture bud you don't need to open the shell fully. Just loosen the screws so you can slightly lift the shell up higher.then clip it back in and tighten the screws again

    Sent from my Power using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
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  14. Matchlock

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    Thank you, I'll give that a shot.

    Bud


     
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  15. Reed L

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    If it's just separated in the one small spot, don't worry about it. But you will need to pull the inner 2 screws on the 2 arms on that side. Loosening all of the screws is easy enough and you could pull the top off and see the insides yourself for the first time. I flew in atti again this weekend only because I couldn't get sat lock with 6 to 9 satellites bouncing around down in the canyon. This was the first weekend that a P4 with the 30' vps would have really paid off over the P3A that I fly in the bottoms of canyons with no sat lock available. But it flew fine in that small confined area :)
     
  16. royster

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    Yes, I try & fly in ATT mode at every outing. I did mention this in an earlier post, first time I thought," Lets try this ATT mode & see what its all about"- Got some altitude & flipped into ATT the first time, Holy jeez! Away she went sideways & fast, seemed like she was speeding up too, my first thought- Run after her, which I did for a couple of steps & then common sense took over & flipped to P. Bird stopped & hovered like she was nailed to the sky. This time, I was ready for a flip to ATT & away she went again! Flyaway crossed my mind again, but playing with controls I got her fairly stable & played in the sky for a few minutes until the sweat burnt my eyes & flipped back to P. If you think your a good flyer, pick a blustery day, not to blustery tho! , get her up there & flip to ATT.
    Will get your attention!
     
  17. Richard R

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    Sounds like the clips that hold the edge of the shell together. You need them since they add to the rigidity of the shell. Loose the screws holding the arm segments together and then GENTLY pry the shell halves apart until the clips slip back in place. Then tighten everything back up (just snug, not too tight)
     
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  18. Matchlock

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    Thank you so much for this excellent advice. I did exactly that. I loosened (about halfway, I figure) five Torx screws on the offending arm and with a little prying here, and pushing there it suddenly "snapped" right back into place. What a satisfying sound it was too after I realized I hadn't broken anything. It looks almost as good as new as you can see in the two new photos I attached to this post. Thanks again Neon, you saved my Phantom, and my sanity.

    Bud



     

    Attached Files:

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  19. Matchlock

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    Thank you Richard;

    It appears you and Neon had the same great advice. I did exactly what you lads suggested and it's as good as new again.

    All the best to you, and thanks again to all who commented and made suggestions. All were at the very least, very comforting.

    Bud


     
  20. Roamer105

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    Most likely the thin cage around the battery that holds the center board is also cracked. I had a similar event and thought I had nearly no damage. Turned out the esc board failed (motors would not start) and had to be replaced. Once opened I found a whole lot more critical internal damage.


    Sent from my iPad using PhantomPilots