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Goodbye Phantom !

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Hawkeye 1, Apr 23, 2014.

  1. Hawkeye 1

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    This afternoon, my three week old FC-40 took off and was last seen headed east as fast as it could fly. I am not really new to this...I've been flying a V 1.1.1 since December and between the two of them I have at least two hundred flights. I followed my protocol...waited for six greens, take off and hover while I yaw the aircraft in both directions and when everything looks good to go I begin my flight. This time, the instant I gave it forward and up commands, it took off up and away as fast as it would go and refused to obey any inputs. When it was a couple of hundred yards away and a few hundred high, I seemed to get back control as I got it to turn back toward me ( I have double headlights on the front to aid in orientation) but it was still gaining altitude. As it flew back past me, once again not obeying inputs, I turned off the transmitter hoping to trigger RTH but it didn't work. The last I saw it, it was heading away from me a high speed and it looked like it was still gaining altitude. I have my name, address and phone number on it but I'm not hopeful...I think that if it had been found I would have heard since it's been seven hours. I sent a lengthy email to DJI and I plan on calling them also, but I'm not hopeful on that front either; I have enough experience to know that it was a true flyaway but I guess everyone says the same thing so how do they decide? If anyone has any insight on how to get them to replace it, please let me know....i can't afford to replace it out of pocket !
     
  2. RichardWendt

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    I'm sorry to hear that. Have you ever installed GPS on your birds?
     
  3. jthorstad

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    Some here will answer with this stock explanation: pilot error.

    Even though you know it wasn't. There are a certain segment of these products that lock up and fly away to lands unknown, like my 1.1 I enjoyed for 6 weeks before it did exactly what you describe.

    I got NOWHERE with DJI. I hounded B&H Photo for 6 solid weeks, and eventually got them to sell me a 1.1.1 at half price. That was a week before the reduced pricing on the 1.1.1 went into effect. Sigh.

    Now I have a cheap tracker on my bird. I don't WANT to use it, but feel I need to.

    Good luck resolving this, and hopefully it landed gently in someone's back yard.
     
  4. Hawkeye 1

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    Thanks for the condolences, guys. Unfortunately, I did not have a GPS tracker on it because , up until this event, I didn't think it was necessary. Between my old one and this one of three weeks, I have had ZERO problems of any sort so I guess I just got complacent. Bad luck for me, I guess. Hopefully, someone will run across it today and give me a call but I'm not getting my hopes up. I'll be on the phone with DJII today as soon as they open and maybe they will have mercy on me. LOL
     
  5. Northwest_Scene

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    I have had the phantom v1.1.1 for over two months now hopefully more. I am planning on adding a gps locator soon "procastination" Anyways, have you ever plug your bird into naza and do calibrations ? I found out that travelling and storing etc can mess up the values a tad bit which normally the compass calibration will fix " I assume you do that atleast once or twice per week". I not only do the bird calibeation but the TX "controller" itself. My condolences by the way.
     
  6. DanCH

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    Very sorry to hear about this.

    Fly aways are real, and that's why I think it's quite bad that DJI don't include GPS locators with their quads by default, or at least encourage customers to purchase one.

    They clearly don't want to admit to the problem and think ignoring it is the best strategy.

    A lot can be done to avoid problems, but there are times when nothing can be done to stop a fly away. That's why my first addition was a GPS tracker. We all should have one.
     
  7. Hawkeye 1

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    I agree with you completely....they know there is a problem but they choose it ignore it. Believe me, I'll have a tracker before I fly my other one because now I KNOW it can happen. I'm sure in a lot of cases, it is operator error but in some of the incidents ( like mine) there is simply no fault and nothing can be done to stop it. I don't know if there is any logic in this, but I find it odd that the new one on the cell phone frequency is the one that took off and my old V1.1.1 is still with me and I have had zero problems with it and I am still using it just like it came from the box....no updates or changes at all. I spoke with DJI support today, and the tech said it sounded like a classic flyaway to him but he doesn't know if anything can be done about it. They sent me a form to fill out detailing what happened and it asked specific questions about what I did and what the Phantom did...he said " we will review this with our higher ups on this case" and get back to me. I fully expect to be told sorry but there's nothing we can do and then I'll look for other options. I just wish that I had followed everyone else's lead and got a GPS but complacency is easier until it bites you in the ***.
     
  8. Northwest_Scene

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    I recently experienced a fly away today, and have the footage from my gopro to show. Luckily I was doing low footage shot and it stirred away from the lake water. I also Have a video of what it is actually doing without props on. What its doing is that when i give a direction on the stick it just keeps going even if the stick springs back to middle...Im quite relieved and yet at the same time a bit worry some now. Yes I did all the neccessary flight checks & do my callibrations on naza once a week sometimes twice whenever i edit videos etc, and i never fly even if i have a single red light on. All batteries are pre-checked on bird and tx controller. So this cant be I pilot issue this time around, no cell phone tower and the wifi is turned off on go-pro. I leave my cellphone in the car just for pre-caution, ive read too many cases thus i follow all the necessary steps. Ill post the videos soon. Yes this was on GPS Flight mode and I know that when the stick is on ATTI middle or Lower it keeps going unless you command it to stop.
     
  9. htownphantom

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  10. Gizmo3000

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    Location:
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    Welcome to the Flyaway club :(
    I feel your pain.

    Hindsight is 20/20. I did the same thing,. killed my TX hoping that my 450 would return home, but it really ddi act like something took control over it. I had my contact info on it as well, but after a month, i can only conclude that it's either up in a tree, on a roof, or someone snagged it when it eventually came down to earth.

    I never had a problem before either, always made sure I had GPS before taking off.
    now I make sure I don't take off unless I have my new tagg tracker attached .. to both my quads.
     
  11. Northwest_Scene

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    Here are the video links to my ongoing problem and actual footage of the crash.

    https://vimeo.com/92949561
    https://vimeo.com/92949562

    Mind you that i did all my pre-flight inspections and check ups, i even do a pre-hover test to make sure everything is still good and yes I do all my basic and advanced calibrations and manual compass calibrations.

    I press my record button on the go pro after all gps are locked in and then proceed to hover so No i did not just take off right away. No cell towers, no where near airports or commercial buildings taht could interfere with signals, and yes the gopro wifi is turned off. Al batteries are good on both tx and phantom unit, and i also do physical inspections inside the unit itself for loose connections or any loose debris; So i do take care of the unit and I dont mis-treat or fly crazy or erratic. I fly with the intention of getiing the most steady shots so small and slow movements most of the time and no fast throttle.

    I did not panic as well, you can clearly see the footage that it just banked FULL throttle on its own without stopping.
     
  12. phoby3

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    Has anyone done a break down of fly aways based upon the transmitter/controller?
     
  13. Northwest_Scene

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    The second video might show an evidence of it...But then again im no expert so i would not know for sure.
     
  14. Hawkeye 1

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    Northwest, your video looks exactly like mine when it took off up and away out of a hover. I knew immediately something was wrong and there was no lag time in me trying to give it commands to slow down or turn and eventually it did turn, but I'm not sure it was because of me or the signal that was controlling it. When it went back over me it was still heading up and laid over at an angle that I've never seen before. The DJI tech told me yesterday that they think that the true flyaway is being controlled by a stronger, foreign signal but they really don't know how or why....thats why one of the questions they ask is about proximity to cell towers or high voltage power lines. I got the impression that he believed me and there might be some offer made regarding recompense but I may be overly optimistic, and most likely I am. I really hate to resort to carrying a tracker along with everything else but I guess less flight time is better than no Quad. Are you satisfied with the Tagg...you've tested it and are sure it will work?
    One final question....has anyone that you, or anyone else, knows of recovered their lost Quad as a result of a tracker?
     
  15. Northwest_Scene

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    Thats what the rep also told me after letting him know and showed the video. Stronger signal interferance or some sort, I sent my phantom in for inspection and yes I had to pay for the darn shipping lol
     
  16. Jermz

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    I lost my fc40 yesterday. I haven't had any issues prior to this, I've had it a bit over a month, and have had it up about twenty times. We were flying it fairly low. I had waited for the GPS lights to do their thing. After the 6 rapid greens I gave it a few green blinks and went up. I flew through most of the battery. I started to get into some tree limbs so I let off the sticks to stop it. It did bounce the prop guards into the limb a bit but bounced off fine. The it suddenly shot towards the lake at full speed. I initially didn't have the sticks any direction and they were centered. I started to pull it back, with no results. I tried home lock and back, then eventually fail safe. None of it did any good. I went down towards the lake and asked the guys on the fishing pier. They say it went by really fast, went out about 200 yards into the lake, stopped and hovered a bit then lowered into the lake. We were getting towards the end of the battery when it ran off, one of the reasons we were staying close. I purposely was not taking it near the lake, and we were actually close to an inlet, so we had about 270 degrees of land around us, it just happened to go off towards the little bit of water. It was over the main lake when it went down. It sounds like it auto landed.

    There is nothing around this lake. There can't hardly be any wifi around, no major power lines. Nothing I can think of on 5.8. I didn't have my camera on it since I wasn't filming. I'm pretty darn sure the home gps lock was good, I had used home lock earlier, in while I'll describe next.

    There was one point earlier were it may have done the same thing. I took it up to right at 400', I had naza set to limit the height to 135m. It started going off towards the lake really fast, and took me a bit to get it back. At the time I thought it got caught in a wind gust at the higher altitude, and the wind made I slow to respond. I now think it may have been the same thing happening, and that I had enough battery. Once I got it back I checked it all over physically and took the camera off because I wasn't going to go up high again.

    I really don't know what happened. I don't see why it would fly away full speed with the sticks at center after confirming the GPS lock.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  17. Northwest_Scene

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    Seems to be all similar situations here...DJI needs to start accepting the fact that there are technical problems and should be corrected appropriately. I still ended up paying for shipping back to DJI TECH for them to inspect/repair my crashed drone. After experiencing such a flight, Im not so sure about flying near or over water or people anymore; not to mention losing the drone and other equipment itself. Unless they give me a guaranteed remedy or atleast a full replacement if it does fly away etc. If i continue to pursue the hobby, I might have to set up a separate video camera that records the before & after takeoff etc just to have some evidence if it does fly away again and show that all necesarry pre-flight inspections are being done before takeoff.
     
  18. Jermz

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    Mine unfortunately went into the lake, and I have no evidence to give them. Convenient for DJI. I may try to contact them, of B&H, but I don't really expect either to do anything. I'll get the video of the first possible flyaway up, you can't tell a lot from it, but I'll put it out there.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  19. Northwest_Scene

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  20. Jermz

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    I'll definitely contact DJI. I'll talk to B&H to see if I can get just a phantom for a less w/out all the other stuff. I see they have a regular phantom available a la carte, but I don't know if they have a 5.8 version. I've found a 5.8 receiver I can get and change out, but I have to see how hard of a changeout it will be.

    That's if I decide to get another one. I'm considering selling my accessories off and cutting my losses.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk