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It flew out of control and crashed! need help please!

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision Help' started by captainAl, Apr 28, 2014.

  1. captainAl

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    I had my PV2 for a week. I upgraded firmware, read a ton, and succesfully flew it 16 times.

    On the 17th time, I was so convinced of its safety and reliability, I let me 8 year old son fly it. I took off, went to about 80 feet up and 100 feet away, and then let my son fly it... I was talking to spectators, and keeping half an eye on it... Then I heard my son say "DAD".. I looked over and it was in a very fast free fall... not sure if the lights were on and/or if it was upside down... i think it might have been....but definetly coming down VERY fast... either a free fall speed, or upside down, and accelerating down (When i flew it, it was always graceful and <15mph in any direction)

    it was in GPS MODE, compass calibration had been done several days earlier, and it had a GPS lock with 8 satellites before takeoff... battery was around 90% as it only flew for 60 secs or so.... I got a screen shot from the iphone where the last thing it said was distance n/a altitude 58.7 feet, and speed 39.4mph. (And phantom connection broken in the center)

    It did come down fast! I beleive the 39mph... My first thought was maybe my son found the special turn off command (left stick down&right, right stick down&left) and maybe he powered it down and it free fell... But then I thought if it was powered off, how could it broadcast it was doing 39mph!

    it landed in the lagoon, and i didnt try swimming down to get it (20ft deep)...

    I love this thing and already ordered the PV2+... but now im thinking about liability, and could this happen again? Could this kill someone if it hit them in their head? Does insurance cover a personal liability lawsuit?

    What happened Anyway? I have a love fear relationship with this thing...

    Thanks for any comments!
     
  2. J Dot

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    Location:
    Sarasota, FL. USA!
    You'll need to retrieve it,
    To run diagnostics on the remains, to see what happened ( this has happened before, when motor went bad )
    Phantom flipped over and descended rapidly toward the ground!

    You can dry them out, battery might be toast, but without the remains, there is not
    Much you can do, about figuring out what went wrong?

    Hire a diver, to retrieve it from the water!

    ( a penny falling from a large building, can gain enough velocity to Kill
    A person below ), so the phantom could potentially harm or ( god forbid )
    Kill someone or something! ( luckily this has not happened yet, and hopefully
    Never will )!

    ( I never fly near large crowds, or children )
    But that is just me!

    I'm really sorry to hear about your loss! Hope it all works out for you, and your son!

    Ps: in the future ( when water flying ) This might help:
    http://youtu.be/cecf1a_YZR4

    Take care, my friend, we wish you the BEST!

    Jerry D
    USA
    ( J Dot )
     
  3. canadavenyc

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    Hi there, just wanted to say, sorry to hear about your crash. Definitely sounds a little odd, and not sure what could've happened. But I also wanted to say, there's two things you wrote that give me pause:

    I know this may not be what you want to hear/read right now, but there's a few things wrong here. First off, the Phantom isn't "safe and reliable" in the normal sense of the phrase. It's not an aircraft with redundant backup systems in case something goes wrong.

    And, unless you're in an isolated area where you can't hit anything or anyone, I definitely would not entrust minors to fly it. If you're out in the middle of nowhere and you're alone with your son and you can give him and the aircraft your full and undivided attention...then, maybe, go ahead. But because the aircraft is NOT completely 100% safe and reliable, and things can go wrong in a split second, I wouldn't take that risk. That's just my opinion though--I suppose others might disagree.

    Lastly, you mention keeping half an eye on it. Again, for the "safety/reliability" reason mentioned above, I would never keep anything less than BOTH EYES on it. If there's spectators around, I'd try to keep their distractions to a minimum if possible, and certainly if talking to them would be talking to them while looking directly at the aircraft.

    Remember, even though it looks like a toy, and has toy-like aspects, it's a real aircraft (and treated by the various national flight regulatory agencies as such).

    Your last comment, about having a love/fear relationship with it, is exactly the attitude to have with it. Well, maybe not fear exactly, but an abiding respect :)

    Anyway, I hope you take all that in the constructive spirit with which it was offered. And I am sorry to hear about your crash. I hope you find your Phantom and figure out what went wrong. One possibility that occurs to me--maybe your son was descending too quickly, and the aircraft entered a vortex ring state?
     
  4. jimdenburg

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    Have to agree with the post about letting your kid fly it & giving it half of your attention (over water no-less). It could have been possible that it was given a CSC command (both sticks to the center & down), which I believe would kill the motors and give you a free-fall. Never tried it myself for obvious reasons, but could have happened. Your child could have also allowed the craft to descend too quickly without any horizontal movement, which could put it in a vortex ring state which is basically an uncontrolled descent. I did have this happen once and it luckily did recover just a foot or so above ground. Also agree that if you know a diver or could hire one for a reasonable cost, the craft could be worth salvaging if it didn't land in salt-water. Good luck.
     
  5. OI Photography

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    +1 on all that.

    Since only the motors stopped but the rest of the Phantom was still on, it obviously wasn't a full battery failure or power loss (both of which can happen unexpectedly). The two possible causes jimdenburg mentions...CSC and vortex ring state...sound like the most likely to me.
     
  6. captainAl

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    It landed in salt water, so I highly doubt I'd be able to get anything working again....with my iphone twice it get sunk in salt water and I tried the fresh water rinse followed by rice bath overnight and it never recovered.... The camera wasn't recording, so nothing possible in there... They should write a flight log on the SD card for debugging in times like this...

    Never heard of the vortex ring problem, but having run the latest firmware, and 16 flights where I often descend at max speed, I've never had a problem. As a matter of fact, I am pretty sure this pv2 chopper doesn't allow sideways flying when descending at max speed in GPS or attit mode... I read that the latest April firmware fixed the vortex problem by only allwing a descent at 20ft/sec (14 mph)

    if it was a CSC shutoff, that would make me feel better. (they should disable that by default... to dangerous especially if the chopper knows its in the air...)

    Have you ever heard of a blade unscrewing and flying off? I know the threads are self tightening, so I never used the wrench, just hand tight... Could this have been the problem? Maybe I should go diving...
     
  7. denofr

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    By any chance did it have blade guards on? There's a consensus starting to form that they enhance the chances of the vortex problem.
     
  8. OI Photography

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    Good point, and I definitely agree they can contribute to VRS happening at lower descent rates than would normally induce it.
     
  9. captainAl

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    It did *NOT* have blade guards on it...

    For the record, I'm not sure if the lights were on or not...

    I did see a youtube of one landing in a pool, then was able to fly again! Maybe this thing is a little more water proof than I thought???
     
  10. 750r

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    Not sure if the P2V is like the P2Z but left stick down for 3-4sec. Will kill the motors .
    If I where you I would look for a local scuba shop and ask one of the guys or gals to do a dive for you and retrieve your bird worth a shot .