Last Friday evening I lost my lovely Phantom 2. It had lots of goodies on it and I still feel sick to the stomach when I think of the smashed up debris lying unnoticed in a field or the long grass behind someone's shed who will never discover it. I have obviously given it a whole lot of thought about how and why it may have happened and I decided to share those insights with you guys to possibly help prevent this from happening to someone else. It was around 7pm, still moderately light outside but it had been raining all afternoon with gusty cold winds. There was a break in the weather for a half hour and I had been itching to have a fly so I took the opportunity. I had (only 2 days prior) tidied up the appearance of my Phantom by removing some stickers from it. It had a Gopro sticker and a FatShark sticker and tragically my name and phone number on a Dymo label. I had meant to reprint my name label but just didn't get around to it. On Friday evening I flew it around for a bit at around 50 metres altitude but then inexplicably decided to send it up high. It got to an altitude of 600 metres when very suddenly it just flipped over and then started tumbling downward. I was FPVing through the FatShark goggles so all I could see was the horizon flipping around and around. I tried desperately to initiate a motor restart in the unlikely event that this was the issue. Because of the BVR altitude and the gusting wind (about 8-10kph at ground level) the falling Phantom was probably blown quite some distance as it fell. The view from the goggles gave no indication of ground proximity as it was tumbling and flipping so quickly. After several seconds the screen lit up with static which indicated a heavy crash. Over the next few days (it is only 4 days after the fact today) I have spent several hours searching open tracts of land down wind from where it had been flying. I have placed reward notices in over 100 letter boxes in the area and I have left my contact details with the park ranger at a local park area. Inboard my Phantom was the H2-3d gimbal, Gopro Hero 3 silver, iOSD mini, Immersion 5.8 ghz transmitter and a really expensive mini SD card. My conclusions and advice are as follows. Flying at altitude after rain may have forced atmospheric moisture into the motor or ESC, killing one corner, causing the mechanical or electrical failure in the first place. First lesson, don't fly after or during inclement weather. Always keep your return contact details on the bird. Never fly BVR during moderate / strong winds, especially at altitude. If it goes down, your chances of recovery are very slim. I was probably getting too confident with my Phantom. I had flown it in some amazing areas and was learning to trust its reliability and with this probably came an over confidence in its indestructability. I hope that any of you out there who may be feeling you know your machine too well to let this kind of thing happen take heed of my story. Just last Friday I read and commented on another post here titled "After the crash: what now?" Less than 4 hours later I had lost my own machine! Believe me, this can and will happen to anyone. The quip that each flight could be your last is so painfully true. It feels like I've lost a favourite pet, there is no closure (a mangled wreck to dissect for parts) and a sizeable hole in my wallet. This is no hobby for the faint hearted or tight-of-wallet. Such is the enjoyment I get from flying these things and also the financial investment I had made in spare batteries, case, spare parts etc that it was going to cost me as much to walk away from this hobby as it was to stay with it. I have already ordered a new Phantom 2 with new Zenmuse gimbal, I have ordered a new Immersion Tx (this time a 600mw) and a new Gopro. This time though I also ordered a new F550 RTF with iOSD etc. The Phantom is great for portability so I'll use that for filming when I take the family away on trips but I want to use the larger and more stable 550 around home. I also like the idea of being able to upgrade components more easily with the 550s more open structure. If anyone is reading this who is considering getting into this hobby, it is probably cheaper to get hooked on cocaine. My money tally so far this year has been as follows (in New Zealand dollars ((1 Nz$ equals 90 cents US)) Walkera QRX-350. $1000. Written off/ total loss Phantom 2 with kit. $1,600. Total loss Phantom 2 $1,600. On its way DJI 550 RTF. $1,300. On its way Luckily for me, my income supports this hobby and I don't have any other expensive pass times so my wife is OK about my expenditure. Also, as part of my job as a property design consultant I can charge clients for aerial videography so every time I lose a bird I can claim most of it back in tax rebates. I hope my story helps just one of you out there reconsider flying on a day when your instinct tells you that you really shouldn't. Good luck.