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Migrating birds caused crash? Or something else?

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Discussion' started by rickray, Jun 2, 2015.

  1. rickray

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    This is one of the strangest incidents I have experienced and resulted in a total loss of my Phantom 2.

    I was flying Phantom 2 non vision with ZenMuse gimbal and GoPro Hero 4 black. Everything standard. 4 bars of battery. Calibrated. GPS established. Not in Naza. Controls correct. Battery fully inserted. Controller on with 3 bars of power. Camera at about 45 degrees looking down.

    I've flown this pattern 30 flights now at least. I'm flying over a small fishing village in Scotland at sunset. Everything normal flying out and normal on return.

    Suddenly two large migrating geese, fully tagged with radio transmitters, and looking quite a bit like rare species, fly directly between the drone and me. It was beautiful and my first thought was "don't hit them". I slowed my return ever so slightly and they flew directly line of site between me and the Phantom2 with about 20 yards clearance.

    The second they crossed the line of site, the Phantom dropped from the sky like it was shot by a gun. Total failure. It dropped straight down, broke into about 7 pieces on a rooftop of the tiny village, and rattle into the cobblestones.

    Horrified, I rushed down only to find an elderly Scottish woman picking up the pieces.

    "we were having so much fun watching you fly your little airplane", she said, "now it appears we are just Lockerbie all over again"

    Leave it to a Scot to make me laugh out loud over losing a $1000 plus investment.

    But now I'm haunted. What the hell happened? Could the migrating birds have caused it? Did I have total electrical failure for seemingly no reason with no warning at the exact second the birds crossed? What are the odds? Did the gimbal come loose? Fail safe failure? What happened? I have the pieces and am trying to study them but can't really say what I'm looking for. The connectors are clean to the battery and even at the crash it had 3 bars power.

    Anyone ever have anything like this problem? Having bad dreams.
     
  2. Furia

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    Maybe those transmitters interfered with your Phantom?
    Since we do not know what type of transmitterwere involved and in wich frequency range was operating, it is hard to reach any conclusion but what are the chances that just at the moment your Phantom is near such birds with "transmitters" that it loses control and crashes?
     
  3. rickray

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    I could clearly see white "anklet" bracelets on both of them in flight. I assume they were some kind of transmitters. I would think the interference would, if anything, cause a flyaway or some bizarre behavior. But total drop out of the sky fail? I almost feel I might have knicked a wing but they did not react at all and my line of sight put me 20-30 yards beyond them.
     
  4. Fyod

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    Animal transmitters are way below our 2.4Ghz, even lower than FM radio frequencies and there's rules for which frqcs they can use, so I would be highly skeptical of that. They may also use GPS, but since GPS signal can't be lowered by another GPS device, chances are slim in that case too.
    Are you sure they didn't attack the Phantom?
    Were you able to save the video?
    Was there any attempt to regain flight by the Phantom or did the motors die? If the Phantom just turned straight off, than the geese are a coincidence and you've experienced the "sudden death" some others have.
     
    #4 Fyod, Jun 2, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2015
  5. rickray

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    They did not appear to attack, nor do I think I hit them, but it happened in a flash, they just flew through rather gracefully directly between myself and the Phantom. It was actually pretty beautiful. They might gave been white swans? But inspiration instantly turned to horror.....I have not yet viewed the video but will do that over the weekend and try to post.
     
  6. Fyod

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    That could clear things up a bit. Sorry to hear your bird went down, whatever the cause.
     
  7. rickray

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    It was as if the Phantom just shut off during a normal flight. No attempt by phantom to restart. The geese may indeed be a coincidence. But it was as if I initiated shut off during flight. It went down like a brick. I'll have to read up on the sudden death issue. It has flustered me a bit especially since I'm trying to be a decent and conscientious pilot....thanks for the sympathy. A 3 is in my future as I'm hooked.
     
  8. JKDSensei

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    Sorry for your loss. Stories like this have kept me away from the P3 for now.
    I can't see the video or any link in the OP ?