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Night Flight... Unresponsive... Then... (flyaway?)

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by PJA, Sep 15, 2013.

  1. PJA

    PJA

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    Tonight I took my Phantom up for a Sunset Flight. First time with my new SimenSays Foldable Landing Gear and LED Headlight (which helped to position the craft in the near dark). It looked awesome in flight! Handled perfectly and landed like a charm...

    I decided an hour later to take a night flight. Took off fine. Kept it high in the air because it was my first night flight and I didn't want to hit any trees... After a while my Phantom started to become unresponsive. I would try to go forward and it would take a long time to respond and hardly move the way I wanted it to... I knew something was wrong. So I tried to bring it in, and still... nothing... I put it in RTH (turned off the TX) and hoped for the best... Looked like it was on it's way down, however, not hovering over the take off spot as it usually would do... I waited a minute (night time is very tricky and depth perception ain't that great). Nothing happening, so realized I had to do something else...

    I turned on the TX and put it in ATTi mode... Looked like it was responding, then I realized it started falling to the earth and dimming like a shooting star and finally.............................. About 150 feet straight down...

    Proximity to me would be approximately 2 blocks, I figured. I ran as fast as I could to where I thought it could have crash landed. I live near LI Jewish Hospital in Queens/Nassau County, New York... Very dense population and parking lots all over... The parking lot I figured it crashed in is huge, and guarded. The guard on duty wouldn't let me in to search and told me not even a uniform police officer is allowed in because it's attached to a psychiatric ward... (say what?).

    I looked all around the area adjacent to the parking lot with a flashlight and found nothing... I'm now at the mercy of my phone number pasted on both sides of my Phantom and GoPro... Good Luck with that, living in NYC...

    Looking back on it now, the first flight was flawless (calibrated the compass, waited for GPS satellites to kick in, etc..). Second flight I NEEDED to calibrate the compass again because the series on LED's didn't warm up correctly. After I re calibrated, I got the green lights for GPS satellites, home lock, etc). Why would I have had to recalibrate again in the same spot? Never had to do it twice in a row like that ... I wondered why...??? No one else to blame but myself... Should have sensed something was wrong.

    Anyway, That's my bed time story for tonight, my Phantom friends... If I hear any good news I'll let you know. Otherwise, next time you hear from me I'll probably be posting some Phantom accessories in the Classified Section... SUCKS!

    P.J.
     
  2. jumanoc

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    Hey man... Sorry your lost, hope tomorrow someone call you with good news.

    I guess it may be related to a bad compass location in new landing gear ?. Some posts refers to not easy way to get calibration succeds. I got crazy drifts after moving mine to V2 landing gear. IMO.
     
  3. PJA

    PJA

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    A Desperate Challenge to get it back... What do you think?

    How much should a REWARD be?


    [​IMG]
     
  4. boat chaser

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    That sucks P, hope you get it back. :cry:
     
  5. Kashalp

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    Sorry to hear bud, best of luck getting it back. You were using stock radio I'm assuming by your comment about turning the radio off to initiate rth correct? I only ask cause there seems to be a running trend about most flyaways happening with the stock rx/tx.

    Any other significant mods besides the landing gear and repositioning of compass?

    An gain best of luck, keep us posted.
     
  6. rilot

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    That sucks.
    Out of interest, what version of firmware were you running?
     
  7. PJA

    PJA

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    Re: Night Flight... Unresponsive... Then... (flyaway?) UPDA

    Somewhat rainy day today in NY... More drizzly than anything...

    Took the umbrella and went back to the parking lot with the heavily guarded security. This time there were two guards there. Told them my story and they were sympathetic to my cause... They had to get the supervisors OK for me to search the grounds.

    Supervisor said I would have to be escorted by Hospital Security to do so and they would send a security car there in a few minutes. When the car showed up, This Bad-***, Ex-Cop, 'I'm in charge,' wannabe, started telling me that what I did was illegal. That they were going to have to confiscate the Phantom when it's found. He kept telling me that you can't spy with a camera over these grounds. No matter what I told him (how I lost control and it drifted and lost power over the Hospital), he kept telling me that I was going to have to be called in and investigated and interrogated when it was found.

    Then he asked me what time last night did I lose it... I said @8:20pm... He said: "Forgetaboutit, somebody already found it and it's gone"... He also said he'll look around for it and took my reward flyer and other info off my drivers license. HA! You ain't kidding me... Being street smarts and knowing that his statements really meant, 'when I find it I'm going to give it to my kids'... I immediately said thanks and left...

    Now I kicked into my 'I don't give a **** what they are going to do to me' mode... I had to find the Phantom one way or the other... I scoped the whole Hospital grounds from the outside... Up every tree, behind and through every bush I could see.

    Then all of a sudden I saw a white cris-cross pattern with red on the edges and black in the air... Holy Crap!... That's It! It was about 30 feet away from me. A fence was the only thing between me and my Phantom. I was sure... I couldn't find any hole in the fence, but I saw some maintenance workers using a gate to get in (no where near security). So, I helped myself in, walked nonchalantly to the spot I saw the white image... BINGO! My quad !!! and the GoPro was sitting 15 feet to the left of it. Picked up the pieces, put it in a bag I had with me. Guess who drives by........ The bastard security guard. I hid behind a tree near the Phantom and waited till he was out of sight. He didn't see me and I slipped out the gate, saying HI to the maintenance people and walked home...

    The Phantom is pretty beat up, and will need a new shell, but it wasn't so wet because it crash landed under a tree... I can rebuild it... But I probably won't be flying for a couple months...

    For those who asked: The only mods I made were the Simensays Foldable landing legs (which I still like, by the way)... I bought my Phantom in March and never updated it because it worked fine all these months right out of the box. I was going to do a firmware update when I would have added the Futaba TX/RX and the gimbal I have... The rebuild will probably have all that done...

    Thanks for your support and reading...

    P.J.


    [​IMG]
     
  8. marcus_canada

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    So glad you got it back buddy, that's great news. It's a shame some people have to be such asses about things like that, but be comforted by the fact that he gets that crap at home from his old lady, so you're up on him already :)
     
  9. PJA

    PJA

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    You got that right Mr. marcus_canada...

    Thanks for your support...
     
  10. PJA

    PJA

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    Here is the resulting flight of My Phantom Disaster last night:


    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rh8gIHBO7Go[/youtube]
     
  11. rilot

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    Those are some very strange vibrations going on there.
    Glad you got it back.
     
  12. boat chaser

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    Congrats to getting it back, sometimes you have to bypass f-wits in life, good work on the covert op to reclaim what was yours. The vid looks like it loses power right near the end not what you would expect from 3mins of flight time. Good luck with the rebuild.
     
  13. PJA

    PJA

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    Thanks... The actual flight time was close to 10 minutes... I just edited the 'best' footage that was watchable... Couldn't control it... couldn't land it... It just fell out of the sky...

    I have a lot of work ahead of me to get it in the air again...
     
  14. splashproof

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    If you have the older, non-centering throttle Tx. I think I know what happened. I lost a Phantom into the ocean from a similar sequence. I flew out of altitude range on a Wharf at night and RTH kicked in but way off the mark. As it was slowly descending to a improperly calculated Home, I switched the Tx from GPS into ATTI mode, I had left the non-centering throttle lowered and was pleased to see the craft lowering and beginning to respond to my directional inputs. Then it plummeted out of the sky and into the dark sea with lights still flashing. I had gone to full throttle well before the craft even came close to the water, but the motors did not respond as they had shut down. They had cut out from leaving the non-centering throttle too low for more than three seconds. I believe the motor shutdown issue is one of the reasons the throttle on new Tx's now have a centering feature.
     
  15. mroberts

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    That's more vibration than I've ever seen in a video. Too much vibration can swamp the acclerometers and it wont be able to control itself.
     
  16. PJA

    PJA

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    Here is a flight I took one hour before the night time disaster... (slightly stabilized)... Quite a difference...

    I was already over the 10 minute mark when I finally turned the TX back on. The GoPro footage confirmed that... I wasted too much time trying to get control of it until nothing responded... Still can't figure out why.

    In this video I used RTH to land and it was off the mark by over 10 feet... Very unusual since whenever I did use RTH, it landed less than 2 feet near it's take off point... Another warning that should have raised a red flag. I still think it was a compass problem, since I had to recalibrate the compass for each flight ...

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2j7VH65SrQ[/youtube]