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Official member of the Phantom crash club :-(

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Discussion' started by beeline, May 31, 2015.

  1. beeline

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    Well, it's taken me over 10 days to be able to even look at these boards due to a major crash. Took me just as long to open the case to inspect the wreckage. Having mostly gotten past being pissed at myself, here is my story.

    I've been wanting to get footage of the Walls of Jericho, an amazing canyon on the Alabama/Tennessee border, ever since I got the Phantom last summer. There were some obstacles in my way, however. First, getting there is a challenge. A 3 mile hike doesn't sound too daunting until you factor in a 1000 foot drop in elevation and the rugged terrain over much of the journey. Took a little over 2 hours to arrive at the canyon/gorge.

    Considering how much rain we've had recently I expected the waterfalls to be more active, but such was not the case. Since I had hauled the Phantom all the way down, I was determined to get some footage. Big mistake. Because we were essentially in a big hole, the most satellites I could get was 6, so I decided to fly ATTI. Then the winds picked up, swirling around the canyon walls, and my better judgement told me to wait, but I didn't listen.

    I was airborne for about 5 minutes when the wind grabbed my bird and slung her against the canyon walls about 10 feet above the rocks below. Truth of the matter is I got disoriented and was unable to avoid the panic that ensued when she started to drift. In hindsight, I probably should have never even attempted to fly in such tight quarters.

    A quick inspection revealed that the gimbal and camera had completely separated from the Phantom, ripping both cable ties used to secure it to the quad. The gimbal was obviously damaged as well as the GoPro but I was in no mood for a detailed inspection and packed up the wreckage to get it out of my sight.

    A difficult 2.5 hour uphill trek back to the car and 1.5 hour drive home were punctuated by putting my kit on the shelf and doing my best to forget about it. After about 10 days, curiosity got the best of me and I decided to wade through the carnage. Yes, the gimbal was toast but the GoPro seemed to be working even though the LCD screen was broken and no longer useful (shame on GoPro for not making repair parts available). OK then, I can use the remote instead. As for the quad, after cleaning her up, I couldn't find any breaks to the shell whatsoever, nor any damage to the battery, which remained in the quad. Not only that, the props were not broken, cracked or dinged in any way, so all is not lost! Took her out for a test flight yesterday and she flies just fine. It also allowed me to drain 3 batteries to 50%, two of which had a full charge.

    Anyway, the moral of the story is even if you've gone through considerable pain to arrive at an amazing location to shoot footage, don't do it if your better judgement tells you otherwise. But what's done is done and all I need to be whole again is another H3 3D gimbal. B & H has new ones for $300 but if anyone happens to have a gently used one for sale, I'd be interested.

    I didn't get but about 3 minutes of footage before stupid kicked in (actually stupid kicked in when I made the decision to fly), but there was enough to give you an idea of the beauty at the Walls of Jericho.

     
  2. RichWest

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    Live and learn. Nice video for what you had. Me, I'd recover and go back for another try. Really interesting location.
     
  3. IrwinMedia

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    I've crashed 2 phantom's so far. Not fun. Never get used to the sight of it falling. I actually have a h3-3d that I've only used for a couple hours for sale. PM me if you're interested.
     
  4. beeline

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    Yeah, kind of like falling off a bike, get back on and try again. If I ever do go back it will be in winter when you can better see the 200 foot rock cliffs, now obscured by foliage. Thanks for your comments.
     
  5. BZMac

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    I took a really bad crash about a month ago, I learned to fix error codes and got more comfortable w maintenance aspect. It works fine w minimal cost in repair. Look at it like a good learning experience.
     
  6. NickCopter

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    Sounds like you shouldn't need to replace your H3-3D Gimbal. Just get a vice and bend it back in place.

    I crashed my P2 twice, and both times was able to fix the gimbal with 5 minutes of work.

    If you post pictures I can better assist you with the situation. If you are sure you'll be purchasing a new gimbal, PM me about selling your old one and I'll fix it up and resell it.
     
  7. xboy

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    Sorry hear about it's. Hate it when that happens. I have a brand new P2 and Gimbal that I'm selling. PM me if interested
     
  8. beeline

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    Finally got around to installing the new gimbal yesterday. Really pissed about the firmware auto update when I plugged her up for an IMU calibration as I forgot to disconnect from the internet. Works fine in a bench test and am planning a compass calibration/test flight this afternoon.

    Noticed the new gimbal mounting bracket off-sets the gimbal further away from the battery, which hopefully will avoid the occasional horizontal gimbal reset that was happening due to physical contact with the battery. Also noticed that the new one is not nearly as well balanced out of the box (front heavy) as the old one.

    NickCopter, I will get pics to you soon if you are still interested.
     
  9. pilsburypie

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    Hey - nice footage. I've not crashed mine yet but if (when) I do, I shall be a p1ssed as you. The thing is, to get great shots, you may have to take a risk.... that's how I look at it. Good luck with your new gear, you've learned a lesson - happy flying ;)
     
  10. beeline

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    Thanks Mr. Pie :). Blew through 2 batteries on Sunday and the new gimbal works a treat.

    Speaking of risk, I want to get to the point where I can fly it like I stole it. My next drone will make that possible (current model for higher risk missions, new one for low risk).
     
  11. RobH16

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    Hello All,
    My first post here. I was introduced to the Phantom 2 via my brother in law. While I've always thought they were cool, it was the video footage that really caught me. I went out and purchased a used Phantom 2. From the get-go something didn't seem right, it would randomly RTH after a minute or so of flight. Re-calibrate and go back and sometimes get a few minutes of flight out of it.
    My brother in law suggested a firmware upgrade so I did that and then the remote wouldn't stay linked to the Quad. After tinkering a bit with it, I brought it outside my door and calibrated it. It stayed connected so I went to the road and did it all over again. Tried to fly it and and again it did a RTH very quickly. The problem......it returned to home just outside my door.....and landed on my roof, the props didn't turn off when it landed and then went down my roof to a second level roof and skipped down that roof to the ground. It broke a piece of the gimbal mount (which I realized had been glued from a previous crash). I'm taking a guess that the GPS has been damaged and isn't holding the satellites or something.
    Needless to say, I've sent it off to DJI to have a look at it as it should have some warranty coverage on it. I'm deeply disappointed to not be able to use it right now.
    I've had some cool thoughts of using it for golf courses, real estate etc but ...... i'll have to wait.
    What a cool machine tho! Hope to get some flights in soon (ish)
     
  12. JG Montana

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    I live in the mountains and have the same issues with GPS. I will have to be a lot better flyer to go manual. I have found that having a partner watch the Phantom and I watch the screen. In tight places I now practice with little flights first. I have also learned to be right behind the Phantom it helps with depth perception. Depth perception is where I usually get in the most trouble. What ever you do don't send you Phantom to DJI to get fixed. Mine has been in for 2 months and counting and still don't know when it will be sent back.
     
  13. RobH16

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    My machine is already sent in to DJI : (. I sent it in last week and atleast its been checked in. I think I got about 5 flights in before I had to send it in. Its really too bad. I want to be able to do a few jobs with it but now it'll have to wait. How come they don't know when it will be fixed? They've told me to check in with them by the end of week 6 (from check in date) if I don't have a tracking number.
     
  14. BlackHawk388

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    First off, so sorry to hear of your mishap. It can take the wind from your sails for a time, for sure.

    You've learned most of the lessons you needed too. So I won't kick you in the teeth over anything. One thing I would HIGHLY stress since it's such a tremendous safety issue. If the battery had been damaged, you could have been badly injured yourself carrying it all back up the trail. I've seen LiPo's pop immediately after a crash and I've seen a few do a slow burn and explode minutes after the crash. I once crashed one of my gliders and just shoved it all into the trunk of my Mustang. Sick to my stomach because I'd had that feeling not to fly that day and did anyway. I walked over to get my controller and iPad and when I turned around, about five minutes had passed since I threw everything in the trunk, I saw smoke coming out of the trunk area. I had to replace the spare tire cover, but luckily didn't burn my car down.

    I've also had a 25S battery cook off in my hand almost an hour after a crash. It was damaged and the little bit of jostling I did while trying to remove it from the aircraft finished it off. Luckily, I was wearing gloves. But I still had some bad chemical burns. You'd think I would have learned not to throw a damaged bird in the trunk of my Mustang, but luckily, both times, I escaped with minor issues.

    I know the area of effect for that small battery would HATE to see what would happen to one of these bigger LiPo batteries if they shorted and cooked off.

    SO glad your Quad is still flyable!
     
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  15. JG Montana

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    It took them 5 weeks to check it in.
     
  16. IflyinWY

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    Hey beeline, sorry to hear of your crash. Thanks for the video though. Great stuff.

    I do a fair amount of flying around mountains, and in canyons, so I know about the GPS issue when you start from the bottom. Something I would like to share, is that as you climb you will get more satellites and a more stable flight. At least that's how it's been working for me with my FC40.

    I'm not much of an ATTI flyer, and even if I don't have enough sats initially, I will still fly in GPS and I usually get enough to stay in GPS mode within 10 to 30 feet of altitude.

    Maybe, if you try staying in GPS it will help you battle swirling winds a bit better.
    I am assuming the P2 is like the FC40 in that it will automatically switch to ATTI when it looses too many satellites.

    +1 on the burning battery warning, BlackHawk beat me by a few minutes on that one. I don't have any horror stories to share in that department, so his post gets the point across much better than I could.
     
  17. BZMac

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    I took a crash today, cracked the frame. If you watch the video you can see the props at one point, I think one of my motors ceased. After that, it just turns over and starts going down. Im thinking about going with the X450 frame. Any suggestions?

     
  18. IflyinWY

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    Can you spin all 4 motors? Looks to me like all 4 motors kept running but 3 & 4 weren't quite keeping up. I believe when 1 motor stops, there is a lot more violence in the air, tumbling, twisting, flipping.

    What do you see inside as far as fried electrical?
     
  19. BZMac

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    I haven't begun to assess the damage, but the frame is cracked (top and bottom), motor will not turn (seems as if one of the magnets is catching), gimbal arm is cracked. My last crash happened in the same manner. It makes me wonder if it has been an ongoing problem I never noticed, but have been able to successfully fly with. Time to get a new frame, and going to replace all 4 motors.
     

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  20. IflyinWY

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    Well, I guess that's one way to open it so you can see the ESC.

    Is that the motor which won't turn? I tried, multiple times, to hear a motor stopping inflight, but could not.

    In my previous post I should have said
    "usually when 1 motor stops, there is a lot more violence in the air, tumbling, twisting, flipping."

    If 1 motor quit and your FC was doing it's best to maintain a good flight attitude, your video is about the best I have ever seen of such an example.

    The impact doesn't look like it was violent enough to knock a magnet loose in your motor. If there is a loose magnet, that would probably be the cause of failure.

    I don't think that ESC will be any good. I could be wrong.