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P3 Advanced crashed in the GA Forest - Help theorize the cause! Maybe advise on getting another?

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by Propagandy, Sep 27, 2016.

  1. Propagandy

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    This weekend while on vacation in Georgia, I went hiking at Amicalola Falls and decided to try and capture some footage of the falls and beautiful scenery. I decided to set up a pre-plotted flight in Litchi since I've head good success in the past and was somewhat limited on time. I checked elevations, and decided that a 200ft cruising altitude would be adequate considering my l THOUGHT the launch point was at the highest elevation of the waypoints.

    As it turns out, I misread my maps and overshot my intended route by enough that the clearance to the trees would have been tight to say the least. Best I can guess is that it hit a tree and fell straight down between a VERY steep decline, and the waterfall. I lost transmission prior to the crash, but wasn't able to activate "go home" until it was too late. To say the least, I'm fairly devastated. Flying has been an amazing hobby and stress reliever for since about February of this year.

    Trust me when I say that I made ever possible effort to retrieve the wreckage, but it could not be in a worse spot. It's gone with little to no chance of recovery. Still, I thought I would upload the data and see what you guys think went wrong. Is it a miscalculation on my part, or do you see something in the data that I don't?

    Aside from the quad and battery lost, I have a hardshell backpack, remote, 2 additional batteries, extra props, lenses, and a couple other goodies specific to Phantom 3. I also fairly recently purchased a Shield Tablet specifically for flying, Litchi, and Autopilot apps for ios when flying with phone, and Litchi on the tablet. All of it cost a good chunk of change.

    Now I'm stuck with all that unusable gear and a lost drone, or could consider purchasing a new quad to replace it. Basically going about $700 further in the hole, but being able to fly. What would you guys do? Word of encouragement would be great honestly.... and yes, I saw the Mavic and think it looks rad! I wouldn't be able to use most of my gear though and money is honestly a big issue here. so that's out. Other suggestions are welcome though :)


    Here's the healthy drones link: HealthyDrones.com - Innovative flight data analysis that matters (not sure how to upload the .csv to the board, but have it if that would be helpful?

    Here's the info I came up with using the data and Googles elevation maps:

    First Waypoint Elevation: 2290ft
    Latitude: 34.565227
    Longitude: -84.2489804

    Last Waypoint
    Elevation: 2496ft (206ft above first waypoint)
    Latitude: 34.5670122
    Longitude: -84.2441303

    Actual Crash Location Elevation: 2505ft (215ft above first waypoint)
    Latitude: 34.566944
    Longitude: -84.244291

    Crash occurred at Line 1341 on the spreadsheet I believe.
     
  2. Woodsong

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    Hey there- I'm not the one to look to for diagnosing your flight log but just an FYI, GA State Parks have banned landing and taking off from GA State Parks. With Amicalola Falls being a GA State Park, that means it is not allowed to take off or land on their property. There is only one state park in GA that is allowed to have drone takes offs/landings. GA State Park rules here: Park Rules and Regulations | Georgia State Parks
    Not saying any of that to cause misery on top of your loss (sorry for the loss of your drone by the way!) but just posting this for general edification and knowledge for others and for you if you go back to Amicalola (a beautiful park and wonderful waterfalls!). Looks like you took off from the lower parking lot and tried to fly up and around the falls and crashed on the side of the falls. Tough spot to have your bird go down. If you go back in the late fall it will be easier to find it than now when things are still green and leafy.
    Hopefully others can help diagnose what went wrong on your flight.
     
    Propagandy likes this.
  3. Propagandy

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    Hey there Woodsong! You're 100% correct and I should have mentioned that in the post. Thank you for posting the link too! I did not do proper research on that beforehand obviously, and do not condone my actions citing ignorance ;). I had a talk with a really nice ranger there after the incident and they were very helpful and informed me of the rules/regulations. Couldn't have been a nicer exchange either.

    You are correct that it won't get my drone back, but it certainly would have saved it if i'd followed the rules, so hopefully your post will save someone else on the boards going forward.
     
    BigAl07 likes this.
  4. Heisnuts

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    I believe you can buy just the Phantom 3 Advanced without the controller from DJI directly for about $500 or $599, which might save you a few dollars.
     
    Propagandy likes this.
  5. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    Sorry for your loss. It sucks.

    Luckily someone else might learn from this "life lesson" so thank you for sharing. While I'm at it your attitude is very refreshing about the whole thing. Again thank you for sharing.

    I'd probably just replace the aircraft since you have a good bit of support equipment already. Or you could piece part it all out and start with a new "set up". I do believe the P3P or P3A is about the most bang for your buck on the market today though.

    Good luck and safe flights.
     
    Jonathan Huff and Propagandy like this.
  6. Propagandy

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    You sir (or ma'am) are a prince (or princess) among men (or women) ;) Just purchased from DJI for $559, brand new with free shipping. Comes with everything but a remote controller and battery charger, which I already have! very stoked and relieved. Thank you!

    Thanks bud! If nothing else, I can definitely admit when I'm in the wrong ;) Truthfully I've always realized that part of this hobby would likely involve a crash, or fly away etc, but it doesn't make it sting any less. The P3A served me well, and for the price of replacing it, I can't see a better option. besides, now I can continue to enjoy these forums without moping about losing my quad! :)
     
  7. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    I've been "doing this" for a few years now (40+ LOL) and one thing we always stress to our students... if you fly them you WILL crash them... it's not a matter of IF but WHEN. . . the only ones that never crash are the "Hanger Queens" that we don't fly.

    Good luck and enjoy your new aircraft :)
     
    Propagandy likes this.