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Phantom 2 Crash - Motor Screws

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Discussion' started by BrentHG, May 5, 2014.

  1. BrentHG

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    Just got my Phantom 2 last week and flew it very successfully a half a dozen times and it flew flawlessly. Yesterday, as I was descending, at about 30-40 feet high, I heard what sounded like a propeller hitting plastic and suddenly it tumbled to the ground and crashed. There was damage to the fuselage and the H3-3D gimbal is severely bent.

    After careful inspection, one of the prop motors was dangling and all 4 screws were missing. I suspect the screws came out in flight and allowed the motor to work its way out of the mount. I am suspect about the assembly and going to request DJI replace my Phantom.

    Has this happened to any Phantom pilots out there?
     
  2. KG4MXV

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    IT hasn't happen to me. ( thankfully)
    But After watching all the "kitchen table" Videos every 10th flight re-torque all the screws especially the ones on the motors.

    I also have a quick preflight check that I do on every flight.
    pull up slightly on all motors and make sure they don't have more than 1mm of play.
    if they do I ground the craft and inspect the motors.
    Instead of having to disassemble the top of the craft to safely inspect the bottom of the motors I plan on
    drilling a hole big enough to inspect and remove the Snap ring. ( I have replaced all the E-clips with snap rings.)
    I also have on order some rubber stoppers to cover the holes.

    If no problems with the motor I continue with checking the props for any problems like hairline cracks near the hub
    by gently flexing the blades.
    If I find any defects then simply take that prop out of service and replace it.
    And use a sharpie to mark the defect and toss it in the bin.

    Check the body for any cracks or loose parts.
    Check the 5.8ghz antennas for any problems like is the little wire (the actual antenna) is straight and is not bent or has any debris on it.
    check all the battery terminals for any signs of corrosion or damage.
    on the two little contacts I use a qtip with the cotton removed from one end to check to see if the contact springs are ok.
    gently push them in and see if the come back out. they only travel about 3mm or so.
    Then I check the contacts on the battery for any problems. and clean as necessary with a qtip with nothing but rubbing alcohol.
    do not use anything else as some contact cleaners have solvents that can damage plastics. And the gold plating on the battery control PCB is very thin and can be worn off with anything that is abrasive.

    With all that done I give the entire craft a little bit of a shake to see if there is anything loose inside.
    All that takes less then 10 min to do and is cheap insurance from problems during flight.
     
  3. BrentHG

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    Thanks for the input KG4MXV. I have been preflighting most of the checkpoints that you mention. I'm curious about the snap ring and where it's located. Is it on the bottom of the motor holding the shaft?

    I was very surprised to see all four motor screws missing after only a few flights.
     
  4. tom3holer

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    The screws should have had "Locktite" on them.
    I would remove a motor screw from each of the remaining 3 motors and make sure there is blue locktite on them.
    If not you certainly have a case with DJI.

    Tom
     
  5. BrentHG

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    I took my Phantom 2 back to DSLRPros yesterday and their initial inspection was in fact, the motor screws didn't have Loc-Tite and the damage would be covered under warranty. I'm glad I had the GoPro video rolling during this flight as it clearly reveals the noise of the propeller hitting the fuselage and ultimately crashing.

    The technician from DSLRPros said he'd never seen or heard of motor screws falling out, but will now be checking all Phantoms from his shop for loose screws.

    We are looking forward to getting our Phantom back and in the air.
     
  6. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
    Staff Member

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    I am not sure it's Loctite on the stock screws and is likely something more compatible with the plastic shell. Loctite will damage the shell plastic making it brittle and weak so be careful in how you use it.
     
  7. freelanceshots

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    Just checked mine after 15-20 or so flights and just a few could be tightened maybe a quarter of a turn or less. Didn't even cross my mind to check them. Thanks for the post. I need to pay more attention to some of these small things.
     
  8. twodips

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    I thought I'd read on a pre/post flight checklist that motor screws should be checked. Dang, on a few different forums so I don't know which one. :oops:
    Anyway, had my drone for 2 weeks now and checked the screws after the first flight, a couple were about 1/2 turn loose. Have checked all of them ever since and have had an occasional loose one but only 1/8-1/4 turn loose.
    I started checking all screws regularly since finding the first ones btw.
     
  9. BrentHG

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    Latest update on my Phantom 2 crash due to motor screws. At the request of DSLRPros, I uploaded the entire video, from start to stop and they got on the phone with the DJI China Headquarters and have in-fact determined that one motor came out of its mount. The deciding factor was the sound track that clearly indicated prop noise rubbing against the hull and the mark it made.

    So it looks like my Phantom 2 will be repaired under DJI warranty. According to DJI, DSLRPros and all the members here at PhantomPilots.com, I am the first to report this happening. Check your motor screws before flight, and ALWAYS ALWAYS make sure your GoPro is recording before takeoff. It may be the difference between warranty repair or not.

    Haven't heard yet from DSLRPros on when I will get my Phantom back.
     
  10. The Editor

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    Sounds like a 'Friday Afternoon Phantom' !! - I'm not sure I'd want THAT one back :shock:

    The worrying thing is if these things are all assembled by robots (rather than Chinese sweatshops) then there could be a whole batch of them out there in the skies with motor screws working loose!
     
  11. BrentHG

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    So here it is 3 weeks later and I still don't have my Phantom 2 back. DSLRPros has provided very little info on when I will get it back and the latest is they say they are having trouble getting in touch with DJI in Los Angeles to get the warranty approved. Here's the problem I have with that kind of customer service and support. When the screws came out of the motor and caused the crash, that wasn't my fault. DSLRPros has finally agreed to replace our Phantom 2 immediately and I will be picking it up tomorrow. CHECK YOUR MOTOR SCREWS.
     
  12. FASTFJR

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    3 Weeks and DSLR Pros is still trying to get a hold of DJI? WOW!!! What a bunch of crap that is. I thought they were based near you. I would take a ride over to the "Pros"s and see what is going on
     
  13. chrisono

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    wow im glad i read this, just checked my screws... 6 of them could be tightened over 1 full turn :shock:
     
  14. Fyod

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    I've taken my top shell of about twice so now I check all screws about once every three-four flights and usually they need a 1/4 turn tightening.
    I have the blue stuff on most screws but I think I may have noticed a couple with less threadlock on them.
     
  15. GMANNZ

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    You are lucky .... if these were made by GM ... they'd probably have to recall all the last 100,000 produced :D