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Phantom 2 now at the bottom of Convict Lake, Ca

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Discussion' started by Krazy Ape, Aug 9, 2015.

  1. Krazy Ape

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    I suppose I've finally had my case of bad luck. I've owned my Phantom 2 for a little over a year and in that time have gotten some really cool video of Coastal California, including San Diego beaches and the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

    Unfortunately, my avoidance of a flyaway (or crash) has reached its end. On Thursday, August 6, 2015, I launched my Phantom 2 (Zenmuse H4-3D, GoPro Hero 3+, 64gb memory and UV Filter lens) in an area of Convict Lake that gave me good visual, plus I use the 7" Black Pearl monitor with two types of antennas - the Helical and a set of Blue Beam Ultras.

    The flight started out well and the video looked sharp - no fuzzy screen. As I flew to about 30 meters and directly over the lake, the Phantom just dropped out of the sky and landed directly in the lake, sinking quickly to the bottom. I rushed to the dock and a nice guy managing the boat rentals let me take one of the boats out for a look around. Although Convict Lake is clear, it's also really deep (over 140'). After about an hour of searching, I came back to the dock without my Phantom.

    I'm really not to sure what could have happened. I've flown it a lot and consider myself a good pilot. I've had lots of over-water flights but this one just seems like the Phantom saw a great opportunity to jump off the bridge and sink to her end.

    Has anyone had this happen before? I've read about flyaways, but this just seemed odd that it would just drop. I've posted a couple of the videos I've made below. Thanks in advance for any help/ideas/suggestions.

    John



     
  2. RoyVa

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    I've had a battery that went bad during flight. It dropped from 65% remaining to 8% and then Phantom auto landed, thank goodness it was over two block away but on land.
     
  3. maxwell smart

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    If you do anything long enough, well it just happens.
     
  4. 750r

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    Welcome to the forum .
    Sorry for your loss . There is a member here (Dirk) had the same thing happen his bird just dropped out of the sky I be leave he thinks it was the battery connection . I would say if flying over water I would use a GetterBack but it's only good for 100' but you still might have had better luck finding it agin sorry to see this as your first post ..
     
  5. andrew

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    The GetterBack has saved my Phantom once already... I had a flyaway and thankfully was able to recover it, take everything apart, remove the sand, dry it out, and voila, it worked like a charm.
     
  6. RoyVa

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    I guess for us who fly over water a lot should come up with a cheep and very lite pontoon system to keep her afloat. Might have to go to the drawing board. I know it not if its going to happen to me but when!
    May be I should get prepared for that event. A floating Phantom, not a bad idea since I have two.
     
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  7. Ezookiel

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    What a gut wrenching thing to have happen. I sympathise fully with you, as I fly over water almost exclusively, and I just know how I'm going to feel if that ever happens to me.
    To just drop like that doesn't sound like autoland, it sounds like an issue with complete power loss. Perhaps a battery not fully seated?
    I hope you grab yourself a new Phantom and get back into it again.

    And as others have said, put a Getterback or two on the next one. It wouldn't help in 140 feet of water, but they're a great idea for anything up to 100 feet. Even if the bird was water ruined, there would at least be a chance of the video to recover to make a great story
     
  8. djphantom2015

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    Sorry about your accident. There are so many things which can go wrong. However I really don't understand why is everybody flying over water without any safe measure. I have floaters attached at the legs of the P2 when I fly over water. They hold over 4 pounds so if something goes wrong it will not sink but float. Obviously I hope this will never happen.
     

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  9. 750r

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    How dose she take the wind with that setup ?
     
  10. DroneGolfer

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    This is is my first post with what seems to be a very erudite group of fellow Drone-o-philes!

    Apologies about your drone being at the bottom of Convict Lake. Certainly, and this is the only upside, it couldn't have met its end in a more beautiful lake. That entire place is spectacular, especially during the winter when the mountain is covered in snow and the lake looks like a mirror!

    Recently, I had an issue where my drone just developed a mind of its own, I lost site of it and the screen went blank. I did the rule of just letting it hover till I got out there too see where it was, only, the sky was empty. I looked for less the five seconds and saw it below the base of a tree, upside down and knew I was in trouble, got to it, trying to shut it down with the controller to no avail. I ended up having to carefully pick it up with the 2-1/2 props that were left, reach in between the two back props and pulled the battery. There was simply no other way to shut it down!

    Final outcome was the case was destroyed, broke the H3-3D gimbal arm which can't be replaced and wrote it off as a drone failure experience. I was devastated! After viewing the footage, the drone literally hovered then took off on its own. My thinking Is that due to the drone initially not being set up properly by the dealer I bought the entire complete kit from. (Which is another story in itself!)

    Thankfully, the Go Pro 4 was unscathed in the incident.

    I do feel your pain!
     
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  11. djphantom2015

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    I had the same concern also and thought that even the wind generated from the rotors would disrupt the flight, instead it's so stable in any condition. Obviously I can do even better. Altogether those floaters add an extra 65 /70 gr ( 2,6 on.) weight.
     
    750r likes this.
  12. go fast

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    How do you prevent the pool floats from getting in your video , even just the left landing gear gets in the pic sometimes... I do a lot of flights over open ocean just came back from Jamaica , those are some of the best videos
     
  13. djphantom2015

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    You probably noticed that the left float is cut in order to reduce getting into the video. Nonetheless it will get in in normal circumstances. To know see it, for example, move forward and the floats don't appear. When they do I edit the video with final cut pro and trim or crop the image so that it's like I would be zooming 10% in order to get them out of the border. Another thing I do to avoid getting the props in the video is I set my gimbal at 85° (or 5° below the horizon). I found this the perfect setting. You can download in Final cut pro "alex4d wide angle fix" . It's free and you cans eliminate the fish eye effect.
     
  14. JKDSensei

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    Why cant you just cut a section of floatie large enough to keep the phantom afloat without using it on both sides? It shouldn't take much of that stuff to keep it from sinking. Unless you PLAN to make water landings, it's only for emergencies, all you need is enough flotation to keep the drone from sinking.

    I would think a piece on the opposite side the camera is facing would do for this plus it would not interfere with your videos / photos (and be less wind resistance)?

    If you lose power midflight over water and the goal is to be able to retrieve the drone, all you need is enough flotation to keep it from going down.

    How long of a section of those bright colored pool float tubes would be needed to support 3 - 4 lbs? 12 - 14 inches?
     
    #14 JKDSensei, Aug 12, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2015
  15. djphantom2015

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    I tested the float tubes and the full one can only carry up to 950 gr. Besides I thought it's more dynamically stable with both.
    As I written before it does not compromise my videos. The best way to test the floats is to fill a pot wide enough with water and have it on a scale. Then when you press the floats down you will see how much weight it will generate (hold) according to the depth. Obviously in a real situation it could be that the Phantom stay afloat only wit 1000 gr. because of trapped air inside. The phantom will not float but tilt over because the weight distribution is not regular.
     
  16. Oh wow! VERY sorry to hear of your loss!
    It's like loosing a family member.
    Is there ANY way to retreive it? Got any diver friends?

    My heart sank when I read your post... once again, so sorry to hear!
     
  17. glataif

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    I would like to see a parachute compatible with the Phantom 2 for sale soon.
     
  18. dirtybum

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    I recently started the quest of long distance personal best flights, i've found two things that make losing a bird almost painless. First and most imporntant, have more than one copter. I have collected a few fixer uppers on e-bay and have built a few great copters for cheaper than the price of 1 new p2v+.
    When i recently lost vision plus in a cornfield
    I was fying again that afternoon and by the next day never thought bout the lost one again! Second, though this will not help you flying fish out there , you NEED a tracker, after losing bird in miles of 8 ft tall corn i chose flytrex. When i lose my wi-fi signal at 10,000 ft i can check the app and watch my bird RTH until i can control it. These two things keep me flyin with a realistic confidence. Happy flights!
     
  19. JKDSensei

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    This is where I got the notion...

    This is from RC Universe.com
    http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/speed-rc-gas-boats/7270039-buoyancy-swimming-noodle-print.html

    dannyual777
    RE: Buoyancy of a swimming noodle?

    Quote:

    Its not too hard to figure out how much weight a piece of pool noodle will really support. Remember, something floats because it actually displaces more water weight than it actually weighs. This is why a heavy metal ship floats.

    I hope that I don't lose the math challenged here :D !

    I'm going to use the metric system since the weight of water per volume is easy: 1 Liter or 1000cc (or ml) equals 1 kg or about 2.2 lbs. We're going to use 1 foot of showtime's 3.5" diameter noodle. Converting this to metric we use 1"=2.54cm. So, the noodle is 30.48cm long by 8.89cm in diameter.

    Here goes: volume of a cylinder=pi(r)(r)(length)or 22/7 X 4.445cm X 4.445cm X 30.48cm = 1892.7cc or 1.89L

    Converting the weight of 1.89L of water back to pounds is 1.89kg X 2.2=4.16 lbs. This does not take into account the hole going down the length of the noodle! In other words, the noodle will actually support a little less than 4.16 lbs!

    So.......1 foot of 3.5" diameter pool noodle should float about a 4lb piece of metal on top of the noodle.

     
  20. djphantom2015

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    Yes, that's mathematics, but being not sure if the floaters are really displacing all that water I wanted to test it with the scale. Anyway I have 1,5 floaters (1 full and 1 half) on each side, length 20 cm diameter 7 cm. Pieces are cut out to fit the "legs" in the full one (1 cm) and a piece is cut out to allow more view when the go pro is facing down. No floaters, no flying over water for me.