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Phantom lost connection and fell from the sky for no reason.

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by jggraham, Nov 24, 2015.

  1. jggraham

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    Hey everyone,

    I frequently read this forum and regularly get useful information and tips from y'all. Thank you for that.

    Unfortunately today I pulled my phantom 3 advanced out at my brothers house, turned it on and calibrated the compass and was locked into satellites (don't remember how many, but I have flown here before and had no problem acquiring 16 satellites). Status bar indicated it was safe for a GPS flight. I used auto take off and immediately brought it up to about 30-40 feet when the motors suddenly stopped and it fell and smashed on to the street and busted into a ton of pieces. As it fell I looked down at my iPad to see if there was something I could do and there was no live feed and said there was no signal.

    I have contacted DJI and they gave me an RMA with an estimated return of 2 weeks. Will this be covered under warranty? Also will they be able to verify this was not user error, there is a flight log that shows a flight of less than a minute. I bought it off amazon about 4 months ago.

    ImageUploadedByPhantomPilots - DJI Phantom Forum1448400177.913651.jpg ImageUploadedByPhantomPilots - DJI Phantom Forum1448400256.482254.jpg ImageUploadedByPhantomPilots - DJI Phantom Forum1448400330.686845.jpg ImageUploadedByPhantomPilots - DJI Phantom Forum1448400371.070529.jpg
     
  2. Pluto88888

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    Did you start off with a Fully Charged battery?
     
  3. eBird

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    That was fully snapped into place?
     
  4. Mako79

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    You double slap the battery when inserting?
     
  5. eBird

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    BTW, they always fall from the sky for a reason. If this happened for no reason, I'd truly be concerned!
     
    III% Streve likes this.
  6. jggraham

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    Battery showed 60%, and it was definitely snapped into place. and I guess I should have clarified, "fell from the sky for what appears to be no reason (meaning nothing obvious malfunctioned). If the battery was not charged enough wouldn't it have notified me during the 5 min warm up and calibration process and not just died mid-flight?
     
  7. D4T_PoM

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    Unfortunately my advice may be a tad too late but its all over the forum...

    Never fly your P3 without a fully charged battery.

    I have a battery sitting on 84% from my last start up but before I fly again and use the same battery I will ensure its fully charged.
     
  8. Wacker2611

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    How long had the battery been left at c60% before your bad flight? If it was more than a couple of days, I'm afraid that's probably your answer.
     
  9. ChuckRogers

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    Sorry for your loss. Painful pictures...
     
    MikeK likes this.
  10. eBird

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    I have flown with partially charged batteries too many times to count. I just don't buy this as being a reason for failure. What would the scientific reason for this be? If my battery has 3 bars, I fly it again.
    Now, having said that, I'm talking about batteries I just used. I won't use a partially charged battery that sat around more than 1 day. I do think the battery status can be unreliable if you don't absolutely know how long a battery has been used, and that can lead to unexpected sudden critical status when you thought it had plenty of juice.
     
    #10 eBird, Nov 24, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2015
  11. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    Hopefully they will conclude it was an internal malfunction within the aircraft (sounds like a power failure for sure) and give you a brand new bird.

    Keep us posted and good luck :)
     
    jggraham likes this.
  12. Oso

    Oso

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    What seems to be the prevailing feedback on the forum is to not fly on a partially charged battery that has been partially charged more than a day.

    As for me personally, I often fly several times on a single charge. Once the day's flights are over however, I follow the prevailing advice here and charge my batteries to 100% before using them again another day even if they have charge remaining. This is especially true if they reached 60-65% remaining from the auto discharge process.

    There seems to be some merit to this because we see it happen so frequently. I think there are 3 threads currently with the same suspected root cause. I don't feel a need to test it since we have been warned countless times to not do it. I simply defer to those here who are more experienced on the matter.
     
    #12 Oso, Nov 24, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2015
    jggraham likes this.
  13. eBird

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    I totally agree about the age of the partially charged battery. I don't leave one at 75%, take it home, and expect to fly it again like that the next day or week. During a hike however, I routinely will fly a battery 2-3 times until it gets down to 25 to 30%.
     
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  14. jggraham

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    Thank you everyone for the input. It sounds like everyone agrees it was a battery failure due to not being fully charged.

    It had sat for a couple of days, but I just don't understand why the battery indicator showed 60% and allowed me to go through the entire warm up process, including a compass calibration and not give any warnings until it just died 30 ft in the air. I watched the flight log and the battery status never changed from the 60%.
     
  15. Oso

    Oso

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    I don't think it has been decided. That is just one theory. In fact, the low battery threads seem to be related more to a sudden auto land initiating. Your situation sounds more like power loss from a loose battery or CSC. It's hard to make any sort of diagnosis without the files to review.
     
    #15 Oso, Nov 24, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2015
  16. CONTROL FREQ

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    I wouldn't put it pass it that the batty vibrated loose.

    Just an assumption.
     
  17. III% Streve

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    Look at it this way. It might make a bit more sense... Drain the batteries in a non-led flashlight until it is noticeably dim. Now leave it sitting, turned off, for 48 hours. Then turn it back on. Initially, the light will be nearly full brightness, but very quickly dim again. The P3 battery is designed to drain insanely fast, wit ha very high power output. It can EASILY start any real car! The little electronics involved in the flight controller and gimble use nearly nothing for power, and at a significantly reduced voltage. So startup crap really never puts a draw on it. Spinning up the motors is a big jolt, and climbing is about maximum drain. What you did basically is spike the draw on a falsely indicating power system. When the power dropped, from that huge drain, the system shuts down to prevent damaging anything.. except it leads to a crash.

    Post your flight log from the tablet and we can see this happening possibly
     
    Bob Denny likes this.
  18. alokbhargava

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    I am really concerned why people say that one should not fly with 60% charged batteries. 60% charge is good enough to last for 13 minutes. I hope "60% charged" reading is not false and its just a voltage level. If it is 60% voltage level then I can visualize that battery will die pretty soon.

    Its very common that wrong words are used to define the situation. I read it some where on DJI manual that one can fly with 55% charged batteries. Thats acceptable to me and makes sense.
     
  19. jggraham

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    I think these are it?
     

    Attached Files:

  20. dottat4

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    Having totalled a p3p already...

    It's not that you shouldn't fly with less than 100% charge folks.
    It's definitely do NOT fly a battery that has gone into self discharge.

    I took four batteries. All set to ten day discharge. All fully charged. I kept checking two for fifteen days straight. Each day both answered with ~100% and four green lights.

    The other two batteries on day 15 had ~55% percent and two solid one blinking.

    Two were safe to fly. Two were not. Do not trust a self discharged battery and check what timeframe you all have the self discharge set to.



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