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Phantom Phail

Discussion in 'Phantom 1 Discussion' started by EllisU, Dec 22, 2014.

  1. EllisU

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    Hello all!

    I recently received a Phantom 1 as a gift and have enjoyed many problem free flights. Unfortunately, this evening I experienced a catastrophic problem that destroyed my Phantom and would like your opionions as to what may have gone wrong. I was flying on a fresh battery in good conditions, except for a bit of fog. The phantom was several hundred feet up and away from me when it began to behave irratically, including a sudden descent. The craft seemed to stabalize momentarily so I decided to bring her back in for a landing. Unfortunately, as I started to bring the Phantom back in, it again became erratic, except this time it fell like a rock from several hundred feet onto the concrete below. When I made it to the craft it had lost 2 props and had an arm bent from impact. The craft was beeping. Attaching it to the NAZAM software offered no insight, as the software did not recognize the Phantom.

    Any ideas? Could the fog (moisutre) have been an issue somehow? Thanks for any feedback.

    Andy
     
  2. Great Pumpkin

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    Location:
    Santa Barbara County, California, USA
    A common problem new Phantom pilots sometimes have is bringing it down too fast so that it gets caught in its own prop wash, commonly called VRS (vortex ring state). You said it stabilized momentarily at one point, suggesting it got out of its prop wash but then got back into it and went out of control. The air is commonly still on foggy days, so if you were bringing straight down too fast, that is probably why it behaved erratically. Instead of coming straight down, fly a path as if you were coming down a ramp. Have a look at this post:
    viewtopic.php?t=7923&p=64487
     
  3. EllisU

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    Thanks for the feedback Great Pumpkin! Interesting read on the VRS and I will certainly keep that in mind on future flights. However, in this case I wasn't attempting to land. In fact, when it first acted erratically, I was moving horizontally at fair velocity. I let go of the sticks and it stabilized, leading me to believe I had caught some strange air current. Then as I started to bring her back home (still not descending yet) she just dropped out of the sky as if all motors shut off. Literally like a rock from the sky! In fact, from the sound it made on impact, I was quite sure it had fallen through the roof of a neighbor's house. Fortunately for me, not for my phantom, it hit the concrete porch of his house. All joking aside, it could have really hurt someone had they been standing there.

    While I am certainly humble enough to accept rookie error, this really "felt" like a mechanical failure of some sort. How often does the CPU on one of these devices just go haywire?

    Andy
     
  4. dcoski

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    The key words are "except for a bit of fog". That would leave me with the thought that you might be icing up. If the temperature is right around 30 deg. F + /- 2 deg F. There could be super cool water moisture in fog. That is water moisture that is below freezing, but still in liquid form. When something comes in contact with it the moisture will attach to its surface, like propellers. Which would distort the airfoil and add a considerable amount of weight the the aircraft in short amount of time. I don't know what the temperature was where you were flying so I can't be certain that is what it is, but it is something to be aware of.