Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

Sign up for a weekly email of the latest drone news & information

Reliability, fly aways, falls...

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by DroningOnAndOn, Aug 18, 2015.

  1. DroningOnAndOn

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2015
    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    19
    I really would like a P3P. I've done a fair bit of research and it's clearly the best bang for the buck quad. I already have an iPad mini 2 and would like to dip my toe into the aerial photography waters to see what it's like.

    The thing is that I found PP and naturally quickly discovered about fly away's and failures that resulted in sudden quite destructive falls. I did some more research and found lots of information about these occurrences which naturally freaked me out a bit considering I was planning to buy a P3P, a good backpack and second lipo package next week!

    I fly 3D helicopters and am a quite capable flyer so I know my way around RC and even after seriously abusive flying none of my helis (from a 450 size to a 700) have never failed in flight or ever even glitched (quite thankfully as they are quite dangerous).

    3D helis may not have the advanced camera gear but they have great flight controllers and the most powerful motors, ESC's, lipos and parts available at this point and can take insane abuse without even blinking. I guess after my own experience I'm even more worried about the information I've found as often it's from people that really took it easy on their Phantoms.

    Can people please chime in an give me the low down on these amazing little Phantoms?

    Is it mostly the older Phantoms or are the P3's also effected?

    If I follow the compass calibration and rules to the letter, will I still gamble with the loss of a $2000AUD unit every flight? I planned to knock out hundreds of flights in a short time to get familiar/good at this hobby in a short period (and do my flight certifications too as I would like to use it for work related matters)

    Thanks in advance for any information people can provide.
     
  2. msinger

    Approved Vendor

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2014
    Messages:
    19,116
    Likes Received:
    5,632
    Location:
    US
    In reality, you found a lot of information about the very small number of occurrences in comparison to the total number of Phantom owners. Most informed Phantom owners will not run into this problem. If you take the time to understand how to fly the Phantom properly, the chances of this happening are very low. Play it smart and attach a GPS tracker to your Phantom just in case.
     
  3. bbfpv

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2015
    Messages:
    3,751
    Likes Received:
    1,093
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    I stay pretty current on several Phantom related forums, and I've read of at most 3 legitimate fly aways with the P3. As in, the bird takes off, can't be controlled, and is lost. However, I've read probably 20 "fly away" posts where the OP describes a loss of signal that came back, a loss of control that was recoverable, a flip to atti mode due to poor GPS coverage, or a crash into a parking garage due to compass errors. Those aren't fly aways, they are operator errors due to the inability to read a manual and understand the physics behind a camera w/ rotors. "Ready to fly" means the quad is ready to fly, not the operator.

    TL;DR The P3 is a great platform, and the odds of yours "flying away" due to defect are small enough that it shouldn't hinder you from getting one.
     
    bimmy, snowghost, JohnK and 4 others like this.
  4. sergekouper

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2014
    Messages:
    752
    Likes Received:
    128
    Location:
    London UK
    I propose to ban the expressions "flyaway" and "fell from the sky" and replace them by "I don't know what I've done wrong", which will be way more accurate to describe the phenomenon.
    That said, do not think you can or could try to give any abuse to the Phantom 3. First it will not let you do it, even in atti it's quite civilized, and 2, it is a flying camera, with a "fragile" 3D gimbal that doesn't like abuse at all. The rule is to be gentle with it. It is a flying camera, nothing more.
    I saw some 3D helis shows at the club... Definitely not the same world :)
     
  5. apsphoto

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    58
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    As the previous posters have stated there have been few actual problems. The majority that do not have problems do not fill the forums with messages of happiness although there is some of that. I think you would have a lot of fun with the photography if you do not mind flying sedately. I have seen people throw those copters around and the P3P will definitely be sedate. Take it easy and learn how it reacts and you will be fine. Great machine, amazingly stable.

    Alan
     
  6. III% Streve

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2015
    Messages:
    1,756
    Likes Received:
    515
    You only get a chance to read what people want to say. And typically, its the people complaining that have time to talk about it. The ones that don't have anything to complain about are out flying!

    That being said.. ALL electronics fail. And there is never a way to predict the time that failure will happen. Also, ALL flying things will eventually cease to fly.. Sometime that even comes in a blaze of glory. And rarely out of a conscious decision to retire it.

    You HAVE to plan to crash! Because its going to happen! All you can do is pick up the pieces and fly it again. After that first crash it all gets easier!
     
    apsphoto likes this.
  7. DroningOnAndOn

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2015
    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    19
    Cheers for all the responses!

    I found one forum in particular (the Photography Bay) where there were a lot of posts by angry owners (ex-owners?) though there could be huge amount of user error involved. Moving flying sites and not calibrating the compass, rushing, less care to check props after flying, not confirming status lights, flying outside the battery's capability, over discharging the lipo consistently etc. These are all red flags.

    I also wonder how many of these owners have learned to fly without the GPS and other software aids? If GPS isn't working, a quick flick to manual mode might help regain control if the user has an issue and can fly and land in this mode. I'll put in the effort to learn this myself.

    I really think I'll enjoy the P3 and it will potentially open up a new (albeit small) aspect of my business at the same time.

    The tech is amazing and the platform extremely liberating.

    I really will take it easy as the whole point is smooth, precise vids. I have zero desire to find the limit of the Phantom's airframe in regards to flight ability! :eek:)

    Now that I'm feeling more confident with the purchase, it's time to ask some more questions!
     
  8. JohnK

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2015
    Messages:
    512
    Likes Received:
    169
    Location:
    Hudson Valley, New York
    Best line I've read so far in my short flying career. I crashed my P1 four times (it lived to tell the tale), but my P3P is a different matter, and I thank the skill acquired by experience along with the knowledge due to due diligence (I read a LOT of posts here and elsewhere and they really do help) have made me not only a more confident flyer, but safer one, as well.