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Severe Prop Crash

Discussion in 'Standard/4k Discussion' started by cipher666, Jan 30, 2016.

  1. cipher666

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    I took off and landed my Phantom 3 Pro on some well tended grass. Upon landing, the rear props dug into the turf. White smoke started coming out of the rear motors and semi melted the plastic housing before I could shut things down. The copper coils in the rear 2 rotors now have a black color and 2 of the screws underneath protrude slightly. The hull wasn't warped as far as I can tell. The props were black carbon with white stripes. Amazingly, after changing the props, I waited an hour and the next flight was perfect, including high altitude video. I am overseas and need to take more photos and video. I will now ONLY catch the P3 by hand and not do a ground landing of any type. The P3 is one resilient machine!! I don't know if I will send it in for servicing on return to USA. Any thoughts?
     
  2. msinger

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    Please post some photos so we can see the damage.
     
  3. Dirty Bird

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    Curious how long were the props stuck before it started smoking?
     
  4. tiziano

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    I had a tipover and capsized the drone on my first flight while landing and I will also only catch by hand! My props are a bit damaged on the edges and a bit more on the bolts.
     
  5. cipher666

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    Here is a pic of the motor coil. I can't show you the bolts below because after the crash I installed PhantomGuard protectors. I needed to carve a little around the affected bolt holes where plastic had melted to install them.[​IMG]


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  6. cipher666

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    Dirty Bird: it started smoking about 3 seconds after rhe crash. I burned my hsnd slightly because it was so hot. The smoking started getting worse, so I blew into the motor sockets. The amount of smoke was considerable. Again, I'm amazed it is still flying. I had brought along rhe Phantom Guards, but didn't install them because (obviouly) the P3 wouldn't fit into my Caseclub hardcase.


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  7. eaglegoaltender

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    Yikes - those motors got hot - too hot.

    The "black smoke" you mentioned is very likely the insulation burning off the copper coils (shellac or varnish coated). When the motor is prevented from rotating, i.e. the props are stalled (props dug in) the energy flowing to the motor is not removed - hence a quick build up of heat at the motor windings! Couple that with the fact the props are not doing their secondary job - helping keep the motor winding cool (reason for the open motor frame).

    The copper wire is coated providing insulation from one turn to the next - without that (which you have partially lost) the overheating at the coil will lead to a dead short, destroying the coil (which you are close to now). Eventually that wound copper wire will become one solid chunk of copper and heat dissipation (energy) is lost - resulting in a burned out motor!

    This is not the best advice and only given as relative to your situation.

    Right now you have a few turns of the copper wire left with insulation (remember the copper wire / winding is there also to dissipate excess energy which creates heat). Suggest you don't fly for any extended period of time and if ambient temperatures are high - cut down on flight time even more. After you land - let the motors (with props) idle for a short time to help cool the windings prior to complete shutdown. If you have access to any motor winding shellac, varnish or even some "non-conductive" paint you could remove the motor and coat what you can see of the windings (clean up the burnt areas first). This would be only a temporary fix - as is motors should be replaced as soon as you are able to.

     
    cipher666 likes this.
  8. cipher666

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    Thank you Eaglegoaltender! Sound advice. I am in Costa Rica, with temperatures in the 70s. I do not have access to the varnish/paint you suggest so will lower flight times and let the props cool the motors on landing.

    Question: When I return to the States, where do I get the 2 motors I will need to replace? Is this a difficult process? Any other pointers or advisement?
     
  9. eaglegoaltender

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    Your welcome - I am not from the US but even here I see plenty of ads for motors. This site can definitely steer you in the right direction for motor replacement www.PhantomHelp.com

    Other advice (other than trying to find motors where you are - lol) - keeping the motors as cool as possible is the best temporary advice. As mentioned - letting the motors idle with props after landing to help cool windings, or having an electric fan blowing excess heat away from them - keep the bird in the shade when on the ground after flying!

    The good news I suppose (if any) is when you are flying in temps you mentioned (70's) the downdraft from the props will help with winding temps - of course you have to realize the windings have lost insulation so it will heat up quicker (hence shorter flight time as previously suggested)!

    Give your bird a thorough visual and mechanical inspection as to all hardware that fixes the motors in place - the melted plastic and protrusion of the screw heads tells me you have likely lost some of the securing/fitting area for the motors to the frame (Phantom motor housings/mounts) - make sure your motors are seated and nice and tight fitting. If you can, and if there is room adding a washer under the screw would help to secure them better since they are protruding somewhat - then again the melted plastic around the screws might be holding them tight enough - you would know best when inspecting that area.

    If you are not isolated where you are filming - perhaps someone knows of a local hobby shop where you can get motors? As stated however be careful removing the old motors since the hardware might be molded around the screws (from the heat) and removing them may crack that area - making replacing them difficult of not possible - then there goes your flying time needed to finish filming.

    Safe flying - keep an eye on temps for the bird motors! Best of luck - keep in touch!

    EDIT: if you notice any burning smell at all or notice the dark (burnt) spots on the windings increasing - would have to say you will soon be grounded - just put your hand around the plastic mounting where the motors fit and if it feels like its getting hotter than other not affected motors - time to think of grounding the bird - so just be be proactive with your bird and keep a very close eye on her!
     
    #9 eaglegoaltender, Jan 30, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2016