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Witnessed a Flyaway today. (Not Fun)

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision Discussion' started by amrflyingdude, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. amrflyingdude

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    Gents,

    A buddy of mine bought a P2V last week, he logged about 10 flights previously and the bird seemed stable.

    Today I took him to one of my usual spots, when he was about 400 ft away at about 150 ft up the P2V did the hard left then suddenly he was able to regain control, he started to bring it back but again, started to spiral down rapidly, he pushed the left stick up but nothing, down to the water it went.

    I am obviously freaking out, this guy lost $1.2k in front of me in 10 minutes.

    I am now convinced that these flyways are due to defective hardware and/or poor quality control, I have heard of phantoms out of the box fly away, some others with tons of flights on their records. Some have happened in urban areas some in remote areas with little to no interference.

    Definitely compass calibration, avoiding interference, high voltage lines and such are important and good practice that we all should adopt, but if you have a defective unit it will fly away even if you are in the open. Again, I flew there many times without an issue and this guy lost his vision in front of me 10 minutes in to his first battery.

    I am freaking out man seriously.
     
  2. Pull_Up

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    That's very harsh indeed. Is he able to recover the aircraft or is it deep water?

    Spiralling down might point to a motor/prop/ESC problem, perhaps? Strange that he was able to regain control from the initial run away but that it spiralled down with full throttle - hence my wondering about losing lift on one arm.

    Do you know if he was on latest firmware, and did he calibrate the compass before that particular flight?
     
  3. jengo

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    How fast was he climbing or moving ? Was there any wind, and how about high altitude wind. Was it shaking as it went up ?
     
  4. amrflyingdude

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    Well the spiraling down was not really the jerky/distressed/uncontrolled spiraling down you would see from a motor or prop failure, it was in a very organized, smooth and perfect way flying its way down, at the very end it did straighten up and landed on the water despite he had his left stick all the way up. The area there is pretty deep (about 50 to 60ft deep) so I don't think there is a chance to recover it.

    He was not flying fast at all, maybe 5 to 7mph going back home, when the phantom first did the hard left and then stopped and hovered I thought it was him, the he told me he never steered left that hard, so it was indeed flying un commanded, he then started to fly back but pretty but quickly lost control again.

    The surface wind was about 6 to 8mph steady, the winds aloft where probable 10 to 15mph steady, it did not look from the FPV that the phantom was leaning too much to stay still so it was not that windy.
     
  5. amrflyingdude

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    yes latest firmware and in NAZA mode with both Switches up (GPS mode and IOC on normal)
     
  6. amrflyingdude

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    No, it was always in the right attitude. I agree with your statement however, the phantom would have flown inverted at some point.
     
  7. OI Photography

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    There's a chance the compass cable became loose or otherwise faulty, bad compass data can induce spirals in general, and erratic flight as well.
     
  8. EMCSQUAR

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    +1 that would be my first guess
     
  9. themosttoys

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    I once had a very similar experience just after getting my P2V(it was my 3rd flight). Your description was exactly what happened to me (only luckily I was over land.)

    I have no way to know if the cause was the same as yours, only that the reaction from the P2V was exactly as you described it. In my case, it was a situation of me losing track of my battery level. I did not hear the Klaxon alert (too loud around me). I had been flying about 15 minutes (based on the video recording). I would share the video as proof, but the video stopped recording before the death spiral, so there's nothing at all unusual to see in the video. It was windy and I had been flying around a lot. Of course the battery was brand new (this was the 1st or 2nd charge, not sure because I have two batteries and they are not marked.) All of a sudden the P2V seemed to move on it's own (without any input from me) then it started to descend (auto land). I gave it full power (to keep it in the air) and tried to fly it back to me. Soon it began to rapidly spiral down (almost like it was circling is't landing spot) and landed (well, when it hit the ground it landed at an angle, falling forward and breaking one prop and marking / scratching another.)

    Since then I have not had another similar incident. A few things that I do differently now is
    1) I try to pay very close attention to battery level.
    2) I try to land with 40% battery (sometimes it will be less, but using this guideline gives me a safety buffer.) Especially now that it is cold outside, I notice that the battery is less consistent / reliable and guessing it's discharge rate is more challenging.
    3) I try to not fly in wind, it can be tough to tell how windy it is at altitude, but with experience I can now tell how hard the P2V is fighting.

    Sorry to hear of your loss. Again I don't know that your situation was the same as mine, just your description was spot on so I thought I'd share so that my situation may not happen to others.
     
  10. rfernandez

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    This was my Phantom that went into the drink today.. The conditions were perfect, the weather was clear, upper 60's, little or no wind, no high tension wires around only a few wifi signals at full strength near us.
    I performed a visual check and a complete pre-flight it all looked secured. I never fly fast or with jerking the controls and since was a video run all my movements were very slow.
    The initial flight went as planned, I was taking video of the cruise ships and a passing yacht when it all happened. Danny (amrflyingdude) was my spotter cause at that distance the bird was a white spec. and at that time I was using the FPV to position myself behind the passing yacht. when i lost FPV. and i did not have visual contact, all I can remember is that he started yelling climb, climb!!! in urgent tone of voice when I see it fly a few inches above the water skip and splash!

    I the next 20 minutes i had experienced all emotions known to man: anxiety, fear, disbelieve, denial, anger, depression, sadness, and the all to familiar WTF and am i gonna do now and how am I gonna explain to my wife that my $1200.00 P2V went swimming and became a submarine.
    Fortunately, after all that and I regained cognitive capabilities, i got on the phone with Amazon iI gave them the short version and after 20 min on the phone. they told me they would ship another unit overnight which It will arrive Monday the 27th
     

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  11. lgeist

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    I know how you feel my friend. It was 7 days ago today that my brand new P2 took a dive into 30' of murky water, gone forever. I am blown away however by the fact that Amazon is replacing yours - now that's customer service! I called my dealer (Atlanta Hobby) and told them what happened and they basically said, "Sorry for your loss".
     
  12. amrflyingdude

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    =1 I also told him that. I was very surprised by how quick they agreed to ship him a new one.
     
  13. iDrone

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    What a gut wrenching experience. I'm curious if Celebrity Cruise's NAV & weather radomes were active & had anything I do with it, or whether this massive chunk of steel affected the Vision's compass. Can you tell us what firmware version the Vision was running?

    I'm real glad Amazon came thru for you! :)

    iDrone
     
  14. Qwadjok

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    He still has a 30 day warranty. Take it back as a defective product. They should honor that. If not, find out who their distributor is and go to them.

    Good luck

    QJ
     
  15. rfernandez

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    I kept up will al my updates... so it was current.

    as for the radomes.. Unknown. I know for a fact that he radar antennas was not rotating. So its a guess whether the radomes were active..or maybe is the massive hulk of metal. But i had flown close by couple of times as the GPS screenshot depicts it was that third time that made my worst fear would come to fruition.
    One thing is for sure there is definitely a firmware and or a hardware issue or insulation for cables connection to hardware, And DJI needs to be more aggressive in finding a solution cause i know they are aware of the fly-aways.
     
  16. iDrone

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    Well thanks for the firmware information and for sharing your story with us. One of the beauties of this forum is that it has become a repository of information & data regarding issues like this that potentially affect all of us, which in-turn helps everyone to become more aware, be better prepared, and come to realize they are not alone when tragedies like this happen and to stand their ground when seeking remedy from dealers & the manufacturer.

    iDrone
     
  17. rfernandez

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    Thanks for the support... I will be getting my new freebee from Amazon on monday which i will spend the day doing updates.. the it will be baby steps again till I regain my confidence in its stability, and land only flight for the forceable future. :roll: :cry:
     
  18. semaj

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    Amazon is awesome! Sorry about your bird... while reading yours and your buddies post, I felt pretty f'd up myself... I know how you feel... I think I'm hearing my wife right now... :?

    My first P2V died in mid-air due to one of the battery cables coming loose from the main board... I was able to retrieve the damaged bird and return... I got my replacement from B&H 2 days ago... Never even put the props on it... just updated the firmware and then the Camera firmware... Boom... firmware update "bricked" the camera... B&H said send it back... There gonna overnight me another once they receive my return... I mean... I never even flew it once...

    Here I am... waiting and enjoying/hurting through the trials and tribulations of my fellow P2V owners...

    I'll be back up there soon... :roll: :roll: :roll:
     
  19. CaptainChet

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    Awful story! Amazon...the only way to fly!

    As much as I like Atlanta Hobby (they are less than 15 minutes from me) and visiting them to discuss Phantoms and see all they have and sell, I get the feeling from chatting with the owner (a very nice fellow) that after sales support might be not neatly as strong as Amazon. "Sorry for your loss" is really not what you want to hear after your Vision decides to take a trip on it's own.

    I'm happy Amazon did you right...I doubt any other of the Phantom dealers would do the same. But I could be wrong (and hope I am).
     
  20. rfernandez

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    I have been reading about horror stories about dealers just saying sorry for your loss!! that is so sad. specially when they are aware of these fly-aways..