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Phantom drops from sky after firmware update
374 22 4 days ago
fanse60fa0d7
Hobbyist
Australia
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Hi All,
I am looking for some comments on my recent Phantom 3 crash. I had been flying it fine for 8 months until I decided to upgrade the firmware. In the first flight after the upgrade the quad just dropped from the sky with 96% battery remaining.
I have video of the crash. I was flying the quad in a straight line back to me. The video shows this, then the quad just tumbles and smashes on the ground.

You can watch the video here:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bx67XBdVKhrKbGNLbUpOYnU2Mjg/view?usp=sharing


DJI's response to my warranty claim states:
"1. The aircraft was piloted under P-GPS mode, and responded to the pilot’s control well;
2. T=366.2s, h=19.9m, aircraft crashed after pilot pulled throttle and elevator down, and pushed aileron rightward; "

AND a $705 bill for repairs.


What I am asking is, does the video and DJI's explanation bear any resemblence to each other.
Thanks in advance for your thoughts.



4 days ago
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hoang2010
Beginner
Vietnam
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After updating the lastest fw, my battery have deviation cell. don't know why
4 days ago
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fanse60fa0d7
Hobbyist
Australia
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Perhaps deviated cell after firmware update was the real reason for the crash. I certainly wasn't manipulating the controls as they say. I was flying in a straight line!
It seems DJI play loose with the truth.
3 days ago
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Quamera
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Australia
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That is very strange language from DJI. I can only assume "elevator" is pitch with the right stick although there is nothing resembling an elevator on a Phantom. The difficulty there is that "elevator down" on a fixed wing will kick the tail up and push the nose down (so a dive) but pulling the right stick down/back on a Phantom will pitch its nose up and effectively put on the air brakes before the AC goes backwards (if the stick is held back).

Now "aileron", I give up. There is absolutely nothing on a Phantom that remotely resembles an aileron on a fixed wing aircraft in form or function. Maybe the P3 manual is written completely differently to the P4 but they are not that different in the flesh (well plastic) so I don't see why. I guess the right stick sideways pitches the Phantom sideways which can be similar to rolling a fixed wing with the ailerons but its still a poor choice of words.

I never looked at your video because I have a lethargic internet connection so I can't comment on it.

If it was me I would resubmit or a least appeal the claim in the hope the next tech would see things differently or at least give you an explanation you and we can understand. It reminds me of an episode of "Aircrash Investigations" where the pilot kept yelling "pull down" (instead of push down) at the copilot until the plane climbed into a stall and plummeted into the sea.
3 days ago
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fanse60fa0d7
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Australia
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Quamera Posted at 2017-3-20 00:24
That is very strange language from DJI. I can only assume "elevator" is pitch with the right stick although there is nothing resembling an elevator on a Phantom. The difficulty there is that "elevator down" on a fixed wing will kick the tail up and push the nose down (so a dive) but pulling the right stick down/back on a Phantom will pitch its nose up and effectively put on the air brakes before the AC goes backwards (if the stick is held back).

Now "aileron", I give up. There is absolutely nothing on a Phantom that remotely resembles an aileron on a fixed wing aircraft in form or function. Maybe the P3 manual is written completely differently to the P4 but they are not that different in the flesh (well plastic) so I don't see why.

If you look at the video (its only 3MB) you can see the Phantom is flying perfectly straight towards me then  instantly drops like a stone. I can't see how adjusting an aileron could have this effect. In any case, if I adjusted ANY controls, the quad wouldn't have continued to fly in a straight line.
3 days ago
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Quamera
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Australia
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fanse60fa0d7 Posted at 2017-3-20 00:37
If you look at the video (its only 3MB) you can see the Phantom is flying perfectly straight towards me then  instantly drops like a stone. I can't see how adjusting an aileron could have this effect. In any case, if I adjusted ANY controls, the quad wouldn't have continued to fly in a straight line.

My point was that the Phantom does not have elevators or ailerons just sticks controlling the props to create the yaw, pitch and roll. I have never seen a P3 manual so I maybe talking rubbish but DJIs language is completely foreign to me.

I will try to look at your video.
3 days ago
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Quamera
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Australia
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fanse60fa0d7 Posted at 2017-3-20 00:37
If you look at the video (its only 3MB) you can see the Phantom is flying perfectly straight towards me then  instantly drops like a stone. I can't see how adjusting an aileron could have this effect. In any case, if I adjusted ANY controls, the quad wouldn't have continued to fly in a straight line.


Yep that's fairly catastrophic, there is no way any stick input did that. My first impression is that your Phantom collided with something (bat, night bird or another Phantom). I don't know how DJI thinks your sticks did that irrespective of the language they use.
3 days ago
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RicardoGray
Intern Pilot
United States
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fanse60fa0d7 Posted at 2017-3-20 00:37
If you look at the video (its only 3MB) you can see the Phantom is flying perfectly straight towards me then  instantly drops like a stone. I can't see how adjusting an aileron could have this effect. In any case, if I adjusted ANY controls, the quad wouldn't have continued to fly in a straight line.

Yeah that looks strange for sure. The video is pretty quick and kind of hard to make out, but I think something either took a shot at hit (bird, bat, etc.). When you recovered it were all the props on? The way it tumbles, I don't see how any command from you could have caused it to do that.
3 days ago
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Labroides
Captain
Australia
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Quamera Posted at 2017-3-20 00:50
My point was that the Phantom does not have elevators or ailerons just sticks controlling the props to create the yaw, pitch and roll. I have never seen a P3 manual so I maybe talking rubbish but DJIs language is completely foreign to me.

I will try to look at your video.

Although the Phantom doesn't have elevators and ailerons, the joystick terminology used matches the controls from a conventional r/c plane.
3 days ago
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Labroides
Captain
Australia
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A video and description only go a small way to show what actually happened.
Upload your flight record and the data can be compared with what DJI have reported.

Go to http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/Upload/
Follow the instructions to upload your flight record.
Come back and post a link to the report it provides
3 days ago
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endotherm
Intern Pilot
Australia
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The only thing we can tell from the video is that one of the motors slowed to a complete stop.  We need the flight record to establish what happened.
3 days ago
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DJI-Jamie
DJI team
United States
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Could you happen to provide your case number, so I can look into it? From what I can see, it looks like the motors (at least the one in frame that I can see) had shut off. Based on your excerpt, Support is indicates that you performed a CSC shut off in flight.
3 days ago
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Quamera
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Australia
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Labroides Posted at 2017-3-20 05:19
Although the Phantom doesn't have elevators and ailerons, the joystick terminology used matches the controls from a conventional r/c plane.
http://norunway.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Mode-2.png[/img]

Thankyou Labroides, I guess it was obvious to all that I have never had any experience with fixed wings and have never seen their terminology related to Phantoms before.
3 days ago
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Spacetrakker
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Australia
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I believe that the video shows you were flying backwards so the right stick would have been pulled back towards you , and it would be quite possible that the left stick was being  pulled back to reduce altitude. Flying in this mode puts you at great risk of accidentally pushing the sticks off centre and accidentally creating a CSC command.

Closely watching the video in frame by frame mode the propellor can be clearly seen to stop rotating!

My money is on an accidental CSC command stopping the motors and goodbye Phantom...........ie. Pilot Error
3 days ago
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fanse60fa0d7
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Australia
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For all those saying "CSC" take note of the position of my controls at the end of the flight. I was flying the quad straight towards me.
I have no idea how DJI are suggesting I was using sideways controls.
Screenshot_20170321-081500.png
2 days ago
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fanse60fa0d7
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Australia
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Here are logs of the flight from Healthy Drones, etc.

https://healthydrones.com/main?f ... amp;page_id=GENERAL

http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/O1WTKU4EJCQIJJP549DX/
2 days ago
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DJI-Jamie
DJI team
United States
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fanse60fa0d7 Posted at 2017-3-21 08:15
For all those saying "CSC" take note of the position of my controls at the end of the flight. I was flying the quad straight towards me.
I have no idea how DJI are suggesting I was using sideways controls.

I would like to see if I can see the logs they evaluated. Again, if you could provide your case number (either posting here or via PM), it would be appreciated.
2 days ago
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fans987d278a
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Canada
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fanse60fa0d7 Posted at 2017-3-21 08:17
Here are logs of the flight from Healthy Drones, etc.

https://healthydrones.com/main?flight=b9a96d7f6eca16705fa27e19a9ca285a&page_id=GENERAL

If you didn't accidently do a CSC, which should show in logs, I've read something about latest firmware & battery condition, to do with flying on a less than full battery, if I recall correctly, guys over at phantom pilots, took off with 80% battery & had a shut down like you seem to have had.
Go over to phantom pilots, look at posts re- battery just quit! You may have a battery case!
You on latest firmware?
2 days ago
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Nigel_
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United Kingdom
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fanse60fa0d7 Posted at 2017-3-21 08:17
Here are logs of the flight from Healthy Drones, etc.

https://healthydrones.com/main?flight=b9a96d7f6eca16705fa27e19a9ca285a&page_id=GENERAL

DJI said it crashed at 366.2s, that log only goes to 71.2s !
2 days ago
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fanse60fa0d7
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Australia
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DJI quote a flight time of 366.2s.  This is over 6 minutes!
The replay in my DJI Go app shows a flight time of 1min 12secs.  And I know the DJI Go log is correct because I found the Phantom exactly where the line ends on the map (the point of disconnection)

The other thing is, how could I possibly have 96% battery remaining after a 6 minute flight?

DJI's information just doesn't add up. Perhaps they are looking at the wrong logs? Perhaps they are just making stuff up? Who knows.
I will try to get the DJI Case Number for you Jamie.

As for firmware, this happened on the very first flight after updating to the latest firmware. I believe the whole event is firmware related.
2 days ago
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DJI-Jamie
DJI team
United States
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fans987d278a Posted at 2017-3-21 08:43
If you didn't accidently do a CSC, which should show in logs, I've read something about latest firmware & battery condition, to do with flying on a less than full battery, if I recall correctly, guys over at phantom pilots, took off with 80% battery & had a shut down like you seem to have had.
Go over to phantom pilots, look at posts re- battery just quit! You may have a battery case!
You on latest firmware?

If it was a battery or any sort of voltage issue, the video feed would have cut off everything immediately, including the video feed. Outside of a CSC (again, a case number would be needed to verify logs), a potential hardware issue, in my experience, would be with either the motors or ESCs. That would allow for the feed to continue while still falling.
1 day ago
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#shotxclvck
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United States
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fanse60fa0d7 Posted at 2017-3-21 08:17
Here are logs of the flight from Healthy Drones, etc.

https://healthydrones.com/main?flight=b9a96d7f6eca16705fa27e19a9ca285a&page_id=GENERAL

could have something to do with the battery!
1 day ago
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#shotxclvck
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United States
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DJI-Jamie Posted at 2017-3-22 11:11
If it was a battery or any sort of voltage issue, the video feed would have cut off everything immediately, including the video feed. Outside of a CSC (again, a case number would be needed to verify logs), a potential hardware issue, in my experience, would be with either the motors or ESCs. That would allow for the feed to continue while still falling.

very true!
1 day ago
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