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Suddenly went into a Clockwise Death Spiral
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2684 113 2018-1-9
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PGM
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While hovering to land my phantom 4 pro, it suddenly began to spiral clockwise out of control and crash. I am Working with DJI to Repair or Replace under 12-month Warranty. I have been flying Drones for quite some time and am confident in my ability to do so, however this event has shaken me. There are so many things that run thru your mind as you watch your investment spiral uncontrollably out of the sky. Things could have been much worse if this event would have occurred further from me or landed on someone or their property. I felt very confident using DJI products but now feel very cautious in my approach to using this Product. Just like you, I have put my money and trust in this great revolutionary technology from DJI.  Order of events:
  
While Flying I Received Low Battery Warning,
  
Returning GO Home initiated,
  
I Canceled RTH and Manually Returned (sport Mode),
  
High Wind Velocity warning, (not uncommon) it was not a windy day
  
Received Warning: Weak GPS Signal,
  
Received Warning: Ultrasonic System Error: Land as soon as possible,
  
Received Warning: Motor Obstructed,
  
Received Warning: Gimble Roll Reached Movement Limit,
  
The Controls Auto Changed to Atti Mode,
  
Received Warning: Compass Error: Exit P-GPS Mode:
  
Received Warning: Weak GPS Signal. Positional accuracy may be compromised.
  
Phantom 4 Pro goes into a Sudden uncontrollable clockwise spiral inverting several times and Registered horizontal speed of 108.2 mph, 128 Ft. off the ground.   
  
Spinning and crashing, all control over the Phantom 4 Pro was lost, The Phantom 4 pro crashed down into cedar trees in a vacant lot next to us, sustaining damage to housing, props, Camera, gimbal, ex. I was in complete Shock that this could ever happen. There were no obstacles or collisions, no bird strikes, weather was clear blue skies, no wind ex. Just sudden uncontrollable clockwise spinning. All of the Errors and crash happened within seconds of each other and the video and control inputs show hover, descending and then sudden loss of control.
  I contacted DJI 1 (818) 235-0789 and let them know what happened. The Representative directed me to DJI Support Webpage and generating a RMA for return/repair/replacement... My only concern is DJI's policy, that if you do not agree to DJI repair, then you are charged $65 an Hour for the Diagnostic Analysis which you must agree to in order to receive a RMA. Should I be concerned, I have flight log and Recorded video showing the crash? I also have insurance on the Phantom 4 and could just file a claim, but don’t want to do that if what happened falls under warranty and it can be fixed or replaced. Video of Phantom 4 Malfunction:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/dgil1bv8vpxddbb/drone%20malfunction.wmv?dl=0



https://www.dropbox.com/s/mv70y06lb8w6db1/drone%20malfunction%20screen.wmv?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/mv70y0 ... n%20screen.wmv?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/dgil1b ... alfunction.wmv?dl=0
[size=14.6667px]

[size=14.6667px]

2018-1-9
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Jenee 2
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The way it suddenly rolled suggests a failure of a prop or a motor or an esc.Apart from the high wind warning, all the other warnings seemed to have occurred after it started to tumble and crashed.
2018-1-9
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PGM
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Can I upload Flight Data thru DJI Assistant and have it analysed before i ship the Drone? this would save me the trouble and worry of possible out of pocket expense . I do not want it repaired if it shows something that is not going to be covered by warranty, I would just rather file a claim with insurance and purchase a new product if this is the case.
2018-1-9
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PGM
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Jenee 2 Posted at 2018-1-9 22:56
The way it suddenly rolled suggests a failure of a prop or a motor or an esc.Apart from the high wind warning, all the other warnings seemed to have occurred after it started to tumble and crashed.

The propellers were properly installed, the self-tightening design work properly and provided 18 min of flight before the Phantom 4 Pro malfunctioned and lost control.
2018-1-9
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PGM
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Also I would add that when I first powered on the Phantom 4 Pro, I did hear something different. First I heard a single beep a pause followed by standard start-up chime sounded. I don't know if that is helpful but its something I noted. I did not see any error's.
2018-1-9
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PGM
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PGM Posted at 2018-1-9 23:31
The propellers were properly installed, the self-tightening design work properly and provided 18 min of flight before the Phantom 4 Pro malfunctioned and lost control.

Purchased Dec 2017, original props, inspected props before install;  no nicks or cracks present.
2018-1-9
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QuadKid
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PGM Posted at 2018-1-9 23:58
Purchased Dec 2017, original props, inspected props before install;  no nicks or cracks present.


You can d/load your flight log, if the P4 is not damaged beyond electrical repair,




One you d/load it , upload your .txt flight log Here then provide the link to it in this thread and maybe we can help figure it out.
2018-1-10
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lannes
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Propeller tab broke off got lodged in the motor jamming it
2018-1-10
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Aardvark
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PGM Posted at 2018-1-9 23:58
Purchased Dec 2017, original props, inspected props before install;  no nicks or cracks present.

If you upload your data to Phantomhelp some of the experienced pilots may be able to give you some idea as to what went wrong. DJI is unlikely to provide a detailed explanation. The instructions are on that link as to how to upload the required information.
2018-1-10
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kykphantom
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Most probably, a motor or an ESC or a prop failure!
2018-1-10
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ALABAMA
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A complete breakdown for some reason.  Post the flight log.  This is very interesting!
2018-1-10
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Genghis9
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PGM Posted at 2018-1-9 23:31
The propellers were properly installed, the self-tightening design work properly and provided 18 min of flight before the Phantom 4 Pro malfunctioned and lost control.

So to be clear on this point, were all of the props still properly attached on the bird after the crash?  If yes what were their condition?  Please be specific with this answer i.e. three were showing some damage such as tree branch impact but one was showing little to no damage.
If not what was the condition of the ones broken off as well as the condition of the mounts?
2018-1-10
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PGM
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lannes Posted at 2018-1-10 02:24
Propeller tab broke off got lodged in the motor jamming it

All Propeller tab's intact and accounted for.
2018-1-10
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PGM
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Genghis9 Posted at 2018-1-10 06:07
So to be clear on this point, were all of the props still properly attached on the bird after the crash?  If yes what were their condition?  Please be specific with this answer i.e. three were showing some damage such as tree branch impact but one was showing little to no damage.
If not what was the condition of the ones broken off as well as the condition of the mounts?


All of the props were still properly attached on the phantom 4 Pro after it crashed. However, the unforgiving cedar trees snapped two of the props in half and about one inch of one prop tip, at impact..
2018-1-10
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PGM
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.DAT files

https://www.dropbox.com/s/m5jnz6h3xemv6i1/FLY048.DAT?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/neswp31yp8xe35d/FLY047.DAT?dl=0
2018-1-10
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PGM
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Aardvark Posted at 2018-1-10 03:04
If you upload your data to Phantomhelp some of the experienced pilots may be able to give you some idea as to what went wrong. DJI is unlikely to provide a detailed explanation. The instructions are on that link as to how to upload the required information.

15# posted .DAT
2018-1-10
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Genghis9
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PGM Posted at 2018-1-10 09:20
All of the props were still properly attached on the phantom 4 Pro after it crashed. However, the unforgiving cedar trees snapped two of the props in half and about one inch of one prop tip, at impact..

Based on your response and not being there or seeing a picture of the damage it sounds like you are saying 3 props were damaged and 1 was not or it was too minimal to mention.  If that is correct, that would indicate one prop was not spinning on impact with the trees or ground.  Meaning you had a motor fail for whatever reason.
Without further information this is just a clue to a possible reason.  Your flight data should tell the experts here more when they go over it.
2018-1-10
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Genghis9
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PGM Posted at 2018-1-10 10:34
.DAT files

https://www.dropbox.com/s/m5jnz6h3xemv6i1/FLY048.DAT?dl=0

You need to follow Aardvarks instructions and upload those files to here: http://www.phantomhelp.com/logviewer/upload/
Follow the instructions there and post the link to the file back here.  Leaving them in the drop box does not get the job done as needed.
2018-1-10
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PGM
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Genghis9 Posted at 2018-1-10 11:18
You need to follow Aardvarks instructions and upload those files to here: http://www.phantomhelp.com/logviewer/upload/
Follow the instructions there and post the link to the file back here.  Leaving them in the drop box does not get the job done as needed.

http://www.phantomhelp.com/logviewer/DHU29A2O8TNS80MFTPB6/
2018-1-10
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PGM
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PGM Posted at 2018-1-10 10:34
.DAT files

https://www.dropbox.com/s/m5jnz6h3xemv6i1/FLY048.DAT?dl=0

FLIGHT RECORD
http://www.phantomhelp.com/logviewer/DHU29A2O8TNS80MFTPB6/
2018-1-10
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PGM
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Genghis9 Posted at 2018-1-10 11:12
Based on your response and not being there or seeing a picture of the damage it sounds like you are saying 3 props were damaged and 1 was not or it was too minimal to mention.  If that is correct, that would indicate one prop was not spinning on impact with the trees or ground.  Meaning you had a motor fail for whatever reason.
Without further information this is just a clue to a possible reason.  Your flight data should tell the experts here more when they go over it.

correct, also when I turned on the Phantom 4 Pro to recover .DAT files- the front right LED does not come on.
2018-1-10
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RedHotPoker
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Sounds like the compass wasn't properly calibrated..


RedHotPoker
2018-1-10
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Genghis9
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PGM Posted at 2018-1-10 11:53
correct, also when I turned on the Phantom 4 Pro to recover .DAT files- the front right LED does not come on.

Well OK but A) was that coincident with the undamaged prop, but that could also be due to impact damage...if it is coincident then it might lend itself to further credence of a motor failure.  The next question, if the motor failed, is that why it failed.  The flight data should be able to indicate that...
2018-1-10
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PGM
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Genghis9 Posted at 2018-1-10 12:00
Well OK but A) was that coincident with the undamaged prop, but that could also be due to impact damage...if it is coincident then it might lend itself to further credence of a motor failure.  The next question, if the motor failed, is why did it fail.  The flight data should be able to indicate that...

Yes,  the undamaged prop was on the front right.
2018-1-10
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Genghis9
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PGM Posted at 2018-1-10 11:53
correct, also when I turned on the Phantom 4 Pro to recover .DAT files- the front right LED does not come on.

I am far from an expert in this area of data review, but one thing I noticed is you were in sport mode and the bird tried to tell you it had to RTH due to battery level and it looks like it started to do that but then you cancelled it and went back to sport mode.  Here is the thing, sport mode really sucks the battery power and taxes the system which may have been a contributing factor, however, I saw no indications of battery warnings that showed any large drops in power levels due to a large drain.  Meaning, to me anyway, that canceling RTH and going back to sport may not have caused it but it may not have helped either.
My guess only, but due to the demand you were making on the motors in sport mode it may have resulted in a motor failing.  Hopefully the experts will come on here and take a look, the guy I recommend is Endotherm, he is very good and thorough.
2018-1-10
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PGM
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Genghis9 Posted at 2018-1-10 12:22
I am far from an expert in this area of data review, but one thing I noticed is you were in sport mode and the bird tried to tell you it had to RTH due to battery level and it looks like it started to do that but then you cancelled it and went back to sport mode.  Here is the thing, sport mode really sucks the battery power and taxes the system which may have been a contributing factor, however, I saw no indications of battery warnings that showed any large drops in power levels due to a large drain.  Meaning, to me anyway, that canceling RTH and going back to sport may not have caused it but it may not have helped either.
My guess only, but due to the demand you were making on the motors in sport mode it may have resulted in a motor failing.  Hopefully the experts will come on here and take a look, the guy I recommend is Endotherm, he is very good and thorough.

Agreed, it’s not uncommon or out of performance scope for a user to manually RTH once a indication has been received. The demand on the battery was of no concern to me at the time because the RTH distance remaining was not great. I pray that DJI stands by their product and Warranty.
2018-1-10
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PGM
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2018-1-10
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PGM
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I Sent the Phantom 4 Pro off to DJI in California via RMA. I asked the clerk at the UPS drop-off if the Return RMA was insured. She stated insurance was something that would have to be done when Return RMA was generated; She also said that UPS had an automatic $100 insurance policy (not enough to cover the contents) ... Question:  does DJI carry insurance on RMA returns. Is this something else for me to worry about? There was no option to get insurance on the DJI RMA Request. I did receive a tracking number... Please RTH safe Phantom 4 Pro.
2018-1-10
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PGM
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shots taken after malfunction and crash, before I sent it off to DJI

2018-1-10
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Genghis9
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PGM Posted at 2018-1-10 18:18
I Sent the Phantom 4 Pro off to DJI in California via RMA. I asked the clerk at the UPS drop-off if the Return RMA was insured. She stated insurance was something that would have to be done when Return RMA was generated; She also said that UPS had an automatic $100 insurance policy (not enough to cover the contents) ... Question:  does DJI carry insurance on RMA returns. Is this something else for me to worry about? There was no option to get insurance on the DJI RMA Request. I did receive a tracking number... Please RTH safe Phantom 4 Pro.

PGM - understanding your question
You should know first they pack things very well, so short of UPS mishandling it, it should be fine.
Next, prepare yourself, as most who have sent their bird off for repair have not received the same craft back.  In nearly all cases they receive either a refurbished/prior repaired model or a new one.  It does not seem to matter whether you are paying for the repairs or it is covered under warranty.  
2018-1-10
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PGM
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I have received this ESC Status Error once before, but the problem did not persist after restart so I never thought of it again, until now..
2018-1-10
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PGM
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A couple Damage Photo's - there is also some rattle inside the housing.
2018-1-10
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PGM
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Genghis9 Posted at 2018-1-10 18:33
PGM - understanding your question
You should know first they pack things very well, so short of UPS mishandling it, it should be fine.
Next, prepare yourself, as most who have sent their bird off for repair have not received the same craft back.  In nearly all cases they receive either a refurbished/prior repaired model or a new one.  It does not seem to matter whether you are paying for the repairs or it is covered under warranty.

If I can not have it repaired under Warranty and it must be replaced under Warranty, I would appreciate it if DJI would send me a new Bird, due to the fact that this Phantom 4 Pro was purchase less than 60 days ago. I think under the circumstances, new would be fair and Refurbished would be unfair. I took pictures of the battery housing serial number ex. and would like my new Bird fixed or a new Bird sent. That's just how I feel about it.. Refurbished makes sense and is understandable for a Birds of age. New is new and I don't want a part here and a part there flung together and sold to me as new..
2018-1-10
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Genghis9
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PGM Posted at 2018-1-10 19:13
If I can not have it repaired under Warranty and it must be replaced under Warranty, I would appreciate it if DJI would send me a new Bird, due to the fact that this Phantom 4 Pro was purchase less than 60 days ago. I think under the circumstances, new would be fair and Refurbished would be unfair. I took pictures of the battery housing serial number ex. and would like my new Bird fixed or a new Bird sent. That's just how I feel about it.. Refurbished makes sense and is understandable for a Birds of age. New is new and I don't want a part here and a part there flung together and sold to me as new..

My only suggestion is work with the mods here to see if they will intercede for you on that point, otherwise I see no guarantees in that respect, you are at the discretion of DJI in that area.
If you do get the attention of the mods here, they will want your RMA number or repair ticket info or both, they will tell you what they need.
Wish you the best with this
2018-1-10
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Genghis9
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PGM Posted at 2018-1-10 18:41
I have received this ESC Status Error once before, but the problem did not persist after restart so I never thought of it again, until now..

DJI is going to go over all your "black box" data on this bird if need be to determine what happened.  Whether that means it goes in your favor I could not say.  You need to keep us posted on this so we can learn from it if possible.
2018-1-10
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PGM
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Genghis9 Posted at 2018-1-10 19:23
DJI is going to go over all your "black box" data on this bird if need be to determine what happened.  Whether that means it goes in your favor I could not say.  You need to keep us posted on this so we can learn from it if possible.

Great, then DJI can see that this error occurred once before if need be. I am leaning toward ESC and Motor failure.. I downloaded the flight records and .DAT files for my record. I may scan thru them as well.. The way others talk about DJI support, well they make it seem as if DJI has a Warranty Denial flow chart and look for ways to discredit any responsibility for their Birds.. I think DJI is a Great company and believe they will stand by their product.
2018-1-10
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PGM
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Genghis9 Posted at 2018-1-10 19:23
DJI is going to go over all your "black box" data on this bird if need be to determine what happened.  Whether that means it goes in your favor I could not say.  You need to keep us posted on this so we can learn from it if possible.

I will keep you posted every step of the way. Thanks for your help in this process, it means a lot. I hope that others can learn from this as well.
2018-1-10
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DJI Susan
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Hi PGM, I'm so sorry to read your post. According to your description, the drone is in the warranty period, data analysis is recommended to check the exact status. Please kindly start a case and send it in for fully diagnosis. The local team will take care and offer you the corresponding solutions after the unit arrived. Also, please kindly offer your case number once you got, we'd like to follow up.
2018-1-10
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PGM
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Genghis9 Posted at 2018-1-10 19:21
My only suggestion is work with the mods here to see if they will intercede for you on that point, otherwise I see no guarantees in that respect, you are at the discretion of DJI in that area.
If you do get the attention of the mods here, they will want your RMA number or repair ticket info or both, they will tell you what they need.
Wish you the best with this

Cross posting this forum to other Drone sites, Amazon, Social media platforms, SM Followers, Reviews, YouTube, ex. I want for people to be informed, Consumers should feel confident and trust in DJI products. From the date of Reception (purchase date) to Warranty and support. Trust, Support and Honor is a very important part of DJI sustainability and growth moving forward; this was envisioned by founder Wāng Tāo and this is how to achieve operational excellence.
2018-1-10
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PGM
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DJI Susan Posted at 2018-1-10 20:20
Hi PGM, I'm so sorry to read your post. According to your description, the drone is in the warranty period, data analysis is recommended to check the exact status. Please kindly start a case and send it in for fully diagnosis. The local team will take care and offer you the corresponding solutions after the unit arrived. Also, please kindly offer your case number once you got, we'd like to follow up.

Thank you for your assistance in this Case: Case Number: CAS-1375661-C0X0T9
2018-1-10
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