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PHANTOM 4 PRO + V2.0 EXPLODED IN FLIGHT
11211 162 2019-10-14
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Sick Dawg
Second Officer
Flight distance : 451119 ft
United States
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......
2019-10-24
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AntDX316
Captain
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marios5 Posted at 10-24 05:53
To all the people here on the forum who gave me so much support and advice, I got some fantastic news today, excellent service from DJI, I really did not expect that. I post their feedback:

We are terribly sorry for the frustrating experience you have had with the aircraft. We'd love to sort out the case and don't want to lose you as a valuable customer. To show our appreciation for you as a valued customer, we would love to offer the free replacement service for your Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 (Excluding Remote Controller and Battery Charger). Please kindly bring or send the unit to our recommended service center in the South Africa region. To avoid customs clearance issues of your region, we will send Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 (Excluding Remote Controller and Battery Charger) to the dealer's address.

I thought they don't make them anymore..
2019-10-24
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fans63d5ff69
lvl.4
Flight distance : 1470968 ft
United States
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That’s great news. I have seen DJI step up more times than not. As far me, I think they are have the best product and customer service in the business
2019-10-24
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AntDX316
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Seems like the secret is out and they do still make the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0!
2019-10-24
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EdM
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AntDX316 Posted at 10-24 10:48
Seems like the secret is out and they do still make the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0!

You don't think they might just have a stash held back just for replacement purposes?
2019-10-24
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knarfboy
First Officer
Flight distance : 494508 ft
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AntDX316 Posted at 10-24 10:48
Seems like the secret is out and they do still make the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0!

The secret is, DJI use this bird as basis for the very expensive Phantom 4 RTK

https://www.dji.com/de/search?q=DJI%20Phantom%204%20RTK
2019-10-25
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Saigondave
lvl.1

Vietnam
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Did you notice if the battery was swollen before this flight? Was it difficult to insert and remove? We have a couple of swollen batts and have stopped using them. They were quite new without much use (4-5 flights), so maybe a design fault??
2019-10-25
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patiam
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AntDX316 Posted at 10-24 10:40
I thought they don't make them anymore..

you think a lot of things. doesn't mean they're true.
2019-10-25
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David Martin Graff
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Amazing that this actually could happen to drones flying on battery power intelligent flight batteries insomuch we all should be careful flying both a drone and its battery after the drone has previously been is a crash. While no some say when there's no visual damage you can't underestimate the full extent of the complications that can result after a crash.
2019-10-25
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JeanTessmerMaui
lvl.2

United States
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Thank God it did not blow up close to you.  I hope DJI analyses exactly what happened and why it happened.  Thanks for sharing and your care.
2019-10-26
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Vinhtuan
lvl.1

Vietnam
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https://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/Upload/ how?
2019-10-27
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marios5
lvl.2
Flight distance : 702067 ft
South Africa
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Saigondave Posted at 10-25 03:54
Did you notice if the battery was swollen before this flight? Was it difficult to insert and remove? We have a couple of swollen batts and have stopped using them. They were quite new without much use (4-5 flights), so maybe a design fault??

There was nothing wrong with the battery, if there wads a fault whatsoever, it was not obvious.
2019-10-28
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marios5
lvl.2
Flight distance : 702067 ft
South Africa
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David Martin Graff Posted at 10-25 10:39
Amazing that this actually could happen to drones flying on battery power intelligent flight batteries insomuch we all should be careful flying both a drone and its battery after the drone has previously been is a crash. While no some say when there's no visual damage you can't underestimate the full extent of the complications that can result after a crash.

That is a true statement, but in this case, I never had an accident before or a hard landing.
2019-10-28
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marios5
lvl.2
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South Africa
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JeanTessmerMaui Posted at 10-26 11:46
Thank God it did not blow up close to you.  I hope DJI analyses exactly what happened and why it happened.  Thanks for sharing and your care.

Exactly, I must say I'm impress with the way DJI handled the case with a replacement AC.
2019-10-28
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S-e-ven
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Thailand
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I think, you should send it to DJI. They should look at it, anyway! Not just for replacing, but to look at the reason why this has happened!
2019-10-28
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frosty1
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Labroides Posted at 10-19 01:00
this thread says otherwise
Is that a typo?
Did you mean .. this moron says otherwise?

as an ex aerospace electronics engineer I am surprised that no one has asked "does the CPU have a backup battery?" also: how long would any capacitors hold their charge after the battery has exploded? this might explain a few m/s recorded discrepancies.

There is a saying in the electronic engineers world " Once you have let the smoke out, you can't get it back in!"
2019-10-28
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Labroides
Captain
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Australia
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frosty1 Posted at 10-28 17:37
as an ex aerospace electronics engineer I am surprised that no one has asked "does the CPU have a backup battery?" also: how long would any capacitors hold their charge after the battery has exploded? this might explain a few m/s recorded discrepancies.

There is a saying in the electronic engineers world " Once you have let the smoke out, you can't get it back in!"

I am surprised that no one has asked "does the CPU have a backup battery?" also: how long would any capacitors hold their charge after the battery has exploded? this might explain a few m/s recorded discrepancies.

What m/s recorded discrepancies are you referring to?
Having gone over the recorded flight data several times, I can't see anything to suggest there was any discrepancy in the data record.

It doesn't matter whether the CPU has a backup battery or not.
When the main power source is gone, there's no more propulsion or radio transmission.
Since loss of a battery means the show is over, it's unlikely that DJI bothered with the expense or weight of any backup battery for the electronics.

2019-10-28
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Neo Supreme
First Officer
Flight distance : 76329 ft
United States
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I'm inclined to feel that some sort of anti sUAS weapon neutralized your drone, though as stated, batteries have been known to explode as well.
2019-10-30
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Sick Dawg
Second Officer
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Neo Supreme Posted at 10-30 08:40
I'm inclined to feel that some sort of anti sUAS weapon neutralized your drone, though as stated, batteries have been known to explode as well.

plausible, but highly doubt it. he was flying in a remote environment in South Africa.
2019-10-30
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Saigondave
lvl.1

Vietnam
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Did you notice if the battery was swollen before this flight? Was it difficult to insert and remove? We have a couple of swollen batts and have stopped using them. They were quite new without much use (4-5 flights), so maybe a design fault??
2019-10-30
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RedHotPoker
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Flight distance : 165105 ft
Canada
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frosty1 Posted at 10-28 17:37
as an ex aerospace electronics engineer I am surprised that no one has asked "does the CPU have a backup battery?" also: how long would any capacitors hold their charge after the battery has exploded? this might explain a few m/s recorded discrepancies.

There is a saying in the electronic engineers world " Once you have let the smoke out, you can't get it back in!"

There is a saying in the electronic engineers world:

“Once you have let the smoke out, you can't get it back in!"

A statement heard uttered in Amsterdam,  never. Hahaha


RedHotPoker
2019-10-31
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RedHotPoker
Captain
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Canada
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Sick Dawg Posted at 10-30 13:00
plausible, but highly doubt it. he was flying in a remote environment in South Africa.

Is there a Martian base, or other “station”, in the vicinity? Wicked grin


RedHotPoker
2019-10-31
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frosty1
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Labroides Posted at 10-28 19:14
I am surprised that no one has asked "does the CPU have a backup battery?" also: how long would any capacitors hold their charge after the battery has exploded? this might explain a few m/s recorded discrepancies.

What m/s recorded discrepancies are you referring to?

If you do not understand batteries within electronic systems, I have found in my past experiences, that I have had batteries explode in systems, and have even pulled batteries from systems and they have still remained to carry on working for a few seconds after the event, due to the energy stored in the capacitors.Regarding memory back up batteries, these can be very small, and can be capasitive types, these would weigh probably a gram or less.  
2019-10-31
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Labroides
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Australia
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frosty1 Posted at 10-31 06:17
If you do not understand batteries within electronic systems, I have found in my past experiences, that I have had batteries explode in systems, and have even pulled batteries from systems and they have still remained to carry on working for a few seconds after the event, due to the energy stored in the capacitors.Regarding memory back up batteries, these can be very small, and can be capasitive types, these would weigh probably a gram or less.

I understand batteries etc but I can also read flight data records.
Here's the short version of the recorded flight data for this incident:  https://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/BRQ97KYU63JY6AILRZ7D/
It accounts for every 1/10th of a second of the flight, with no missing data.

If you were to look at the full data set, it shows the flyer using the left stick to gently lower the drone until 7:12.9, then hovering in place until 7:13.9 when the data just stops.
It is most likely that everything just stopped then when the battery went and gravity took over for the 82 metre fall to the ground.
But there was no battery to operate the sensors or broadcast the data back to the controller.
2019-10-31
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Bozerker
lvl.2
Flight distance : 85755 ft
Canada
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So, I'm brand new here and this is my first post, but this is a really interesting thread/incident (accident?). I'm glad to hear that DJI is going to provide some compensation and (I assume) investigate the wreckage to try to figure out what happened.

Not that anyone here necessarily cares, but I work in flight data analysis for aircraft accident prevention and investigation and some of the comments were a bit "odd", to say the least. I'll admit that I'm new (18 months) to the drone business, but I've been in aviation in a few capacities for 25+ years now.

At first,my initial thought about this incident was a gunshot, but the OP seems genuine/honest and the gun shot theory seemed less likely if it occurred on his farm (still possible, but unlikely).

But the fact that no other Phantom Drone (or maybe any other DJI drone) exploded is completely irrelevant. I didn't work on the TWA 800 crash, but I personally know some of the investigators that did (yeah, I'm old) and, as far as I know, no other 747 spontaneously exploded with no evidence of a bomb/missile before this terrible accident. As a result, design flaws were identified and corrected. I certainly do not mean any disrespect to the affected families but, unfortunately and despite our best efforts, s**t happens. We learn from it, and we fix it to prevent it from happening again. Thankfully, in the drone business, loss of life is incredibly rare but accidents/lost aircraft isn't 100% guaranteed.

Just because something never happened before doesn't mean it can never happen. And kudos to DJI for dealing with this particular incident. I'm sure there is a TON of information they can learn from the wreckage so the cost to replace a drone is a bargain compared to the value of the information they can gain from the wreckage.

Aviation is incredibly safe and I think DJI has made great strides to keep up with that enviable record - something I'm painfully reminded of every time I have to go to their site to authorize a Mavic 2 flight in my backyard that happens to be within 3 NM of an airfield (it's ok - I'm licensed and in touch with the field, but I'll admit I'm looking forward to the Mavic Mini so I can QUICKLY film my kids playing soccer).

Anyway, I'll get off my soapbox. I'm not sure we'll ever find out what happened here, but I think DJI will and if there's a design issue, they'll resolve it. If they don't, they're setting themselves up for potential litigation, but they seem like the type of folks that want to keep this part of aviation safe.

As for this forum, for the "most" part the folks here seem to be pretty level headed, but nothing is ever 100%

Fly safe!
2019-11-2
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Jeff Millard
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marios5 Posted at 10-24 05:53
To all the people here on the forum who gave me so much support and advice, I got some fantastic news today, excellent service from DJI, I really did not expect that. I post their feedback:

We are terribly sorry for the frustrating experience you have had with the aircraft. We'd love to sort out the case and don't want to lose you as a valuable customer. To show our appreciation for you as a valued customer, we would love to offer the free replacement service for your Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 (Excluding Remote Controller and Battery Charger). Please kindly bring or send the unit to our recommended service center in the South Africa region. To avoid customs clearance issues of your region, we will send Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 (Excluding Remote Controller and Battery Charger) to the dealer's address.

Well that’s pretty wonderful! Any more news?

Jeff
2019-11-2
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ATJ
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Bozerker Posted at 11-2 18:57
So, I'm brand new here and this is my first post, but this is a really interesting thread/incident (accident?). I'm glad to hear that DJI is going to provide some compensation and (I assume) investigate the wreckage to try to figure out what happened.

Not that anyone here necessarily cares, but I work in flight data analysis for aircraft accident prevention and investigation and some of the comments were a bit "odd", to say the least. I'll admit that I'm new (18 months) to the drone business, but I've been in aviation in a few capacities for 25+ years now.

Welcome Bozerker
2019-11-3
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fansdb994c3a
lvl.2
Flight distance : 10059 ft
Canada
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Great news on the replacement. The explosion was clearly caused by a lightning strike because God has hated DJI ever since his P3 fly-away.
2019-11-3
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Geebax
Captain
Australia
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frosty1 Posted at 10-31 06:17
If you do not understand batteries within electronic systems, I have found in my past experiences, that I have had batteries explode in systems, and have even pulled batteries from systems and they have still remained to carry on working for a few seconds after the event, due to the energy stored in the capacitors.Regarding memory back up batteries, these can be very small, and can be capasitive types, these would weigh probably a gram or less.

I also understand batteries and capacitors as power keeping devices, however the size of capacitor or battery required to keep the average processor running these days is quite significant. Tiny processors do not use much power, but the FPGA device used in the DJI aircraft use lots of power and would require a significant amount of energy storage to keep running when the main battery fails. And given that the motors are not going to be supported in that circumstance, why bother keeping the processor running, so it can write a log entry that says "Battery power failed"?
2019-11-3
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Goldenseal
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The whole time I have been reading this thread from the first day, I have thought it could even be a physical problem. Everything mentioned is a long shot, just by the fact that this seems to be an isolated incident. If the battery was swelling, it would have been noticed by the difficulty in trying to insert and remove the battery.  Vibration can cause a wearing away of material. The foil covering could have been compromised by vibrations and shorted the battery. This is especially true, if there was any sort of an edge protruding into the foil to cause a short. A small piece of anything could have fallen into the battery in storage and transporting. DJI may never let us know, so it's all speculation.
2019-11-3
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marios5
lvl.2
Flight distance : 702067 ft
South Africa
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Saigondave Posted at 10-30 18:23
Did you notice if the battery was swollen before this flight? Was it difficult to insert and remove? We have a couple of swollen batts and have stopped using them. They were quite new without much use (4-5 flights), so maybe a design fault??

Hi, no it was not swollen and it was not difficult to insert, the battery looked normal.
2019-11-5
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Manxmann
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Australia
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ATJ Posted at 10-16 06:09
This is what happens when a LiPo Battery explodes.

LiPo Battery Exposion

Easy to understand why airline companies don't like them !  
2019-11-5
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Manxmann
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Australia
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Gee-sus,  that's mega.  Thanks for the share,  and please post on the forum your progress with DJI.  It will be interesting to hear how you get on with them.

That could have been a major disaster had it fallen in the wrong place eh !
2019-11-5
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frosty1
lvl.2
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AntDX316 Posted at 10-24 10:40
I thought they don't make them anymore..

Excellent news this proves that DJI have a great customer after care service and are willing to listen to their customers well done DJI

2019-11-5
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BrianKushner
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marios5 Posted at 10-14 01:42
Luckily we could find the burnt out drone as proof. I'm going to do everything so that DJI can replace it for me.

Good luck...your gonna need it.
2019-11-11
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BrianKushner
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ATJ Posted at 10-16 06:09
This is what happens when a LiPo Battery explodes.

LiPo Battery Exposion

And a Lipo bag would contain this?
2019-11-11
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marios5
lvl.2
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Manxmann Posted at 11-5 00:50
Gee-sus,  that's mega.  Thanks for the share,  and please post on the forum your progress with DJI.  It will be interesting to hear how you get on with them.

That could have been a major disaster had it fallen in the wrong place eh !

Absolutely!! DJI shipped the AC and was already received at the branch here in SA,  I just have to collect it.

2019-11-13
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DAFlys
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marios5 Posted at 11-13 06:00
Absolutely!! DJI shipped the AC and was already received at the branch here in SA,  I just have to collect it.

Congrats on getting a replacement
2019-11-13
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Manxmann
Captain
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Australia
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marios5 Posted at 11-13 06:00
Absolutely!! DJI shipped the AC and was already received at the branch here in SA,  I just have to collect it.

Was that a free replacement ?  If so congratulations and happy flying !  
2019-11-15
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T3rdEye
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Flight distance : 221844 ft
United States
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Could it be??

"High-powered lasers are certainly being developed to destroy or otherwise knock drones out of the air. Just last month, the Raytheon delivered the Air Force a high-powered laser to down drones. Rather than scrambling sensors or blinding operators, the high-powered versions turn up the heat, melting a drone’s components or internal wiring or causing batteries to explode."

2019-11-16
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