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Phantom 3 Fell From Sky
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Ramjet1965
lvl.2
Flight distance : 176309 ft
Australia
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Hi, New to posting so sorry if I make a mistake, or post incorrectly.
I see other similar posts but not sure if my situation is the same.
I flew starting with a fully charged battery for approx 3 mins bringing Battery to 83% then another flight 2.5 mins taking the battery to 69% , Then a supposedly quick vertical to about 20m to do 1 Pano shot from a lookout point, Battey was 50% at take off, Looking at the log , the Battery voltage dropped from 14.9v to 12v in a split second at the 2.5second mark, Once I reached the height of about 23m I sticked forward to move the drone out of the sun before intending to rotate for the footage. Also the log for the 1st flight seems to have a bit of weird battery info showing a drop then an increase? The % does not seem to change with the voltdrops either.
The Drone just dropped to the ground, smashing the gimbal and landing gear.
I have had the drone approx 8yrs ish, cant remember exactly, Have not used it a lot (3 x Batteries, 16, 21 cycles and the relevant battery 18 cycles) Total for the drone since new.
What do you think caused the drop from the sky?
What Voltage does the drone cut or switch off at?
All software and firmware is up to date and no warnings came up.
I was using Litchi
I know we should use a fully charged battery each flight but after just a few minutes total flying on that charge, I would not expect to have the drone cut out.
If this is a battery issue, How can we check batteries for possible issues? These Batteries were nearly $300 each at the time so I want to check them properly before discarding them.
1st Flight log  -  https://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/38MU7QZ468L86GKVR58N
Crash log      -  https://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/1Y7W55CLFRHJR20ZNV8L
Any help would be really appreciated, Thanks

2023-5-6
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DJI Gamora
Administrator

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Hi, Ramjet1965. Thank you for reaching out. As electronic products are affected by technological developments and changes in usage requirements, each generation of products has a fixed life cycle. In order to continuously provide you with premium product and service experiences, DJI regularly optimizes resource allocations to promote the development and application of new products and technologies. Therefore, we have decided to stop providing support services for the Phantom 3 and its accessories starting January 5, 2023. We’re sorry that the services for this product have been suspended currently and relevant technical support and after-sales repair services cannot be provided.
2023-5-8
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Ramjet1965
lvl.2
Flight distance : 176309 ft
Australia
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I posted this on 6/5/2023 and since then other Phantom posts have appeared and not been told "we have decided to stop providing support services for the Phantom 3 and its accessories"
I purchased this years ago for $2100 and not requested Anything from DJI. I simply posted my issue on this forum in hopes that someone may pick up something helpful from my supplied log link.
I was after assistance from the Forum, I did not request a service from DJI
Sorry DJI that I have not spent thousands recently enough for you to spare the time of day.
1st post and this is what I get
Maybe you better delete the P3 and earlier stuff so that someone else does not waste your time with older Products and Technologies
2023-5-9
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Mark The Droner
First Officer
Flight distance : 2917 ft
United States
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What you have described sounds like pilot error, that is, it sounds like you flew with a battery that wasn't fully charged.  When one does this, the voltage of the battery tends to drop precipitously.  If a single cell drops below 3.0 volts, the battery is designed to shut itself off.  

There have been hundreds of examples of this happening - Phantoms dropping out of the sky - over the past decade.  It's almost always a result of launching with a battery that isn't fully charged.

Somewhere in your manual, you should see the words to the effect:  Always launch with a fully charged battery.

The problem is easily resolved by simply being sure to always launch with a fully charged battery.  It's also a good idea to be sure your flight battery is at least room temperature before launch.  

Sorry for your loss.

Good luck

2023-5-11
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Ramjet1965
lvl.2
Flight distance : 176309 ft
Australia
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Thanks Mark, I have been swatting up and the main thing I wanted to do was try to confirm there was no mechanical error. This is my conclusion which is similar to yours I think.
The Crash log shows the Battery voltage at 11.76 in the player and the Temp was 62.5f
The temp would have been cold due to being camping and the drone was stored in the vehicle over night which was pretty cool.
I ran the Drone today with the same battery, still not charged since the crash and strapped to a couple of chairs for about 5 minutes, The voltage did not drop below 12.686 and is at 36% now but the batteries temp was 96.7f and the drone did not cut out.
I have looked at dozens of logs of my flights in AirData spanning 8 ish years and the battery temps were never below 89f at take off, and rose to as much as 137f during flight. Most of the flights would have had a near full charge at take off though.I don’t doubt that this was user error, “Not taking off with a charged battery”, but the battery still provides enough voltage with No top up charge to keep the drone going for way longer than the crash flight did but with the battery Warm.
I know that Lithium batteries optimal operating temp is approx 60f to 95f so my 62f was at the lower end and would account for higher volt drop in those few seconds of relatively cold flight and seems to reflect in the log.
I think that Low Temp was possibly the tipping (Crashing) point in this case.
At least once I repair it , I can be pretty confident there is no hidden issue with the drone or battery.
I searched everywhere for the Cut off voltage but could not find but guesed it must have been 12v
Thanks for your input.
2023-5-11
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Mark The Droner
First Officer
Flight distance : 2917 ft
United States
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The battery must be FULLY charged.   The key word is FULLY.  If you launch with a partially charged battery, it might be okay or it might not be okay.  

The "cut off voltage" is in regards to a single cell, not the aggregate voltage of the battery.  The total voltage and the battery percentage doesn't matter.  

If you want to make multiple flights, you'd be wise to have multiple FULLY charged batteries to make those flights.  

Here is a vid you might find interesting:



If you're camping and it's cold out, you can warm the battery inside your coat for a few minutes which would solve the problem.

The minimum temp of a DJI flight battery is 20C, or 68F.  This is especially important if it's cold out.  If you launch with a battery that's cold, it might be okay or it might not be okay.  

Good luck
2023-5-12
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Ramjet1965
lvl.2
Flight distance : 176309 ft
Australia
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I understand it was Pilot error,  I flew 5.5 minutes starting with a fully charged battery, 50% showing the following day and my mistake was thinking I could get 1 to 2 minutes vertical flight to the attained 25m to do a single rotation to film the surroundings and land. low temp obviously slowed the battery enough to cause the cel to drop to 2.99v and resulting Cut of power.
Plenty of DJI drones have dropped from the sky due to battery shut off.
I understand the return to home and forced landing settings for low battery % to protect the Battery
Who creates at Battery that cuts its power to protect its self to suit a Flying Drone?
I would rather the battery stay connected and see my drone come to ground with somewhat less force and maybe survive at the expense of a Battery
I suppose, Every Drone that drops from sky when someone stuffs up is another potential sale

2023-5-12
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Mark The Droner
First Officer
Flight distance : 2917 ft
United States
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Yes, it would be nice if the battery didn't shut itself off.  However, you do get a warning when a cell hits below 3.5 volts.  You see it on your screen and you are advised to land.  You can also see it in the rear lamps as it will flash red slowly.  When a cell hits below 3.3 volts, the drone goes into autoland and the rear lamps flash red quickly.  When a cell hits below 3.0 volts, the battery shuts off.  But these warnings may arrive too late if you have launched with a partially charged battery or a cold battery because the cell voltage drops too quickly.

Sorry for your loss.
2023-5-13
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Ramjet1965
lvl.2
Flight distance : 176309 ft
Australia
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Thanks Mark, As you can see by the log, I took off with 50% battery 14.9v, 3.7v per cell, not that I could see the cell voltage in the app, All looked ok to me for a quick couple of minutes photo shoot, I went straight up to about 25m and it cut, The whole flight was just 10 seconds from start to cut, no warnings in the app or change in the lamps or auto land attempted,  by the time the data updated in the app it was all over the drone just stopped and dropped. Wont be doing that again.
So long as the camera works, it looks like I will be able to salvage it without too much expense, I had an ND filter attached which smashed but saved the lens and a Gimbal protector which broke along with the yaw arm and folded the landing legs. If the camera needs to be replaced then I dont think I will be doing that, Might be time for an upgrade in that case
2023-5-13
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jjkeyser
lvl.1
Flight distance : 185814 ft

United States
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Ramjet, yesterday 70º no wind, battery fully charged, Phantom 3pro, I took off normally and was slowly gaining altitude. At about 185' the drone just dropped out of the sky and fell into the nearby sea. It was like it had been shot down but there was no gunshot heard. There may have been a noise. iPhone shows battery then was 93%. I have no idea what happened. It and the camera were working perfectly. Any ideas? Thanks, jjkeyser
2023-11-10
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Ramjet1965
lvl.2
Flight distance : 176309 ft
Australia
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jjkeyser Posted at 11-10 06:46
Ramjet, yesterday 70º no wind, battery fully charged, Phantom 3pro, I took off normally and was slowly gaining altitude. At about 185' the drone just dropped out of the sky and fell into the nearby sea. It was like it had been shot down but there was no gunshot heard. There may have been a noise. iPhone shows battery then was 93%. I have no idea what happened. It and the camera were working perfectly. Any ideas? Thanks, jjkeyser

Hi jjkeyser.
Sorry to hear what happenned to your Phantom.
You can see the issue I had above and basically it was user error with I suppose an aging battery but I had no Idea at the time.
My main beef was/is , Who builds a safety cut off to protect a battery at the expense of a Drone? I would gladly kill a $200 battery and get my drone down safely. (Battery switches off at 3.0v)
You would have to realise what is happening and restart the drone to recover before splash down. (Not too many of us would be that quick especially the closer to ground level you are.)
I see you had 93% battery, Mine showed enough battery even though lower, like you, I only just took off so dont think you need to look at battery yet, If cold, cell voltage can drop quick under load and as soon as it touches that magic number, CUT.
Maybe your battery somehow broke contact maybe not quite clicked in?
I think the reason for dropping from the sky has to be a switch off and could only really be from battery low V
2023-11-10
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Ramjet1965
lvl.2
Flight distance : 176309 ft
Australia
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Ran out of letters
When I say low battery 3v , That is any cell in that battery dropping to 3v
2023-11-10
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Mark The Droner
First Officer
Flight distance : 2917 ft
United States
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Was it a legit DJI battery or an aftermarket?

Is there a log on your mobile device?  It might give a clue.  
2023-11-11
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