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Phantom 3 Pro Falls From Sky w/ 90% Battery
2754 39 2016-7-8
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joey.frolfware
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Hello to all those reading,
My name is Joey Schmit and I am an owner of a DJI Phantom 3 Professional. The aircraft was purchased via the DJI store on October 5, 2015 (Order #001136720713). The serial number of the P3P is 1011585.

On 6/18/16, my aircraft was at 90% battery, hovering roughly 150 feet in the sky, and all of the sudden the motors all shut off and my drone fell from the sky without ever re-powering, causing the aircraft to fall into a body of water. I was told by chat that warranty does not cover water damage, but the problem is not with the water damage -- the aircraft had a malfunction while in the air, causing it to fall like a brick out of the sky.

I calibrated the compass before flying, was flying the most current firmware, the battery was charged to 96% at take-off, and there were no errors on the initial DJI GO app before the flight or during the mission.

I just completed an online chat with a DJI representative and did not reach any sort of conclusion about warranty information or how to go about finding out the problem my drone encountered while in the air. I would like to get to the bottom of the issue, but need to know what files to send you and how to go about this process. They gave me an e-mail address to send to (support.na7@dji.com), but that was it and they ended the chat.

Is there anyone willing to guide me on what DJI needs and how to navigate the warranty claim process? I will provide any files necessary (logs, screen videos of DJI GO app, screenshots, the aircraft itself, etc.). In fact, I am posting all of the pictures from the log via Healthy Drone as well as a zip file containing the original flight record from the DJI GO app, the Healthy Drones CSV report, as well as the Healthy Drones KML file showing the flight path.

You can see that the drone magically ends its flight 154 feet in the air -- that is not a legitimate landing spot!

Any help on this would be amazing. I will follow up with any solutions on this thread to help with other people in the future. Want/need to get to the bottom of this failure.

Healthy Drones Battery Info

Healthy Drones Battery Info
HD battery2.JPG

HD Compass Info

HD Compass Info

HD General Flight Info

HD General Flight Info

HD GPS info

HD GPS info

HD Notifications Info

HD Notifications Info
HD Signal Map.JPG
HD Signal Strength.JPG

P3Pro Crash File.zip

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2016-7-8
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Phantomski
Captain
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United States
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Well, that sort of sucks! Hope one of the DJI pple here can help you out! They will ask if you have synced your logs from DJI app to the cloud, and what your email u use for dji account is... Hope these logs will help them to determine what happened. Did you reply the last few seconds of the flight in DJI GO app? Nothing interesting there? No strange warnings? Did you recover the drone? There may be more in the logs on the drone, that they might be able to get their hands on, if u got the aircraft, even in non-operational state.
U may want to open another threads on the service forum, and paste a link to this thread in there. DJI monitors the service threads more closely.. I bet they will help you out!
R u in the US or elsewhere?
Good luck!
2016-7-8
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DJI-Jamie
DJI team
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I'm sorry for your loss. You actually need to send an email to support.us@dji.com in order to get started with your claim. Essentially, they would need your DJI account email so that they can review your flight records for the incident along with your proof of purchase. They will also supply you with a form in order to continue with the claim. For confirmation, you were using the GO app at the time of the incident?
2016-7-8
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flightprosnd
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DJI-Jamie Posted at 2016-7-9 03:56
I'm sorry for your loss. You actually need to send an email to support.us@dji.com in order to get st ...

Thank you for this information. I am sending an e-mail immediately after this comment.

I was using the DJI GO app at the time of the incident. I was able to recover the aircraft and the SD card is in working order. However, the aircraft is not.
2016-7-8
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Cessna172
Second Officer
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There were a few odd control inputs at the last few seonds.   Not sure what they were.
But the logs never show a descent so as you say, it appeard to lose all power BEFORE the fall.
If you had done a CSC I believe it would have recorded the altitude dropping quickly.  But since it didn't, it looks like it just lost power as you said.
IIRC, logs begin at power on and end at power off.
Battery & power seemed ok....until it went dark at 170ft

I do notice an approximately 130 degree turn to the right just before this happened.  Not sure what that indicated?   Like it got flipped around (or turned around)

One other thing I noticed....the battery power seemed to drop as expected during an initial climb to 16 feet where the operator then hovered for a few seconds (very normal).
But on the subsequent climb to 200+ feet, the batter did not seem to show a corresponding drop in voltage for that second and longer climb.
I would have expected a bit larger hit to the voltage during that second climb.  Not sure what this is tho.

Unless someone else sees somthing else, it looks like a valid warranty claim to me.

One Caveat:   
The only thing that I can think of that might alter this is if the complete logs were not uploaded.  If they were edited to leave out the part containing a CSC for example.
I am NOT saying this was done here at all.   Just thinking out loud.  I think there may be other logs inaccessible to the owner that
would keep record of the FULL log that couldn't be truncated.   IIRC, there was a firmware update that put an end to erasing
log files for just this reason?



2016-7-8
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flightprosnd
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Phantomski Posted at 2016-7-9 03:16
Well, that sort of sucks! Hope one of the DJI pple here can help you out! They will ask if you have  ...

There was nothing interesting at all that happened in the DJI GO App. All of the sudden I was watching the drone, then I heard the props go completely silent, the drone turned sideways and plummeted straight down.

I was able to recover the device. I will also take your advice with the service forum if the "support.us@dji.com" email is not effective. I am in the US (North Dakota). Thanks for the reply.
2016-7-8
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flightprosnd
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Cessna172 Posted at 2016-7-9 04:08
There were a few odd control inputs at the last few seonds.   Not sure what they were.
But the logs  ...

I am willing to send in whatever needs to be done. And I agree with your sentiments 100%. If there was a pilot error, I would take full responsibility. I bought the initial release of the Phantom over 4 years ago, have 2 F550s, 2 S900s, 2 Inspires 1s and a couple extra Naza controllers "just in case". I guarantee I am not fleecing the system here based on my knowledge (over 1000 flights on DJI aircraft).

I am uploading a recording of the flight from my phone (of DJI GO) to youtube as well and will post it here . It shows the P3P going smoothly, then at the very last second it does a wonky movement, says it's decending at 9.4 mph (which is faster than a decel can be in the specs), then stops recording. Very odd.

Anything you can think of that I can do to get to the bottom of the problem will be done. I'll send the aircraft, the SD, the files, my phone. Thanks for the reply -- I'll be diligent.
2016-7-8
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Gabe R
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flightprosnd Posted at 2016-7-9 05:01
I am willing to send in whatever needs to be done. And I agree with your sentiments 100%. If there  ...

I fully believe that if nothing out of the ordinary in the health report then i suspect that your quad committed suicide and theres nothing that you could have done to talk it out of doing it. Has it shown any warning signs that it was thinking about doing it?
2016-7-8
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egconstruger
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Gabe R Posted at 2016-7-8 19:09
I fully believe that if nothing out of the ordinary in the health report then i suspect that your  ...

lol, im sorry for laughing but drone commiting suicide , maybe a ESC burned out? i have heard after last firmware lot people having burnouts in the air, firmwares messing up power distribution, in signal radios and power i dont know, All those people cant be all wrong,
2016-7-8
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Jetboys
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was your battery fully pushed in.  bad contact maybe
2016-7-8
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NtzPrinter
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egconstruger@gm Posted at 2016-7-9 07:50
lol, im sorry for laughing but drone commiting suicide , maybe a ESC burned out? i have heard afte ...

I experienced an ESC error after updating firmware to P3X_FW_V01.08.0080. My drone is in Miami now being repaired. Anyone ever hear what is up with this?
2016-7-8
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flightprosnd
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This is what I received back from DJI support:
---------
Dear Joey Schmit,   
   
Thank you for updating this concern to us. With regard to this, we are sorry to hear of this unfortunate incident. Due to the sensitive electrical components of the Phantom 3 Professional and given that our units are not waterproof, per http://www.dji.com/service/refund-return, we would like to inform you that water damaged units are ineligible for a refund/exchange. Corrosion from introducing water to these components can create long-term issues to all electrical elements, and the expenses from repair would not be cost effective. Therefore, the whole unit would need to be replaced.
   
If you wish to find out the reason why this unit is water damaged, please kindly sync your flight records and email us the DJI Email address you used for that specific flight and also notify us the exact date and time of that flight.
-------

I realize that water damage by my own fault is not something to be looked at, but it just plain fell out of the sky on its own. Batteries were charged and fully inserted. All the other things check out except for the end of the flight when it goes crazy and does what Gabe R said, it committed suicide. If it was a firmware issue, how can you know? So frustrating.
2016-7-8
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DJI-Jamie
DJI team
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flightprosnd Posted at 2016-7-9 11:54
This is what I received back from DJI support:
---------
Dear Joey Schmit,   

I would definitely sync the flight records from the DJI Go app to continue the process. Could you happen to provide your ticket number as well?
2016-7-8
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flightprosnd
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DJI-Jamie Posted at 2016-7-8 23:04
I would definitely sync the flight records from the DJI Go app to continue the process. Could you  ...

Just synched all my flights and they are good to go. The ticket number issued is #318894.

Thank you for your help.
2016-7-8
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Phantomski
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Cessna172 Posted at 2016-7-8 14:08
There were a few odd control inputs at the last few seonds.   Not sure what they were.
But the logs  ...

Cessna, are you getting that info from HDrones? I was not under the impression u could do that from the data the OP posted? Just wondering if I am not aware of something that I could use on my own logs?
2016-7-8
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Phantomski
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flightprosnd Posted at 2016-7-8 21:54
This is what I received back from DJI support:
---------
Dear Joey Schmit,   

Do not let them kick you around! They are notorious for saying "water damage not covered" and not listening that the water damage was the CONSEQUENCE of the failure, not cause...  
I am sure that DJI-Jamie can help to push that idea through to them, as I have seen bith DJI_Paladin as well as DJI_Ken do in some other posts...  Seriously? Post crash water damage is NOT user's issue... there's nothing wrong with flying over water with even 40% battery.. but if the equipment fails, it fails - the question is what fails, and is it under warranty.. the collateral damage in that case is still their responsibility... Now, if the component that failed is out of warranty, then it's only DJI's good will as far as how much they want to do for you, and I am sure you, as any other pilot would readily agree, even if it's not in your favor...  Having them not look at the logs and give BS aswers from 1st level support, really sucks... just like in any other industry support structure....
I hope DJI will take care of you man!
2016-7-8
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DJI-Jamie
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flightprosnd Posted at 2016-7-9 12:22
Just synched all my flights and they are good to go. The ticket number issued is #318894.

Thank  ...

Thank you for the info. There should be more information for you when the office is open on Monday.
2016-7-8
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flightprosnd
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Just submitted a "Customer Usage Questionnaire" to DJI Support for this issue. Hoping to get to the bottom of this failure and have something resolved.
2016-7-14
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DJI-Ken
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flightprosnd Posted at 2016-7-9 12:22
Just synched all my flights and they are good to go. The ticket number issued is #318894.

Thank  ...

I think if you play back your flight record and tap the RC icon that will show all of your stick movements.
Your flight ended because you preformed a CSC at 2:05.
I am sorry about that.
2016-7-14
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DJI-Ken
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Cessna172 Posted at 2016-7-9 04:08
There were a few odd control inputs at the last few seonds.   Not sure what they were.
But the logs  ...

It was a CSC that caused it, and when the CSC is done it stops the data recording.
2016-7-14
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Cessna172
Second Officer
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Ah.   Didn't know CSC stopped data recording.   Good to know.

CSC = no warranty.      I wonder how many have lost their Phantoms to accidental CSC ?

Has that been removed on the P4 ?   I hope so.
2016-7-14
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DJI-Ken
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Cessna172 Posted at 2016-7-15 03:25
Ah.   Didn't know CSC stopped data recording.   Good to know.

CSC = no warranty.      I wonder how  ...

P4 still has CSC, just a different procedure.
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2016-7-14
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sunny051488
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Cessna172 Posted at 2016-7-14 13:25
Ah.   Didn't know CSC stopped data recording.   Good to know.

CSC = no warranty.      I wonder how  ...

Accidental CSC in the P4 is now harder to do as you have to push the left stick down and right + hit the RTH button. It is not longer both sticks to the inside and down.
2016-7-14
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flightprosnd
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DJI-Ken Posted at 2016-7-14 12:25
I think if you play back your flight record and tap the RC icon that will show all of your stick m ...

I know it looks like that on the video at the very last 1/8 of a second, but I don't care what you say or what you see. I did not perform a CSC. I am going to post the video of the stick control when I get home. You will see that the last millisecond of the video is when the CSC command is completed, which is simultaneously when the aircraft does its final spin. There is no way the CSC would ever act that quickly in the first place.

Look at all the other stick movements that are completed on the path. I never have a 100% stick movement in any direction throughout the whole flight. Thinking I would do one while hovering and taking slow movement pictures over water out of the blue is ridiculous and just plain not true. You can call this pilot error all you want, but that is not the case.
Edit: This sounds very harsh and biting, but I am simply trying to make a point that I do not use stick controls to that extreme. I don't mean for it to be directed at anyone in particular, but want it to be known that I do not make sudden, full-throttle movements as a pilot. The only possible thing I can think of is if it recorded a CSC when it was falling from the sky. I tried everything I could when the motors turned off and it started falling from the sky, but I guarantee there was no CSC during the flight.


2016-7-14
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citivas
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DJI-Ken Posted at 2016-7-14 15:43
P4 still has CSC, just a different procedure.

When they first updated the CSC on the 4 with the new procedure the old method still worked too.  Did they fix that?
2016-7-14
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Chuck1906
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Is it possible you were flying in an area with a lot of RF in the air and you got knocked out of the air by a stronger signal?
2016-7-14
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flightprosnd
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This is the video showing all of the stick controls throughout the flight. Sticks are never close to 100% in one direction, let alone in 4 directions at one time. You can see at the last split-second the aircraft starts going into a spin, then a CSC is committed -- I want to reiterrate that this was not done by me. The drone started falling from the sky after the motors had a failure and all props stopped spinning.

As to the idea of interference, I had 100% signal the entire flight and no indications of interference, so I can't see how that would be a factor in this flight. Also, there are no power lines or communication towers of anywhere near this property.  
2016-7-15
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DJI-Ken
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citivas Posted at 2016-7-15 08:29
When they first updated the CSC on the 4 with the new procedure the old method still worked too.   ...

I never experienced that, I tried the P3 way and it did not work. You can only test it in the simulator or actually flying as when your on the ground the P3 CSC will stop the motors.
2016-7-15
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DJI-Ken
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flightprosnd Posted at 2016-7-15 18:51
This is the video showing all of the stick controls throughout the flight. Sticks are never close t ...

If you play it slow you can firs see that the stick goes to low throttle close to 100%, then it goes to 100% right yaw and then you see the aircraft turn to the right.
Then immediately after that a left bank input is given then full left bank and full up elevator while the left stick is already in the CSC position.

I am truly sorry for your crash.
2016-7-15
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flightprosnd
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DJI-Ken Posted at 2016-7-15 09:48
If you play it slow you can firs see that the stick goes to low throttle close to 100%, then it go ...

I agree that is what is in the video, but as you can see by every other movement in the entire flight up until the last fraction of a second, this is not the case. I can also upload 100+ other flights that show managed and purposeful control stick movements as well.

The writing is on the wall that this is a case where there is no further support and no further investigation from DJI.  I guess I'm more disappointed than anything. Like previously stated, I take full 100% responsibility for my actions and am posting this to get to the bottom of the problem so it doesn't happen again for me or others, and if it does, create a method for those people to contact DJI.

After submitting paperwork to DJI ticket support with the problems stated, I have yet to receive a response back, and the paperwork was submitted 6 days ago. It is unfortunate that I have to hear these answers on a public forum instead of the support ticket.
2016-7-20
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msduncanrolltid
Second Officer
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The risk of a CSC is precisely why I removed the right stick from my remote.
2016-7-20
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msduncanrolltid
Second Officer
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;)

Kidding of course.....
2016-7-20
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DJI-Ken
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flightprosnd Posted at 2016-7-20 22:08
I agree that is what is in the video, but as you can see by every other movement in the entire fli ...

If you play the video very slowly, you can see the aircraft moves with the stick movements.
I'm trying to see if there's any help I can provide on some kind of assistance on another aircraft.
I'm sorry they haven't contacted you yet. I've forwarded your ticket to management and you should be getting an email today.
2016-7-20
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msduncanrolltid
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Btw -  The series of screenshots in the original post:   what tool did you use to compile these?
2016-7-20
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DJI-Ken
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msduncanrolltid Posted at 2016-7-20 23:05
Btw -  The series of screenshots in the original post:   what tool did you use to compile these?

It's a 3rd party website called Healthy Drones
DJI does not use ANY data from that website, we have our own software.
2016-7-20
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wmichaels1
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I think I'd have a tough time proving there wasn't a CSC with this....

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2016-7-20
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mikelt006
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If the CSC method applied to the P4 is more successful (less risky) can it be applied to the P3 as well ? in both methods it seems to me like more of a risk involved to a complete disaster more than avoiding damage, how many people actually used it to avoid further damage upon a crash vs how many crashed their drones while mistakenly applying the CSC? you should make that research and make the right steps to avoid those situations, by pilot error or not.
2016-7-20
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flightprosnd
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DJI-Ken Posted at 2016-7-20 09:44
If you play the video very slowly, you can see the aircraft moves with the stick movements.
I'm tr ...

Thank you. I know you're doing what you can. I'm just frustrated. I know the stick movements are there. The only thing I can think of is that the stick movements registered after the motors cut off, because I did try a CSC when the aircraft was falling straight down. I was trying every command possible to try and get power back.

At the end of the day, I realize it's my loss and my risk flying where I did. Anything you can do is great. Thanks for helping this get along in the ticket system.
2016-7-21
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flightprosnd
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wmichaels1 Posted at 2016-7-20 12:38
I think I'd have a tough time proving there wasn't a CSC with this....

I agree with you 100%. By the slow motion video and the pictures, there's no way I can prove otherwise.

All I can offer is my years of experience with DJI aircraft, my hundreds of other flights, and my personal experience with this flight. Unfortunately, it does not match up with what was done in this video. It is what it is.
2016-7-21
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DJI-Ken
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flightprosnd Posted at 2016-7-22 00:47
Thank you. I know you're doing what you can. I'm just frustrated. I know the stick movements are t ...

No problem, and actually the stick movements displayed on the screen are in real time. so the instant a stick input is registered then an instant later the aircraft follows the stick movement.
I am sorry about your crash, at least there's some discount help there to get you back up in the air again.
2016-7-21
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