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Third stress cracked P4
1977 20 2016-8-19
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edbighi
Second Officer
Flight distance : 33485010 ft
Italy
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Here is my third stress cracked phantom 4. It's just how it is. Lucky for me I always keep a spare phantom 4 to use while the cracked unit gets sent in. While DJI service Europe has always been fast, this is starting to get old. The phantom 4 seems to always crack on the top shell, from the screw hole out to the seam line. At least that has been my experience on all of mine. 46 flights, 408 kilometers flown.

20160819_150113-min.jpg
2016-8-19
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mjlstudios
First Officer
Flight distance : 1540131 ft
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United States
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You would think that DJI would have been able to fix this problem! All they would need to do is to beef up those areas where cracks occur with a thicker mold.  
2016-8-19
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DJI-Ken
DJI team
Flight distance : 1515312 ft
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I am sorry about that, I have flown many different P4's with much more time and have never seen any stress cracks on any of the aircraft. My P3 Pro was several hundred flights and also had never seen a stress crack, and mine was one of the first production units.
I do know many had issues P3 shell stress cracks but it's good that DJI will replace it under warranty.
2016-8-19
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Mabou2
First Officer
Flight distance : 811253 ft
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United States
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Yikes, I have flown my P4 more than 150 times, and I have been rough on it with Sport mode, abrupt stops and starts, hard landings, one crash, high winds, high heat (depleting five batteries without a break on several occasions) and more... and have yet to get a single stress crack.
2016-8-19
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DJI-Ken
DJI team
Flight distance : 1515312 ft
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Mabou2 Posted at 2016-8-19 23:34
Yikes, I have flown my P4 more than 150 times, and I have been rough on it with Sport mode, abrupt s ...

That's how most every P4 is, if you or any user sees this then contact support and send it in for warranty work as long as there has never been a crash.
2016-8-19
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jwt873
First Officer
Flight distance : 5946467 ft
Canada
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I check my P4 about once a week with a magnifying glass as part of my maintenance routine.

Touch wood...  I'm still OK at 135 Flights totaling 27 hours in the air.
2016-8-19
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prdautodavid
lvl.1

United States
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Wonder what they are using to clean them. P3A with over 80 flights 20 hrs no problems yet
2016-8-19
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j5255
lvl.4
Flight distance : 5291158 ft
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Canada
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160 + flights, 36 hours, 355 km.  No cracks, smudges or any other issues.  Changed blades at 20 hours.  
2016-8-20
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rayrokni
Captain
Flight distance : 8139875 ft
United States
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One week old, 60 flights: cracked shell around back right motor, tilted horizon,. Going back to b and h. Sticking with my p3p.
2016-8-20
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edbighi
Second Officer
Flight distance : 33485010 ft
Italy
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Top shell crack as well? I ask because that is where all mine cracked. Always from one top shell motor mount screw hole out to the shell seam.
2016-8-21
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tiansimpson
Second Officer
Flight distance : 593120 ft
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My P4 12 hours in the air and no problem. Seems very odd. I had 23 hours on my P3P nothing no problems. It's a very strange phenomenon.
2016-8-21
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tiansimpson
Second Officer
Flight distance : 593120 ft
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I wonder if it has anything to do with the heat, in Italy it gets very hot. Just a thought.
2016-8-21
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R&L Aerial
Captain
Flight distance : 298100 ft
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United States
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My p4 has been a work horse, 180 flights no cracks. Perhaps you received a defective unit?
2016-8-21
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edbighi
Second Officer
Flight distance : 33485010 ft
Italy
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180 flights sounds like a lot until you start looking at mileage average per flight. Sort of like comparing two coast to coast drives versus 20 to the supermarket. I have two islands each a little over a mile from me over sea. After a flight to them I have usually 9 to 11 kilometers distance covered. Mileage cracks them. Not the number of flights or even heavy fingers on the controls. At 3 phantoms, three cracked, 100% failure rate, I can safely say that none were defective. Under strict EU two year warranty laws, all were fixed by bird minus camera replacement. Besides, none of my flights were deemed to be beyond the parameters as advertised. After all, lightbridge wasn't made for hovering over a few trees near to where I stand. For that I can use some Mickey Mouse range Yuneec or some other cheap, short range alternative.
2016-8-22
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droneflyers.com
First Officer
Flight distance : 60705 ft
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United States
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"within the parameters"......in the USA ,beyond line of sight is not in the parameters.
In the DJI manual it also cautions against flights over water.
The manual clearly mentions both of these - so they'd probably have an out if Italy didn't allow BLOS operations.

No doubt the few pilots who use these in the long distance manner will experience problems that 99% of others do not. I remember a guy on the P3 threads who, almost every day, was flying many many miles. He wasn't doing it to take pictures or videos - after all, how many flights over farm country can one need? He was doing it just to "see what it could do".
I predicted that he would be posting one day soon about losing his machine - and, sure enough, he did. He went through a few others also.

His flying would be equiv. to buying a lower priced DSLR and then using it a couple hours a day with the shutter on continuous photos.

I agree that the units are not defective - rather it is being used in a way that it is pushing the limits of a consumer machine. While Lightbridge may not be made for taking pics 10 meters from your house, neither is a mid-priced consumer drone made for BLOS flights over water on a constant basis.

I had my Subaru for 5 years - ran fine. I gave it to my son to drive cross-country and he called from Tennessee where the head gasket blew.

On one hand I'm glad you are getting them fixed for free - on the other hand, the fact is that someone else is paying for those repairs (the conservative pilots).
2016-8-22
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felixmiziozniko
First Officer
Flight distance : 12780633 ft
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United States
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sad news. All my phantom 3's would have these and I would keep switching and switching in the twin phantom 3's that I had. my phantom 4 has about as many flights as yours and I'll be checking for these again tomorrow.
2016-8-22
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edbighi
Second Officer
Flight distance : 33485010 ft
Italy
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Maybe beyond design parameters but here is my experience with DJI since phantom 1. Never one burned motor. Never a defective battery. In fact I never managed to see a battery go bad before a shell on any of the 12 phantoms I've owned. Never a single firmware upgrade issue on any bird. One bricked controller after firmware upgrade on a 4. But that is one on 12 controllers over years. Never a single fried ESC. No matter how many miles flown. When people were complaining about the durability of the gimbal on the vision plus, I never understood why. After all, you needed a crash to break one. The three locations I live in, two in front of the ocean with great islands nearby, the other with high alpine mountains, present situations that require distance to access for photography or other purposes. One is really remote. Regardless, every phantom took them all in stride and never one lost bird. Or crash. Phantoms, if one does everything correctly and calmly, are darn near impossible to crash or lose. But I find the plastic shell thickness to be the single weak link as the jack screw horizontal trim is the on mad dog 80/90. It was on the 3 and is still to a lesser extent on the 4. Non existent in the inspire which I'll be buying. We all have different needs and likes with our flying. So long as we aren't crashing or wreaking havoc, it's all good. I fly over inaccessible alpine regions and island hop away from any semblance of air traffic. And in that endeavor I've come to realize that the shell is not only the first failure item, but the only one. Hopefully at some point a truly strong shell will be launched by DJI. I personally would be willing to pay double P4 money to have that in a phantom form factor. While I love and will buy the inspire, it is a little too big for ease of transport. Still a beautiful bird though.
2016-8-27
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st pauli
Second Officer

United States
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edbighi@gmail.c Posted at 2016-8-27 06:48
Maybe beyond design parameters but here is my experience with DJI since phantom 1. Never one burned  ...

Did you get your last cracked frame replaced OK?
2016-8-31
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MD_Icarus
Second Officer
United States
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I am starting to see battery cracks and my P4 is only 3 months old?  Do they have to be of a certain size to get the replaced by DJI?
2016-8-31
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edbighi
Second Officer
Flight distance : 33485010 ft
Italy
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st pauli Posted at 2016-8-31 21:10
Did you get your last cracked frame replaced OK?

Yeah, no problem there. Fast as always.
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2016-9-1
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fansd1d40f34
lvl.3
Flight distance : 717562 ft
United States
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Just found this same stress crack on my P4.  Of course it's Friday night and I'll have to wait until Monday to open a ticket.  No crashes.  Conservatively flown.  Just unlucky.
2017-1-20
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