Bird Strike

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I feel sick.

I've had my P3A for a little over a week and have been out flying it every evening getting use to it. It's my first drone, so I am being very cautious with it. Today I took it out to a local park and as I was going up, at about 30m I think, a crow came out of a nearby tree and attacked the drone. Thinking that it may have done some damage I started to bring it down, but as I was doing that the crow came back and had another go. One of the props broke and the drone came down hard and fast. It landed in a reed bed next to a river - about a meter from the water.

The body seems mostly fine, mainly scratches and scuffs, and the props are easily replaced. It still powers up and it looks like the motors are still turning ok. The main damage is to the gimbal, with the plate that attaches the gimbal to the craft snapping and the camera hanging on by one pin. The cable into the gimbal has also been severed. I think the camera itself is ok, but I obviously can't be sure because there;s no power getting to it.

I've emailed support already to enquire about a repair, but I suspect it will be a couple of days before I hear back from them.

I wondered if members here had any idea on how much a repair to the gimbal is likely to cost, and how long it usually takes to complete?
 

msinger

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If you decide to ship it to DJI to repair, it'll most likely take 1-2 months. That's the time frame people usually report. You could certainly confirm that with them before shipping it though.
 
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Is it best to wait to hear back from DJI, or just find a local(ish) repair shop and get on with it? I doubt that being attacked by a bird is covered by the warranty is it...?
 

msinger

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That will definitely not be covered under warranty. You could try some repair shops. I suspect most of them will not have spare parts though.
 
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DrewFlies

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The birds are trying to ruin our hobby. I'm very sorry for this as I have no answers. Before I bought my P3, I was watching one guy flying a vision + near my house in a field and there were 2 birds circling it the whole time. It seems everytime I launch my P3 I attract birds they all come from different directions and hide out in trees nearby. Sometimes they get close out of curiosity I think. What I do is chase them with the P3. I have no intention of harming them as I love animals and also don't want to damage my quad. But, I believe its a territory thing. When I actually show aggression towards the birds they fly away and dont come back for the remainder of flight. I by no means know anything about birds. But, all the time I see little brown ones attacking any intruding black crows that come by their area even though these black birds are easily 4x bigger they dont want any problems and fly away. If you were flying by a tree maybe you were threatening a nest and birds will do anything to defend their nest. My suggestion incase of an encounter like this instead of coming down, fly away from wherever the bird is. There really is no right or wrong answer to this. I just seen too many videos of birds taking down quads so I like to show the birds whose boss in an event like this.
 
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I have been attacked by birds twice now, the swallows zoom around getting very close.
I think probably the best thing is go up and away if they start circling.
 
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I've cleaned the P3A, changed the props and removed the broken gimbal plate, and the drone itself seems to be fine. I did a quick test flight - straight up and down and it was fine.

The two things that are broken are the plate that the gimbal attaches to and the cable that comes out of the drone and into the gimbal. pictures attached.

I think I can probably fix the plate, but I think i'll need to send the drone away to fix the cable. I don't feel confident enough to open up the drone!

IMG_0142.JPG
IMG_0143.JPG
 
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A good strong epoxy resin for the plate and the pins should be able to be pushed back into the connector in the order they came out.
 
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A good strong epoxy resin for the plate and the pins should be able to be pushed back into the connector in the order they came out.
Thanks robinb! I pushed the pins back in and the camera and gimbal seem to work fine. I won't know for sure until I fix the plate. I'll get some epoxy tomorrow and fix the plate.

Feeling much calmer now! Thanks for your help.
 
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What i have on my gimbal plate is a zip tie (VERY LOOSE) on the other jello supports, this just stops things coming apart if the OEM locks separate.
 
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4wd

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You're looking at replacing the gimbal/camera unit realistically there.
Only none are available yet, it might be something you could do yourself when they are.

This time of year the birds are protective of nest sites and seem to see a phantom as a potential predator.
Swallows are probably just playing with it!
 
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I've been looking at gimbal/camera guards recently, I'm assuming they would help prevent this sort of damage.

I've not been attacked by any birds yet but my thought would be to take it up and away from me as fast as possible, my reasoning is that the bird is being territorial so getting out of its territory would hopefully mean the bird backs off.
 
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My 2 cents. I have a small 2.4 GHZ quad copter that I use for practice. $40. It doesn't position keep or anything, but I think that helps me practice.

When I fly it around outside dragonflies and small birds chase it. None have struck it yet but I can relate to your frustrations with wildlife. A P3 is an expensive bird.
 
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I fly in a large Park/green Belt a lot and have been chased by Mockingbirds several times, also Swallows by the bridge will buzz the quad at high speed. Funny the Swanson Hawks don't seem bothered at all, but the Turkey Vultures will some times come in real close for a look see if you are up at 100-200'. Almost got ran down by 2 Canadian Geese coming in for a landing one time.... Be careful people, it's a crowded sky!
 
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Check this one out. I was trying to fly with the Geese!

"https://player.vimeo.com/video/109526879"
That's pretty crazy. turned out to be an amazing video tho. The geese seemed to easily avoid it. (Canada Goose)

All wild birds are protected by state and federal laws, with the exception of the European starling, rock (feral) pigeon, and English sparrow. This means that you cannot shoot at, trap, poison, or otherwise kill, capture or possess one without a permit.

Careful
 
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That's pretty crazy. turned out to be an amazing video tho. The geese seemed to easily avoid it. (Canada Goose)

All wild birds are protected by state and federal laws, with the exception of the European starling, rock (feral) pigeon, and English sparrow. This means that you cannot shoot at, trap, poison, or otherwise kill, capture or possess one without a permit.

Careful
Geese naturally avoid obstacles. Since I did none of those things (shoot at, trap, poison, or otherwise kill, capture or possess) I think I'm in good shape.
 
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I feel sick.

I've had my P3A for a little over a week and have been out flying it every evening getting use to it. It's my first drone, so I am being very cautious with it. Today I took it out to a local park and as I was going up, at about 30m I think, a crow came out of a nearby tree and attacked the drone. Thinking that it may have done some damage I started to bring it down, but as I was doing that the crow came back and had another go. One of the props broke and the drone came down hard and fast. It landed in a reed bed next to a river - about a meter from the water.

The body seems mostly fine, mainly scratches and scuffs, and the props are easily replaced. It still powers up and it looks like the motors are still turning ok. The main damage is to the gimbal, with the plate that attaches the gimbal to the craft snapping and the camera hanging on by one pin. The cable into the gimbal has also been severed. I think the camera itself is ok, but I obviously can't be sure because there;s no power getting to it.

I've emailed support already to enquire about a repair, but I suspect it will be a couple of days before I hear back from them.

I wondered if members here had any idea on how much a repair to the gimbal is likely to cost, and how long it usually takes to complete?
Hi Matt -- Did you ever get your drone fixed?
 
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What I have learned from flying aircraft is that a bird's natural tendency is to dive toward the ground when it's in trouble, so our trained response is to climb!
 

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