Crashed and destroyed my drone and the valuable lessons I learned.

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My 4 year old is enamored with Wind Turbine (I think you know where I'm going with this). She saw a wind farm during our road trip and just loves to see them. So I promised her I'd fly my drone over one. We found one and parked the car about a 300 yards away (Mistake 1). I should have been underneath it. I did my usual checks and made sure it was GTG. Flight temp was about 30 degrees. I got up and start flying. As I got nearer, I wanted to do a full orbit flight. There was a lot of glare on my phone as it was a sunny day (Mistake 2-should have used my sun shield). I'm looking at the phone, and it looks like the drone was right next to the wind turbine. But when I looked at the sky, the drone was a small blip far in the distance. It looks like it was at least 100 feet or more away from the structure. So I continue to orbit until I was behind it, when I heard a thud. Like a hollow object getting hit with a golf ball. I looked at the screen and the battery showed zero and blinking red. I looked up and the drone was gone. My heart sunk. I was at least 300 feet up above a cut corn field. The ground was pretty hard as it's been in the 20s the whole week.

So my daughter and I walked up to the Wind turbine. We found it. Broken into multiple pieces. The camera is no where to be found. The base (with SD card) was about 4 feet away. 3 props were missing. 2 Prop guards were missing. The battery was laying about 2 feet away. One of the 'arms was sheered off. I was devastated as I knew this couldn't be fixed.

The worst part is, I have a 1gig MOV file that seems to be corrupted. I can't even play it. I tried doing multiple fix and conversions, but the file itself seems corrupted. The card is undamaged. i have other footage that I can play on the card. But that footage from the wind turbine cannot play. I would be grateful if anyone can show me a way to recover the files. Again, on the card, it shows a .MOV file that's over 1 gig. But Itried playing through VLC and others and nothing starts.

So the most valuable lesson is this. For Wind turbines, you have to realize how big the structure is. So the drone in comparison was a dot. I saw the dot next to it and thought it was much further behind when it was literally next to it. I moved it into the blade and it literally decapitated my Phantom 3A. Lesson 3- If you're going to fly it over a wind turbine, be underneath it, so you can see how far the drone is away from the blades.

It was stupid. I've always wanted a drone shot of a wind turbine. but I've always been weary because of what can happen if it drifts into it. Yesterday was that day. Now I have to figure out what to do. I love video shots from the air. I've done multiple YT videos of drone shots from the air. I just got back from Colorado last month where I few multiple flights over mountains and lakes. Time to save some money.
 

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My 4 year old is enamored with Wind Turbine (I think you know where I'm going with this). She saw a wind farm during our road trip and just loves to see them. So I promised her I'd fly my drone over one. We found one and parked the car about a 300 yards away (Mistake 1). I should have been underneath it. I did my usual checks and made sure it was GTG. Flight temp was about 30 degrees. I got up and start flying. As I got nearer, I wanted to do a full orbit flight. There was a lot of glare on my phone as it was a sunny day (Mistake 2-should have used my sun shield). I'm looking at the phone, and it looks like the drone was right next to the wind turbine. But when I looked at the sky, the drone was a small blip far in the distance. It looks like it was at least 100 feet or more away from the structure. So I continue to orbit until I was behind it, when I heard a thud. Like a hollow object getting hit with a golf ball. I looked at the screen and the battery showed zero and blinking red. I looked up and the drone was gone. My heart sunk. I was at least 300 feet up above a cut corn field. The ground was pretty hard as it's been in the 20s the whole week.

So my daughter and I walked up to the Wind turbine. We found it. Broken into multiple pieces. The camera is no where to be found. The base (with SD card) was about 4 feet away. 3 props were missing. 2 Prop guards were missing. The battery was laying about 2 feet away. One of the 'arms was sheered off. I was devastated as I knew this couldn't be fixed.

The worst part is, I have a 1gig MOV file that seems to be corrupted. I can't even play it. I tried doing multiple fix and conversions, but the file itself seems corrupted. The card is undamaged. i have other footage that I can play on the card. But that footage from the wind turbine cannot play. I would be grateful if anyone can show me a way to recover the files. Again, on the card, it shows a .MOV file that's over 1 gig. But Itried playing through VLC and others and nothing starts.

So the most valuable lesson is this. For Wind turbines, you have to realize how big the structure is. So the drone in comparison was a dot. I saw the dot next to it and thought it was much further behind when it was literally next to it. I moved it into the blade and it literally decapitated my Phantom 3A. Lesson 3- If you're going to fly it over a wind turbine, be underneath it, so you can see how far the drone is away from the blades.

It was stupid. I've always wanted a drone shot of a wind turbine. but I've always been weary because of what can happen if it drifts into it. Yesterday was that day. Now I have to figure out what to do. I love video shots from the air. I've done multiple YT videos of drone shots from the air. I just got back from Colorado last month where I few multiple flights over mountains and lakes. Time to save some money.
The video files get corrupted when power is lost by crashing or intentionally powering down (without stopping the recording) before the file is completed. We have normally suggested that people put the card back in their AC to let it complete and close, but in your case this is obviously not possible.

I havent seen anyone try this for a while, but perhaps it will work for you:
 

ianzone

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Yip those turbines are huge and amazing to see,sorry for your incident, have search around just for another drone ,you still have remote so try get just another drone,it will save you some coins,
Best of luck
 
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The video files get corrupted when power is lost by crashing or intentionally powering down (without stopping the recording) before the file is completed. We have normally suggested that people put the card back in their AC to let it complete and close, but in your case this is obviously not possible.

I havent seen anyone try this for a while, but perhaps it will work for you:
Thanks for this. I am not a programmer so I'm a little lost. I followed instructions: I created a "Movie" folder and downloaded the djifix.exe as well as the file into this folder. I open up the CMD box. Now I'm stuck. It says, c:\users\xyz>

What do i type in next here?
 
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Yip those turbines are huge and amazing to see,sorry for your incident, have search around just for another drone ,you still have remote so try get just another drone,it will save you some coins,
Best of luck
Thanks. Right now, I can't even fathom buying a new drone. My wife bought it for me in 2017 for my Bday. I'm sure at the time, it was nearly $800 for the P3A. But for my next one, I would want something with a 4K camera. Perhaps the Mavic 2. I want something with more sensors to avoid crashes as much as possible. I've crashed the P3 a few times, but it was always at tree level onto grass. One time, I did a programmed flight and did not account for a very high tree and it fell. But DJI was able to put it back together for $80. This was more of a traumatic experience as it took major damage and completely unsalvageable.
 
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ianzone

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Thanks. Right now, I can't even fathom buying a new drone. My wife bought it for me in 2017 for my Bady. I'm sure at the time, it was nearly $800 for the P3A. But for my next one, I would want something with a 4K camera. Perhaps the Mavic 2. I want something with more sensors to avoid crashes as much as possible. I've crashed the P3 a few times, but it was always at tree level onto grass. One time, I did a programmed flight and did not account for a very high tree and it fell. But DJI was able to put it back together for $80. This was more of a traumatic experience as it took major damage and completely unsalvageable.
Yes It sure does hurt,I watched me p4 free fall,,mixture of disbelief and anger, took me a while to get on the horse again,had no $$ no warranty,hardest part was to restore pride and trust in phantoms and I still don't trust me new one,its a hard thing to get over,,good luck in what you decide to do
 
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Yes It sure does hurt,I watched me p4 free fall,,mixture of disbelief and anger, took me a while to get on the horse again,had no $$ no warranty,hardest part was to restore pride and trust in phantoms and I still don't trust me new one,its a hard thing to get over,,good luck in what you decide to do
Oh... I trust Phantom. They say, most of the time, it's operator error. It was my error. No doubt about it. I wish I could turn back the clock and redo it. I'd have one sweet video that my 4 year old can watch over and over. I just got back from CO and I flew it over Afton mountain, Snow mass, Vail valley, over a big lake at Frisco, and into Rocky Mt National Park. One time, I flew it so far, I lost signal and it came back to me. I trust the technology. I would absolutely buy another one.

I've learned valuable lessons throughout the two+ years that I've owned this. Sometimes, watching YouTube videos isn't enough. You have to experience it.
 

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At the command line you need to find the "movie" folder.
Type c: ENTER-KEY
Type cd:\ ENTER-KEY
Type dir ENTER-KEY
If see a folder that says "movie"
Type cd\movie ENTER-KEY

This commands will work if the "movie" folder is in actually located here. C:\movie

Chances are it will be some what buried with in your user settings instead, and the commands won't work.
If you can create the "movie" folder in what the call the root of c:\ that is the easiest way for myself and to explain.

I'm assuming you are using a windows PC?

Rod
 
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At the command line you need to find the "movie" folder.
Type c: ENTER-KEY
Type cd:\ ENTER-KEY
Type dir ENTER-KEY
If see a folder that says "movie"
Type cd\movie ENTER-KEY

This commands will work if the "movie" folder is in actually located here. C:\movie

Chances are it will be some what buried with in your user settings instead, and the commands won't work.
If you can create the "movie" folder in what the call the root of c:\ that is the easiest way for myself and to explain.

I'm assuming you are using a windows PC?

Rod
Appreciate the help Rod. But one thing I'm clueless about is command lines. And yes, I'm on a PC. In "My Document", I have a folder named "Drone Movies". Inside that folder are the video files of the drone (DJI_022.MOV) and the djifix.exe.

So right now, this is what I see in my CMD box

C:\Users\myname>

What do I type in after this?
How do I find the movie folder at the command line?
 

RodPad

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Just doing some testing, to look for any folder "movie" from the command prompt.
I got busy, I see your post
C: ENTER-KEY
CD\ ENTER-KEY
DIR Drone Movies /s ENTER-KEY or DIR dji_022.mov ENTER-KEY
Try that, that is how I would find it.

Actually, load that file up on a google drive, dropbox, etc. Send me a link with I will look at, share it on here and others will try also.

Rod
 
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Oso

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Actually, load that file up on a google drive, dropbox, etc. Send me a link with I will look at, share it on here and others will try also.

Rod
@Winnie2019 - This is what I would going to suggest as well. Should be relatively easy if the file is available.
 
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Yes It sure does hurt,I watched me p4 free fall,,mixture of disbelief and anger, took me a while to get on the horse again,had no $$ no warranty,hardest part was to restore pride and trust in phantoms and I still don't trust me new one,its a hard thing to get over,,good luck in what you decide to do
Yes this is exact what you feel after stupidity done.
But this is exactly why we so like to fly drones. As you never know what might happen during the flight it is a kind of adrenalin sport. Easy to become addicted at.
 
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Thanks. Right now, I can't even fathom buying a new drone. My wife bought it for me in 2017 for my Bday. I'm sure at the time, it was nearly $800 for the P3A. But for my next one, I would want something with a 4K camera. Perhaps the Mavic 2. I want something with more sensors to avoid crashes as much as possible. I've crashed the P3 a few times, but it was always at tree level onto grass. One time, I did a programmed flight and did not account for a very high tree and it fell. But DJI was able to put it back together for $80. This was more of a traumatic experience as it took major damage and completely unsalvageable.
If you saw the Phantom as a spot then at the same distance you won't see Mavic at all.
I've learned that the estimation of distances between various objects once they are located a few 100 m away is very unsure. So VLOS is OK for estimation safe movements from right to the left side but far less accurate for movements in your direction and away of you. Then you must trust to what you see on the screen or better go up over the obstacles.
And no sensor can prevent crash with the rotating blade of wind turbine.
 
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I fly some wind turbines in my area near lake Eire. I did a little homework first to find out how high they are. I found they were 400 ft. high. So when I flew over them I made sure I was at least above them by 100 feet. It worked out well for me and got my P4P back in one piece. These turbines were about a mile away from where I was flying. Sorry you lost your drone, but if and when you get a new drone the real lesson here is higher is better.
 
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I fly some wind turbines in my area near lake Eire. I did a little homework first to find out how high they are. I found they were 400 ft. high. So when I flew over them I made sure I was at least above them by 100 feet. It worked out well for me and got my P4P back in one piece. These turbines were about a mile away from where I was flying. Sorry you lost your drone, but if and when you get a new drone the real lesson here is higher is better.
Oh, you're allowed to fly at 500ft?? we're limited to 400 here in the UK.
 
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Law is law but I think no manned aircraft would fly 50m close to turbines so the problem can be the turbine only.
What about the wind? It is supposed to be windy around there. Is there any air flow around blades, well maybe just few m away not at 50?
 
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I hope to recover the files. Because it will show that my drone was literally right next to the spinning blade. I was attempting to do an orbit shot and it was right there. I don't know why I didn't go higher. Just a lot of thoughts in my head at the time I guess.
 
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