Motor Fire on my P3P, help please!!!

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Dear All, major disaster today, the headline is a bit dramatic I'm afraid but what happened really did shock and disappoint me. I'll keep it short and to the point but would really love some feedback on my next options.

Flew today for about 10 mins, conditions were a little gusty but the quad was coping rather well. Realised that I'd forgot to load the sd card so landed on the grass in my back garden. Touch down uneventful until a gust of wind pick up the front two rotors and the back two struck the ground in flight idle power. The ground was damp and the blades dug in stopping instantly.

This was followed by the most horrendous screeching noise. I immediately applied full ****** on the throttle but noise continued, then applied the diagonal throttle shut down with both sticks again nothing. I also had the rotor obstruction message on the DJI go app. By now I was approaching the machine to see smoke coming from one of the motors. I righted the machine thinking the rotors would start but they didn't and the screening continued with smoke pouring from the motor. I tried to shut the battery down by double pressing the battery, no joy! In the end pulled out the battery and the noise stopped!

Obviously the motor was to hot to touch but by holding the damaged motor rotor you could feel the whole rotor assembly moving thus telling me that the plastic had started to melt!! After leaving to to all cool down I removed the rotors had a good look; you could obviously see heat damage to the coils shown on the photos. I thought I'd remove all rotors and just see if it connected and would fire up! To my amazement it did and all throttle movements seem to make the rotors move in apparently correct fashion. But I did not attempt a test flight due to the extent of apparent damage.

Now to my concerns and actions slash rights with warranty and DJI!

I assumed if the rotors were obstructed it would shut down automatically thus preventing this problem? Right or wrong? Being such an minor incident I thought this would have been standard.

With the obvious damage to not only the motor but also the body shell/plastic I'm assuming a new body is required? Note in the pictures the miss alignment of screws caused by the heat and melting companies to the god side.

Now to my major concern and actions from here! The machine is only 4 months old. Is it covered by warranty for such an incident or will DJI say its pilot error or act of God? If by chance it is covered do I just ring my local DJI rep? Secondly, and worse case scenario (which I'm expecting) if I need to repair it has anyone heard of this type of problem before and can the quad be brought back to life? I'm guessing the alignment of this rotor will now be totally out and thus affect the flight characteristics?

Finally would you suggest me taking it apart and having a look, bearing in mind I've never done this sort of thing before or should I leave it all to the professionals?

All/any advice would be hugely welcome, it's just such a shame as I was just getting really into this fantastic hobby. I hope it's not the end!!






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Sounds like it may have been a bearing overheating and or a motor burning on overload.

I would spend ~ $25/motor and replace the bad one(s) and put new props on it.
 

Mark The Droner

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Sorry for your loss.

How exactly did you operate the controls when you landed? Please be specific. Not sure what you mean by "applied full ******."
 
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The motors do not automatically shut down if they encounter resistance. And if the motors are on and something interferes with the props, it is most likely pilot error (in this case, you didn't account for the wind gusts that toppled it) and therefore unlikely that DJI will cover it under warranty. But, hey, you could try.
 

LuvMyTJ

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What rotten luck! :( If they do not cover it (operator error so unlikely), I would look into a new shell if the plastic melted (it appears it did), and a new motor. It should be good to go with a little effort on your part if your handy to switch the shells out. You can find post here on how to do that. Also, look up "CSC" for a way to kill the motors in an emergency for future knowledge. Good luck with your repair.
 
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Landed. Pulled the left hand throttle back to the stop which usually shuts down the rotors. Second shut down attempt was to put both left and right control columns to the inner diagonal position, the same way you start them, again nothing?

As to the motors not shutting down automatically, why did one motor overheat trying to spin but the other three stop? Especially the ones free of obstruction?

Replacing the motor is a solution but how do I know that more damage has not occurred to the plastic arm melting a bit thus misaligning the motors position and then there's the wiring? Is that damaged?

As to pilot error due to a gust, I'd challenge anyone to react that fast to the situation! I'm a current airline pilot and ex military helicopter pilot I think my reactions aren't to shabby!!

This must of happened many times before, all I'm asking is does this motor overheating always happen or was it a freak scenario?

Thank you.


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alokbhargava

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I m not sure if ESC is ok. Motor got burned due to high currents with no cooling when rotor got blocked from rotation. Normally ESCs limit the current but if the CSC is not done quickly, motor gets over heated.

Get an estimate from DJI service. That will help you decide if you should by motor and shell.
 
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Two words: Hand Catch


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As to pilot error due to a gust, I'd challenge anyone to react that fast to the situation! I'm a current airline pilot and ex military helicopter pilot I think my reactions aren't to shabby!!
I am not trying to disparage you, I wasn't saying your a poor operator, I am saying it wasn't caused by the Phantom itself so they would consider it operator error. Many folks have done what you did... it happens to the best of us. :)
 
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Thanks alokbhargava, but what's an ESC? Also do you think I'm dreaming if DJI will cover it under warranty?

m0j0, thanks but not a lot of help in my current situation! :-(


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I am not trying to disparage you, I wasn't saying your a poor operator, I am saying it wasn't caused by the Phantom itself so they would consider it operator error. Many folks have done what you did... it happens to the best of us. :)
Cheers chap, but in these situations does the motors overhead or shut off?? If it's happened this often there must other examples?


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LuvMyTJ

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Thanks alokbhargava, but what's an ESC? Also do you think I'm dreaming if DJI will cover it under warranty?

m0j0, thanks but not a lot of help in my current situation! :-(


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ESC= electronic speed controller
It is the "brain" for the motor. Each motor has it's own ESC.

You can find that & more abbreviations here - AACU = Acronyms & Abbreviations Commonly Used
 

Mark The Droner

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Yeah I think this is a good thread for the promotion of hand-catching - at least if there is a gusty wind.
 
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well you guys do as you like...I have far too many instruments to play and a couple hundred thousand other things I like to keep my hands around for, and won't be catching my phantom any time ever. Most especially not in a gusty, unpredictable wind

Before wandering too far off topic, I'd agree a new motor and shell are what you're likely to need, and since it wasn't a manufacturing defect that caused the problem, it's not really a warranty issue.
 
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well you guys do as you like...I have far too many instruments to play and a couple hundred thousand other things I like to keep my hands around for, and won't be catching my phantom any time ever. Most especially not in a gusty, unpredictable wind

Before wandering too far off topic, I'd agree a new motor and shell are what you're likely to need, and since it wasn't a manufacturing defect that caused the problem, it's not really a warranty issue.
Thanks, but do you think the wiring will be damaged? Also the shell and motor replacement is it a DIY job or should I take it to a dealer?


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How did you get it airborne without an SD?
I tried that to no avail.


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Ok guys, final question if you're still interested. But it's so disappointing that this has happened. The hand catching vs landing debate will always continue but my argument to that is the RTH function!

Scenario. Blustery day like today. Aircraft loses signal, battery low, or the RTH function is pressed. You let the P3P do its thing and come home. It lands and low and behold a gust of wind blows it over and the same thing happens that happened to my drone! Who's to blame? Me,? Pilot error, although it was on auto pilot or DJI because they programmed the software to bring it back in one piece?

Just thought I'd throw this out for discussion before I retire on a blustery night in the Emerald Isle!!

Night night, looking forward to hear your opinions?


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Thanks, but do you think the wiring will be damaged? Also the shell and motor replacement is it a DIY job or should I take it to a dealer?
Wiring, no...ESC, maybe. Frankly i'm surprised it was the motor that went up for you in the first place. seems to me that may have been the result of the ESC shorting (they usually break the circuit on failure, in my experience)...and you won't likely know until you see inside.

Maybe the place to start in your case is popping the shell apart. That'll tell you a few things;

1. visual inspection of the main board to see if there are scorch marks or anything obvious at the ESC

2. Should give you some idea of the difficulty level. Red the tutorials, watch the vids, try the shell separation and if you feel comfortable go for it. If not, take it in.

* You're gonna need to solder. Got experience and equipment for that?


(Edit: oops...replied within the quote)
 
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