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P3S Crash onto Rhode Island State House

Discussion in 'Standard/4k Discussion' started by Joshua Horn, Aug 18, 2016.

  1. Joshua Horn

    Jun 6, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Youngsville, NC

    I was flying my Phantom 3 Standard last week in Providence, Rhode Island in really beautiful conditions. I had a few issues with image transmission flickering, but suddenly I loose it and it doesn't come back. This may have been because I lost line of sight behind the dome of the state house. Turned out that I was flying closer over the building, which I didn't really intend to do.

    At this point I try to gain altitude, but it seems like I've completely lost connection, so I run over to try to get closer, and hopefully get reconnected with the drone. I can't get connection with it, and can't find it anywhere. Finally we figure that it must have landed on the roof of the state house, and we think we are able to see it (though it's pretty hard to tell.)

    It was a state holiday in Rhode Island so the building was shut down. But we call the next morning, and the capitol police go up on the roof and find it! When we stopped by the pick it up the next day, it turned out that it had a pretty hard landing. It was found in several pieces scattered over a large area - the battery had come out, two propellers were broken and on a third the threads were completely stripped. Both the gimbal and camera had broken off, and unfortunately they didn't find the camera, so I have no footage of the actual crash.

    Worst of all, when it fell it broke a pane out of the skylight, which I'm going to get a bill for. However, the police lieutenant was very nice about it. He didn't give me any trouble at all for flying the drone, and just said that accidents sometimes happen.

    I've uploaded the log from my phone, I'd appreciate any insight y'all might have on the reason for the crash. It seems to me that it just kind of fell out of the sky, as it didn't return to my home point or land where it was. The only other option that I could think of is that it tried to return home and hit the state house dome, but I'm not sure that was possible considering it's altitude and where the pieces were found.

    Phantom Log Viewer - PhantomHelp.com

    This certainly was a learning experience for me. Once I'm flying again, I'll be more careful to make sure I don't loose line of sight, to set my RTH altitude for every flight, and not fly over anything I don't want to pay to fix.
    jeganx likes this.
  2. D'sAdvanced

    Mar 17, 2016
    Likes Received:
    sorry, but that was a bit irresponsible to fly in a populated area with no VLOS.
  3. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jan 8, 2014
    Likes Received:
    If you fly behind a large object you will lose signal and the drone will RTH.
    That's exactly what happened and your Phantom tried to fly through the dome to get back home.
    The black line shows where you lost your LOS.
    The Phantom would have gone a little further in the direction of the green line before it stopped and entered RTH.
    Appropriate RTH height would have prevented this.
    Looks like a lesson you will have learned from.
  4. losman26

    Mar 21, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Don't see how he has no VLOS when he's flying probably a few hundred feet away. Also, he's avoiding the "populated" area. I'd say he was more irresponsible for flying over a government building.

    Sent from my iPad using PhantomPilots mobile app
  5. WilliamM

    May 30, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Lancaster, Pa.
    Not sure why you wouldn't be checking your RTH height before each flight or have it pre set at a high enough number that under normal circumstances you would never have a concern. And flying over a government building to boot regardless of the fact that it had officials in there at the time or not. And all those who complain about the restrictions on drone flight just need to look at this thread and there's your answer.

    Sent from my HTC 10 using PhantomPilots mobile app
  6. Dirty Bird

    Apr 15, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Glen Burnie, MD - USA
    The pilot did have VLOS but momentarily lost it when his Phantom flew behind the dome. Had he properly set his RTH altitude prior to the flight no crash would have occurred. Some folks just can't seem to help themselves with comments like yours. The OP was flying over a BUILDING! He wasn't flying over throngs of people. If he was "irresponsible" it was for failing to properly set his RTH altitude.

    To the OP I would recommend setting your RTH altitude to between 100-125 meters. This will force the bird to climb to between 328-410' and should clear MOST obstacles. If you fly around something higher increase RTH accordingly.

    jeganx and dudemang like this.
  7. Darius

    Aug 16, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Couldn't have said it better myself... Even though it was a holiday I would never fly over a government building...I could see this going on the local news headlines if the wrong person caught wind of it. For the sake of the rest of us, please fly responsible!
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