P3S Dropped out of sky today

Joined
May 29, 2016
Messages
41
Likes
10
Age
47
#1
I had a "not so normal" flight today. I was only 3 minutes into flight at about 200' and flying over some woods close to my home. I was watching the flight on my tablet as the drone was, by now out of sight. Everything seemed to be going fine when all of a sudden the drone seemed to dip hard to the left and the video then froze on the screen. I have never had a single issue with the drone before and took off with a full battery (96%). I was using Litchi and unfortunately I forgot to start recording so I have no proof of my suspicion that a hawk or other large bird trashed it in flight. I recall reading where others have had their drone drop out of the sky for no reason but I've never had a single issue with mine and I'm running the same firmware that I've been using for probably 2 years. I still had good signal and the landing battery power was 86% according to my AirData UAV sync. I took the last known location and walked into the woods with my phone (GPS). I figured at 200' and heading down hard it would be a bit further away in the same direction it was going and I was right. It was probably 300ft or so down the route and luckily not in a tree. The drone was still on but the camera was ripped right off the thing. I was anxious to get back to watch the video and see the bird (ie dogfight in the sky) but was pissed I didn't have auto-record enabled at takeoff and forgot to start record.
Now after that long story, I was hoping some folks would have some ideas as to figure out what might have cause this if not a bird. I don't fly my drone all the time and my previous flight was back in July with no issues. Any ideas on pinpointing something in the log or what to focus in on as an indicator?

Thanks.

Chad
 
Likes: Javier Ruiz O
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
1,714
Likes
795
Location
Irvine (Orange County) CA
#2
I had a "not so normal" flight today. I was only 3 minutes into flight at about 200' and flying over some woods close to my home. I was watching the flight on my tablet as the drone was, by now out of sight. Everything seemed to be going fine when all of a sudden the drone seemed to dip hard to the left and the video then froze on the screen. I have never had a single issue with the drone before and took off with a full battery (96%). I was using Litchi and unfortunately I forgot to start recording so I have no proof of my suspicion that a hawk or other large bird trashed it in flight. I recall reading where others have had their drone drop out of the sky for no reason but I've never had a single issue with mine and I'm running the same firmware that I've been using for probably 2 years. I still had good signal and the landing battery power was 86% according to my AirData UAV sync. I took the last known location and walked into the woods with my phone (GPS). I figured at 200' and heading down hard it would be a bit further away in the same direction it was going and I was right. It was probably 300ft or so down the route and luckily not in a tree. The drone was still on but the camera was ripped right off the thing. I was anxious to get back to watch the video and see the bird (ie dogfight in the sky) but was pissed I didn't have auto-record enabled at takeoff and forgot to start record.
Now after that long story, I was hoping some folks would have some ideas as to figure out what might have cause this if not a bird. I don't fly my drone all the time and my previous flight was back in July with no issues. Any ideas on pinpointing something in the log or what to focus in on as an indicator?

Thanks.

Chad
I would start by uploading your flight log to this site. Instructions can be found here. DJI Flight Log Viewer - Phantom Help

Once you get the file uploaded copy and paste the link back here so others can take a look under the hood.

Your description does sound like a bird strike.
 
Joined
May 1, 2017
Messages
1,823
Likes
1,029
Age
65
Location
N.central wv. U.S.
#5
I'm not an expert. Power was never lost. Maybe you still had control, but no telemetry. Telemetry is lost by losing your gimbal. A bird could have ripped it off and you had no control then. That's the scenario I see. Everything looks good on the flight records.
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
1,714
Likes
795
Location
Irvine (Orange County) CA
#6
I'm not an expert. Power was never lost. Maybe you still had control, but no telemetry. Telemetry is lost by losing your gimbal. A bird could have ripped it off and you had no control then. That's the scenario I see. Everything looks good on the flight records.
Wowzers. That makes sense. Maybe the .DAT file would help?
 
Likes: jagman08
Joined
May 29, 2016
Messages
41
Likes
10
Age
47
#7
Thanks guys for the inputs.. We may never know for sure since I forgot to enable recording. It was so early into the flight I just didn't think about checking it. I do suspect a "bird of prey" as when I was in the woods in the area of the crash I could hear a large bird in the trees but couldn't see it. Sounded sorta like a hawk but can't be sure. The scenario and data just seems to support it. Either way, it was interesting and I am just glad I could locate it so I can at least know this thing didn't keep flying and hit something or somebody. The drone is beyond repair without some replacement parts and even then not sure I want to invest any more $ into a P3S with unknown damage. May be time to sell all the goodies I have left for this thing. Not sure yet as I really had this thing dialed in with my longest flight being 6500ft using my ITELITE range extender. Will have to think about it and decide what to do next.
 
Joined
May 1, 2017
Messages
1,823
Likes
1,029
Age
65
Location
N.central wv. U.S.
#8
Did something break besides the gimbal? There is a lot more that can be taken from the flight data. I'm not smart enough to do it. There are others on this forum that can do it. The data taken from the P3 can even reveal even more.
 
Joined
Mar 22, 2014
Messages
4,366
Likes
2,021
Location
Los Alamos, NM.
#9
I'm not an expert. Power was never lost. Maybe you still had control, but no telemetry. Telemetry is lost by losing your gimbal. A bird could have ripped it off and you had no control then. That's the scenario I see. Everything looks good on the flight records.
That's not correct. Telemetry and flight control has nothing to do with the gimbal, and power was most likely lost. A bird attack would have registered in the pitch and roll data.
 
Joined
May 29, 2016
Messages
41
Likes
10
Age
47
#11
Did something break besides the gimbal? There is a lot more that can be taken from the flight data. I'm not smart enough to do it. There are others on this forum that can do it. The data taken from the P3 can even reveal even more.
The housing is broken at one of the motors and the motor is tilted up a little and the rotor hits the frame now so this chassis is toast. Considering it was a 200' fall I would have expected even more damage. I'm trying to get the .DAT files off the drone but having an issue getting the drive to mount on my Mac. I did enter Flight Data mode and the DJI Go app appears to be able to see the drone attached to the controller. I've read some posts where others pointed out the USB cable was the culprit so need to try another cable.
 
Joined
May 1, 2017
Messages
1,823
Likes
1,029
Age
65
Location
N.central wv. U.S.
#12
That's not correct. Telemetry and flight control has nothing to do with the gimbal, and power was most likely lost. A bird attack would have registered in the pitch and roll data.
Telemetry is by the black and grey coaxial going to the gimbal. If they are disconnected, you still have power to fly.
 
Joined
Mar 22, 2014
Messages
4,366
Likes
2,021
Location
Los Alamos, NM.
#15
The wires go to the antennas. If they get broke, the telemetry can't get transmitted to the RC. The drone still has power to fly.
I'm sorry - you have completely lost me. The telemetry is transmitted by the FC to the RC via the radio and antenna. Why on earth would it go via the gimbal?
 
Joined
May 1, 2017
Messages
1,823
Likes
1,029
Age
65
Location
N.central wv. U.S.
#16
I'm sorry - you have completely lost me. The telemetry is transmitted by the FC to the RC via the radio and antenna. Why on earth would it go via the gimbal?
I don't know why. I fix my P3 and know that's the case. I know when the wires are cut, you get no information or camera, but you can still fly the drone. They are external. It's been discussed on this forum. The 2 wires are going to antennas in the drone. Only other connection is the 8 wire ribbon cable. 4 -12 volt wires and 4 ground.
 
Joined
May 20, 2015
Messages
5,266
Likes
958
Age
56
Location
Pacific,NorthWet, 97031
#17
@Chad Humphries ,

#1 Does the app tell you your in flight data mode?
If the gimbal is not attached I don't think you can actually get it the flight mode.
I doubt you can get a Mac to look at the data file, If I'm wrong, somebody chime in.
#2 Were all the props still on the Phantom?
#3 Was the camera next to the Phantom?
#4 What were you using for a mobile device?

@WV. Rootman, @sar104,

I think both of you are right or wrong.:)
Basically in any conservations that I have read or been a part of.
No gimbal = no data back to the remote and mobile. It will still will fly.

I have always worded it as the WiFi signal starts at the gimbal, the data from the camera SD size, recording status, etc is then merged with the data from the main board, battery levels telemetry etc.

Trying to retrieve the .dat files, no gimbal no signal to the remote and app. It can tell the Phantom to go into retieve flight data mode, but will it actually do it, there is nothing to confirm it has made to that mode.

Anybody got any thoughts or corrections?

BTW, Yes crashing does really suck, no matter what the cause.

Rod
 
Joined
Mar 22, 2014
Messages
4,366
Likes
2,021
Location
Los Alamos, NM.
#18
@Chad Humphries ,

#1 Does the app tell you your in flight data mode?
If the gimbal is not attached I don't think you can actually get it the flight mode.
I doubt you can get a Mac to look at the data file, If I'm wrong, somebody chime in.
#2 Were all the props still on the Phantom?
#3 Was the camera next to the Phantom?
#4 What were you using for a mobile device?

@WV. Rootman, @sar104,

I think both of you are right or wrong.:)
Basically in any conservations that I have read or been a part of.
No gimbal = no data back to the remote and mobile. It will still will fly.

I have always worded it as the WiFi signal starts at the gimbal, the data from the camera SD size, recording status, etc is then merged with the data from the main board, battery levels telemetry etc.

Trying to retrieve the .dat files, no gimbal no signal to the remote and app. It can tell the Phantom to go into retieve flight data mode, but will it actually do it, there is nothing to confirm it has made to that mode.

Anybody got any thoughts or corrections?

BTW, Yes crashing does really suck, no matter what the cause.

Rod
I guess I've never disconnected the gimbal to see what happens, so perhaps it is, in some way, a requirement for the telemetry to work. I cannot imagine why that would be, since most of the telemetry (other than the gimbal data itself) originates at the FC and is then fed via the radio chip to the antennas, but there may be some subtlety that I'm missing here.
 
Likes: RodPad
Joined
May 1, 2017
Messages
1,823
Likes
1,029
Age
65
Location
N.central wv. U.S.
#19
The two coaxial wires leave the gimbal and go to the antenna. Sometimes when people install new antennas they leave the antennas on the outside the body. That so they don't have to go to all the work of putting it in the body. The antennas are only hooked to the gimbal. The only other wire is the 8 lead ribbon cable. 4 leads are 12 volts and the other 4 are ground. (As I learned from You Tube) The 5.8 GH receiver antennas that fly the P3 are in the legs. I can put the P3 together and get it to fly. The only way I can think of the telemetry getting to the Wi Fi is through the ribbon cable. There are no other wires to the gimbal. The only connection to the gimbal from the body is that 8 lead wire. If I am wrong somewhere as you state, tell me where.
 
Joined
May 29, 2016
Messages
41
Likes
10
Age
47
#20
RodPad,
The app did say I was in flight data mode but just wouldn't mount the drive on my Mac. I am going to troubleshoot this a bit more when I get a chance. All of the props were still securely on the drone but one of the motor arms was cracked badly from the fall. The camera was within 5 feet of the drone itself and actually doesn't look broken to me (aside from the plastic mounting plate), just all the wires disconnected. I was using my fully-charged iPad 2 mini that I've used for almost all of my flights and using Litchi app, not the DJI app.
I would feel a little better if i just knew what caused it, (bird, power loss, other malfunction, etc). I was at 200' with no obstacles in the path. I may just never know what occurred. I may just buy a replacement bird since I have a good setup and accessories for the P3S. Any suggestions on the best options for a replacement?

Thanks for all the inputs.

Chad
 
Likes: RodPad

New Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
130,760
Messages
1,356,658
Members
95,381
Latest member
Y-A