Phantom 4 Pro + V2.0 Exploded In Flight

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The reported loud explosion seems unusual and there were no precursor indications of problems with the battery, but if it developed a short due to lithium crystallization then it's quite possible.

I assume this lithium crystallization is a very rare probability of occurrence. Does it only happen only while the battery is in use?
 

sar104

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I assume this lithium crystallization is a very rare probability of occurrence. Does it only happen only while the battery is in use?

I'd have to go back and look at the study that I saw to be certain, but I think it can happen when current is flowing in either direction. But yes - obviously very rare or we would be seeing (and hearing) these explosions more often.
 
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The reported loud explosion seems unusual and there were no precursor indications of problems with the battery, but if it developed a short due to lithium crystallization then it's quite possible.
Out of all the storyline and various exaggerations. That one stood out to me as well.
Granted the battery bay is essentially a closed chamber and the battery clicks in to close the back door. But explosion requires 1 of 2 main variables: 1) extremely rapid burning propellant, 2) a tightly sealed chamber to allow pressure to build.

The battery Gel isn't a fast propellant and the battery chamber isn't tight... I would assume even mild burning pressure would push the battery out or frame up & open with high pressure long before pressure built to provide a loud explosion.

Not saying it didn't give a noise, even a small report... but explosion.
From photos looks more burned up by chemicals that had time to stay and burn.
If explosion, it's normally less "burned plastic" due to reduced time to burn if blown apart.

Despite the possible exaggerations, sad event for Owner and quite heart pounding I'm sure!
That's one to keep and display on the garage shelf.
 

sar104

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Out of all the storyline and various exaggerations. That one stood out to me as well.
Granted the battery bay is essentially a closed chamber and the battery clicks in to close the back door. But explosion requires 1 of 2 main variables: 1) extremely rapid burning propellant, 2) a tightly sealed chamber to allow pressure to build.

The battery Gel isn't a fast propellant and the battery chamber isn't tight... I would assume even mild burning pressure would push the battery out or frame up & open with high pressure long before pressure built to provide a loud explosion.

Not saying it didn't give a noise, even a small report... but explosion.
From photos looks more burned up by chemicals that had time to stay and burn.
If explosion, it's normally less "burned plastic" due to reduced time to burn if blown apart.

Despite the possible exaggerations, sad event for Owner and quite heart pounding I'm sure!
That's one to keep and display on the garage shelf.

Ah - someone who knows about energetic material behavior. Agreed, but there is at least one other possible explanation - rapid vaporization of battery material due to a high-current arc. That doesn't require actual burning or contained pressure rise to lead to something that sounds like an explosion - rapid vaporization could drive a fairly significant pressure pulse into the surrounding air, like a tiny lightning discharge.
 
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I'd have to go back and look at the study that I saw to be certain, but I think it can happen when current is flowing in either direction. But yes - obviously very rare or we would be seeing (and hearing) these explosions more often.

I’m guilty on a few occasions of letting batteries charge overnight unattended. Definitely not going to happen again.
Lucky for him it happened outside and just took his bird down instead of his house.
 
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Ah - someone who knows about energetic material behavior. Agreed, but there is at least one other possible explanation - rapid vaporization of battery material due to a high-current arc. That doesn't require actual burning or contained pressure rise to lead to something that sounds like an explosion - rapid vaporization could drive a fairly significant pressure pulse into the surrounding air, like a tiny lightning discharge.
That's true... but for a very loud resulting discharge, I would think would require more "fuel" to produce a loud explosion. I'd agree, there was probably an audio report. But regarding explosions, the ones I've been around to create a loud explosion in the open air requires a lot of energy.

To the Owner, I'd see that as a experience and lends to a descriptive story to relay their emotions. Similar to the huge mountain lion in the back yard... later to see it's hefty Allie Cat!
 
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Did you notice if the battery was swollen before this flight? Was it difficult to insert and remove? We have a couple of swollen batts and have stopped using them. They were quite new without much use (4-5 flights), so maybe a design fault??
Doh, sorry, it wasn't your drone, nevermind, as you were....
It was not his bird.............................
 

sar104

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That's true... but for a very loud resulting discharge, I would think would require more "fuel" to produce a loud explosion. I'd agree, there was probably an audio report. But regarding explosions, the ones I've been around to create a loud explosion in the open air requires a lot of energy.

To the Owner, I'd see that as a experience and lends to a descriptive story to relay their emotions. Similar to the huge mountain lion in the back yard... later to see it's hefty Allie Cat!

I work with both kinds of explosion on a regular basis, and the sound pulse from an electric discharge can be very similar to the sound of an explosion or detonation. It's possible that the issue is simply the interpretation of "loud". That said, the aircraft was 0.9 miles from the home point when this happened, so if we believe the OP (sounded like a cannon shot) then it had to have been quite loud.
 
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Yes, I saw this a few weeks ago. It makes me thinking. It is horrible!
Never knew this is even possible.
What if this happened over some flammable material?! Over woods in autumn etc. Should we now fear of flying in wilderness too not causing a big fire? It's really bad. Not just in theory, now we practically know and see what may happened whit the battery driven devices.
FWIW the vaping electrionic cigarettes use lith bats too and there have been incidences of them blowing up in people's faces. I'm converting my 3A to rubber band power like the airplanes I had as a kid. o_O
 
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Yikes this is terrifying. some people might like this photo, but it's one of the most graphic things I've ever seen as a lover of drones! It's like seeing the corpse of a loved one. Extremely sad.
Saw this in my FB feed from a member here and thought I would share it .Might be posted and some might have seen it that is in DJI's forum but check this out if you hadn't.
View attachment 115223
PHANTOM 4 PRO + V2.0 EXPLODED IN FLIGHT
 
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There is one possibility nobody thought of it.
What if somebody shot the bird down? That would be pretty loud. And after that fire no way to find any trace of the bullet.
If you shot the battery it is a great possibility to make it burn.
Of course I don't believe this had happened but in theory it is possible.
 

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These forums are bastions of knowledge and civility by comparison - partly due to your efforts of course - but also apparently just a completely different membership. If you had read further you would have been appalled, I suspect.
Sorry sar I just got a chance to read all 4 pages of that and had i done so to start with I don't think I would have even brought this up . It is most definitely different there .
Now I have a headache .o_O
 
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I work with both kinds of explosion on a regular basis, and the sound pulse from an electric discharge can be very similar to the sound of an explosion or detonation. It's possible that the issue is simply the interpretation of "loud". That said, the aircraft was 0.9 miles from the home point when this happened, so if we believe the OP (sounded like a cannon shot) then it had to have been quite loud.
Nah, still go with exaggeration... not that it matters, and totally understandable for the owner, feel his pain and ordeal... glad to hear no injuries.

But there‘s plenty reports of a small toy pop cap (starter pistole type) as various loud bangs... even single shot gets reported as multiple reports. 12 Shooting witnesses will provide 12 unique stories and 12 identities.

Just don’t see the reality of an explosion that‘s shotgun loud at 1 mile distance... even a shotgun at 1 mile is faintly audible... a cannon explosion at 1 mile; was there a shock wave too with that energy? A moderate canon load at a mile isn’t very alarming. Increase the size of energy source substantially or cut the distance and maybe... but again, when it’s their experience, their loss, then reality isn’t likely to be within the experience. If you’ve been around detonations, and dealt with witnesses or crowds, it’s an understandable perception.
 
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Saw this in my FB feed from a member here and thought I would share it .Might be posted and some might have seen it that is in DJI's forum but check this out if you hadn't.
View attachment 115223
PHANTOM 4 PRO + V2.0 EXPLODED IN FLIGHT
i’ve been flying phantoms since the fc40 and have seen this many times over the years with all levels of phantoms,always keep an eye out for batteries that have swelled up a little or a lot because this is the end result,i have 4 batteries well 5 if i count the swollen one i used just for adjusting the drone or camera on the ground
 
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DJI is going to replace it though!
Screenshot_20191026-103457.jpeg
 
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Lipo batteries are very dangerous. I had one catch on fire while I was charging it. Thank God it was a small battery for a small (UMX) plane.
 

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i’ve been flying phantoms since the fc40 and have seen this many times over the years with all levels of phantoms,always keep an eye out for batteries that have swelled up a little or a lot because this is the end result,i have 4 batteries well 5 if i count the swollen one i used just for adjusting the drone or camera on the ground
That's interesting, has there been a cause associated to frequent swollen batteries?
You're indicating the swollen battey is common or the ignited battery in flight... or both? Has it been the higher rated battery or doesn't matter.

Curious since I'm looking at a Phantom. Never been a Phantom fan... not sure why, just haven't. Basically my other crafts meet the needs most likely.

On the DJI side, own without issues Inspire 1 & 2's, Matrice M210 & M600Pro, and all Mavic up to M2EDual. All with so-called smart batteries which esentially remove manual interaction on C rate, upper & lower limits, low voltage & high voltage cutoffs and storage / discharge matrix.

I've not had a swollen DjI battery in over 4-5 yrs, and it's the same LiPo gel pretty much across all DJI batteries. On standard lipo, I tried a few no-name LiPo paks that swelled... but that was most certain the poor sub-standard chemicals. So many more unknown manufactures for standard LiPo brick paks.

Has anyone determined cause; was it product (specific model) related... if so how different from other DJI batteries. Non-OEM paks? The Method being used & charged... charging hot or hot-warm batteries. The "charger" and it's rating or correct tolerance, storage condition??

The LiPo cells an be dangerous; particularly if inferior or unstable chemicals, poorly mixed or prepared lipo gel chemical. If stable chemicals, manufactured properly and treated correctly, lipo's are generally pretty safe and don't experience chemical breakdown (swollen expanded gel) by proper charging and treatment prior to gel deteriorating to insufficient charge levels.

Just curious if accurate, why has the Phantom experienced poor battery performance and more specifically not addressed by DJI. The M200 series last year had 1 single "reported" instance by a UK Swat shop and created havic for 3-4 months and 3 battery FW versions.
 
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