Phantom 4 Pro v2 crashed today in Iceland

RPP

Joined
Jul 29, 2016
Messages
271
Reaction score
124
Location
Iceland
This is one tough puppy that I have for a year and half pushed a bit in challenging (read gusty) Icelandic conditions. I’m a conservative flyer and try not to do stupid stuff while flying. The v2 was robust and withstood these conditions better than v1. But my luck ran out. Today I suffered my first drone mishap.

It was around -4° C (or perhaps even -8ºC), foggy, whiteout conditions with snow all around (it wasn’t snowing during operation). Not unusual for me - I have flown in these conditions numerous times. It was also very still, so no wind to contend with.

I put the bird up over a group of Icelandic sheep huddled in the snow. All was fine and I got some fine images and video footage. Just as I was about to bring it back home, I got the “Motor obstructed“ message on my iPad. My initial thought was this is a software glitch. Then I got the message again. I tried to lower it (must have been around 50 m above me a short distance away). Next thing I know, there’s a thud and the iPad displayed “Aircraft disconnected.”

It came down in the snow. Legs were cracked, the camera assembly dangling. Battery intact and operational.

Back in my hotel room, I downloaded the shoot from the day. The card was fine.

What happened?

I will search this forum for how to upload the data, what files etc so hopefully we may get a clue.

Will also post photos of the damaged (beyond repair, I think) drone. I have full insurance on the drone.
 
Last edited:

RPP

Joined
Jul 29, 2016
Messages
271
Reaction score
124
Location
Iceland
Crashed drone in Möðrudalur, Iceland.
46E6C07A-EEF9-42F6-9D1A-D9A476A266DA.jpeg
 
Joined
Mar 26, 2018
Messages
312
Reaction score
175
Age
50
This is one tough puppy that I have for a year and half pushed it a bit in challenging (read gusty) Icelandic conditions. I’m a conservative flyer and try not to do stupid stuff while flying. The v2 was robust and withstood these conditions better than v1. But my luck ran out. Today I suffered my first drone mishap.

It was around -4° C, foggy, whiteout conditions with snow all around (it wasn’t snowing during operation). Not unusual for me - I have flown in these conditions numerous times. It was also very still, so no wind to contend with.

I put the bird up over a group of Icelandic sheep huddled in the snow. All was fine and I got some fine images and video footage. Just as I was about to bring it back home, I got the “Motor obstructed“ message on my iPad. My initial thought was this is a software glitch. Then I got the message again. I tried to lower it (must have been around 50 m above me a short distance away). Next thing I know, there’s a thud and the iPad displayed “Aircraft disconnected.”

It came down in the snow. Legs were cracked, the camera assembly dangling. Battery intact and operational.

Back in my hotel room, I downloaded the shoot from the day. The card was fine.

What happened?

I will search this forum for how to upload the data, what files etc so hopefully we may get a clue.

Will also post photos of the damaged (beyond repair, I think) drone. I have full insurance on the drone.
Flight log retrieval and analysis guide
 
  • Like
Reactions: RPP
Joined
Dec 6, 2019
Messages
205
Reaction score
185
Age
104
This is one tough puppy that I have for a year and half pushed it a bit in challenging (read gusty) Icelandic conditions. I’m a conservative flyer and try not to do stupid stuff while flying. The v2 was robust and withstood these conditions better than v1. But my luck ran out. Today I suffered my first drone mishap.

It was around -4° C, foggy, whiteout conditions with snow all around (it wasn’t snowing during operation). Not unusual for me - I have flown in these conditions numerous times. It was also very still, so no wind to contend with.

I put the bird up over a group of Icelandic sheep huddled in the snow. All was fine and I got some fine images and video footage. Just as I was about to bring it back home, I got the “Motor obstructed“ message on my iPad. My initial thought was this is a software glitch. Then I got the message again. I tried to lower it (must have been around 50 m above me a short distance away). Next thing I know, there’s a thud and the iPad displayed “Aircraft disconnected.”

It came down in the snow. Legs were cracked, the camera assembly dangling. Battery intact and operational.

Back in my hotel room, I downloaded the shoot from the day. The card was fine.

What happened?

I will search this forum for how to upload the data, what files etc so hopefully we may get a clue.

Will also post photos of the damaged (beyond repair, I think) drone. I have full insurance on the drone.
I'm a 40 year RC aircraft flyer and learned a long time ago that "damaged beyond repair" is rarely the case. This is especially true with drones since parts are not made of balsa. About 6 months ago I hit the side of a brick building going full speed. Drone upper and lower shell were broken, gimbal broke (plus ribbon cable), props, landing gear, etc. Had never done surgery on a drone before but the experience was enlightening and actually fun. Had to order some parts and others were donated from drones with salvageable parts I needed. Bottom line is I got my drone back in the air in like new condition for about $130. Took time and had a learning curve but worth it. You had insurance but many other pilots do not. Just something to consider.
 
Joined
Nov 4, 2019
Messages
2
Reaction score
1
Age
57
freezing fog is a very high increase in risk factor. Props ice (or just frost) up and such, batteries don't like the cold.
Just because you've done it before and got away with it does not mean the risk factor has changed - it just means you've been lucky.
Perhaps the flight log may reveal other mitigating factors, but rest assured that freezing fog spells danger for aeronautical endevors.
 
  • Like
Reactions: sdileon
Joined
Aug 17, 2014
Messages
1,458
Reaction score
681
Location
Long Island, NY
Those who evaluate flight logs on a regular basis here will surely get to the bottom of it. I'm guessing a multiple on and off "Motor Obstructed" message could indicate ice forming on the props and possibly inside the motor, breaking free, and then forming again -- causing the craft to detect an inconsistent motor/blade rotation -- until it seized. Interesting that your final altitude impossibly dropped from 45.3 ft to zero feet in just 0.1 seconds. Might be an indication that some sensors were also failing in that cold. Just my guess. Sorry for your loss.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: RPP
Joined
Mar 26, 2018
Messages
312
Reaction score
175
Age
50
Looks like Mars, but I guess they call it Iceland? I'm going to bet and say your drone froze like a big ice cub and fell to the ground.
 
Joined
Aug 17, 2014
Messages
1,458
Reaction score
681
Location
Long Island, NY
Any further away and it may have been difficult to locate a downed white Phantom.
 

RodPad

Premium Pilot
Joined
May 20, 2015
Messages
6,083
Reaction score
1,327
Age
58
Location
Pacific,NorthWet, 97031
@sar104,
Looks like a good one for you.
24 mph, then?

Rod
 
Joined
Feb 7, 2018
Messages
20
Reaction score
13
Age
44
I’m betting the freezing temps with the fog didn’t help. You have mothers warming and fog all around. Add some temps below freezing and this is a high possibility. I used to fly rc airplanes and this was before drones. I fell in love with the hobby. Well I live in Minnesota and decided to fly in January. Couldn’t wait any longer. So I took to the sky’s. Well it was a bad idea. The motor froze up in mid flight. I glided it home but was lost as to why it made a cry and loss power. I tested at home in warm environment and it was fine. So I tried again the next day and the same. So when it warmed up I finally was fine with the aircraft. I don’t fly beyond the recommended temps any longer. Hope that helps.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Hounddog and RPP

New Threads

Members online

Forum statistics

Threads
140,498
Messages
1,448,226
Members
102,289
Latest member
DanTucker