I didn't think they were real. I thought they only happened to people who didn't pay attention to the details. They weren't really flyaways. Well, not any more.
Today, I had a flyaway. It was a perfectly normal flight for 11 minutes. I was reshooting a location I had shot two weeks ago. I had the P2 in a static hover about 10m off the ground (15m from me) while I figured out my last few shots.
It then took off at ~25 degrees down angle at full speed and smashed into the street. Both gimbal and Lightbridge ripped clear off and tumbled across the street. It was over in two seconds. The battery had half-way dislodged and was still on (1 solid, 1 blinking). All four props were destroyed, two right at the hub.
I gathered all the pieces, cursing profusely and took them home. I then checked everything out in detail.
- The battery is fine. 22 cycles. Balanced. Test flight on my backup P2 was 14.5 minutes.
- IMU, no calibration needed as per the Phantom Assistant. Had advanced calibrated 2 weeks ago.
- Compass MOD is 1403.
- I had checked the props prior to flight and they were fine. Not so much now.
- I ran stress tests on the ESCs / motors. Totally fine. No unusual noise. Balanced bell housings.
- RC calibration is perfect.
- I went back to the site, looked for any magnetic, EMI, RF sources. Nothing.
- Lightbridge commanded the movement (no idea if that's even possible).
- More likely, the IMU and / or Naza locked up or received bad IMU data.
Either way... It was a flyaway. They're real. And they can happen to you. Fortunately, it happened in an area where it was recoverable. Gimbal is bent beyond repair. The GoPro somehow took the brunt of the impact. It's gone as are the last 20 seconds of the video so no crash.