Alta 8 Motor Out Event

Discussion in 'ALTA 8' started by Josh Lambeth, Sep 20, 2018.

  1. Josh Lambeth

    Josh Lambeth Well-Known Member

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    First off, the motor out was my fault. I was flying over-weight by a few pounds. This was stupid and I shouldn't have done it but I'm going to chock it up to a learning experience.

    Overall, I was REALLY impressed with how the A8 handled the motor out situation. I was flying at just under 45lbs AUW and it was a bit warm out. When the motor failed the A8 dipped off to the left (motor #7 failed) and I instinctively corrected for it. It also started dropping in altitude pretty quickly (I was around 15ft off the ground when this happened) I went to full throttle and was able to slow the decent to a manageable speed BUT I was not able to maintain a constant altitude or gain altitude. It was on the ground within 4-5 seconds. There was virtually zero yaw that I can remember.

    After touchdown, there was NO damage what-so-ever to the MoVI Pro, ALTA8, or camera payload. My heart-rate was racing and my hands were shaking BUT everything seemed okay, other than the having a A8 that didn't fly any longer.

    We have a backup drone with us so the shoot wasn't dead (always travel with a backup) so we just moved on and finished off the day and everyone was happy.

    The A8 is currently being shipped back to FreeFly now to get repaired.

    I am curious though as to WHY I didn't get any warning lights from the Alta before this happened. I was under the impression, based on the information from the manual that if any parameter is getting close to, or is outside it's normal operating window, I would get a warning from the status lights. I never received any of these before the motor-out. It just abruptly happened.

    I reviewed the data file and I didn't see anything over-heating so I know I didn't over-heat anything.

    Long story short, DON'T fly over-weight... it's not worth the risk. Also the A8 handles a motor-out really well, even being over-weight.

    I am attaching the data-log file for peoples review. Would love to hear feedback and I will let you know what FF says once they receive the A8.

    Data-Log File Download Link:
    https://www.amazon.com/clouddrive/share/bmshNgI32aKnmXpAs3oM4JHg2HnPEPKYW66RjrtpqfO

    Josh
     
  2. Josh Lambeth

    Josh Lambeth Well-Known Member

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    I just received this from FreeFly Support after sending them the log-file and a video of the incident from the camera that was on-board (I can't publicly share this unfortunately).

    Thanks for the data and video link Josh.

    This is extremely rare. I'm not even sure if we've seen a motor failure like this in flight previously. The ALTA typically does a good job at warning or preventing in general. We will do our best to find the cause once we have our hands on it though.

    I am really curious to hear what they find now.

    Josh
     
  3. Tom Comet

    Tom Comet New Member

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    Thanks for sharing this story. Great info here!
     
  4. Josh Lambeth

    Josh Lambeth Well-Known Member

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    Just received this from Adam at FF.

    THANKS FF!

    Hi Josh,

    Good news. This got turned around by our service department much faster than I expected! The repairs are complete. While an exact cause of the failure can't be determined, it was an ESC failure on that motor as one might have expected. Again, while we can't know the reason, flying overweight and conditions may have contributed. It is recommended to always try to adjust payload to conditions.

    The other good news is that the service department granted warranty status on this repair and it's ready to go!
     
    Jason Smoker likes this.
  5. Mike Reid

    Mike Reid Member

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    Good to hear. I had one of the circlips come off of a motor shaft on my A6, so the cause was much more obvious. Not the same landing result as your A8 though!
     

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