Nat Geo Photographer Crashes His Camera Drone in China’s Enshi Grand Canyon

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Sebastian Meredith, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. Sebastian Meredith

    Sebastian Meredith Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2012
    Messages:
    257
    Likes Received:
    41
  2. Jason Smoker

    Jason Smoker Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    Messages:
    878
    Likes Received:
    70
    Wow thats a sad ending!! you can see something is not right. The Photographer just looks at him like wtf just happen??

    I would be yelling "CATCH IT CATCH IT" to anybody down below lol!!
     
  3. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Messages:
    10,383
    Likes Received:
    1,164
    Looks like he might have lost a motor at around 0:50 or a DJI "feature" -- just a short clip of the copter out of control.
    Sad to see. But they managed to fix it:

    "Despite the camera gimbal being broken off, three broken copter arms, cables ripped and in shambles, retractable landing gear toast and much more, they managed to fix it!"​

    So says the story on the link. Amazing that they had the wherewithal to glue, splint, or replace all the parts.
    They were flying with DJI...hmmm.....

    Andy.
     
  4. Sebastian Meredith

    Sebastian Meredith Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2012
    Messages:
    257
    Likes Received:
    41

    DJI ... heard of an incident that took place near us recently ... some italian oceanic researchers came to our coastline to film the annual Sardine Run "Greatest Shoal on Earth" and apparently they brought 2x S800 with full DJI elec. Kitted the first one up, took off from the boat out at sea and the bird went into overdirve and headed back to China. They chased after it until the battery drained and plunged into the ocean. They then kitted up the second one and hey ditto ... the same thing happened.
     
  5. Dave King

    Dave King Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2012
    Messages:
    2,711
    Likes Received:
    311
    I just hope Synapse comes out soon :)
     
  6. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    Messages:
    3,981
    Likes Received:
    807
    There's a number of lessons I take from this story (ignoring the obvious one: don't fly DJI).
    1. experienced pilots trump big budgets (my intuition tells me these guys didn't have a lot of time in the air prior to this accident)
    2. any sufficiently complex and/or remote operation requires a team with walkie talkies, etc.
    3. always carry lots of backup parts and tools, if not a completely redundant setup
    Good on ya, NatGeo for sharing this. Much to be learned!

    [Edit] Upon further poking around, it appears the pilot of the S800 may have been Chad Copeland, who looks to be an accomplished MR guy. Curiously, his Vimeo reel only shows him flying a Cinestar 8.
     
  7. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Messages:
    10,383
    Likes Received:
    1,164
    MK has the "Come Home" feature.
    It appears DJI has the "Go Home" feature.
    :)

    Andy.
     
  8. Casey Van Nyhuis

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    12
    Holy cow.....since when does Woody Harrelson work with Nat Geo?
     
  9. Katya Nelhams-Wright

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Messages:
    216
    Likes Received:
    9
    We saw this too and it is the thing that frightens me (as we do fly DJI as do many others on this forum;-) is that it seems that it's easy to blame the fc and never look at why a problem might have occurred so therefore how do I know that this might not happen to me on my next flight.
    What I would really like to know is what might cause things like this to happen so that we all can aim to avoid such a stomach clenching experiences. Andy JL has said to me on numerous occasions that you should never fall in love with anything rc as it will crash but what happened to this machine is not pilot error directly. As Steve points out the pilot had good experience flying and although walkie talkies are an integral part of a shoot, along with spares etc not having these were not the reason this craft to just wobbled/dropped out of the sky. It can't be that his gains were wrong as he wouldn't have gotten that far so there is something intrinsically wrong with that set up. Has anyone had a similar experience with DJI on other frames such as the cinestar? Maybe the problem is that less experienced operations opt for the more ready made option of the S800 and that that combination is at fault?
    I have heard a few people talk about the fact that the WKM does not like excessive vibration and the early S800 frames had a problem with this. Could that be a reason for such a drastic failure?
    We made the choice to go DJI 3 years ago and we have never had a problem but like many others, I look forward to the release of the SYNAPSE so I can fly with a bit more security. Until then, anyone have any thoughts on this mysterious DJI 'skyfall!' other than, 'well that's just DJI'. The wookong can't be that bad, quite a few people flying epics are doing it with the WKM and I do feel that we are all too quick to blame the fc and not look at the reasons why some thing like this might have happened. I am not defending DJI in anyway, I still fly on a rather old version of the fc due to unreliable firmare updates and won't be upgrading any time soon but it would be good to have a discussion for all of us Cinestar users who do fly DJI.
    Look forward to everyone's thoughts:)
    Thanks
    Katya
     
  10. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Messages:
    10,383
    Likes Received:
    1,164
    Kat: I presume that DJI doesn't have any flight logging that would tell folks what might have happened?
    In the video at 0:50, the copter appears to become very unstable. Even worse than my normal flying... ;)

    I wonder what failure would cause that? Certainly an FC firmware problem might, but if you lose a motor, or a prop fails or comes loose, could you expect that kind of "wobbling" behavior as the FC tries to compensate but cannot?

    Andy.
     
  11. Katya Nelhams-Wright

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Messages:
    216
    Likes Received:
    9
    You said you only hit trees every so often!:)

    DJI system doesn't have logging unless they were using the relatively new version of the DJI iOSD which also has a data app to go with it. Suspect they did not but maybe I am wrong.
    It seems like these problems are only posted when they have happened on the S800. I don't own one myself so keen to know if there is a fundamental problem with the fc and it can happen to me and my cinestar or whether it is the S800 combo.
    A lovely gentleman is currently building me a Hexa Y and he experienced a similar extreme wobble in testing the other day. Thankfully he managed to land as was only testing at limited altitude. After much head scratching he concluded that it was a power issue as we were getting voltage spikes. New flight test with new power board tomorrow so fingers crossed. Also I do know that frame vibration is not a good look for the WKM fc. Maybe a combination of the 2? Who knows.
    Roll on SYNAPE I say:)
    Kat
     
  12. Howard Dapp

    Howard Dapp Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2012
    Messages:
    977
    Likes Received:
    111
    Unless Synapse is currently in the hands of hundreds of beta testers I'm curious to know what make folks so secure in the reliability of something that hasn't been released?
     
    Chris Odom and Cedar Beauregard like this.
  13. Katya Nelhams-Wright

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Messages:
    216
    Likes Received:
    9
  14. Katya Nelhams-Wright

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Messages:
    216
    Likes Received:
    9
    Jokes aside. We bought our Cinestar 8 a few weeks after they were first released. We had been tracking the cinestar progress along with the yet to be released sky jibe and what swung it for us what that Freefly flew for film themselves so to me that meant that they knew what was needed in that kind of work environment. Then they came out with the radian etc and all the way along their products are specifically geared towards the film industry, not the hobby industry. Coming from a film background that makes me feel like I am buying a product that is fit for purpose. I believe that the SYNAPE will have the same thought and testing behind it.
    Lets see, but the Freefly brand has an element of trust and quality which goes with it and that is why we pay a little bit extra for the products.
    Oh and I am hoping that there have been a whole load of beta testers out there flying it to**** for the last few months so I'm not the first to fly it when I order mine!
     
  15. Howard Dapp

    Howard Dapp Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2012
    Messages:
    977
    Likes Received:
    111
    Understood Kat but it's all still hobby grade electronics. FreeFly has definitely bought a new level of professionalism to our industry...you can certainly give them that.
     
  16. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Messages:
    10,383
    Likes Received:
    1,164
    That's true.
    Not all trees are magnetic, you see. :)

    That's too bad. Means we might never know the cause of the incident.

    Voltage spikes to the WKM FC? It should have an onboard DC/DC converter stepping LiPo down to +5 with a suitable smoothing capacitor(s) there as well. But, what do I know.... :)

    I've heard that said before.

    Andy.
     
  17. Katya Nelhams-Wright

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Messages:
    216
    Likes Received:
    9
    heres hoping for a slightly better future then!:)
     
  18. Katya Nelhams-Wright

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Messages:
    216
    Likes Received:
    9
    Andy, well I say voltage spikes, I guess I am being over dramatic. Maybe Voltage irregularities is a better description. It was negative spikes in the sense that voltage would suddenly drop dramatically and then restore again. We thought it might be the batteries but have tried a few but real test is tomorrow now that power board and ecs's have been replaced.
    :)
     
  19. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Messages:
    10,383
    Likes Received:
    1,164
    That sounds more like a dodgy connector/connection, Kat. "Irregularities" will surely cause major twitching/crashing....

    Andy.
     
  20. Katya Nelhams-Wright

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Messages:
    216
    Likes Received:
    9
    Admittedly I did the original soldering so who knows!:) but the lovely gentleman building our new machine felt that it was an issue with a weak point in the power distro board which was prebuilt.
    I suppose in the end this is my point with the machines and the DJI system. I think it is all too easy to blame the FC and maybe miss the real issue. If we didn't vigorously test our machines before sending them on a job we might not have picked up the issue we are resolving with this specific distro board and by now may well dropped out of the sky. Is it that the fly aways and crashes are because of the electronic set up of the machine, not the computer brain driving it? Maybe these things happen more with the DJI system as it has an element of plug and play and therefore you get a few more less experienced people giving it ago and not setting the system up properly. I would be interested to know if the experienced DJI users on the forum have experienced any of the above.
     

Share This Page