Iris+ Random Crash In Flight - Lost In Water

Hey DIY Drones,

This is my first post here, but I felt I would share my story and log with the community. Today I was out for a rather routine flight of my Iris+ from 3DRobotics that included an Auto Flight followed by some manual flight in Loiter mode directly after. No heavy wind or outside weather factors to worry about. A nice 70 degree evening here in St. Pete, Florida. Normally I fly the Iris+ with the Tarrot 2D gimbal and a GoPro but thankfully today I did not. I was getting my flight plan ready for a filming I was planning next week and was getting down the flightpath before mapping out the angles of the shots.

After flying in auto mode for the duration of my flight plan, I took over in loiter mode to do a short flight around a fountain I planned to shoot. I had just had the aircraft fly the same path in auto mode and I like to practice my flights manually incase I have to assume control in the middle of a shoot. About halfway through the maneuver the Iris+ started to wobble and descend like it was losing power suddenly. I kicked the throttle to full power and directed the drone away from the water (knowing a crash was almost imminent) but the drone failed to react to the controls and crashed in the lake I was flying over. About 20 feet from shore too. *Insert sad face* The drone now sits at the bottom of the lake in about 10 feet of water. I was unable to recover the aircraft today but and hoping to in the morning. 

Attached is a link to the log of the flight. So far looking at the data I cannot see anything to explain the sudden loss of control. The only thing I have really notice was a drop in battery voltage at the end of the flight, but I am unable to tell if this is because of the loss of the aircraft or there really was a sudden loss of battery voltage. The HUD never told me I had less than 70% battery during the flight and even so a loss of battery should have caused a return to launch. 

If anyone out there has idea what might have caused this crash, I'll take any input. With all luck I will recover the aircraft in the morning, but with the craft sitting in 10 feet of water for around 18 hours I am assuming a total loss. Sad. This craft seemed so stable in all other flights I've done with it (30+) and it was becoming a workhorse for me. 

Thanks to any who help! 



2015-03-28 19-09-14.tlog

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    • Out of line Greg.
    • I may be new here but I am not new to flying any type of RC aircraft I have been doing it pretty much all my life. It is something I have done in my family for years and my father actually does it for the Department of Defense. You can claim I didn't have enough experience to fly this aircraft but the fact of the matter is that I have flown for years on fixed wing aircraft and quads. I had my ground station right there next to me the whole fly monitoring every step of the way listening to the commands.

      I'm am not arguing the low voltage of the battery what I am here to point out is that this flight (<7mins) was on a fully charged battery and I experienced what I feel is a very quick loss of voltage which did lead to the crash as I was about to bring it back in to complete it's flight. I was well aware of my surroundings and flew within line of sight at all times. I'm simply saying in the amount of times I've flown this drone I have never had the voltage "fall off a cliff" as you put it. I've had this drone up to 14min flight times (with the gimbal) before with way more altitude changes and maneuvers than this flight.  

      If you want to attack me for my "careless" flying than so be it but I would say I am a rather careful pilot of the aircraft I fly. Yes I had only taken this quad out less than 50 times but this flight path or length was nothing I had never done before. I have replayed the logs countless times tonight replaying the flight in my head. I uploaded that log before I had even inspected all the way through it so as other could look and may learn from my flight. Call me irresponsible all you like, but last I checked you weren't out flying the quad with me and have no clue how I fly my aircraft. 

  • The heating air vent trick is a pretty good one. Maybe you were already familiar with that, but what's nice about it is you can position the drone (or components of the drone) so that the warm air gently circulates through and around it for hours. Then reposition and leave it for hours again and again. A blow dryer puts out a more concentrated blast of warm air which will penetrate further into nooks, but obviously with a blow dryer you have to be careful about melting components. I've never really trusted the rice thing, but it's clearly a well known trick to salvage electronics.

    Best of luck and definitely post back here. It will be interesting to know if an Iris can be salvaged from this kind of thing.
  • If it's fresh water, it might not be a total loss.

    You'll want to take it apart and thoroughly rinse all grime and residue off all components with clean fresh water. Then you'll want to let everything dry out. Use a blow dryer. Leave components over a warm air vent. Pack other components in rice. etc, etc.

    When you are sure everything is 100% dry, inside every nook and cranny of every component, reassemble, plop in a new battery and pray.
    • Another good method is to clean all the electronics with 99% ISO rubbing alcohol.

      Spray the alcohol onto what you are cleaning and then use compressed air to dry the components. Iso will get water off the contacts and dry quickly. 

    • I plan on doing this fully since it is a fresh water lake. I really wanted to recover the craft tonight to possibly limit the damage but since there is an electrical structure (aka fountain with lights) in the middle of the body of water I didn't want to venture out on my own. I couldn't get in contact with the facility to shut off power but plan on doing so in the morning!

      Thanks for the heads up! Hopefully I can salvage this baby and find out exactly what went wrong. Not really looking forward to a $800 loss here. Just thankful I had the camera and gimbal off the aircraft for this flight.

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