So you finally got your hands on that shiny new craft. You got very excited and headed out for some aerial photography or perhaps for some FPV experience. You might have even tried to perform some insane acrobatic moves on your first day. Who knows? Bottom line is, you woke up to the harsh reality – your quadcopter is very mortal and prone to crashes if you handle it poorly. Your excitement turned into sorrow and your craft, into little pieces. You’ve now got yourself a crashed quadcopter drone.
In this post, we’ll try to cover some of the things you can do after a crash. Though the points highlighted here may not help you reverse time to pre-crash, hopefully it will give you some direction.
Keep your cool
Try not to panic too much. You are not alone. Crashing is part of the game, especially if you are new to the hobby of RC flying. As with any adversity in life, it is important to clear your head before making further decisions.
Crashing happens to the best of us, even for those who have been in the hobby for years. And guess what? Most of us got good after crashing and ruining our craft multiple times.
You can try to master flying with simulator apps and think you may never crash, but you will definitely need to have real world flying experience to get ‘good’ at it and this is very often accompanied by crashes and losses.
Take a few deep breaths, meditate or whatever it takes before doing anything drastic like throwing the damaged craft away!
Turn off that throttle
This point may not be for AFTER you crash your drone, but I think it is an important one to address so I’ll include it here – As soon as you know that your craft is headed to a crash, make that split second decision and turn off that throttle!
Why? Well for one, it can potentially minimize the damage caused to the propellers and motors of your craft. You don’t want to be spinning that propeller into the ground – this is arguably the number one reason most people damage their craft beyond repair.
Secondly, it will minimize the chances that you hurt anyone, anything or pets during the crash. Sure you probably will have a bad day after a crash, but do you want someone else to have that too? In some cases, crashing a craft into someone can cause fatal injury to them and you definitely do not want that!
Leverage it as a learning experience
“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”― Kahlil Gibran.
Use the crash as an opportunity to learn more! After you have calmed your mind, look back and think about what went wrong with your flying. This is obviously an important step so that you do not repeat the same mistake the next time around.
Also, as you will see from the next few points, think of the crash as an opportunity to look inside the hood and figure out what is wrong and what is in there. As a bonus, you will have a much deeper understanding of the parts that make up these awesome flying machines.
Recover the damaged drone and pieces ASAP
Ok, if you are reading this article after you have crashed, hopefully you have done this step. If not, remember to go get that crashed drone ASAP, before it gets damaged further by the environment or bitten to pieces by your neighbour’s pet dog.
Most of the pieces that make up the drone are probably still functional and not worth letting go. Especially if your drone is an expensive one like the DJI Phantom, it is important that you recover the pieces that are inside, even if the drone has crashed into a water body and seems irreparable.
Many experienced hobbyists will tell you that there were times they were dead wrong when they thought their craft was damaged beyond repair.
Also make sure to scan the area of crash thoroughly for any pieces that may have drifted away from the main craft.
Check if you can get the damaged parts replaced or repaired
After you have recovered your damaged craft, try making a thorough assessment of what has happened to your craft and check if it is possible to repair it – either yourself or by the manufacturer.
If you have a ready to fly model from one of the popular brands like DJI, you can contact them for repair services. Note that this can cost a lot, especially if your craft is an expensive one. However, it may still be worth it, considering you may have to pay the full amount for a brand new one.
If you are curious and have an affinity for tinkering with the insides of your drone, get your hands on some knife and soldering iron, and get ready to go. This isn’t advised however, if your craft is an expensive RTF model and you are brand new to this.
It is important to have some understanding of the parts that make up your craft and what goes where, including figuring out the appropriate type of motors, ESC, batteries and other parts that maybe required to resurrect your craft.
Keep the working spares regardless
If for some reason you come to the harsh truth that your craft is beyond repair, instead of disposing the whole thing, check what parts are still working and keep them.
If you intend to continue on in this hobby, it is likely that you will crash again and it’s a wise idea to have spare parts just in case.
As you get more experienced and deep into hobby, it is not uncommon to have a ton of different spares and parts lying around for different purposes, including unfortunate moments of crashes.
That is all folks! Hope this helps fight your flight crash illnesses. Feel free to drop a comment below if you have any questions!