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Old Oct 14, 2008, 01:59 PM
Registered User
Kildare, Ireland
Joined Jul 2008
137 Posts
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What are the most common causes of FPV failure?

I noticed quite a few of you have suffered major crashes/MIAs over the course of your FPV careers... What are the most common causes of failure? How likely are solder joints/ plugs to shake them selves loose over time? Are RC components robubust- or are they prone to failure? What is the typical major disaster/successful flight ratio?
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Old Oct 14, 2008, 02:53 PM
Just trying to get a nut.
scrtsqrl's Avatar
United States, VA, McLean
Joined Oct 2006
6,366 Posts
Pilot error:

Flyiing out of range.
Flying with batteries that are not fully charged.
Flying with new equipment (i.e. during functional check flight)

FWIW, I've been keeping a spreadsheet of everything I've been doing in this hobby. I can't remember the exact number of landings off the top of my head. But, I had nearly 900 landings, of which 19 were "hard" requiring some sort of fix.

I lost 1 Easystar into a river flying out of RC range about a month into flying FPV.

The only thing that's come loose in flight causing a crash was a push rod.

I'm on my second one (BWEZ) which has been going strong for nearly two years.

I'll do some analysis on my data tomorrow and report back.

Hope that helps...
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Old Oct 14, 2008, 05:50 PM
Seeing the Farside.
Blaze.45's Avatar
Seattle WA, USA
Joined Aug 2005
4,285 Posts
Connector shaking loose for video equipment on the plane.

Batteries not fully charged.

CG not fully checked when switching out different brands of battery packs, you find out real fast.

Driving to exciting new places to view it from the air, too excited to realize that you took off without planning how you are getting down...

Yeah, I've been there.

-Chris
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Old Oct 14, 2008, 07:21 PM
my karma ranover my dogma
galaxiex's Avatar
Edmonton,Canada Eh
Joined Jun 2007
7,568 Posts
My mistakes.....So far...

1. Not using a separate BEC to power servos, control Rx, and gyros, etc...

Result,
BEC thermal shutdown, causing complete loss of control of the aircraft, straight down from 500 ft.

Solution, use a good separate BEC or fully charged flight pack.

2. Forgetting to do a control surface check before take off...

Result,
No aileron control (plugged in backwards) managed to land ok with rudder.

Solution, Look at check list dummy! (you DO have a check list, don't you?)
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Old Oct 14, 2008, 07:45 PM
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skunkworks2006's Avatar
Michigan
Joined Nov 2006
2,712 Posts
I'm concerned this thread could lead to a list of reasons why FPV is unsafe. I just recently lost my plane and I thin you referenced my thread. However, let's remember that crashes can happen with any RC craft and most of us fly in unpopulated areas.

BTW. Mine was either due to out of range or tx battery drain.
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Old Oct 14, 2008, 07:58 PM
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Adam Neat's Avatar
Winchester; Ohio
Joined Feb 2001
876 Posts
As someone who hasent tried FPV (yet) from what Ive been reading there arent any more crashes/losses that any other aspect of modeling.

I would say with FPV style flying the first few flights would be best tried with your video equipment on and flying as you normally would, or at least have a spotter and try to stay in sight.
Once things are tested/proven then its really up to the individual.

Typical operator error things like the others have mentioned happen, doesent matter if its FPV or not.

The modern RC setup can be pretty darn reliable when its setup right.

I lost sight of a glider once in a thermal, It was a real good hands off flyer so I just stood there for a while, someone else eventually found it in a field several miles away, not a scratch on it. I had my name on it so they contacted me.

In that case I think an FPV setup would have been real handy......
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