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Old Jan 19, 2015, 07:15 PM
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Blade 350 QX3 First Flight Motor Failure

Finally got to take the new Blade 350 QX3 AP out this afternoon for her maiden flight. Mostly sunny and only a light breeze. All went well until my #4 motor kicked the bucket, then upside down she went and SPLAT!

Starting at the beginning. I read, and re-read, all the instructions that came with the quad. I also read several threads about the QX3 here on rcgroups and watched the HH videos to make sure I got her set up correctly. I've been flying an Ethos 180 for about 6 months. Notwithstanding the fact that I'm just competent enough at the controls to keep the little 180 out of the trees, after spending $1K on the QX and reading about several first flight flyaways, I decided not the mount the CGo camera for the test flight. Probably a good decision as it turns out.

So I took the QX to a large open field with no power lines or cell towers nearby. Performed the compass and accelerometer initializations successfully and got a good satellite lock. First flight was in Safe mode and I only took her up to about 30' and out about 100' for maybe 2 minutes before flipping the switch to RTH mode. She worked flawlessly, though Safe mode feels a bit weird. Landed and shut down the QX and the transmitter and started over. Second flight, again in Safe mode with good satellite lock, took her up to about 80' and out about 100' and was letting her hover to see how well she maintained her hover in the light breeze. Working great so far. After hovering for about 10 seconds I hear a loud scratchy/grinding noise. I immediately recalled a thread I'd read about a similar incident where a newish quad motor bit the big one in flight and flipped upside down, so I began manually bringing her back down to land. Just as she got about 3' from the ground and I began congratulating myself on avoiding a first flight crash, she suddenly flipped upside down and dropped like a nine pound hammer, hitting hard on her back.

I walked over and shut the quad and receiver off and inspected for damage. No visible damage. I then turned each of the props by hand and sure enough the #4 motor was noticeably harder to turn and was making a grinding noise. It looks as though the motor failed during flight. Just glad it happened on the first flight, as she wasn't very high and I had time to get her close to the ground before she flipped over.

So my question is for those who have dealt with Horizon Hobby on warranty issues before. Do you think I'll have to ship the entire quad back to them, or would they maybe just ship me a new motor and save us both time and money?

On the bright side, at least she only crashed and didn't fly away never to be seen again
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Old Jan 19, 2015, 07:18 PM
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Mine did the exact same thing, only about 25 feet in the air with the CGO2 attached. It broke lots of stuff including the camera. When I called them they initially were going to send me the parts but after hearing all of the damage asked me to send it in for replacement.
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Old Jan 19, 2015, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Cbsmith View Post
Mine did the exact same thing, only about 25 feet in the air with the CGO2 attached. It broke lots of stuff including the camera. When I called them they initially were going to send me the parts but after hearing all of the damage asked me to send it in for replacement.
Sorry to hear about the damage. Good to hear they will take care of it though.
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Old Jan 19, 2015, 08:28 PM
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You were lucky, when mine started making the grinding noise it only ran for less than a second before it turned off.
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Old Jan 19, 2015, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by soonerfan85 View Post
...snip... So my question is for those who have dealt with Horizon Hobby on warranty issues before. Do you think I'll have to ship the entire quad back to them, or would they maybe just ship me a new motor and save us both time and money? ...snip...
Regardless what gets posted here that is still between YOU & Horizon Hobby.
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Old Jan 20, 2015, 09:51 AM
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I guess everything I've read about Horizon Hobby's great customer service is true. Spoke to tech guy at HH this morning and explained what happened. They are sending me a replacement motor. I guess it's back to flying the Ethos QX180 while I wait for the new motor to arrive.

Thankful I wasn't doing an altitude test with the camera attached when the motor failure occured!

edited on 1/21 to add: Have to say that one of the deciding factors in choosing the 350QX3 over the Phantom Vision was the overall positive reputation that HH has for customer service, and the overall negative reputation DJI seems to have for service after the sale. Judging from the fact that HH shipped my new motor the same day I spoke with tech support, it looks like their positive reputation is well deserved. Lets just hope this will be the only motor issue I have.
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Last edited by soonerfan85; Jan 21, 2015 at 10:10 AM.
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Old Jan 22, 2015, 11:15 PM
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Received the new motor today from HH. Installed the motor and then noticed that even though the model number (BLH7802) on the new motor matched the one on the original motor, the top of the motor looks different from the original. Kind of wondering which one is the newer version.

Also when I removed the original motor I found a tiny metal screw wedged between the wiring harness and the bottom of the motor. No idea where that tiny little screw came from. Will post photos tomorrow.
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Old Jan 23, 2015, 07:27 AM
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Photo of the two motors . The one on the right is the replacement that Horizon Hobby sent me. It's also what HH shows on its website for the BLH7082 motor.

Second photo shows the tiny screw, on the right, that I found lodged in the bottom of the motor. The screw on the left is one of the body assembly screws shown for size reference only. Don't know if you can tell from this photo but the screw is pretty chewed up. Any idea where the screw on the right might have come from?
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Old Jan 23, 2015, 07:40 AM
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I would guess that screw is what caused the motor to lock up and crash. I don't know where the screw is from though.

I have read on a thread about the Xtreme carbon fiber props that there are different adapters for them depending on the motor, the stock props fit both types so I don't think it is an issue.
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Old Jan 23, 2015, 08:23 AM
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Once I removed the screw the motor turned freely by hand. Probably OK but not safe for flight now.

I wonder if the screw came from inside the quad and rolled down inside the hollow arm to come to a rest in my motor. That would mean that something is loose inside the quasd. I once owned a Merkur XR4Ti so I'm not unfamiliar with random unexplainable events.
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Old Jan 27, 2015, 06:04 PM
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Update: installed new motor and life is good! ��

Have 5 flights since incident and no more hiccups out of the QX3.
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Old Jan 29, 2015, 07:39 PM
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I just bought a new QX3 and inside the box was a screw but it had machined threads with blue lock tight on the threads. I looked but didn't see any screws missing.
Just wondering if it was a random screw from the box that got in your motor.
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Old Jan 31, 2015, 03:42 AM
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Originally Posted by smurf View Post
I just bought a new QX3 and inside the box was a screw but it had machined threads with blue lock tight on the threads. I looked but didn't see any screws missing.
Just wondering if it was a random screw from the box that got in your motor.
Could that possibly be a spare prop screw? I understand they come pre-dipped in loktite.
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Old Jan 31, 2015, 08:32 PM
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Could that possibly be a spare prop screw? I understand they come pre-dipped in loktite.
Yep, most likely an extra prop screw. They are bright silver color with blue thread lock. The screw I found lodged in my motor looked more like a miniature drywall screw.
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