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Always Check Your Props Before Take Off!

TJBC75

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Hi all,

Just returned from a trip to the Puerto Vallarta area of Mexico and took the Anafi with me. No problems concerning the Anafi with customs or immigration. Except for one incident, the Anafi performed extremely well. Took about 3 hours of video over 11 flights. People who commented to me about the drone were impressed by its quiet performance. One person even asked me if I had some type of noise canceling setup with the drone! Anyway, videos came out very nice and I am very happy with the quality of the 4k.

However, I had one mishap at a beach in a town called Sayulita. Was taking off from a deck like platform on the beach to take some video of the town. I did my usual visual check of the Anafi and nothing seemed amiss. Made sure I had good connections and I had over 20 satellites. Everything was a go. Pressed the launch button, the Anafi took off and then within a second or two, I heard this deeper sound coming from the Anafi that I never heard before. The Anafi started to tilt and continued to rise, with no input from me. Given the noise, I suspected it was either a motor or the props. As it got higher, It started to tilt even more, almost to the point of going turtle on me. My biggest concern was controlling the Anafi and getting it back on the ground without landing in the Pacific Ocean just 25 feet away. Stick inputs were erratic. I finally pushed the landing button and down it came. Like a goof ball, tried to catch it but it was almost coming down sideways so I missed. Landed in the sand - the good - relatively soft landing, the bad, sand all over the Anafi. One of the props on the rear leg was completely gone (it was on when I took off 12 seconds before), so that was the problem. Must have sheared off on take off. Probably a small crack that couldn't take the torque of the sudden spinning. Below is the short video of the crash.

Took about an hour to gently and completely clean off the sand from the Anafi and also replace the prop. Did a thorough inspection of the remaining props and decided to replace one other one as their might have been a hairline crack near the connection point to the motor. Lesson learned - I am going to to a more thorough inspection of the props on a regular basis. I am even thinking of replacing the props at regular intervals - maybe every 100 to 150 flights - I had 122 flights when this happened.

After cleaning the Anafi and replacing the prop, all was well and the Anafi continued to perform well, but I just wonder if I would have been able to control the Anafi if the prop disintegrated later in the flight over water or a heavily vegetated area. Lucky it did not!

Here is the short video:

 

Dirk_ANAFI

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A good question:
Should the props be exchanged regularly?
I think: yes!
But I don't know how many flight hours should be used as limit. Perhaps 100 flights is a good choice.
Of course I exchange damaged props at once.
 
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Mar

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Cool video, never seen that view before, LOL.
Good job on recovery and a heads up on potential problem via the props.
 

Thanev

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When replacing props should a person use loctite? Of course staying away from the plastic blade...
 

Mar

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When replacing props should a person use loctite? Of course staying away from the plastic blade...

A better question might be...Was the screw still there or was it gone along with the blade?
I wouldn't use loctite on plastic parts.
 

Landbo

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When replacing props should a person use loctite? Of course staying away from the plastic blade...

Personally, I have used Blue Locktite for the screws. But the manual does not mention that one should. You know that it is better to be sure that the screws stay in place than experience one is suddenly disappearing during the flight.

Regards, Leif.
 

Mar

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Personally, I have used Blue Locktite for the screws. But the manual does not mention that one should. You know that it is better to be sure that the screws stay in place than experience one is suddenly disappearing during the flight.

Regards, Leif.

You never had any reaction to the props/plastic using it?
 

SMOk3

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When replacing props should a person use loctite? Of course staying away from the plastic blade...

I'm sure when replacing my props there was signs of blue loctite. So I'm guessing it cannot hurt.
 
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Landbo

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A good question:
Should the props be exchanged regularly?
I think: yes!
But I don't know how many flight hours should be used as limit. Perhaps 100 flights is a good choice.
Of course I exchange damaged props at once.

I suppose it is better to change all leaves/blade when one discovers there are cracks in the first. Also, there is a big difference in what temperature people flying in and how cautious people are not to bending the leaves/blade during transport and packing/unpacking the quad. Therefore, I do not think one can set xx number of flights when it is time to change.

Regards, Leif.
 
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Mar

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I'm sure when replacing my props there was signs of blue loctite. So I'm guessing it cannot hurt.

OK, just a thought here on this subject and Dirk's issue.

I going to assume that the screw in his drone then is missing. Why? Cause Blue loctite actually soften plastic so it not locking the threads as it would when use on metal parts.

Hmmm, have to wait to see what Dirk says.
 

Landbo

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You never had any reaction to the props/plastic using it?

No, it is only what can be at the tip of a small needle that must be lubricated into the hole with thread in the engine. Therefore, Locktite never gets on the plastic. Of course, this is something you should be careful about working with so that Locktite does not get onto the plastic.

Regards, Leif.
 

Mar

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Need more input from Dirk as to what ended up missing. Just part of the prop, Prop and screw?
Has he change them once before?
 

RemE

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I suppose it is better to change all leaves when one discovers there are cracks in the first. Also, there is a big difference in what temperature people flying in and how cautious people are not to bending the leaves during transport and packing/unpacking the quad. Therefore, I do not think one can set xx number of flights when it is time to change the leaves.

Regards, Leif.

Agree with you on that.
 
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RemE

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I'm sure when replacing my props there was signs of blue loctite. So I'm guessing it cannot hurt.

The blue thread lock on the stock screws is not the same chemical as liquid blue Locktite. It will destroy plastic in few months.

If you want to put something on the threads I'd use a dab of silicone rubber glue.
 

TJBC75

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Hi all,

I initially started this thread. I too was worried that I lost a screw when the prop broke off. But no, the screw was still there and tightly in place as I had to use a bit of force with the L shaped screwdriver when taking it off to replace the prop. When I replaced the other prop that I suspected had a slight crack in it, that screw was also tightly in place. These were the original props that came on the Anafi. After this incident, I would like to carry some spare screws, is Parrot now selling them? Someone mentioned temperature changes affecting the prop;. that could be possible as I live in the Chicago area and have been flying in 25 degree F temps recently while in Mexico, it was more like 85 degree F. Although I recovered the Anafi and it appears to be fine, the experience was disconcerting and took me by surprise.
 

Thanev

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I have looked everywhere for just the screws.I believe that Agustine is correct.I had to order a set of props from Parrot to get a backup set of screws.Expensive screws,asI had already ordered 2 sets of props ...
 

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AaronB

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I too was worried that I lost a screw when the prop broke off. But no, the screw was still there and tightly in place as I had to use a bit of force with the L shaped screwdriver when taking it off to replace the prop. When I replaced the other prop that I suspected had a slight crack in it, that screw was also tightly in place. These were the original props that came on the Anafi.
Darn it - if the propeller was completely missing and the screw still in place, then that means the fault was in the hub!

Something to think about when replacing the propellers - make sure there is no play on the hub screw as this will cause additional stress and premature wear of the hub. When you think about the design of the Anafi props - there are a lot of unbalanced lateral forces on the hub compared to a conventional propeller. I wonder if the hub has been properly engineered ?
 
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