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Catastrophic GiFi Battery Failure and Loss of Aircraft

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Today I lost my #1 H480 copter due to a suspected battery contact failure. I was beginning a cell tower inspection, all pre-flight checks were performed without issue and the copter was ascending to an altitude of 63m. All of a sudden it lurched and then dropped like a rock, crashing heavily in a field only about 20m from the launch site. There was nothing I could do to save it. The CGO3+ was completely destroyed as it landed on the bottom with gear up. The battery was dislodged in the crash breaking the safety latch, which had been secured before launch. Upon inspection of the battery, as this was the suspected failure mode, I noticed the + contact was punched in. (see photo). This seemed to me to be the failure point, as the battery still measured good voltage in all cells, the flight was only 2min, 48sec into the mission when the failure occurred. Attached is the telemetry file and a few photos of the aftermath.....
 

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Steve Carr

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The telem confirms a loss of power. It also appears as the elevation increased, so did the wind. The voltage was dropping fairly quickly and was about 15.1v when it quit.
 

DoomMeister

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That is a shame! Sorry to see this. Looks as if the contact was not latched in on the battery. I’ll be checking battery contacts before flights from now on to ensure they are solidly latched in the battery casing.
 
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I had used this battery (GiFi 8050mah) for about 10 previous flights with no issues. As Steve Carr mentioned, its possible that this contact overheated for some reason and then melted the housing enough for it to retract and lose contact with the male internal post in the aircraft. Since this battery is unusable now, I will be cutting it open to try to confirm if there is evidence of melting or possibly just the female contact housing had a crack or something. Still, it is to me, an unusual and unexpected failure point and I will be checking these more closely in the future.
 
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GiFi .. no thanks (read to many horror story's).. made in China (see last comment).. OEM no matter the cost, for the win!.. Gentlemen, we're going into winter, not the best time to fly, BUT, the best time to find/stock up on future goodies.... just my .02


NW.
 
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Steve Carr

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I will be cutting it open to try to confirm if there is evidence of melting or possibly just the female contact housing
After looking at the pics again, I'm not seeing the same overheating evidence I've seen on other H models that had a bad deans connector inside the aircraft. This is looking suspiciously like a loose connector in the battery.

A failed deans connector will cause damage to the battery that will look like this:
 

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Holy crap sorry to see and read this I will be checking my yuneec batterie contacts from know on
 
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The telem confirms a loss of power. It also appears as the elevation increased, so did the wind. The voltage was dropping fairly quickly and was about 15.1v when it quit.
I see in your telem where it went down to 14.9v but nothing below that. are there any more files.
 

h-elsner

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In the telemetry there are some voltage drops before the incident happens. They do not match with power load when climbing. Seems to be drops are random. Also at the last second there is also a voltage drop (or the beginning of it) visible.
ScreenshotSchnellanalyse_1.png
I think the serious and visible contact problem is the reason fot the crash. Is there a warranty on the GiFi batteries? Looks like poor quality of the mechanics/plasics at the connector.
Can you look inside the battery compartment if the contact from the mainboard is bent?

br HE
 
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Today I lost my #1 H480 copter due to a suspected battery contact failure. I was beginning a cell tower inspection, all pre-flight checks were performed without issue and the copter was ascending to an altitude of 63m. All of a sudden it lurched and then dropped like a rock, crashing heavily in a field only about 20m from the launch site. There was nothing I could do to save it. The CGO3+ was completely destroyed as it landed on the bottom with gear up. The battery was dislodged in the crash breaking the safety latch, which had been secured before launch. Upon inspection of the battery, as this was the suspected failure mode, I noticed the + contact was punched in. (see photo). This seemed to me to be the failure point, as the battery still measured good voltage in all cells, the flight was only 2min, 48sec into the mission when the failure occurred. Attached is the telemetry file and a few photos of the aftermath.....
here is what I got from your telemetry file...
 

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I did an investigation of the battery by cutting it open. The failure mode is confirmed to be loss of contact with the positive battery connector. Also the molding around the female contacts appears to be very brittle (incorrect resin?) and 3 pieces were broken off and loose when opened, 2 on the "+" tab and 1 on the "-" side. The "+" tab was unsupported and pushed inwards. Here is a photo with captions of what I found.

Re charger question, I am using the Venom charge leads with the Sky Q200 charger - this is not the issue.
 

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I downloaded the ST16 video and put it on YT - It is very rough and choppy because of the low res and doesn't really tell much about the crash as the video stops as soon as the power is cut.
 
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Keith, the "rattle" that you heard may have been a piece or pieces of the plastic contact housing broken off similar to my failure (see pics of my battery autopsy). A word of caution to others - If you hear any noise when shaking a battery it may be a compromised internal contact housing and possible failure point.
 
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I did an investigation of the battery by cutting it open. The failure mode is confirmed to be loss of contact with the positive battery connector. Also the molding around the female contacts appears to be very brittle (incorrect resin?) and 3 pieces were broken off and loose when opened, 2 on the "+" tab and 1 on the "-" side. The "+" tab was unsupported and pushed inwards. Here is a photo with captions of what I found.

Re charger question, I am using the Venom charge leads with the Sky Q200 charger - this is not the issue.
well, if there was a warranty. there's not now. haha! but good info.
 
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DoomMeister

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I did an investigation of the battery by cutting it open. The failure mode is confirmed to be loss of contact with the positive battery connector. Also the molding around the female contacts appears to be very brittle (incorrect resin?) and 3 pieces were broken off and loose when opened, 2 on the "+" tab and 1 on the "-" side. The "+" tab was unsupported and pushed inwards. Here is a photo with captions of what I found.

Re charger question, I am using the Venom charge leads with the Sky Q200 charger - this is not the issue.
This is definitely a case of poor quality control, either internally to GiFi Power or the supplier for the contact block that the terminals are mounted in. There are several things that can cause this condition, but the major ones that contribute to being brittle are too much re-grind in the code mixture, dryers leaving too much moisture in the code, and poor release from the mold die.
 
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The camera is completely destroyed..... estimated terminal velocity from 63m AGL (206') at point of impact with terrain = 193 kph (120mph). It came almost straight down with all force onto the camera as the gear was up.
 

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7cyclops

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I had used this battery (GiFi 8050mah) for about 10 previous flights with no issues. As Steve Carr mentioned, its possible that this contact overheated for some reason and then melted the housing enough for it to retract and lose contact with the male internal post in the aircraft. Since this battery is unusable now, I will be cutting it open to try to confirm if there is evidence of melting or possibly just the female contact housing had a crack or something. Still, it is to me, an unusual and unexpected failure point and I will be checking these more closely in the future.
Have you seen the recent yuneec skins posting on crash prevention. He shows 3 different pictures of battery contact issues,and how the spring,,tensioners go bad. May be related to your crash,as you already are aware of. The heat as in any electrical issue is caused by a contact arching occurance. We can all learn something from this and start checking our drone batteries and the terminals inside the drone. KC
 

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