Iris+ fire after landing in brush

I was flying over a river in LTR mode when a gust of wind pushed my iris into the opposite bank.
The landing was not violent, the vehicle was upright in some brush.

I could hear the rotors caught in some brush and grass and could see that it was undamaged (luckily phew…)
I thought I was lucky and I would be able to recover safely. Unfortunately here is where my trouble began.

I tried to give the shut-down command as in the manual, stick down to the left but it wouldn’t respond. I was in sight of the vehicle so this was frustrating. After trying this multiple times I gave up trying to shut down the engines and went to physically recover the iris. Unfortunately the vehicle was on the other side of the river and down a steep bank, so it took a few minutes to reach it.

At some time while I crossed the river and scaled the bank, the IRIS+ CAUGHT FIRE!

When I got to the craft I immediately smelled burnt plastic and noticed the bottom shell was VERY hot and melted around the vents. Of course I removed the battery and checked for damage. The battery looked okay except for some heat shrink melting. Peering through the bottom shell I could see a mess of melted wires, capacitors and blackened solder joints. The smell was unbelievable. It’s still stinking up my garage :stuck_out_tongue:

Can anyone help me out with why the vehicle would not shut down and if the ESC is expected to catch on fire if the rotors are retarded by brush?

3DR Support’s response: “Since this was not a hardware failure it is not covered by warranty.” Which is a bit diappointing since it seems to be a hardware failure. Is this fair though, would an ESC be expected to catch on fire in these conditions?

Toasty Flight Log: … sp=sharing

Here are some pics of the vehicle bottom: … NMMUJLUmln … NMMUJLUmln

Youtube video of pixhawk startup after connecting USB cable:


It’s perfectly normal for multirotor Esc to burn up rather than do thermal shutdown.

Okay, that’s too bad. I’m very new to drone flying so I don’t know what’s normal.

I’m looking at repairing the Iris+ but the selection of replacement parts in 3dr store is very limited.
I’m still waiting for them to get back to me, is it possible to buy a replacement ESC from them?

I’m trying to figure out my options to get back in the air.


you should be able to get an ESC from 3DR , but a standard ESC will work too.
If you were able to disarm, (or the crash detection kicked in) there are good chance this would not happen, but the crash detection would need a >30degree pitch/roll error.

Generally, RC car/boat ESC’s can do thermal shutdown as they have enough heatsink to ensure even measurement and shutdown , and are not critical.