Broken Drone Prop in Flight! - The Drone Trainer

Broken Drone Prop in Flight

What happens if you encounter a broken drone prop while in flight? One of our friends Patrik Klevstul from Norway recently had this experience and caught it on video, and was kind enough to share it with everyone so that we can all learn from the experience!

What happens if you break a drone prop during flight?

Generally speaking, if you’re flying a quadcopter like a DJI Phantom series drone or the like, it’s going to come crashing down from the sky. Quadcopter drones aren’t meant to fly with only 3 props as when they lose one, they’ll immediately lose their balance and come crashing down. Hex and Octocopters have a little more redundancy in that they’ll still fly when they lose a prop (or more), however flight will certainly not be smooth.

Broken Prop Video Example


Broken Drone Prop - DJI PhantomBroken Drone PropAs you an can see, this drone somehow stayed up during it’s flight. These pictures show what it looked like once back down on the ground, and you can see a broken prop caused it to start acting the way it did. Looking closely at the picture, you can see that it only broke off a little bit of the tip, but it was still enough to cause it to have major issues.

Looking at this picture of the prop, I’m surprised that it didn’t just tumble right out of the sky! Our buddy Patriks is definitely lucky!

So how did this happen? Or how can this happen? In this video you see that he clips a branch on a tree, causing the propeller blade to snap. This could be due to the cold, but I’ve seen people do it in the middle of summer as well so we can’t fully blame it on the cold. Anyway, bottom line is that it’s best to give yourself some distance from trees and other objects that could come into contact with the propellers as even the tiniest bit of contact can break a prop and send your precious drone crashing to the ground.

While we’re on the topic of safe flight, why not check out my free training course where I show you some drills that will help prevent incidents like this, and will help you safely get out of a sticky situation if you’re flying towards a tree or other object. The training is free, and like many other drone pilots, you’re going to thank me for it one day!


Has this ever happened to you?

If you, or someone you know has ever had a motor prop fail or broken one during flight, let us know how it went in the comments below or via the contact form so that I can share the information with everyone in our drone community. The more we can learn from each other, the better pilots that we will all be!


  1. I had a prop come off my DJI Mavic Pro and yes, believe me it will not fly with 3 props. Big crash broke the gimble. Got it fixed and back to flying now.

  2. Just had a prop break on my phantom 3 standard, drone came tumbling down and was not recoverable. No Idea why it broke, was flying in slightly cloudy conditions and had replaced the props with brand new DJI props two weeks prior,

  3. I’ve had the round thing on the middle of the prop come off and it was super jumpy and it actually flipped a few times and cought itself .

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