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Another water crash (and battery fire)

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision Discussion' started by mduehmig, Apr 29, 2014.

  1. mduehmig

    Dec 5, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Annapolis, MD
    I've read several stories of water crashes and as much as I fly over water, I figured it was a matter of time before I went in. But there were some interesting parts to this story.

    First, not sure who else does this, but when I take off for the first time, I keep the P2V close and low. For a little while (30-90 seconds) it wants to drift, usually back and to the right. I keep correcting it and after a minute or so it stabilizes and does a perfect hover. THEN I fly it up and out. This has served me well for months and it has been flying great.

    Yesterday I was doing a simple flight, less than 100' and light winds. I was setting up for a shot above our narrow city dock about 80' and noticed my P2V doing wide, lazy circles. I decided to bring it down and see what was up and as it got closer to me and about 20' up, it did a hard left and splashed right into the water.

    It took me about 20 minutes to fish it out and I immediately took the battery out (I learned that as a salvage boat captain) and rinsed everything with fresh water. Then I took it home. I set my P2V in front of a fan and took the battery outside to the patio to dry.

    An hour later I look out the window of my office and see smoke rising from my patio. The battery was burning and actually had a flame coming out of the hole on the side.


    I've let the bird dry out for about 24 hours and took it down to an open field near my house. Results; it powered up and in about a minute I had green lights. However, I got no wifi signal so no other system data. I decided to try a short flight since I had green lights and powered up the motors. Three of the four motors worked, and one struggled and then gave up.

    I'll check the wiring but I may be out just one motor. I'd bet that camera is toast.

    I've been thinking about lessons learned on this.
    1) Treat the battery as a dangerous object after a crash, especially a water submersion.
    2) If flying near water, bring it over land before trying to land it.
    3) Finish doing the research on a P2V lifejacket that I started earlier. (This bird sank like a rock. And the water was about 8' deep and calm. If there hadn't been bubbles for me to reference, I never would have found it.)

    What did I miss? What else should I learn from this? I hope the P2V+ has a sturdier camera….
  2. MrTommy

    Jan 7, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Carson City, NV
    I'm wondering about these batteries. This has nothing to do with this water crash (so maybe I shouldn't even be bringing this up), but I notice the older my Phantom gets, the harder and HARDER it gets to 'slide' the battery out at the end of a flight. I remember seeing Colin Guinn easily sliding the batteries out in his demo films, and mine is getting SO hard to pull out now I'm using two hands and squeezing for all I'm worth to get it out (sometimes having to enlist the help of wifey - if she's nearby).

    Looking at mduehmig's burned out battery makes me think these units are stranger than I thought. "Smart batteries"?
  3. Roadkilt

    Mar 25, 2013
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    I crashed my v1.1 phantom into the sea after hitting a huge piece of driftwood. Fortunately the water was shalow enough to get it. I rinsed off the sand, salt and seaweed in the sink, pulled the battery, and gopro out to dry separately. The gopro was opened up as much as possible, take out battery and card, spun it in a salad spinner to try to shake out moisture. After two days all the motors fired up,ok but flashed yellow even with recalibration. I think the antenna imbibed saltwater that I couldn't get rid of with rinsing. The gimbal still worked fine, thankfully for a $300 cost, as did the gopro. The gopro hero3 black lost its wifi ability, but I never used that anyway, antenna again? It did have some fog in the lens for a few days but cleared and has worked well since. I had crashed the phantom in rivers twice before, and it dried out and worked fine after, including battery. The saltwater dip was the killer for it.
  4. iResq

    Dec 23, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Annapolis, Maryland
    I had a very similar crash on land...hard left turn then she just dove down into the ground. Sorry to hear about your crash.
  5. Mal_PV2_Ireland

    Mar 4, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Dublin Ireland
    I have always worried about the long term effects of flying by the coast. I wonder how much salt water moisture gets in over time? It cant be good.
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