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  1. 9245

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    OK, so about a month ago I was flying my Phantom 4 near a local bridge trying to get a shot of it passing through an empty pedestrian tunnel that ran underneath (In ATTI mode do to the narrow tunnel interfering with the collision avoidance) (my plan was to edit that footage togethor with a shot of it swooping in to make it appear as one dramatic seamless shot) when I started to experience an odd problem with the drone drifting sideways into a wall, rubbing against it (but not crashing, just scraping), it was not responding to commands to move away from it (I was standing directly behind it not 5 feet away to monitor it and ensure no one inadvertently entered the tunnel), the shot was ruined so I decided to try again so I landed, picked it up and exited the tunnel. I placed the drone on the ground and ordered it to take off and it immediately slid sideways like it was on ice, it then collided with a dock pole before I could react, flipped sideways and spun into the river.

    In my panicked attempt to retrieve it before it sank to the bottom I also ended up in the water. My attempt to retrieve it was entirely unsuccessful and even worse, I was stuck, the river had no banks, just a vertical corrogated metal wall (it was a marina) and both the sidewalk and docks were too high to reach and there were no ladders. To make it even worse the water was only 39 degrees. Long story short I had to get fished out of the water by the fire department, by that I mean they had to lower a ladder into the water so I could climb out. In other news, hypothermia sucks, a lot.

    Fast forward a month, my drone is still on the bottom of the river but I was able to get a SCUBA diver to retrieve it for me, here is the damage:

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    One propeller completely destroyed, tip broken off another, covered in heavy silt, water logged, covered in mussels, battery bulged and corroded.

    The diver found the battery separate from the drone and the inside of the battery bay was filled with silt (see picture) so it appears the battery must have ejected on impact, hopefully that means it was powered off when it hit the water. All motors turn freely by hand with no apparent resistance or grit, the gimbal likewise seems to move completely freely.

    The irony is that in about a week (from the time of the crash), after I used it for a college presentation I had to make, I was going to send it back to DJI under warranty as the gimbal was bad (I posted a thread on that as I recall), I was also experiencing some compass problems, which I assume are the cause of its odd behavior prior to the crash. This was also my first and only crash.

    It had things that needed to be fixed/it needed to be replaced under the warranty, and I had DJI care, is there anything DJI will do to help?

    Also, do you think this can be fixed? And how do I go about cleaning it? My plan is to rinse it off with distilled water and maybe take it apart to rinse the insides then put the whole thing in a tub of dry rice for about a week to dry it off, is that a good plan? Also will doing any of that void whatever help DJI might be willing to give me (I have done nothing so far)? My other problem is that I had only the one battery (which appears to be trashed now) is there anyway to test it without it? Or do I need to get ahold of another battery somehow?
     
    Bratinov and Stealthmatt like this.
  2. fstoplabs

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    That looks.. Super sad! It will probably be super hard to save that as it has been sitting in water for a month, take it all apart and clean every piece..

    Otherwise, if you want to get rid of it, we can buy it off you! :)
     
  3. SamNetwork

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    Location:
    Ronald McDonald Land
    Put it in a Drone museum.
     
  4. bernek

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    I would say clean it with distilled water take it all apart and clean each piece. Let it dry then try to see if it powers on. If it doesn't then sell it for parts.
     
  5. MarkEt

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    Distilled water, alcohol, toothbrush, and hope for the best.


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
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  6. bernek

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    Good idea ! at least he has nothing to lose now :) why sell it until you actually try to fix it :)
     
  7. WWK888

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    I would play taps....save up for a new one.
     
    John N Kronyak likes this.
  8. bernek

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    Does it hurt trying ? :D
     
  9. WWK888

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    Not at all...personally I would never trust to fly it again with all the possible damage to the electronics. Different story if it was recovered right away.
     
    John N Kronyak likes this.
  10. 9245

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    Do you think DJI would do any service on this, since I had the DJI care and I had some issues before the crash (that would have been covered by the warranty) will they cover ANYTHING?

    Would opening it up to rinse the inside void the warranty?
     
  11. WWK888

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    They will claim pilot error I am sure unless your logs can prove otherwise.
     
    Scfilmvideo and bernek like this.
  12. 9245

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    The thread I mentioned where I brought up some of the problems I was having is over on RC Groups if anyone cares to look, I tried to clarify the OP but my retarded IPad won't let me edit.
     
  13. syotr

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    Are you able to get log files from the tablet?
     
  14. Stevie_UK

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    Have DJI ever covered a complete flyaway of the drone doesn't get recovered? Looks pretty bad. I repair computers, every so often we get em in with water damage. Alcohol is the liquid of choice to clean, and a toothbrush is your weapon.. But in every case there is already corrosion eating at the components, and personally, though it may work short term, I tell clients how it is... Don't rely on it, replace asap... Same goes here. Good luck dude. Interested in seeing the logs too.
     
  15. 9245

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    I believe so, but I am not sure how to get them off.
     
  16. syotr

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    I would not open it up as that may void any possible warranty. You might soak it in clean water then dry it out for several days. Sadly, you will have to buy a battery just to test it. Hopefully, others here with a P4 will help with log file recovery.
     
  17. Norval

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    I see too much time and effort on trying to make it run again.....
    I am not saying don't try, but rather scrap it for parts, and get a new one. You will safe time and few bucks.


    Sent from my iPad using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  18. SamNetwork

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    Yeah, I'm sure he'll save, like, -$1400.
     
  19. dg8882

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    I remember reading one case on here where someone had a flyaway with their P3 and could not get it back, they had DJI look at the app flight logs and DJI sent them a whole new drone. Only time I have ever seen DJI cover a flyaway without recovery but it looks like they do actually do it.


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  20. Stevie_UK

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    Credit to them then, obviously if logs show the problem was not pilot and not 'act of God', then so they should :) It's kinda like saying the chocolate bar I ate was horrible, but I ate it anyway and trying to prove there was something wrong. Difficult, but of course we have logs :) I was just curious if it had happened or how often.