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  1. Ibmftw

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    So I am on a vacation to see my GF's family who live near the river Ebro in Spain. Being an avid fisherman I thought I would bring the P4 along and get some great footage of the Spanish mountains as well as the vast river ebro, fishing for big catfish we use heavy tackle and bait so it was also a great opportunity for the p4 to drop some bait out along with my end tackle into unreachable parts of the massive river Ebro.

    I disconnected my DBS antenna back in England threw my amps in my fishing bag packed up the P4 with its batteries and some spare props and off we went from Gatwick airport without a hitch. After arriving in my partners small town to some beautiful weather I wowed her family and the locals with some P4 antics up on the top of a fort where lies an historic castle, this was at sun down and I got some beautiful footage and photos of the castle of us and of the majestic scenery.... perfect.

    A few days after her maiden Spanish flight it was time for some fishing so I packed up my stuff and left for a few days with my partners father to take the couple hour drive to the Ebro, of coarse the P4 was in my arsenal. A few days into fishing we end up on one of the Ebro's many vast lakes which was another perfect opportunity to use the phantom so I get her out attach my spinning gear to one of my rods, I tie some quick dissolve PVA tape to the phantom which I tie on my fishing line about 15ft above my end tackle, I set up a litchi mission to zigzag across the lake at 4mph essentially what you US anglers would call kite fishing or down rigging, and set her off watching her cover massive ground for me effortlessly in search for some large zander, perch, pike and possibly even a lively catfish.

    A quick tip here for any anglers silly enough to fish with their P4's, PVA tape is a great safety net, you can use clips made for down rigging that release under pressure which work great most of the time, the problem is if your line gets wrapped around this clip etc and you get a nice fish, your birds going in the drink. Using 4ft of dissolving PVA tape, tying your line on to the phantom, when a big fish hits it will either just snap off, or in worst case scenario come down to 5ft before the tape hits the water and becomes weak and snaps very easy (redundancy) if you like. Anyways back to the program....

    So my phantom rig is flying around the lake working perfectly and I'm catching fish, striking them and leaving the phantom to carry on its mission whilst I'm landing the fish and then bringing the bird home, however these are not the fish I'm after, I'm here for the wels cats that go to 230+lbs around here. Around here looks like this.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And here's a successful phantom rig catch.

    [​IMG]

    So after catching a few target fish perch, pike and zander, it was getting on for evening and was time to get the big kit out, I wanted to put one of my lines far out, 450ft, near that dam you see in the picture so I set the rig up and tied it on to the phantom via my PVA method, nothing new here. I wanted to conserve as much battery as possible as we were traveling a few more days up the Ebro so I flipped the battery for one with a very low charge and flew her out to the dam. I usually do this manouvre by eye and not fpv. A small problem was that the battery was low and the bird was wanting to autoland just as I reached the dam, no problem I consider myself an intermediate pilot and have learned to stay cool like fonzy in the middle of potential crisis, so I fight the descent all the way down to 3-4ft to dissolve the PVA and drop my baited hooks off, very silly of me I know, the phantoms trying to land in water and I'm descending to 3ft, so I manage to perform the manouvre, I drop the bait off and quickly pull the phantom up. I pull the bird up to a decent height, Litchi is screaming at me "let me land you idiot we have no battery" I quickly stick her in sports and start flying what at the time I thought was forward toward me, in the midst of this stupidness my phone battery hits 5% and dims the screen to below visibility. This is where the problem occured, forwards was not infact towards me it was infact towards the dam, which being 10ft away with a P4 in sports mode with no collision avoidance on, is reached pretty "dam" (cheap pun) quick lol.

    I heard and see the impact, it was at this moment the phantom NEARLY wedged itself into the railings above the dam, I must have clipped it by a ft or 2, as with all heart breaking moments in life, time slowed down and slow motion kicked in for this 10 minute second I prayed the phantom stayed lodged in the rail with that silly look on my face, like when you accidently pick a coffee chocolate from a variety box... yeh that look. Of coarse the phantom did not stay lodged in the railings and I watched as my immaculatey fresh looking P4 tumbled down the side of a 30ft dam wall into another 25ft of monster catfish infested water, sad times.... sad times.

    Luckily no one was around to aid in the embarrasment of the situation except maybe some VERY confused fish, and of coarse my ladies dad, who I had recently had my GF translate in Spanish to how amazing this phantom 4 is and how it basically cant even hit big solid objects, like dam walls etc, all in all pretty sure he was more confused than the fish because he was moving his hands and shouting at something, perhaps me or perhaps the phantom.... still unsure. At least my bait was in a great place!

    After a couple depressing hours of no fish I just couldn't get the phantom off my mind, believe me I tried. I even phoned and explained to my Hispanic GF that I lost another drone, the new expensive one, it went pretty good, I. e. she didn't come looking for me... with a knife, but that's probably only because the Ebro is really really big.

    After this painfull couple of hours without consideration that I could ever possibly see this drone again I decide to pull one of the rods in and set up a weight to feel the lake floor and a couple of large treble hooks, just in case the impossible could happen.... hey after all I did have this.

    [​IMG]

    If you think the look on my partners dad's face when the phantom hit the dam was strange, and believe me it was, you should have seen it this time, he looked at me as though I was a mythical unicorn.....from another planet....walking a tight rope, anyway I figured it was worth a shot, a very very long shot. Off I went, rod in hand on the long slow walk to where Litchi was telling me my phantom made a mistake (hmm hmm).

    Now, I am on top of the dam leaning over the side with my rod, tapping the weight off the lake bed feeling the floor 50-60ft below, I imagine passers-by knew I was fishing for a phantom right, I mean what else would I be doing off the top of a dam/bridge/road with a fishing rod and a phone, I think I confused a few people and fish on this day, oh well.
    Being perhaps a better angler then phantom pilot, you wouldn't believe it, as I didn't, but I managed to feel something out of place on the lake bed floor a small tap as I'm hitting and scraping the weight across the bed, nah it can't possibly be, can it?
    I am in the right area because Litchi is telling me so, but this is a vast deep lake and there is some wind, but this tap I can feel on my fishing line with the weight feels convincingly like hollow plastic and not a rock or weeds, ok I will try and hook it.
    I try and try again to hook this mysterious object to no avail, moving the hooks left and right, backwards and forwards loosing the object, finding the object and trying the process again.
    After 10 minutes I decide to change tactics, I will release a load of slack line and try to tangle up and snag the object see if I can get lucky. I release line slack and start trying to make a mess of line on the lake bed, again walking backwards and forwards, after a few minutes the line goes tight so I have definitely tangled up with something. I start reeling in line and I can feel something heavy, at this point I think it's just one of our other fishing line weights because the chance of a drone recovery from this situation is border line 0. I reel in line slowly and intricately as not to loose what I'm snagged on, after a few tense moments and I mean tense like the moment when a Thai girl you met in a bar in phucket removes her skirt in your hotel, and you almost just don't wanna look, there it was beyond my beleif a drone prop, I carry on slowly reeling in line not sure how well I have the phantom attached, the drone now out of the water swinging around in the wind and climbing the dam wall, I reel it all the way up until it's safely back in my hands, victory a successful recovery from the impossible.



    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I could see my partners dad far across the lake waving his hands and shouting at me, he looked almost as shocked and happy as me. Sods law the battery was one of the new ones I had paid full price for a day or 2 before the vacation and had maybe 2 flights but it didn't matter I had got her back, my baby home safely in my firm grip. I took the victory walk back to where we was setup where I received a clap and a pat on the back, well done me, well done.

    I got to see my future father in law's surprised face again shortly after when I proceeded to pour as much bottled water as I could over the P4 as per standard procedure, the Ebro is connected to the sea and I imagine had a high salt content, I held the gimble tight and gave her a good shake like I was killing a chicken, gave her another bottle of water and stuck her on the roof of the car to stay in the warm wind. I of coarse placed the battery on the floor away from any hazards. I must admit I was very proud of myself and had a unsure smile across my face.

    The next morning after a night of NO fish I checked the phantoms battery, there was no bloating and the phantom had taken a little bit of water into the cameras lens, never mind I had the Phantom back that's what mattered. We packed our stuff in to the car and headed to the next destination.
    Now although this is quiet a story up until yet and most certainly enough drone antics for one vacation, but the story doesn't stop here, read on and you will see how the saga continues.....

    We arrive at a new destination where I hastily unpack the P4 and again put her back on the car roof again I place the hazardous battery somewhere safe. We setup our rods and fishing equipment and do a few hours fishing, I set my rods up on bite alarms because I'm tired and stressed and want to take a little sleep. I sit in the car and take a little nap, a few hours must pass without much action so my GF's dad decides to pack up and move on I remain in the car pretty much asleep and sulking because the drone, I have lost interest in fishing by now and wouldn't mind going home. Anyway I leave him to pack up and by the time I awake up we are again in a new destination. Still sulking I remain in the car relaxing whilst he unpacks a few bits and decides to take a little walk down the river. A few hours pass and I realise it's been perhaps 24 hours since the drone took a bath, maybe I'll just fire up DJI GO and see how my baby responds to its start up checks. Anyone want to take a guess as to what comes next?

    I start searching the car for my beloved I look in every bag, under every seat and I even start looking in places where a P4 wouldn't even fit (as you do), hmm strange never mind he must have the drone in a bag with him. I run hastily to my women's father and try to ask him if he has the drone, in a mix of English and another language I call "Attempted Spanish" that didn't work so I swirl my fingers around and look into the sky ( this is the universal sign for drone), then I point to his bags, and he replies to me in a universal language by shaking his head. Now I thought in every country except Bulgaria shaking your head horizontally means no and shaking your head vertically means yes, but at this second I hoped I was very wrong and that spain follows the way of Bulgaria and that a shake of the head in what we would perceive as no really means yes, so I stand there looking at him like an idiotic magician pointing at his bags, thinking maybe if I point hard enough and believe hard enough I can make a drone appear.....
    After a failed short attempt at magic he understood there was another drone problem, packed up the things and run back to the car with me. We searched every bag and completely emptied and searched the car as U.S border agents would a vehicle suspected of carrying El Chapo Guzman, of coarse to no avail... my drone had gone... pfft... vanished. I wasted no time with more pointless magic finger pointing and jumped in the car quickly pointing backwards in time with my hands trying to explain to him it must be where we was before, luckily he understood what I was saying and jumped in the car and flew ( not literally) was a regular car, to where we was previous which as luck would have it happened to be no more than 15 "minutos" away.

    Maybe my luck hadnt run short yet, and there was a water logged and now slightly battered ultimate survivor drone laying a little smashed on a hard and pretty deserted gravel track road....

    Well for all you hopers out there, are you ready for the grand finale?....

    It was gone.

    No drone in sight, my drone, I should have nicknamed rambo by this point, that drone that had reappeared from the impossible depths battered and water logged, that drone that had flown with me on the plane many miles and accompanied me on my voyage down the Ebro, through forestry, mountains over and on water, had left me, she was no more, a memory..
    I had to somehow explain to my women that I had managed to lose the drone.... again, and that being a super idiot, I saw and left the memory card with all our pics and videos on it in the now, lost again, drone.

    A few things that everyone reading this should takeaway from this story.

    1.When flying over or very close to water when and if possible, always fly with a GetterBack or similar device.

    2.When flying in any tricky conditions no matter how confident, when and if possible use CA and/or prop guards, it would have saved me in this situation.

    3. Always put your phone number and possibly a reward sign on your drone, even if it's just on sellotape with a permanent marker wrapped stuck around your landing gear, it may save the day and cost you nothing.
     
    #1 Ibmftw, May 17, 2016
    Last edited: May 24, 2016
  2. Banjo

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    At this point I would buy a lottery ticket....
     
  3. bbfpv

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    hah nice.
     
  4. Erised

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    Good for you! and that's why I ordered a GetterBack. Did the camera shot for any lenght of time under water?
     
  5. Romonaga

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    Wait, you can not end this story here! Is the Bird flying again?
     
  6. dirkclod

    dirkclod Moderator
    Staff Member

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    :)
    I love a good story !
    Hope you the best getting it back up .
     
  7. Ibmftw

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    @Banjo Read the completed story I think I'd better save the lottery ticket money for a new P4 lol

    @Erised I mention in another thread that from now anywhere over water I WILL be flying with a GetterBack or similar device. I wasent recording and I couldn't see my fpv screen so I'm unsure if the P4 has underwater recording ability I'm also hoping not to find out first hand.

    @Romonaga if you think your upset about not finding out if the P4 went airborne again imagine how I feel. I almost wished I didn't recover it the first time, so I only had to grieve once lol
     
  8. Romonaga

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    I take it this story does not have a happy ending. RIP Bird.
     
  9. thunderbird

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    Sorry for your lost
    Hope u get a new bird soon
    It's amazing u still managed to get big fish before it goes down
     
  10. phantom13flyer

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    Very well written . I hope you find yourself flying again very soon . Thank you for the story . I felt like I was there !!!
     
    Romonaga likes this.