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Water Crash

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Eric Ettinger, Aug 30, 2016.

  1. Eric Ettinger

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    On Saturday evening I grabbed my P4 and went to fly near a dam on a local river. I was trying to capture the sunset and was in a hurry to get the shot. I flew along the dam and when I reached the other side, the shot was not lined up. I stopped, rotated the nose of the aircraft and started to fly back. I hit a tree branch and watched the aircraft splash in to the water. There is a small island about 70 feet from the dam on the downstream side directly in the middle of the river. It turns out that the water flow was too swift to reach the island. I packed up and went home. There is a dam about 40 miles up river that water was being released for the site water rafters. I checked the gov website and found out that normal flow is about 400cfs and they were releasing 1700cfs, the largest release of the summer. So after a few days of watching flow rates, overlaying data on charts and graphs I made the determination that this morning(Tuesday) would be the lowest flow and my best chance to reach it. I tried wading out in to the river Sunday morning but the current was too strong. So I grabbed my wadders and was able to reach the island and found the aircraft in about 2 feet of water 3 feet from shore. Aircraft is intact. Camera gimbal looks a little tweaked. I brought it home, rinsed it in clean water, shook excess water out and put it in a cooler with 40 pounds of rice. Hear are my questions:
    1. How do I dispose of the water damaged battery. I'm not going to take a chance charging and using this battery.
    2. The memory card had 3 files on it. The first 2 work fine but the last(crash) file will not open. How do I recover that file?
    3. Does rice work to dry out the water or should I take aircraft apart?
    4. How long should I let it dry before trying to power up aircraft?
    5. Flight was uploaded to Healthy Drones but there is no info for stick inputs. Is there a way to recover that info? Trying to see if it was my input or if aircraft drifted in to the tree.

    Takeaway from crash.
    I will only fly over water if the shot is worth the risk. In hindsight it was not.
    I will do a better preflight scout of the area and stay further away from hazards. I have well over 100 flights with this bird and thought I was a good enough pilot to get this shot.
    I will not rush to get in the air. I will take my time and if there is not enough time I will not fly.

    Eric
     
    Falcon900 likes this.
  2. CCrew

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    Sounds like at the end of your post you realized this piece. Hurry = distraction = no good things usually come of it. Sounds like you have, but many others could learn from this.

    RE: your bird, I'd do a full disassembly personally. I've never found a way to get all water out of the inside of anything in the state your bird is in without it. I imagine some pieces will be recoverable, but for the most part I'd say it's probably donor parts. In any case, a week or two at best for the rice to work
     
  3. Eric Ettinger

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    The reason I shared my story.
     
  4. robinb

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    The file needs to be finalised.
    This can be done with third party software. (or in another drone)
    The battery can be taken to apple store since they sell the P4.
    Or a local recycling plant.

    Rice is ok but the crystals are better.
    A week is probably a good time to remove all moisture.
     
  5. IronReel

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    I would say at least a week also after 2 days of submersion! Then I'd open up the body and just inspect it. Make sure you don't have rice in there. Let us know if you recover that last file. Sometimes that's the type of footage that others just can't get!

    Best of luck. Don't rush the process.
     
  6. Eric Ettinger

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  7. Eric Ettinger

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    I opened the body and there is a lot of corrosion. The small wires that run out the arms to the led lights corroded and fell off the boards they were soldered to. The cable connector for the gimbal is broken off the board mounted in the aircraft body. The gimbal is tweaked inside. I may have a pile of scrap not worth fixing.
     
  8. the5more

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    I would say 2 weeks before give any try. If it's lucky enough that PCB is not burned, you may also want to deal with the following corrosion. Use methanol or PBC cleaner to clean the metal ions from river water. Keep us posted if you could power it up.

    Best of luck.
     
  9. Hojo70

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    I would place the copter on a dehumidifier in a small room for 4 to 5 days
     
  10. Eric Ettinger

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    Pretty sure its toast. Today I checked on it and there is a capacitor that is leaking. Probably not going to risk powering it up. The part that sucks is I have 4 batteries, all the polar pro filters, backpack, extra props, etc. And even if I send it out to be fixed I don't think I would ever totally trust flying it.
     
  11. Heisnuts

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    You can always purchase just the AC from DJI directly and then be able to use all of the accessories you have and the controller.
     
  12. Bill Ferrett

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    I crashed my P3A and could not get the SD Card to read. I put It in my new P3A and turned everything on and boom it worked. Something to do with the file not closing out .
     
  13. WetDog

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    Or look around the site for a bare aircraft. Also, consider having a spare RC - you can mod if for an external antenna and still have a 'normal' one.