P2v+ recovered 4 months later...

Mar 13, 2015
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In May 2015 after installing a DBS ITElite antenna on my P2v+ controller I flew an ill-fated test flight on a somewhat breezy afternoon. In hindsight --where most thorough thinking takes place- I should've planned a bit better and at least chosen some alternate landing locations along my planned route. But as I said, that's hindsight, yada yada. The antenna did a great job of giving me approximately 2-3x the distance achieved with the stock antennas. I didn't however account for the additional battery needed to fight a 15mph headwind on the return flight. The bird "Betsy" went down in a thickly wooded area with only a few clearings while in RTH mode.

We had combed the area a number of times over the course of the following week looking for her, with no luck at all. Over the next couple of months several more searches were done with modified coordinates based on last available screen shots saved on my iPad and analyzed by professional photographers and other drone pilots for best estimate of location. These attempts were met with no luck.

Last week after a few months of high temperature summer behind us, I decided to give it one more attempt. I brought along a friend who was visiting from out of town. I showed him all of the triangulation guesses that we had previously covered on a satellite map. But then showed him my best guess based on combining and assigning weights to everyone's input. 15 minutes later Betsy was located, sitting upright under a tree, props undamaged and everything intact.

But that's not the interesting part. We got her back to the house and pulled the battery. I thought I might give it a shot at recharging and plugged it in to find that it began it's recharge cycle as normal. So then I put a fresh battery in --albeit prepared for fire and smoke- and pushed the startup sequence. She came to life and played the DJI tune. No smoke, no fire. I grabbed the RC and started the motors...all 4 of them started and idled. Mind you she's been sitting outside in the weather (rainy season for a month then hotter than h3ll for 3 months following). The screws are all rusted and the particular area she was in had been under 2-3" of water when we first searched for it. So I know for a fact that she had to have been submerged at least partially for some amount of time. But although the gimbal took a hard whack on something while descending in it's last known emergency descent mode, after the gimbal was removed Betsy is still able to be started and flown (at least for the short distance tested). AND of the PT2 diagnostics show everything to be functional and well within tolerances for flight.

Is this NORMAL? I mean I'm not going to go flying it as normal until it has had a complete teardown/rebuild due to safety concerns. But I wouldn't have given it a chance in hell of surviving the weather, much less the descent. I would be really curious to find out the most commonly weather-damaged components that would more likely need replacement or closer inspection prior to recertification for flight, if anyone has info/opinions?

As well, I put the battery (after charging) into the replacement P2v+ and tested it in a hover for a full 20 minutes before intentionally setting it down for another recharge. That doesn't seem normal either but could be expected as that unit only had 2 cycles on it when it went down in May.

Overall I would have to say "Hats Off to DJI!" for building a bird that could come back from the dead so readily. We had a heckuva rainy season here in Louisiana, thus "the dead" is accurate. As for Betsy...well she came home to a stable that has since been filled up with 3 big brothers (I-1s) and a little sister (another P2v+). She's no longer an only child, but I doubt she'll mind too much.


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Cool story Treffin !!!!
Am glad you found her and yes they are tough birds !!
Don't matter how long they have been lost they stay on your mind and know you are relieved to find her :)
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Naval ships accidently get electric and electrical components submerged in even salt water from time to time. They get flushed with fresh water then dried completely out tested and fired up and right back into service. Same goes with the Phantom. Only problem with it is some of the plugs may get a little oxidation on them. A good cleaning and testing is all that is needed. The battery may need to be replaced as the moisture can work its way into the cells. Good luck and fly happy!
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Great story! You should buy a lottery ticket.;)
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That's good news. My P2 also worked flawlessly after spending 5 days in the woods during massive rainstorms.

But you should open up the shell and use those special sprays that help electrical connections. You might get failure in the future. Radio Shack has them, I forgot what that spray is called but it cleans the circuit boards.
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