P3S Unkillable - survived submersion

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[knocking on wood before typing this]

I landed my trusty, age-worn Phantom 3 Standard safely on the rear hatch of my boat last weekend. It was breezy but I managed to track the deck and set her down, grateful I didn’t have to try a hand-catch.

But after touching down on the deck with the throttle pinned down, the props continued to idle for a second or two. This is normal but I wasn’t anticipating they would partially support the drone’s weight. As I watched, the boat just sort of drifted out from under the Phantom. With the props still idling It skittered over the side, into the lake.

With me after it. I lunged, grabbing hold of a leg and taking a prop hit to the back of the hand as I went into the drink myself.

I’d say the drone was completely submerged for no more than a few seconds, with the props kicking up water.

Yes, my fault.

I got back in the boat, pulled the battery pack out, and headed home.

My years of pre-drone electric seaplane experience told me the ESC elements of the main board would be baked for sure. Probably the camera would also be beyond hope.

With low expectations, I used a shop compressor to blast air into the body vents, motors and camera for about 20 minutes, and set the thing in a sunny spot for an hour. At that point I could see condensation forming in the camera lens, so I tore down the camera and, without breaking the glue on the lens assembly, blasted it with a hairdryer on high for 10 minutes or so. I then left the lens assembly on a computer for some ambient heat.

I put the P3S in a dry basement beside the exhaust from a portable dehumidifier, and left it for a week.

Today I reassembled the camera, recharged the pack and, watching for the inevitable magic smoke release, turned on the Phantom. Nothing. It initialized as usual. After 15 minutes of morning flying and pictures it seems right now to be none the worse for wear!

I know I may not have seen the last of the water or the damage it’s done, but wanted to celebrate the durability of this old bird.
 
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Great you managed to bring it back to life 👍
 
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As long as it wasn't in salt water you are fine. My first dunk was a minute into flight and was an hour till I could get to it. The lights on my P3 was still blinking underwater. I tore it apart when I got home and put it in my dehydrator over night. It flew fine the next day, minus a battery. Come to think of it, that was my second dunk. The first one I just land in the water, then took off again and landed on dry land. I'm thinking about tearing it apart and making a submarine.
 

bnp

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I had one go into a deep fast moving river and never saw it again. I was too far away to get to it in time. It was a Ghost2 and not DJI. It's a sad day when you see a high dollor drone go blub..blub...blub!
 
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I flew my PV2+ into my swimming pool 3 weeks ago while conducting a test flight for a repaired WiFi module(black screen). Torn down the bird, blasted it with compressed air and then hit it with a hair dryer for a short while. I then let it bake in the SoCal sun for 2 more days. It fired right up...all systems functional, including the camera.

This is a 7 year old drone that has been put through hell, and keeps coming back for more. It’s like a terminator.
 
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Yes, those P3 drones are very durable machines. I hit a tree once and it rolled down the rocks and the next day when I got it beck, it was flying just fine. SAnd the other time I lost it (my fault) ant it was left three days (one in the rain) on the field and had no issues.
I don't know how would P4 survive all similar acciddents.
 
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