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Upside down in a creek!
245 22 2017-9-12 16:38:18
fans536dd43d
lvl.1
Flight distance : 41416
Canada
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Flying my P3S out to the bay through an opening in the bush when it struck a bunch of low hanging leaves and crashed upside down  in an outlet/creek type place. Luckily the water was only a couple of feet deep so I was able to walk in and get it. Brought it home and dried it thoroughly with time and a hair drier
2017-9-12 16:38:18
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fans536dd43d
lvl.1
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Canada
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Sorry must have exceeded my word allowance. The thing is its just fine! Except for the battery as it seems fried. Tough product to take a dunking a keep on flying and recording. I'm impressed!
2017-9-12 16:44:57
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ALABAMA
Second Officer
Flight distance : 279903
United States
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Better keep it low and close for a while.
2017-9-12 16:46:26
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Epicdoom
lvl.3
Flight distance : 35893
United States
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Id still put it in a box with rice covering it for a week to dry up any moisture, only takes one drop of water in the right place to release the magic smoke or short something out. Glad you recovered it though that's half the battle.
2017-9-12 16:56:38
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fans536dd43d
lvl.1
Flight distance : 41416
Canada
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Thanks for the advice folks - will do.
2017-9-12 16:57:42
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DJI Susan
Administrator
Japan
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Generally, water damage will affect the aircraft performance. We do not suggest to use this unit any more.
2017-9-12 18:18:25
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Capt Whitefoot
lvl.4
United States
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Have you done a diagnostics test on it since the splash down?  All it takes is a drop of water to fry a micro-circuit.  These things are indeed beasts when it comes to taking a tumble.  Mine has trimmed two trees without flinching.  You have to salute the engineering of these amazing machines.  
2017-9-12 20:45:56
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Betamace
Second Officer
Flight distance : 650
United States
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OP's drone is going to die if it isn't already dead.   

I've disassembled water damaged cell phones to recover data (yeah, some folks just can't seem to part with their selfies and contacts lists) and have seen that in all cases,
when the water evaporates from the circuit boards, the contaminates that were in the water such as minerals and electrolytes will remain and quickly induce corrosion that will begin to short out the components.   

2017-9-13 02:03:44
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fans536dd43d
lvl.1
Flight distance : 41416
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DJI customer service is amazing!! Instead of any kind of useful information I get "we do not suggest to use this unit anymore" Perfect just what I needed! I'm certainly not about to shelf a $600 drone with at least attempting a recovery.
2017-9-13 12:19:03
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fans536dd43d
lvl.1
Flight distance : 41416
Canada
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had it up today for 30 minutes or so and everything is fine but like Betamace says it may be a matter of time before the full extent of the damage becomes evident.
2017-9-13 12:21:05
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Tmygun
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Flight distance : 799961
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United States
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fans536dd43d Posted at 2017-9-13 12:19
DJI customer service is amazing!! Instead of any kind of useful information I get "we do not suggest to use this unit anymore" Perfect just what I needed! I'm certainly not about to shelf a $600 drone with at least attempting a recovery.

I hate to say it, but I think Susan was giving you useful information.  
DJI has consistently said that they do not suggest (They can't stop you) that you use a drone that has been submerged in water of any kind.  
They have also  consistently refused to try and fix ANY drone that has been dunked, much like Apple has a built in way of finding out if an iPhone or iPad has been dunked and will not cover it under warranty.
Betamace is spot on........and do you really want a Phantom falling out of the sky at the most in
opportune time.

Good Luck
2017-9-13 13:20:38
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fans536dd43d
lvl.1
Flight distance : 41416
Canada
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You may be correct Tmygun but my point about customer service still stands, regardless of whether this was good advice or not. I have never received any information of any value from DJI CS. It's either send the bird back ( very expensive from Canada) or advice that simply covers their perceived liability. If they want to improve their product ( which I think is great BTW) an improvement in customer contact would go a long way IMO.
2017-9-13 15:33:44
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Epicdoom
lvl.3
Flight distance : 35893
United States
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I've had many of my families phones fall into fresh water that I've dried out in rice and cleaned up with electromotive or denatured alcohol and they are still in service. I've personally had a GPS unit that I've had for 10 years now it was submerged in 2 foot of dirty creek water for three days found it dried it out in rice sprayed the electronics down with electromotive and its still working today. I understand mineralization and how it works, but not all water ways are full of nasty minerals and some minerals that are found aren't hazardous to these devices. I would definitely not power it up for atleast a week sitting in rice. if your worried about mineralization pull it completely apart and clean the electronics with alcohol on a Q-tip don't saturate them just dampen and clean for something this size expect to use a full package of Q-tips and several ounces of denatured alcohol
2017-9-13 16:18:36
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MrPinaColada
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I would almost advise against rice, due to the possible risk of getting small particles in the gimbal motors and other motors. I would definitely clean everything off gently with qtips and rubbing alcohol however.
2017-9-13 19:48:21
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ImHereToCrash
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Flight distance : 435748
United States
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to all the people suggesting the aircraft will die, you are likely wrong.    here is my reasoning,

all recent aircrafts DJi has been making for a while know use fairly heavy conformal coatings on boards and silastic on connections and joints.  yes still places where if it remains wet and powered on corrosion. however coatings and stuff helping you out only applies to fresh water(or mostly fresh), not salt water.. if its salt water, call it a total loss now.. becasuse even if u get it back in air after a salt water dunk it can still be corrodiing the insides even if its dry! if you have fresh water damage you still have a good chance at saving it!

my recommendations: pull battery and get it recycled, its worthless now and dangerous if it turns on to use in aircraft. let it air dry naturally for a week or so.. (it can take along time if water found a way between tight surfaces), do not power it on for entire time its drying, hands off for at least 7 days..  once dried out get new battery, power it up do basic tests close by.  if it seems normal then usually for most part, all is good.   but keep it in your mind that the aircraft could still be damaged in other ways.

general tips:  


do not power it on while it is wet or possibly wet

pull power asap

if your willing to because dji wont help you out with this,  you can tear it down and open it up and clean each part with heavy usage of 99.99% isopropyl .. let it dry.. then put it all back together.

2017-9-13 20:15:44
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fans536dd43d
lvl.1
Flight distance : 41416
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ImHereToCrash Posted at 2017-9-13 20:15
to all the people suggesting the aircraft will die, you are likely wrong.    here is my reasoning,

all recent aircrafts DJi has been making for a while know use fairly heavy conformal coatings on boards and silastic on connections and joints.  yes still places where if it remains wet and powered on corrosion. however coatings and stuff helping you out only applies to fresh water(or mostly fresh), not salt water.. if its salt water, call it a total loss now.. becasuse even if u get it back in air after a salt water dunk it can still be corrodiing the insides even if its dry! if you have fresh water damage you still have a good chance at saving it!

Thanks for that reply. Very helpful. I will be taking it apart tonight to do the alcohol clean thing, if I can find small enough torx/allen heads to get the screws out.
2017-9-14 05:33:06
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DJI-Mark
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Canada
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fans536dd43d Posted at 2017-9-13 12:19
DJI customer service is amazing!! Instead of any kind of useful information I get "we do not suggest to use this unit anymore" Perfect just what I needed! I'm certainly not about to shelf a $600 drone with at least attempting a recovery.

It has been consistent position to not use an aircraft after it has been in water. If you are able to get it to run, that is remarkable but not necessarily the safest way to go.
2017-9-14 09:27:56
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DJI-Mark
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Canada
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fans536dd43d Posted at 2017-9-13 15:33
You may be correct Tmygun but my point about customer service still stands, regardless of whether this was good advice or not. I have never received any information of any value from DJI CS. It's either send the bird back ( very expensive from Canada) or advice that simply covers their perceived liability. If they want to improve their product ( which I think is great BTW) an improvement in customer contact would go a long way IMO.

Sorry if you have had a bad experience. In fact, many issues that have come through the forums have been resolved. However, it is always a work in progress. We do appreciate the feedback. If there are any outside concerns that you have, feel free to post on this forum and I will do my best to assist.
2017-9-14 09:29:44
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fans536dd43d
lvl.1
Flight distance : 41416
Canada
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DJI-Mark Posted at 2017-9-14 09:27
It has been consistent position to not use an aircraft after it has been in water. If you are able to get it to run, that is remarkable but not necessarily the safest way to go.

Understood
2017-9-14 09:30:04
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fans536dd43d
lvl.1
Flight distance : 41416
Canada
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Disassembled the drone and carefully cleaned all the circuit board components with 99% Isopropyl  alcohol and Q tips. It was remarkably clean under the shell but perhaps its a case of what you cant see that will kill it. All as clean as possible now. Although the battery will charge up I will likely recycle it as I don't trust it after that high energy component was dunked. I'll leave it for a few days then try it low, slow and close. Thanks to all for your helpful suggestions.
2017-9-14 09:38:21
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Betamace
Second Officer
Flight distance : 650
United States
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fans536dd43d Posted at 2017-9-14 09:38
Disassembled the drone and carefully cleaned all the circuit board components with 99% Isopropyl  alcohol and Q tips. It was remarkably clean under the shell but perhaps its a case of what you cant see that will kill it. All as clean as possible now. Although the battery will charge up I will likely recycle it as I don't trust it after that high energy component was dunked. I'll leave it for a few days then try it low, slow and close. Thanks to all for your helpful suggestions.

There's components on the center board that would require de-soldering/removal to effect proper cleaning.  Yes, 99% alcohol and a tooth brush is good as a DIY solution.
Having experience with water damaged cell phones, I can guarantee that if the device is not properly cleaned before the water has had a chance to evaporate, there's very little chance that the center board will ever work again. Also consider that very expensive camera, gimbal and wifi radio bundle.  
The phantom3 is not water proof or proof against water damage. No DIY solution will save it. It will die. But if you still intend to fly it, KEEP IT LOW AND CLOSE!
2017-9-14 12:10:08
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MrRobert5823
lvl.4
Flight distance : 102612
United States
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I know very well how expensive the batteries are, but I personally wouldn't use that battery anymore.... Water and these batteries are NOT friends.  Best of luck... but I would NOT use it.  Dry the drone out.... but don't use that battery.
2017-9-14 12:41:08
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ImHereToCrash
lvl.4
Flight distance : 435748
United States
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Betamace Posted at 2017-9-14 12:10
There's components on the center board that would require de-soldering/removal to effect proper cleaning.  Yes, 99% alcohol and a tooth brush is good as a DIY solution.
Having experience with water damaged cell phones, I can guarantee that if the device is not properly cleaned before the water has had a chance to evaporate, there's very little chance that the center board will ever work again. Also consider that very expensive camera, gimbal and wifi radio bundle.  
The phantom3 is not water proof or proof against water damage. No DIY solution will save it. It will die. But if you still intend to fly it, KEEP IT LOW AND CLOSE!

i have seen Dji drones work after being pulled from water.  trick is and will always be, moment it goes into water pull it out put the battery aside and either dry it out as it is or take the risk if no way dji will replace it and tear it down yourself and clean everything.   what 99%+ alcohol will do is displaces the water, dont need a brush usually. just soak the boards in 99% solution shake it around little bit then pull it out, let it dry for 24 hours is usually enough, because the water will dry as well a bit faster.  any area that had thermal paste, apply it. and reaffix it to its heat sink..  i tend to use Arctic MX4 and you only need smallest dab on tiny parts..MX4 is non conductive and non capacitive so shouldn't cause damage if you getting it on ur finger prints and everywhere..

then on rebuild i would use silicon calking or if you got it silastic on connections and joints with ribbons and wiring plugs.. or if your cheap use capton tape and then drown it in hot glue..
2017-9-14 18:35:58
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