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Two weeks underwater, 3 rescue attempts.. A long story of drowned drone and determination..

vandemonian

Active Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2021
Messages
36
Reactions
52
Location
Hobart, Tas, AUST
I'll admit straight away, I was flying too low and just lost visible but was feeling confident after a lovely flight along Taroona and Hinsby Beaches on Hobart's Derwent River (Tas.AU). One and a half minutes or so of gliding along, just off-shore, dolphins passing underneath, nice day, 3rd battery of the morning and at my range limit I turned for home, full forward stick and suddenly three beeps and a close glimpse of water on the screen then a dreadful blankness and red letters... "lost contact"!

The shock and knowing what's happened is like a car crash.. I started walking towards that end of the beach but stopped.. there was no point - somewhere 70-100 metres off the nearest shore and 500M from my position in 11 degree C water is my drowned drone. I went home with a long face, called DJI and started the process for an unrecovered accidental loss against my care refresh package - the support guy was great and said that I was covered for an unrecovered (pilot-error) flyaway but the cost would be A$850.

I rang a cousin who said "no worries.. I have a friend who owns a dingy on the next beach.. I'll call him". The following day he happily took me around to Hinsby Beach.. The DJI Fly "Find my drone" function put us near the spot but the resolution of the map made the "find" zone huge - it could have been 60 or more metres in any direction because there was no pinpointing where we were on that scale. On land: trees, roads, clearings and turning on "Beep and Flash" would have been enough but underwater and drowned.. Needle in the Haystack!

Still hoping, I dropped off the side of the dingy into the water with a 6mm thick, full body, semi-dry wetsuit, mask, fins and snorkel.. it was cold and visibility was awful. I thought I was prepared but it seemed I was floundering around trying to fix a point because because there's no markers on the water and everything underwater looks the same and it was murky with strange filaments like cobwebs that filled the water and reflected sunlight. I tried towing the dingy around to cast a shadow where it was easier to see. The haystacks just got bigger. I gave up after an hour or so and before the cold set in. Too many haystacks.

Back home again with another long face I called a friend to ask him if he had a nautical chart and told him I was thinking I could walk down the rocky shoreline to the same latitude, fix a line and swim out and snorkel around a search area.. he was keen and the next day we found a way down a gully to a launch spot and then planned to come back with all the gear.

One week after the crash we came back to the gully with our wetsuits, fins, masks, snorkels, weight belts and a buoy with a shot line and high hopes but it was a steep and tricky clamber down to a rougher launch place than we would have liked. During the week I had also found an app that constantly reads out Lat/Long and I planned to swim to the last known co-ords by watching the screen then dropping the shot line to mark the start of the search..

Sadly, out from the rocky launch it was just more floundering around in freezing water with the phone in a zip-lock bag and water splashing on the screen causing it to change, and then me not being able to read it properly when it was on the correct app. Eventually, I thought I was on the right place, dropped the marker and started searching up and down. After more than an hour in the cold water without any sign I knew I had to get out.. I was freezing, loosing buoyancy and knew it was dumb to get into peril for a lost drone.. Inside, something said "stop now" - nothing a good credit card can't fix.

Home again.. I'll just pay the Fly-Away replacement cost.

...but. I want to try again. one more time. properly prepared!

I upgraded the App for A$12.99 and it now shows in metres the distance and relative bearing to your set location plus an accuracy factor.. I also bought a waterproof accessory bag to put the phone in. I tried the app in the car park at work and it looks pretty impressive.

I call my friend again who has has two sit-on-top kayaks and he's happy to come out and we agree this time he's not getting in the water and will look after the boats when I drop in. He'll also bring the shot line and buoy and a weight belt for me.

Full of hope, I dial in the co ords from the log file into the app..

We paddle out from the beach - we're 600M from the last known position, we're dry and warm and after 500M paddling I turn the phone on and start the app.. 8 or 9 passes back and forth with the app showing a few metres from "last Known" we place the buoy.. I paddle away and refine the position - 6M NW of the first placement. I do it again. another few metres north. I try lying on the boat with my face in the water but its difficult and uncomfortable. My friend takes the bowline of my kayak and I slide into the cold wetness. Again, the weed and rock and bottom looks vast as I snorkel around. 10 minutes later I think that I have to trust the buoy placement and localise the search close to there. The weed is swaying back and forth, there's rocky lumps and hollows, a fish, more weed, another hollow and suddenly, there it is.. less than 3M from the weight attached to the shot line.
I was planning to take a photo of the drone on the bottom with my Olympus TG-6 and get the video recording it as I dive down.
Forget it, just be thankful. Drone Found!

Back home - close inspection shows its in awful condition. Everything that moves is full of sandy grit but worse than that the alu-metal shell of the camera and heatsink underbelly has eroded or corroded away or blowing apart from the plastic casing.. I removed the battery which is swollen and leaking and now sits outside the house isolated on a concrete slab. Ferris screws are rusting quickly. Its a sad sight. The Micro SD was readable and I recovered all images after rinsing and wiping with isopro.

My name and number sticker was still intact.

Loved flying my A2S. Glad to have salvaged the wreckage to send back to the maker.

Several lessons rammed home.

Blue skies,

Chris
 
Enjoyed the story. So your Care Refresh cost will be less--and you still have a flyaway replacement available.
 
I'll admit straight away, I was flying too low and just lost visible but was feeling confident after a lovely flight along Taroona and Hinsby Beaches on Hobart's Derwent River (Tas.AU). One and a half minutes or so of gliding along, just off-shore, dolphins passing underneath, nice day, 3rd battery of the morning and at my range limit I turned for home, full forward stick and suddenly three beeps and a close glimpse of water on the screen then a dreadful blankness and red letters... "lost contact"!

The shock and knowing what's happened is like a car crash.. I started walking towards that end of the beach but stopped.. there was no point - somewhere 70-100 metres off the nearest shore and 500M from my position in 11 degree C water is my drowned drone. I went home with a long face, called DJI and started the process for an unrecovered accidental loss against my care refresh package - the support guy was great and said that I was covered for an unrecovered (pilot-error) flyaway but the cost would be A$850.

I rang a cousin who said "no worries.. I have a friend who owns a dingy on the next beach.. I'll call him". The following day he happily took me around to Hinsby Beach.. The DJI Fly "Find my drone" function put us near the spot but the resolution of the map made the "find" zone huge - it could have been 60 or more metres in any direction because there was no pinpointing where we were on that scale. On land: trees, roads, clearings and turning on "Beep and Flash" would have been enough but underwater and drowned.. Needle in the Haystack!

Still hoping, I dropped off the side of the dingy into the water with a 6mm thick, full body, semi-dry wetsuit, mask, fins and snorkel.. it was cold and visibility was awful. I thought I was prepared but it seemed I was floundering around trying to fix a point because because there's no markers on the water and everything underwater looks the same and it was murky with strange filaments like cobwebs that filled the water and reflected sunlight. I tried towing the dingy around to cast a shadow where it was easier to see. The haystacks just got bigger. I gave up after an hour or so and before the cold set in. Too many haystacks.

Back home again with another long face I called a friend to ask him if he had a nautical chart and told him I was thinking I could walk down the rocky shoreline to the same latitude, fix a line and swim out and snorkel around a search area.. he was keen and the next day we found a way down a gully to a launch spot and then planned to come back with all the gear.

One week after the crash we came back to the gully with our wetsuits, fins, masks, snorkels, weight belts and a buoy with a shot line and high hopes but it was a steep and tricky clamber down to a rougher launch place than we would have liked. During the week I had also found an app that constantly reads out Lat/Long and I planned to swim to the last known co-ords by watching the screen then dropping the shot line to mark the start of the search..

Sadly, out from the rocky launch it was just more floundering around in freezing water with the phone in a zip-lock bag and water splashing on the screen causing it to change, and then me not being able to read it properly when it was on the correct app. Eventually, I thought I was on the right place, dropped the marker and started searching up and down. After more than an hour in the cold water without any sign I knew I had to get out.. I was freezing, loosing buoyancy and knew it was dumb to get into peril for a lost drone.. Inside, something said "stop now" - nothing a good credit card can't fix.

Home again.. I'll just pay the Fly-Away replacement cost.

...but. I want to try again. one more time. properly prepared!

I upgraded the App for A$12.99 and it now shows in metres the distance and relative bearing to your set location plus an accuracy factor.. I also bought a waterproof accessory bag to put the phone in. I tried the app in the car park at work and it looks pretty impressive.

I call my friend again who has has two sit-on-top kayaks and he's happy to come out and we agree this time he's not getting in the water and will look after the boats when I drop in. He'll also bring the shot line and buoy and a weight belt for me.

Full of hope, I dial in the co ords from the log file into the app..

We paddle out from the beach - we're 600M from the last known position, we're dry and warm and after 500M paddling I turn the phone on and start the app.. 8 or 9 passes back and forth with the app showing a few metres from "last Known" we place the buoy.. I paddle away and refine the position - 6M NW of the first placement. I do it again. another few metres north. I try lying on the boat with my face in the water but its difficult and uncomfortable. My friend takes the bowline of my kayak and I slide into the cold wetness. Again, the weed and rock and bottom looks vast as I snorkel around. 10 minutes later I think that I have to trust the buoy placement and localise the search close to there. The weed is swaying back and forth, there's rocky lumps and hollows, a fish, more weed, another hollow and suddenly, there it is.. less than 3M from the weight attached to the shot line.
I was planning to take a photo of the drone on the bottom with my Olympus TG-6 and get the video recording it as I dive down.
Forget it, just be thankful. Drone Found!

Back home - close inspection shows its in awful condition. Everything that moves is full of sandy grit but worse than that the alu-metal shell of the camera and heatsink underbelly has eroded or corroded away or blowing apart from the plastic casing.. I removed the battery which is swollen and leaking and now sits outside the house isolated on a concrete slab. Ferris screws are rusting quickly. Its a sad sight. The Micro SD was readable and I recovered all images after rinsing and wiping with isopro.

My name and number sticker was still intact.

Loved flying my A2S. Glad to have salvaged the wreckage to send back to the maker.

Several lessons rammed home.

Blue skies,

Chris
You write well Chris.
 
I'll admit straight away, I was flying too low and just lost visible but was feeling confident after a lovely flight along Taroona and Hinsby Beaches on Hobart's Derwent River (Tas.AU). One and a half minutes or so of gliding along, just off-shore, dolphins passing underneath, nice day, 3rd battery of the morning and at my range limit I turned for home, full forward stick and suddenly three beeps and a close glimpse of water on the screen then a dreadful blankness and red letters... "lost contact"!

The shock and knowing what's happened is like a car crash.. I started walking towards that end of the beach but stopped.. there was no point - somewhere 70-100 metres off the nearest shore and 500M from my position in 11 degree C water is my drowned drone. I went home with a long face, called DJI and started the process for an unrecovered accidental loss against my care refresh package - the support guy was great and said that I was covered for an unrecovered (pilot-error) flyaway but the cost would be A$850.

I rang a cousin who said "no worries.. I have a friend who owns a dingy on the next beach.. I'll call him". The following day he happily took me around to Hinsby Beach.. The DJI Fly "Find my drone" function put us near the spot but the resolution of the map made the "find" zone huge - it could have been 60 or more metres in any direction because there was no pinpointing where we were on that scale. On land: trees, roads, clearings and turning on "Beep and Flash" would have been enough but underwater and drowned.. Needle in the Haystack!

Still hoping, I dropped off the side of the dingy into the water with a 6mm thick, full body, semi-dry wetsuit, mask, fins and snorkel.. it was cold and visibility was awful. I thought I was prepared but it seemed I was floundering around trying to fix a point because because there's no markers on the water and everything underwater looks the same and it was murky with strange filaments like cobwebs that filled the water and reflected sunlight. I tried towing the dingy around to cast a shadow where it was easier to see. The haystacks just got bigger. I gave up after an hour or so and before the cold set in. Too many haystacks.

Back home again with another long face I called a friend to ask him if he had a nautical chart and told him I was thinking I could walk down the rocky shoreline to the same latitude, fix a line and swim out and snorkel around a search area.. he was keen and the next day we found a way down a gully to a launch spot and then planned to come back with all the gear.

One week after the crash we came back to the gully with our wetsuits, fins, masks, snorkels, weight belts and a buoy with a shot line and high hopes but it was a steep and tricky clamber down to a rougher launch place than we would have liked. During the week I had also found an app that constantly reads out Lat/Long and I planned to swim to the last known co-ords by watching the screen then dropping the shot line to mark the start of the search..

Sadly, out from the rocky launch it was just more floundering around in freezing water with the phone in a zip-lock bag and water splashing on the screen causing it to change, and then me not being able to read it properly when it was on the correct app. Eventually, I thought I was on the right place, dropped the marker and started searching up and down. After more than an hour in the cold water without any sign I knew I had to get out.. I was freezing, loosing buoyancy and knew it was dumb to get into peril for a lost drone.. Inside, something said "stop now" - nothing a good credit card can't fix.

Home again.. I'll just pay the Fly-Away replacement cost.

...but. I want to try again. one more time. properly prepared!

I upgraded the App for A$12.99 and it now shows in metres the distance and relative bearing to your set location plus an accuracy factor.. I also bought a waterproof accessory bag to put the phone in. I tried the app in the car park at work and it looks pretty impressive.

I call my friend again who has has two sit-on-top kayaks and he's happy to come out and we agree this time he's not getting in the water and will look after the boats when I drop in. He'll also bring the shot line and buoy and a weight belt for me.

Full of hope, I dial in the co ords from the log file into the app..

We paddle out from the beach - we're 600M from the last known position, we're dry and warm and after 500M paddling I turn the phone on and start the app.. 8 or 9 passes back and forth with the app showing a few metres from "last Known" we place the buoy.. I paddle away and refine the position - 6M NW of the first placement. I do it again. another few metres north. I try lying on the boat with my face in the water but its difficult and uncomfortable. My friend takes the bowline of my kayak and I slide into the cold wetness. Again, the weed and rock and bottom looks vast as I snorkel around. 10 minutes later I think that I have to trust the buoy placement and localise the search close to there. The weed is swaying back and forth, there's rocky lumps and hollows, a fish, more weed, another hollow and suddenly, there it is.. less than 3M from the weight attached to the shot line.
I was planning to take a photo of the drone on the bottom with my Olympus TG-6 and get the video recording it as I dive down.
Forget it, just be thankful. Drone Found!

Back home - close inspection shows its in awful condition. Everything that moves is full of sandy grit but worse than that the alu-metal shell of the camera and heatsink underbelly has eroded or corroded away or blowing apart from the plastic casing.. I removed the battery which is swollen and leaking and now sits outside the house isolated on a concrete slab. Ferris screws are rusting quickly. Its a sad sight. The Micro SD was readable and I recovered all images after rinsing and wiping with isopro.

My name and number sticker was still intact.

Loved flying my A2S. Glad to have salvaged the wreckage to send back to the maker.

Several lessons rammed home.

Blue skies,

Chris
My experience wasn't quite as dramatic, but landing my m30 t on the deck of a boat, it must have mistaken the wet deck for water and tried to launch off again, flipped upside down and went into a 15 ft alligator infested canal. It took 3 weeks before I could get a diver out to locate it and retrieve it. But now that I have, my Enterprise care refresh will replace it for a very modest fee.
 

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I'll admit straight away, I was flying too low and just lost visible but was feeling confident after a lovely flight along Taroona and Hinsby Beaches on Hobart's Derwent River (Tas.AU). One and a half minutes or so of gliding along, just off-shore, dolphins passing underneath, nice day, 3rd battery of the morning and at my range limit I turned for home, full forward stick and suddenly three beeps and a close glimpse of water on the screen then a dreadful blankness and red letters... "lost contact"!

The shock and knowing what's happened is like a car crash.. I started walking towards that end of the beach but stopped.. there was no point - somewhere 70-100 metres off the nearest shore and 500M from my position in 11 degree C water is my drowned drone. I went home with a long face, called DJI and started the process for an unrecovered accidental loss against my care refresh package - the support guy was great and said that I was covered for an unrecovered (pilot-error) flyaway but the cost would be A$850.

I rang a cousin who said "no worries.. I have a friend who owns a dingy on the next beach.. I'll call him". The following day he happily took me around to Hinsby Beach.. The DJI Fly "Find my drone" function put us near the spot but the resolution of the map made the "find" zone huge - it could have been 60 or more metres in any direction because there was no pinpointing where we were on that scale. On land: trees, roads, clearings and turning on "Beep and Flash" would have been enough but underwater and drowned.. Needle in the Haystack!

Still hoping, I dropped off the side of the dingy into the water with a 6mm thick, full body, semi-dry wetsuit, mask, fins and snorkel.. it was cold and visibility was awful. I thought I was prepared but it seemed I was floundering around trying to fix a point because because there's no markers on the water and everything underwater looks the same and it was murky with strange filaments like cobwebs that filled the water and reflected sunlight. I tried towing the dingy around to cast a shadow where it was easier to see. The haystacks just got bigger. I gave up after an hour or so and before the cold set in. Too many haystacks.

Back home again with another long face I called a friend to ask him if he had a nautical chart and told him I was thinking I could walk down the rocky shoreline to the same latitude, fix a line and swim out and snorkel around a search area.. he was keen and the next day we found a way down a gully to a launch spot and then planned to come back with all the gear.

One week after the crash we came back to the gully with our wetsuits, fins, masks, snorkels, weight belts and a buoy with a shot line and high hopes but it was a steep and tricky clamber down to a rougher launch place than we would have liked. During the week I had also found an app that constantly reads out Lat/Long and I planned to swim to the last known co-ords by watching the screen then dropping the shot line to mark the start of the search..

Sadly, out from the rocky launch it was just more floundering around in freezing water with the phone in a zip-lock bag and water splashing on the screen causing it to change, and then me not being able to read it properly when it was on the correct app. Eventually, I thought I was on the right place, dropped the marker and started searching up and down. After more than an hour in the cold water without any sign I knew I had to get out.. I was freezing, loosing buoyancy and knew it was dumb to get into peril for a lost drone.. Inside, something said "stop now" - nothing a good credit card can't fix.

Home again.. I'll just pay the Fly-Away replacement cost.

...but. I want to try again. one more time. properly prepared!

I upgraded the App for A$12.99 and it now shows in metres the distance and relative bearing to your set location plus an accuracy factor.. I also bought a waterproof accessory bag to put the phone in. I tried the app in the car park at work and it looks pretty impressive.

I call my friend again who has has two sit-on-top kayaks and he's happy to come out and we agree this time he's not getting in the water and will look after the boats when I drop in. He'll also bring the shot line and buoy and a weight belt for me.

Full of hope, I dial in the co ords from the log file into the app..

We paddle out from the beach - we're 600M from the last known position, we're dry and warm and after 500M paddling I turn the phone on and start the app.. 8 or 9 passes back and forth with the app showing a few metres from "last Known" we place the buoy.. I paddle away and refine the position - 6M NW of the first placement. I do it again. another few metres north. I try lying on the boat with my face in the water but its difficult and uncomfortable. My friend takes the bowline of my kayak and I slide into the cold wetness. Again, the weed and rock and bottom looks vast as I snorkel around. 10 minutes later I think that I have to trust the buoy placement and localise the search close to there. The weed is swaying back and forth, there's rocky lumps and hollows, a fish, more weed, another hollow and suddenly, there it is.. less than 3M from the weight attached to the shot line.
I was planning to take a photo of the drone on the bottom with my Olympus TG-6 and get the video recording it as I dive down.
Forget it, just be thankful. Drone Found!

Back home - close inspection shows its in awful condition. Everything that moves is full of sandy grit but worse than that the alu-metal shell of the camera and heatsink underbelly has eroded or corroded away or blowing apart from the plastic casing.. I removed the battery which is swollen and leaking and now sits outside the house isolated on a concrete slab. Ferris screws are rusting quickly. Its a sad sight. The Micro SD was readable and I recovered all images after rinsing and wiping with isopro.

My name and number sticker was still intact.

Loved flying my A2S. Glad to have salvaged the wreckage to send back to the maker.

Several lessons rammed home.

Blue skies,

Chris
Jacque Cousteau would have been proud of you. I’m happy for your recovery and I’m looking forward to your next adventurous story 🖊 …I was getting tired of the ‘gimble cover’ stories. 😂
👍
 
Thanks for encouragement and kind remarks..
Yes, I believe I'll save a gob of dough on a Care Refresh replacement by getting the body back, that was a big incentive but I also wanted to "right a wrong".. I f***d up at the controls and wanted to get the reigns back by working out all the things needed to recover a loss!
I like telling a story well.. but I'm long-winded and never studied writing or other humanities - everyone suffers from that including me because It takes me a long time.. but now there's a story instead of a 30 second clip but I believe wisdom comes from remembered words when frames are long forgotten.
I am astonished by the degradation of some parts of the drone.. The impact with the water was at full forward control which only folded one (front) arm halfway back so physical impact damage was minimal.. the river is tidal with a large volume outflow of fresh, so the water is not as saline as the sea - swimming in it was not nearly as "salty" as any of my previous salt-water swim or dive experiences but the camera housing looks like its been in acid and the heatsink base of the underbelly is wasting fast.. It could be the outcome of some electrolysis if there was still current being produced by the battery or maybe corrosive battery leakage.. I am sure I felt some irritation on my hands after touching parts of the wreckage and I have advised Care Refresh that the battery is a risk to post back..
I think the product is outstanding and the pictures I am posting are just for interest and not to cast any negative about the brand.
 

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Sorry it became a submarine, but quite a feat to retrieve it even though it's unusable. AND...you did get your SD card back!
 
I'll admit straight away, I was flying too low and just lost visible but was feeling confident after a lovely flight along Taroona and Hinsby Beaches on Hobart's Derwent River (Tas.AU). One and a half minutes or so of gliding along, just off-shore, dolphins passing underneath, nice day, 3rd battery of the morning and at my range limit I turned for home, full forward stick and suddenly three beeps and a close glimpse of water on the screen then a dreadful blankness and red letters... "lost contact"!

The shock and knowing what's happened is like a car crash.. I started walking towards that end of the beach but stopped.. there was no point - somewhere 70-100 metres off the nearest shore and 500M from my position in 11 degree C water is my drowned drone. I went home with a long face, called DJI and started the process for an unrecovered accidental loss against my care refresh package - the support guy was great and said that I was covered for an unrecovered (pilot-error) flyaway but the cost would be A$850.

I rang a cousin who said "no worries.. I have a friend who owns a dingy on the next beach.. I'll call him". The following day he happily took me around to Hinsby Beach.. The DJI Fly "Find my drone" function put us near the spot but the resolution of the map made the "find" zone huge - it could have been 60 or more metres in any direction because there was no pinpointing where we were on that scale. On land: trees, roads, clearings and turning on "Beep and Flash" would have been enough but underwater and drowned.. Needle in the Haystack!

Still hoping, I dropped off the side of the dingy into the water with a 6mm thick, full body, semi-dry wetsuit, mask, fins and snorkel.. it was cold and visibility was awful. I thought I was prepared but it seemed I was floundering around trying to fix a point because because there's no markers on the water and everything underwater looks the same and it was murky with strange filaments like cobwebs that filled the water and reflected sunlight. I tried towing the dingy around to cast a shadow where it was easier to see. The haystacks just got bigger. I gave up after an hour or so and before the cold set in. Too many haystacks.

Back home again with another long face I called a friend to ask him if he had a nautical chart and told him I was thinking I could walk down the rocky shoreline to the same latitude, fix a line and swim out and snorkel around a search area.. he was keen and the next day we found a way down a gully to a launch spot and then planned to come back with all the gear.

One week after the crash we came back to the gully with our wetsuits, fins, masks, snorkels, weight belts and a buoy with a shot line and high hopes but it was a steep and tricky clamber down to a rougher launch place than we would have liked. During the week I had also found an app that constantly reads out Lat/Long and I planned to swim to the last known co-ords by watching the screen then dropping the shot line to mark the start of the search..

Sadly, out from the rocky launch it was just more floundering around in freezing water with the phone in a zip-lock bag and water splashing on the screen causing it to change, and then me not being able to read it properly when it was on the correct app. Eventually, I thought I was on the right place, dropped the marker and started searching up and down. After more than an hour in the cold water without any sign I knew I had to get out.. I was freezing, loosing buoyancy and knew it was dumb to get into peril for a lost drone.. Inside, something said "stop now" - nothing a good credit card can't fix.

Home again.. I'll just pay the Fly-Away replacement cost.

...but. I want to try again. one more time. properly prepared!

I upgraded the App for A$12.99 and it now shows in metres the distance and relative bearing to your set location plus an accuracy factor.. I also bought a waterproof accessory bag to put the phone in. I tried the app in the car park at work and it looks pretty impressive.

I call my friend again who has has two sit-on-top kayaks and he's happy to come out and we agree this time he's not getting in the water and will look after the boats when I drop in. He'll also bring the shot line and buoy and a weight belt for me.

Full of hope, I dial in the co ords from the log file into the app..

We paddle out from the beach - we're 600M from the last known position, we're dry and warm and after 500M paddling I turn the phone on and start the app.. 8 or 9 passes back and forth with the app showing a few metres from "last Known" we place the buoy.. I paddle away and refine the position - 6M NW of the first placement. I do it again. another few metres north. I try lying on the boat with my face in the water but its difficult and uncomfortable. My friend takes the bowline of my kayak and I slide into the cold wetness. Again, the weed and rock and bottom looks vast as I snorkel around. 10 minutes later I think that I have to trust the buoy placement and localise the search close to there. The weed is swaying back and forth, there's rocky lumps and hollows, a fish, more weed, another hollow and suddenly, there it is.. less than 3M from the weight attached to the shot line.
I was planning to take a photo of the drone on the bottom with my Olympus TG-6 and get the video recording it as I dive down.
Forget it, just be thankful. Drone Found!

Back home - close inspection shows its in awful condition. Everything that moves is full of sandy grit but worse than that the alu-metal shell of the camera and heatsink underbelly has eroded or corroded away or blowing apart from the plastic casing.. I removed the battery which is swollen and leaking and now sits outside the house isolated on a concrete slab. Ferris screws are rusting quickly. Its a sad sight. The Micro SD was readable and I recovered all images after rinsing and wiping with isopro.

My name and number sticker was still intact.

Loved flying my A2S. Glad to have salvaged the wreckage to send back to the maker.

Several lessons rammed home.

Blue skies,

Chris
You showed some impressive snorkel and diving skills in the recovery. That cold water saps your energy and slows the mental functions after just a few minutes. It’s been years, but I remember my cold dives in Michigan…brrrrrrr!
 
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Post Script: Today, a new, shrink-wrapped A2S arrived in the mail with a new battery..

its a sweet book-end from a month ago when I drowned my treasured drone and spent much time searching the river to get it back.
Care Refresh replacement cost was AUD199 (because I found it) instead of AUD849 if I didn't find the wreck and claimed Fly Away which would have ended my CR package.
Now I still have one CR replacement / FA available this year.
If I retain the CR replacement eligibility for another two months I can buy CR Plus to cover the next 12 months and have access to another Fly-Away or CR replacement.

I hooked it all up after work and got the blades turning again.. as they say "rotors don't fly, they thrash the air into submission"
Blue skies everyone and happy thrashing.
Chris
 
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An awesome story thank you for sharing it. Well written yes. A well told story.

So we can avoid this too…
So the actual determined cause of it cartwheeling into the water? You said full stick forward. Full pitch forward would have only made it climb.
Yes flying too low you said.
A quick forward right stick causes the craft to nose-down seriously for acceleration. Did it nose-down and maybe touch your forward props to the water?
Maybe a wave or swell came up at that time. Combined, that could have been the water rise plus nose down. Tidal volume can swing quite a bit in a 1/2 hour flight. Incoming tide, catch a wave or swell, plus a nose-down pitch. Maybe that was it?
But you recovered it well done!
 
Good story…i am certified diver,own underwater drone with 100 yard of cable,in case my drone drops down in water,also have shotgun in case of flyaway(well needed if you have any model of parrot drone) 😁😁
 
If I retain the CR replacement eligibility for another two months I can buy CR Plus to cover the next 12 months and have access to another Fly-Away or CR replacement.
I was reading about a Brit who had a Mini 2 and was going to have to pay about 55 Pounds ($60 US) for the second year of Care Refresh+. I was curious what the cost was for me (in the US) and it was $39 US when I checked and DJI was offering me the opportunity to buy it then (in September) and my Care Refresh is still good until February 2023.

You may not have to wait, check to see the cost and if you can purchase it now while you are still eligible…
 
An awesome story thank you for sharing it. Well written yes. A well told story.

So we can avoid this too…
So the actual determined cause of it cartwheeling into the water? You said full stick forward. Full pitch forward would have only made it climb.
Yes flying too low you said.
A quick forward right stick causes the craft to nose-down seriously for acceleration. Did it nose-down and maybe touch your forward props to the water?
Maybe a wave or swell came up at that time. Combined, that could have been the water rise plus nose down. Tidal volume can swing quite a bit in a 1/2 hour flight. Incoming tide, catch a wave or swell, plus a nose-down pitch. Maybe that was it?
But you recovered it well done!
I'll admit full "brain-fade" "kernel-dump" "dumb-***" move..

It was like I had a switched to another mode of stick control and was flying fixed wing.. (I have flown different modes and fixed wing but mostly with a Spectrum DX6i and sim S/W on a PC).

It went like this:
Nice long run down the shoreline...then.. full left turn control, full forward (right stick) like that was the throttle and a big handful of up elevator on the left stick to head to the sky -- except, as we know a big backward handful of LH stick cuts the throttle and down it goes.

Logs show I hit the water a full-gas forward control (12 or 14m/s) and full negative throttle.

Not a good moment.
 
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