What to Do If Drone Goes in Water: Read This First!

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The possibility of flying the drone over water is likely a frightening one for just about any UAV flyers. As you know, water conditions tend to be loaded up with potential perils, for example, strong winds, waves, boats, and even winged animals. While operating this flying machine over water is not advisable, some aerial picture takers, videographers, etc., will, some of the time, need to do definitely that. 

That is why the comprehensive guide below is providing you with helpful advice and instructions on what to do if drone goes in water and even more!

Please note that in this post, we also refer to the term drones as UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), unmanned aircraft, flying machines, flying robots, or automation.

DJI Inspire 2 flying over water
DJI Inspire 2 flying over water

What to do first

Has your flying robot hit the water? If so, follow the quick steps below to save your machine:

  1. Move your UAV out from the water as quickly as could be expected under the circumstances.
  2. Turn the power off and take the drone’s battery out as fast as you can.
  3. Utilize your hair dryer or the likes of it to deplete as much water as possible from the robot.
  4. After taking the cover off, place the UAV in a box loaded up with raw rice (it is readily accessible in your house, isn’t it?).
  5. Follow with waiting for all that to become dry (As a rule, it takes somewhere in between eight and eighteen hours 
  6. Evaluate what parts get harmed when starting your UAV.
  7. In the event that there are none of the malfunctions found, you will be able to charge your battery and get prepared to let your drone be airborne again!

Check the main parts of your drones

This should be part of what to do if drone goes in water! Are you wondering why?

It is worth noting that the unmanned aircraft vehicles comprise a few critical parts, and without these components, your automation will fail to operate and fly properly. Thus, it is imperative to look into them and figure out whether they are functioning appropriately. The significant parts of which your UAV comprises are as below:

1. Circuitry & Mainboard

With regards to the relationship of mainboards with water, we, as a whole, understand that they are not a mix and match. All the sorts of contact which incorporate water and electronics result in short circuits everywhere on the board containing an electric circuit. 

Obviously there are circumstances in which you are lucky not to go through any serious issues related, yet much of the time, you will get compelled to supplant your mainboard that may be pretty costly. 

2. Engines

In case you do not know, a couple of sorts of engines are counted on to construct UAVs. The good news is, the drone’s motors are generally water safe and ought not to suffer any harm because of their contact with water. 

What is more? The present flying robots come with brushless engines, and there are none of the moving parts with them. It is anything but difficult to define in case they are harmed; there is no other alternative but that: the motors will be functional, or they will not be.

3. Camera

drone camera

There are a few factors important when you check your drone’s camera and bear in mind that they have to do with how since quite a while ago was your robot in the water as well as the level of depth. It is significant in view of the sensor and your camera lens. You are likely to find out that the fog shows up on your camera, and the image might become not sharp or clear. 

In general, make certain you look into whether the camera of your UAV functions correctly; otherwise, we suggest you purchase a new camera. 

Check this post to know more about drone’s camera.

4. Battery

Please keep in mind that there is not a lot that you will be able to do when it comes to checking whether the battery of your drone becomes harmed or not in the wake of contacting water – but bring it to a nearby electronics center. 

It is worth noting – there is the chemical composition in these power cells, and they are exceptionally touchy, which, thus, now and again can lead to a fire and blast. Playing with such things is not fitting. 

Check out: Top drones with long battery.

What to do if drone goes in water: The power-on test

  • The initial step is to make the UAV dry before putting a (new) battery and switching on the robot. Remember to be cautious and keep an eye for any unanticipated circumstances such as peculiar sounds or smoke. In case any of such elements show up, bring your robot to an expert for a fix (do not forget to have the product warranty with you). 
  • Then again, as you switch on the robot, watch if all is well and you do not find out any issue. Look into the controller to ensure none of the errors is found. Remember to check the drone’s camera likewise, and figure whether the image is blurry or clear.
  • For the second step, you should carry out the IMU (inertial measurement unit) process as well as ensure all the things are functioning appropriately, aside from a compass calibration. Issues like that are likely to make your UAV collide with something, in light of height drops. Make certain you go ahead with a test drone flight on low elevation and stability assessment.
when drone goes in water, after initial steps, you can dismantle the parts to have a test if all components still function

What if the drone is water damaged?

1. Check the product warranty

In the event that you wind up in a circumstance that you still have your robot’s warranty, please make use of it carefully. 

Prior to utilizing it for your robot, ensure to make the UAV dry, to begin with, until you can bring it to the product provider. Something imperative you ought not to do is unscrew the machine’s top or other components of your robot. That is because you will stand a likelihood of nullifying the product warranty. 

Likewise, in case there is certain doubt that an accident happened in light of a fault, the supplier will have the option to check the flight logs of your robot to figure out what really occurred. 

You will find two situations with regards to the warranty: The product provider needs to assess if the failure resulted from the flyer’s mistake or the item failure. In case they discover that your robot was in the water, the supplier may cancel the product warranty, which hence leads you to shoulder the expenses for your robot. 

2. Imagine a scenario in which your warranty already reaches the expiry date or you do not have it

What to do if drone goes in water and it goes through some damage? To be worse, you do not have the product warranty? 

No worry!

To begin with, you should attempt to dismantle your robot and begin drying all the things inside altogether and exclusively. Cases vary; that is why you initially need to see the parts. 

The difficulty is that the harm brought about by water may not be obvious. Additionally, please bear in mind that you should not attempt to switch on your UAV too early; do not take any risks until you are certain beyond a shadow of a doubt that the robot is totally dry. 

Moreover, you may not be a specialist identified with chips and hardware, and it is likely difficult for you to analyze the issue, so we suggest you find support from your experienced friend or the retailer before beginning to open up your robot. 

How to stay away from getting your UAV in water

There are a couple of ways that you can count on to avoid the risk of getting your robot in water. 

When it comes to beginners, maintain a strategic distance from any kind of control loss such as the flyaway at times that you fly your drone close to water.

How to do so? Simply set up your robot appropriately and tick off the intensive drone pre-flight checklist. That way will somehow guarantee that your UAV flight logs prove you put forth a valiant effort to eliminate the likelihood of the pilot mistake.

Next up, look into the weather condition before you let your drone be airborne to stay away from any surprises. Think about relying on an application such as Hover (available in Android or iOS) that provides consistent updates and forecasts custom-made to your area.

How harmful is salt water for UAVs? 

Indeed we hear you – we know that it is enticing to fly your drone over water and we ourselves have done so a great deal of times. However, in case you have the option, try not to operate it over saltwater. 

Wonder why? This type of water comes in a wide range of dreadful synthetic compounds which will lead to corrosion. 

What you initially need to do when your flying machine falls into such water is make it clean with new freshwater. The preferable alternative over freshwater is utilizing distilled water (the one has gone through the removal of ions), in the event that you have it. 

It would be best if you additionally took the battery out promptly; follow with putting freshwater across the drone’s battery terminals. Have you done washing the robot using such water? Then, please place it in a box of rice and adhere to the directions given above in the guide. 

In case you open the robot in the wake of crashing into the saltwater, you can sadly discover little salt particles. They are the perfect fiend for electronics. In case your robot falls into that water for a couple of minutes, it will doubtlessly imply that there is no way to save the hardware inside it. 

In a nutshell

All in all, flying over water is perilous, and even a moment of thoughtlessness may bring about a lost or harmed robot. As a drone flyer, you should consistently care about the environmental factors and pay attention to controlling your robot securely. 

And what to do if drone goes in water? Follow these instructions and guides above, your odds of having your UAV safe and sound and enjoying some good times of drone flight will be incredibly expanded.

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