Drone Crashing into Lake

Drone Crash Recovery and Repair – How To Fix Your Drone

Drone Crash: Recover & Repair

Mikael takes us through the story of how he managed to recover and repair his drone after a crash into a very cold lake! See the crash video and check out the gallery at the bottom of the post to see the lengths he went through to save his DJI Mavic Air!

Now over to Mikael!

Mikael Klingbjer

Drone Pilot & VReel Contributor

Being a stock content provider can sometimes be more interesting than you might wish for. 

After about a year of shooting stock footage I got the brilliant idea to drive to a nearby lake to capture some footage. All was going well until I got the 20%-battery-remaining warning, so I decided to immediately bring my Mavic Air home for a battery change. While flying the drone back over the lake towards me, it suddenly decided to lose altitude and with only 100 meter or so it hit the water. 

It was early spring and the water was still too cold for a rescue dive, but I knew almost exactly where too look. As soon as I got the chance, I brought my dive equipment to the lake and made a non-successful recovery attempt. The depth at the crash-location was nearly 8 meters and there was no visibility at all.

The weeks went by and after 3 month my brother-in-law wondered if we shouldn’t give it another try, so we went back with some grapnel equipment (2 ropes and an anchor) and after less than an hour the drone was retrieved. 

I thought there was zero chance to get it in the air again after such a long time in the water. But I had to give it a try. I went home and disassembled the drone and cleaned all the parts (not the camera) in clean water with a toothbrush. After that I let everything dry on a piece of newspaper for a month before I assembled it again.

I put a charged battery in and started the drone, and to my surprise it actually started without any problems. Before I went out for the first test-flight I connected the drone to my computer and updated the firmware and I also calibrated the IMU. 

After that I went out for at test-run and everything went well. 

So don’t give up if you crash, YouTube and some tools might be all you need to get in the air again and continue to shoot amazing content. 

Need some podcast recommendations? We’ve just the thing, check out our “Top 5 Podcasts for Self-Isolation” post!

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VReel Contributor Profile: BeemFlights

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We came across you and your brother through your drone flying when VReel started off as a drone platform. How long have you been flying a drone and how did you get into it? We’ve been flying drones for many years, probably around seven years, more or less. In Holland we were one of the first companies using drones for making videos and photography.