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Recovery in case of loss in water

Jul 2, 2014
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Hong Kong
Hi all, would like to get your opinion on this. I fly over water 95% of the time due to the destinations I travel to around Asia. At $3000 a unit, I'm scared of a mechanical failure or anything else that could lead to the Inspire 1 falling into the ocean without possibility of recovery.

I ordered some 'GetterBack' which essentially have a kevlar wire inside which is attached to a flotation device that activates once submerged for a number of minutes. Each cable is capable of supporting 10kg so having 2 would be plenty sufficient to support the weight of the Inspire.

Attached are some pictures. I would like to know what you think about this. Naturally, losing the Inspire in the water would essentially render it useless, but may allow for recovery of some critical flight data and/or video footage.

IMG_0651.jpg IMG_0654.jpg IMG_0652.jpg
What about just putting some water wings on it? They support a small child....
This is awesome! But there are very little to no detail about the product on their website. Also, what do they weigh?
Unfortunately, the SD card is in the camera which will be the first thing to be submerged! I think it's a psychological boost to be able to at least bury your aircraft, but in salt water, I think your head will be hanging low!
Google "Samsung Sea Water Proof SD cards", then post video immediately after you have a wet crash so we can see how the floatation devices work!

Smart idea though, I didn't know those existed.
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Would that not have impact on the aerodynamics of the craft? Don't think I've ever seen that before. Have any pictures?

Was kind of joking about that (I say "kind of", because in the back of my mind, I thought perhaps there was a product that maybe resembled water wings, lol).
Google "Samsung Sea Water Proof SD cards", then post video immediately after you have a wet crash so we can see how the floatation devices work!

Smart idea though, I didn't know those existed.
Just for clarification, this is not a flotation device, it's a recovery system. That means the Inspire would sink to the bottom and after a few minutes, the floating capsules would rise to the top with a 100 foot Kevlar string attached to it which would allow me to pull the Inspire out of the water. The Inspire won't float at all, that would be too perfect.
Surprisingly pretty much all SD/MicroSD media will survive a dunk in water... even if it's sea water and even if it's for months or even years in this case.... > http://petapixel.com/2011/06/20/photos-recovered-from-camera-that-spent-four-years-in-the-ocean/
Domestic media is never going to be as robust as professional memory media but then say a 512gb SR Memory card will cost you $1,500 more than the cost of the Inspire 1 itself ......plus it wouldn't fit in the Inspire camera slot :p

Alternatively of course, if you're serious about redundancy in your rig and being able to continue to fly in the event of a prop loss or esc or motor failure then why not get a Hex? Oh.... too late.... you've already bought an Inspire.
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I attached a Getterback to my Phantom 2.

I had experimented with foam floats but hadn't come up with a workable solution, when one day I decided 'Bugger it', and flew the Phantom out over the river running through my city.

Sure enough, something happened (wind tunnel effect? malfunction?), and my Phantom disappeared into the river.

At this point I realized the Getterback was useless on any sizeable body of water, unless:
a) you have a boat
b) you are in that boat and see where it went down

From shore, looking out at a river about 200 metres wide, I could see absolutely nothing of the float amidst the water undulations and light reflections on a calm day. And I couldn't have done anything to retrieve it if I had seen it.

I would put some floats of some kind on my Inspire ahead of anything else, if flying over the water gives you stress (like it does me now).
the betterback is designed to build up internal pressure when it comes in contact with water. The larger part fo the body then pops off. In your case it looks at though the larger part of the plastic body is touching the I1 knuckle.
I am not sure, but this could cause it to not work......... just a thought, maybe 180 degree spin on the arm would help them out?

SD cards can survive salt water. I know :(

I was planning to 3d print a retrieval system and make some tests, but following a post on here about it that literally no one cared about, I decided that people didnt care for the possible product.
I was planning to build a small LIPO into the floating part to activate a LED when on the surface to aid recovery.
Heck, you could even make it transmit its GPS coords within a small radius via a small radio modem, and have a partner system to look for it with.......

but hey ho. fishing line and gaseous discharge seem to be the only option for now.
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