Have you ever done something that made you feel like an absolute chop? I have, many times and this one was particularly recent.
My husband and I, being avid drone flyers could not resist. Eager to get some sea and beach footage, we were both convinced that we knew better despite the signs (yes, no one is exempt from this!).
As always, the first step is to check the UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) app. A rather sophisticated app with predefined settings that will apply the current weather conditions of the area you intend to fly in. One of the many factors would of course be the wind and wind gust factors. Taking all measures into account, this was the result:
Not good to fly!
Convinced we have flown in stronger winds before, we set up taking care to calibrate and set the home point on the landing pad. And up we go.
Almost immediately my gut was unsettled. Not feeling entirely comfortable with my drones’ performance, I decided after a short way out to try fly back to the landing pad, which happened to be directly against the wind. The drone struggled. It made headway but very slowly. Finally, after using the sport mode, it came within reach of the landing pad. The difficulty was to now land the drone against the wind.
Maneuvering for good clearance, a gust of wind came out of nowhere and hit the drone sideways from the sea side, pushing my drone as if it was riding the crest of a wave straight towards a small wooden roof that covered a bench overlooking the sea.
#I am constantly amazed at nature’s intent!
My first reaction was to try turn the drone in the opposite direction. But that meant back into and against the gust. I think my heart stopped for a brief moment. Trying to recover, the propeller hit the roof, with force, causing the front arm to fold in. This meant trying to now recover a three propeller quadcopter, certainly not designed to fly one motor short and not an easy task to say the least. It dived towards me, gaining momentum as gravity played it’s part. It hit my hand then crossed over towards my husband (who was of course hearing my crashing drone and still trying to keep his on a safe flight path). He was indeed a blessing in disguise. If he was not standing where he was I am sure my drone would have gone for a swim.
So yes…after a few propeller slices to his arm, my drone finally came to rest upside down, on the ledge before the drop into a tidal pool.
I guess we learnt a lesson here. Indeed a chop! But maybe to be a little more careful and take heed of the signs, even if it is just wind gusts that could be a problem. All factors must be taken into account. On the other hand, we now know what kind of winds we cannot fly in. So all in all, a good learning experience and the scars to tell the tale!
#love drones… and my husband!