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Would 'YOU' have risked it ?
1360 32 2017-9-18
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hgv trucker
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Hi All... I found a great valley in North Wales (U.K.) that had a hidden water fall at the bottom of the valley.It was a very deep valley and had very steep sides to it,with a lot of trees on one side and a rocky side on the other.MY  first thought was to try to gain access to the bottom of the valley  with my drone in a new 'backpack'. This decent proved to be VERY dodgy  to say the least. but after some time and effort I finally reached to bottom.Now  the only place I could find to settle was a small grassy outcrop right  by the second of at least 3 of the water falls I knew of.
I unpacked the drone and fired up the I Pad 4 then the drone.NOW  the first thing I found out was that because I could NOT received an  mobile signal (02) then the 'map' in the corner of the screen was just  'grey' although it would show a 'home' position.WOULD  it have been 'safe' to fly the drone without the full map showing the  exact area ??? I thought not and decided to abort the attempt to fly...I  was hoping to have been able to fly the drone in clear line of sight up  from the start of the river then up stream and video all the water  fall's although this would have meant that in some places I would not  has clear sight of the drone and I would have had to use the video feed  from the I pad alone (something that I am not used to doing 'yet').
Anyway after packing the drone away (or so I thought !) I spent a long  time clambering back up the side of the hill back to the car and just  before I reached the car I passed my backpack over a wire fence only to  see one of the 3 'NEW' Battery's (1 was still in the drone) fall out and  to my horror when I looked into the top pouch ( THE very same one I had  forgot to ZIP UP ) that the other 'NEW' (had not even flown with it)  was missing . SO I put the backpack into the car and then had the  re-trace my step's back down the hill I went down and up and hoped to be  able to find the missing battery.I got ALL the way down to the bottom  to that grassy outcrop were I spotted the missing battery about a foot  away from the edge,If it had fallen over that I would have never found  it and could well have gone into the water to meet it's watery  grave....SO I hope this heeds a warning to other's in making sure your  bag is completely zipped up...That only left the long climb back up that  hill...I know that at 57 I am not as fit as I used to be (too many  ***'s don't help either)...
Sorry this story may be a little long !! But after looking at a way of  getting this sort of 'shot' the only other way I thought of doing it was  to fly from the top of the valley and down into it from above then  turning the drone around and following the river back up-stream and  getting a shot of those illusive water falls...BUT this would all have  to be done by using the video feed on the i-pad screen only as I would  have NO view of the drone itself...WOULD you take that risk ??? As I am  still VERY new to all this I feel that I need more practice and flying  'blind' other than what I could see on the screen before I could feel  confident to tackle such a challenge like this..What do you think ? The  other issue I had to bear in mind is that 'if' something was to go wrong  could I have found a safe place to land and then how would I have  recovered my drone...ALL in all a bit too scary for me at the moment but  hopefully I could find a way of doing it in the future...Happy flying  and keep it safe...                                                


2017-9-18
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Mark The Droner
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Personally, I don't think so.  I don't think I'd chance it.  It's the depth of the valley and the steep sides that would bother me.  Even if you were careful and tried to steer clear of the tree branches, if you lose GPS and control, things could go south very quickly.  
2017-9-18
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hallmark007
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I certainly would wait if your not sure of your ability to fly blind of the drone. I think if you climbed down twice you could do it again, once down if you have full sight of the drone don't worry about maps or you could cache a map.
It may well be something that irks you that you didn't get the shot, so give yourself time develop a plan and when your ready go for it.

Good luck.
2017-9-18
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ALABAMA
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Increasing age = increasing wisdom.  Good decision
2017-9-18
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DJI Susan
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Flight safety is always the top priority. It's too risk to fly in the valley.
2017-9-18
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RedHotPoker
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Looking forward to seeing the video...


Sounds like an interesting place to visit.... ;-)


RedHotPoker
2017-9-19
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kykphantom
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Make sure you go straight down in the valley so if you loose signal it will go straight up in the sky (provided that you set the RTH altitude at least 30m above the top of the valley. I would give it a try (although risky, but challenging).
2017-9-19
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Nigel_
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Even if the map doesn't show a satellite image, it is still correct and will show the position of the aircraft, direction it is flying, home point, and if you have it turned on, the aircraft track.  This will allow you to fly it back home either manually or by pressing the home button.

The issues are:  
If you loose GPS and it is out of sight then you have a big problem because there is no way to fly it back except visually via the video feed and you are quite likely to get lost if not experienced, but that is not affected by having a map or mobile signal.  In a deep Welsh valley there is a definite chance of loosing GPS due to the terrain, not very likely but definitely possible, especially near waterfalls.

If it is out of sight, then maybe it is also out of direct radio contact, in which case you are likely to loose control of it, at least temporarily.  When filming a waterfall you should always keep it in sight due to the terain.

It seems quite likely that you were thinking of disobeying the UK Drone Code: http://dronesafe.uk/drone-code/  - please read.

Maybe there was not much chance of encountering other people, but with Welsh waterfalls there is normally a path to the waterfall even if you don't know about it, maybe there were people swimming in the pool under the waterfall, if you don't have sight of where you are flying then the risks increase hugely - be careful.

Maybe the best advice is to find an easier waterfall, preferably away from too many trees, at least while you gain experience, you don't need a big or tall waterfall to make a nice video.
2017-9-19
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CoreyB10
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Practice flying without GPS you must. If you still have a vid feed then if you can fly manual to capture the shot. It takes a lot of practice. I used race drones for a while and it takes ages to get the dynamic right - and a lot of spare parts - before I could fly confidently. I always use GPS but am secure in the skill set learned flying full FPV. Practice is key, but once you have that confidence, you can fly most places if the situation arises like you have described. If you do get the shots or vid of the place, we would love to see them. Good luck and enjoy.
2017-9-19
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Lhonskie Aerial
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If i'm with you on that moment, I would try but I need to see the place where I could take off and land safely. Can you name that valley? I'll check if there's pictures online. Check my YT channel. Just search "drone maneuvers". Thank you.
2017-9-19
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hgv trucker
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Mark The Droner Posted at 2017-9-18 12:46
Personally, I don't think so.  I don't think I'd chance it.  It's the depth of the valley and the steep sides that would bother me.  Even if you were careful and tried to steer clear of the tree branches, if you lose GPS and control, things could go south very quickly.

Hi Mark The Droner... When I was at the bottom of the valley I had full GPS signal and After looking at the other reply's on this topic I am re-thinking my tactic's..
2017-9-19
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hgv trucker
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hallmark007 Posted at 2017-9-18 13:07
I certainly would wait if your not sure of your ability to fly blind of the drone. I think if you climbed down twice you could do it again, once down if you have full sight of the drone don't worry about maps or you could cache a map.
It may well be something that irks you that you didn't get the shot, so give yourself time develop a plan and when your ready go for it.

Hi hallmark007... How do you 'cach a map' ? I have read something about the before either in the 'manual' or read something on the forum...In the mean time I am already scratching threw a few other 'plans of action' that would prove safer than trying to fly blind.
2017-9-19
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hgv trucker
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kykphantom Posted at 2017-9-19 00:46
Make sure you go straight down in the valley so if you loose signal it will go straight up in the sky (provided that you set the RTH altitude at least 30m above the top of the valley. I would give it a try (although risky, but challenging).

Hi kykphantom.... When I was at the bottom of the valley I did set the RTH altitude to the max.120m Because I was not sure if this height was from the bottom or the top of the valley.If I where at the top of the valley and fly 'straight down' into the valley does the height become a minus figure ? and without flying from the bottom to the top it was very difficult to have judge the height.   
2017-9-19
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hallmark007
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hgv trucker Posted at 2017-9-19 09:00
Hi hallmark007... How do you 'cach a map' ? I have read something about the before either in the 'manual' or read something on the forum...In the mean time I am already scratching threw a few other 'plans of action' that would prove safer than trying to fly blind.

In general settings of your app there is a cache maps button , so you can setup the map save it and then use it without the need for data connection.
2017-9-19
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MrRobert5823
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Risk it? No, not a chance.  Regardless of the shot, the health of by bird and the safety of those around me trump everything else.
2017-9-19
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Nigel_
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hgv trucker Posted at 2017-9-19 09:10
Hi kykphantom.... When I was at the bottom of the valley I did set the RTH altitude to the max.120m Because I was not sure if this height was from the bottom or the top of the valley.If I where at the top of the valley and fly 'straight down' into the valley does the height become a minus figure ? and without flying from the bottom to the top it was very difficult to have judge the height.

RTH altitude is relative to the take off point, if you are flying up a steep valley then it can be sensible to set the RTH a lot higher than 120, especially if your waterfall is 120m tall.  You would also want to set the max flight altitude higher.
2017-9-19
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hgv trucker
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Nigel_ Posted at 2017-9-19 01:28
Even if the map doesn't show a satellite image, it is still correct and will show the position of the aircraft, direction it is flying, home point, and if you have it turned on, the aircraft track.  This will allow you to fly it back home either manually or by pressing the home button.

The issues are:  

Hi Nigel_ ... Am I right in thinking that 'if' I were to loose GPS then the RTH would automatically 'kick in' ?
You are so right in your comment in ref. to keeping to drone in clear line of site and that was the main reason that I took the route I did down to the bottom.As I have the P4P my intention was to select the 'tripod mode' so that this would hopefully  keep my from hitting the trees etc.
The chance of meeting people 'swimming' down there would have been extremely low as there is very little access for anyone to get there. I have found out an easier route to the bottom from a couple of local young lad's I  meet at the top from my second trip down and up to retrieve my 'lost' battery.But more about this when I have finished replying to another member's reply.  
2017-9-19
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Nigel_
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hgv trucker Posted at 2017-9-19 09:52
Hi Nigel_ ... Am I right in thinking that 'if' I were to loose GPS then the RTH would automatically 'kick in' ?
You are so right in your comment in ref. to keeping to drone in clear line of site and that was the main reason that I took the route I did down to the bottom.As I have the P4P my intention was to select the 'tripod mode' so that this would hopefully  keep my from hitting the trees etc.
The chance of meeting people 'swimming' down there would have been extremely low as there is very little access for anyone to get there. I have found out an easier route to the bottom from a couple of local young lad's I  meet at the top from my second trip down and up to retrieve my 'lost' battery.But more about this when I have finished replying to another member's reply.

No, for RTH to work it needs to know where it is and thus how to get home, with no GPS it does not know where it is and so has no idea how to return home.  That is why you should always keep it in sight if there is any risk of loosing GPS.
2017-9-19
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kykphantom
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hgv trucker Posted at 2017-9-19 09:10
Hi kykphantom.... When I was at the bottom of the valley I did set the RTH altitude to the max.120m Because I was not sure if this height was from the bottom or the top of the valley.If I where at the top of the valley and fly 'straight down' into the valley does the height become a minus figure ? and without flying from the bottom to the top it was very difficult to have judge the height.

The RTH altitude is always from the take off point. If you fly straight down, yes the altitude goes to a negative figure.
2017-9-19
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Eric13
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hallmark007 Posted at 2017-9-19 09:13
In general settings of your app there is a cache maps button , so you can setup the map save it and then use it without the need for data connection.

On my iPad Mini4 I never got the map caching to work. For me it is: No data connection = no map.
People keep talking about the work around by zooming in and out of the intended flight area while having a data connection. If then the device is switched into flight mode the map would be still there.
Doesn't work for me.
2017-9-19
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Genghis9
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I believe all the advice has been sage up to this point, however, all the advice has been on how to get that shot.  Your wisdom and experience count for far more.  First you need to improve your skills, so this gives you a goal to shoot for and then you need to puzzle through how to do it based on those skills of yours.
Lastly, contingency plan...what is the worst case scenario?  From the sound of it, if you were to have some bad luck or make a mistake it appears you could loose your drone forever as you could end up with it falling in to an impossible place for you to recover it from, then what.  If you are willing to take that risk ok, if not then you either need to find a friend with some climbing skills and gear to come along with you just in case or let it go so you can fly on another day.
Good Luck
2017-9-19
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hgv trucker
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Lhonskie Aerial Posted at 2017-9-19 02:32
If i'm with you on that moment, I would try but I need to see the place where I could take off and land safely. Can you name that valley? I'll check if there's pictures online. Check my YT channel. Just search "drone maneuvers". Thank you.

Hi Lhonskie Aerial .... THE main reason that I have NOT mentioned the exact detail's of the location was simply that I feel that I would NOT like to be seen in encouraging anyone else in taking the chances I choose to take that day.
It was not until later on that I had second thought's on the risk's I took in getting down and equally  getting back up the side of that valley side.
Firstly I was on my own and that in itself has the biggest risk of ALL in that had I 'SLIPPED' either going up or down and broken my leg / knocked myself out on a rock and so on !!!! WHO would have known were I was and with NO mobile signal ( I did not find that out until I reached the bottom ) there would have been very little chance of ME phoning for 'help' !!!
I know my car was at the top in a pull in and I would have had to HOPE that at some point someone would have thought this strange to have left it there was so long and raised the alarm BUT who knows how long that would have taken LET alone the further risk's I would have put on other's trying to rescue  me...I do take safety VERY seriously not only in the flying of the drone but also my own safety  as well...BUT I also know that in the heat of the moment ( and also the excitement in finding such a great place ) that being human we all take chances in life from time to time.

After my second trip down and up ( to retrieve my lost battery ) I did find a couple of young local lad's who did tell me of a easier way to get down to the bottom via. a farmers track that would take you much further on into the valley and then you could make your way back up the river to reach the water fall's.
After ALL the VERY useful help from everyone so far then I feel that this route could make the eventual video Challenge more likely to work in that although the video may have to be made in stages because I would have clear line of site of the drone and all the surrounding hazards ( trees etc. ) But would have to either keep if hovering  ( it might be wise to set the RTH to 'hover' ) or land it until I could catch it up to continue the trip further up until I reach to 'MAIN' top water fall .AND also because I had full GPS signal and the other signal strength's were 'full' when I tried my first ( aborted ) attempt at the bottom, then the chance of the 'tripod mode' working well seem high and hopefully not tripping out and sending it into Allti mode !!   
At the moment all I can do is carry on practicing flying and hopefully 'ONE' day I can return to this 'gem' and be able to get a good video to share with other's that would other wise never even know it was there.Also I have to 'wait' for the GREAT BRITISH weather to improve instead of peeing down just about every day !!!!
         
2017-9-19
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Nigel_
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hgv trucker Posted at 2017-9-19 11:18
Hi Lhonskie Aerial .... THE main reason that I have NOT mentioned the exact detail's of the location was simply that I feel that I would NOT like to be seen in encouraging anyone else in taking the chances I choose to take that day.
It was not until later on that I had second thought's on the risk's I took in getting down and equally  getting back up the side of that valley side.
Firstly I was on my own and that in itself has the biggest risk of ALL in that had I 'SLIPPED' either going up or down and broken my leg / knocked myself out on a rock and so on !!!! WHO would have known were I was and with NO mobile signal ( I did not find that out until I reached the bottom ) there would have been very little chance of ME phoning for 'help' !!!

You attach the phone to the drone and send it up to where there is a signal, then you pair it to your tablet and you can make Skype calls from the depths of the valley.

That is assuming that you use a tablet rather than your one and only phone to fly the drone.

(This is actually standard emergency procedure for some people in Wales.)
2017-9-19
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hallmark007
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Eric13 Posted at 2017-9-19 10:48
On my iPad Mini4 I never got the map caching to work. For me it is: No data connection = no map.
People keep talking about the work around by zooming in and out of the intended flight area while having a data connection. If then the device is switched into flight mode the map would be still there.
Doesn't work for me.

https://phantompilots.com/thread ... 97154/#post-1002870

Try this link might help
2017-9-19
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hgv trucker
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Nigel_ Posted at 2017-9-19 11:52
You attach the phone to the drone and send it up to where there is a signal, then you pair it to your tablet and you can make Skype calls from the depths of the valley.

That is assuming that you use a tablet rather than your one and only phone to fly the drone.

Yes a brilliant piece  of info. Only if I had thought of that whilst 'stuck' at the bottom of the valley unconscious at the time just joking with you of cause ... the only other thing is what or how do you attach the phone to the drone with as I don't normally carry sticky tape around with me..But if I did  find a way of attaching the phone to the drone and flew of with it how to I know when I have a mobile signal ???  
2017-9-19
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Dobmatt
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Having over 2 years of experience filming mountain landscapes with 2 generations of DJI drones (P3P, Inspire 1 Pro and P4P+), all fibers in my brain screams DON'T! The moment you challenge LOS rule you're asking for trouble, loosing video feed as being the first one.  Interrupted radio communication with AC is the second trouble, resulting in RTH procedure to be triggered. Any obstruction sitting on straight theoretical line between AC and RC (rock, building, tree, even rain) will cause that. Naturally it's distance dependent.  
2017-9-19
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Hellsgate
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To gain a bit more confidence in flying your drone blind ie no gps signal and only using the video feed i found a great way to learn what to do in extreme situation was to drive out to a safe area like a farmers paddock were there are no trees n lots of soft grass to crash into. Set your drone up as usual ie in pmode get gps and home lock now go and sit in your car and fly low and slow around the empty paddock using nothing but the video feed. Once you gain confidence doing this switch drone over to sports mode and have a play at high speeds untill you are confident you can fly without seeing the drone. Once you gain confidence in sports mode try switching to atti mode again just using nothing but video feed. Doing these excercises in a safe soft paddock can increase your understanding of how your drone handles in each mode and also give you a bit more confidence in your own abilities. If you do happen to hit the ground the soft long grass in theory should absorb majority of impact and little or no damage should be done. Im not suggesting this is a correct or best method of teaching yourself to fly but in my situation sometimes i have no choice but to fly blind ie out of sight of drone using nothing but video feed doing these excercises gave me a lot of confidence in mine and my drones abilities.
Yes i crash a few times but all were pilot error pushing limits too far but no damage was done as the long grass captured the drone as it came down.
Luckily i have never crashed a drone since doing that because i have the confidence and know the limitions of myself and my drone so i never put myself into a situation im not prepared for.
Your question would i have risked it ...... in your situation the answer is no i wouldnt have risked it untill you have more experience and confidence in flying.
2017-9-19
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Hellsgate
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Just to add to my last
If there was a chance that i could loose control of the drone due to loss of radio signal and or gps then i certainly would never attempt to fly if i couldnt see my drone.
2017-9-19
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Nigel_
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hgv trucker Posted at 2017-9-19 12:09
Yes a brilliant piece  of info. Only if I had thought of that whilst 'stuck' at the bottom of the valley unconscious at the time  just joking with you of cause ... the only other thing is what or how do you attach the phone to the drone with as I don't normally carry sticky tape around with me..But if I did  find a way of attaching the phone to the drone and flew of with it how to I know when I have a mobile signal ???

I guess the answer is that you should have gone prepared with some suitable sticky tape, but if you only have your Swiss army knife then you could make a basket out of honeysuckle vine and put the phone in the basket attached to the drone with a bit more vine
2017-9-19
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Eric13
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hallmark007 Posted at 2017-9-19 12:00
https://phantompilots.com/threads/possible-to-use-usb-cable.97154/#post-1002870

Try this link might help

Thanks - that's exactly the description I referred to and I never got it to work...
2017-9-19
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hallmark007
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Eric13 Posted at 2017-9-19 12:50
Thanks - that's exactly the description I referred to and I never got it to work...

I have only used it once and I followed those instructions it worked. I do find everything works fine using wifi hotspot, unless your out of wifi range, maybe when I travel to the moon...
2017-9-19
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Eric13
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Nigel_ Posted at 2017-9-19 11:52
You attach the phone to the drone and send it up to where there is a signal, then you pair it to your tablet and you can make Skype calls from the depths of the valley.

That is assuming that you use a tablet rather than your one and only phone to fly the drone.

That's funny. I thought it was a joke but it seems to be real.
Though you don't wanna call your auntie on her birthday - the drone battery will never last that long ;-)
2017-9-19
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Eric13
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hgv trucker Posted at 2017-9-19 12:09
Yes a brilliant piece  of info. Only if I had thought of that whilst 'stuck' at the bottom of the valley unconscious at the time  just joking with you of cause ... the only other thing is what or how do you attach the phone to the drone with as I don't normally carry sticky tape around with me..But if I did  find a way of attaching the phone to the drone and flew of with it how to I know when I have a mobile signal ???

You don't want to attach/stick anything to the drone.
I attached a USB stick type of sound recorder to one leg once and this 8g weight changed the stability. It kind of started vibrating.
If you want to play with something like this lift it on a cord/thread. There are tons of YT videos where people lift all kinds of stuff.
2017-9-19
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