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Spark Flying over water / lake
5029 23 2017-10-4
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jcgoobee
First Officer
Flight distance : 475997 ft
United States
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Hi folks,

I heard that the body sensor of the Spark is not able to detect water or anything reflective very well. If I fly the drone a few feet (maybe 5 feet) above the water, I'd run into the risk of losing the Spark. Is this a myth or someone has experienced this before?

James
2017-10-4
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LOKY
Second Officer
Flight distance : 22353 ft
United States
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"I fear not the man who has practiced 10 000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10 000 times" . I have my SPARK over the water, and I saw other videos also. I think the risk is if you fly too close to the water, and SPARK sensors gets confused. Of course, if the bird gets crazy and drops from the sky you will be not able to recover.
2017-10-4
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nottuppaware
First Officer
Flight distance : 70727 ft
Australia
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I noticed when I flew over close over water it tended to sink in height a little sink in height, or drift.  I guess even in GPS mode the variance in height can be off, so as always you have to make sure you maintain corrections are required.
2017-10-4
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stalters
lvl.2
United States
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I have flown my Spark over water, but usually at a height of at least 15' with no issue. However, when I'm on the wooden dock over the water, with the Spark hovering, I get error messages. I'm guessing there is a lot of metal under the dock I cannot see?
2017-10-4
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jcgoobee
First Officer
Flight distance : 475997 ft
United States
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Thanks for the feedback folks. Just wondering what would be considered a safe clearance (in terms of measurement of foot or meter) when flying the Spark over the water. Thanks.
2017-10-4
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djiuser_Fca5Ddo
lvl.1
Flight distance : 24134 ft
Brazil
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Is it necessary to turn off some sensor or modify some configuration in it to fly over the sea?
At how many meters of altitude would it be considered safe to make a safe flight?
2017-10-5
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hallmark007
Captain
Flight distance : 4095415 ft
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Ireland
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jcgoobee Posted at 2017-10-4 18:59
Thanks for the feedback folks. Just wondering what would be considered a safe clearance (in terms of measurement of foot or meter) when flying the Spark over the water. Thanks.

You should be safe at 10/15 metre.
2017-10-5
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JCStorbeck
lvl.3
Flight distance : 1134027 ft
United States
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I've done some fly overs of the beach where the water meets it from about 1 meter, didn't notice any issues at all.  I've also practiced landing on a clear glass table.  I don't think there is necessarily an issue with the water and sensors, the issue is the ability to recover if you accidentally cause it to descend or it goes into RTH and decides to land there.  You like to have a little room to recover from bad stick input.
2017-10-5
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jcgoobee
First Officer
Flight distance : 475997 ft
United States
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JCStorbeck Posted at 2017-10-5 09:54
I've done some fly overs of the beach where the water meets it from about 1 meter, didn't notice any issues at all.  I've also practiced landing on a clear glass table.  I don't think there is necessarily an issue with the water and sensors, the issue is the ability to recover if you accidentally cause it to descend or it goes into RTH and decides to land there.  You like to have a little room to recover from bad stick input.

JCStorbeck, you are absolutely right. We should fly with common sense and not to cut too close to water and ground. Thank you!!!
2017-10-5
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hallmark007
Captain
Flight distance : 4095415 ft
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Ireland
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JCStorbeck Posted at 2017-10-5 09:54
I've done some fly overs of the beach where the water meets it from about 1 meter, didn't notice any issues at all.  I've also practiced landing on a clear glass table.  I don't think there is necessarily an issue with the water and sensors, the issue is the ability to recover if you accidentally cause it to descend or it goes into RTH and decides to land there.  You like to have a little room to recover from bad stick input.

P12 of your Manual , it’s all there.
2017-10-5
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jcgoobee
First Officer
Flight distance : 475997 ft
United States
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hallmark007 Posted at 2017-10-5 10:09
P12 of your Manual , it’s all there.

Yes, I read Page 12 (I read it before) but it only notes that we should be vigilant but didn't specify the minimum height when flying over water or reflective surface.

I've seen people flying over the lakes or river (YouTube, mainly) and so envious, but a bit worry that I might lose the control and crash my Spark into the water if I get too close, but I had no idea of what "too close" is supposed to be, so I asked.
2017-10-5
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ThirdEyeFlyin'
lvl.2
Flight distance : 162403 ft
Canada
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I flew my spark at a height of 1 - 2 meters over a slowly running creek for about 5 minutes or so. It seemed fine but was a little floaty / drifty but with giid control.  Positioning the drone over some fast moving ripply water caused it to drift slowly in the direction of water flow.
2017-10-5
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Kardinal
lvl.2
Flight distance : 260524 ft
United States
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ThirdEyeFlyin' Posted at 2017-10-5 11:02
I flew my spark at a height of 1 - 2 meters over a slowly running creek for about 5 minutes or so. It seemed fine but was a little floaty / drifty but with giid control.  Positioning the drone over some fast moving ripply water caused it to drift slowly in the direction of water flow.

The sensors do seem to get confused when flying over a clear water.  Here's a video I took of spawning salmon in a clear creek.  At around the 2 min and 35 second mark, my spark just about hits the water.  I am not sure what the sensors were picking up as there is a mass of salmon underneath most of the time and not just clear water.  But for the most part I had no issues.  It would hold a few feet above the water.  But i guess it only take one time for it to get wet.  

2017-10-5
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jcgoobee
First Officer
Flight distance : 475997 ft
United States
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Kardinal Posted at 2017-10-5 11:28
The sensors do seem to get confused when flying over a clear water.  Here's a video I took of spawning salmon in a clear creek.  At around the 2 min and 35 second mark, my spark just about hits the water.  I am not sure what the sensors were picking up as there is a mass of salmon underneath most of the time and not just clear water.  But for the most part I had no issues.  It would hold a few feet above the water.  But i guess it only take one time for it to get wet.  
https://vimeo.com/233785646

oh yeah... I noticed that too. How fast were you flying at that time? Do you recall?
2017-10-5
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Kardinal
lvl.2
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United States
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jcgoobee Posted at 2017-10-5 14:08
oh yeah... I noticed that too. How fast were you flying at that time? Do you recall?

My recollection was I was coming downward at about half stick  to get that shot.  Where the drone had stopped 3 or 4 feet above the water on all the other occasions, this time it dipped dangerously low to the water.  
2017-10-5
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JCStorbeck
lvl.3
Flight distance : 1134027 ft
United States
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I went out to test this since there is no wind today so the water is clear and calm.  I flew slowly from the beach over the water at about .4 to .5 meters and there wasn't any difference in how the aircraft handled.  One thing that did happen is that Spark kicks up a lot of wind so the glass like water was covered with waves radiating out from the downdraft, which is a good thing, like divers off the 10 meter platform, the pool keeps some water running into the tank to create ripples to help the divers see the water.  I had no issues keeping at the minimum altitude that Spark seems to set over land while flying over the water...that being said...I sure don't like being that low for very long.    The flight log looks a little weird because I launched about 2 meters above the water and 10 meters away so when I am looking at the tablet I can see I am .4 meters above the water but the logs show I was at a negative altitude...didn't seem to matter to Spark...flew where I aimed, which is what we want!
2017-10-5
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eylneb
Second Officer
Flight distance : 122446 ft
Malaysia
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Here is the "requirements" This is copied from version 1 manual .. might have some changes to it but is still valid
2017-10-06 10_11_14-Spark User Manual V1.0.pdf (SECURED) - Adobe Acrobat Reader DC.png
2017-10-5
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JCStorbeck
lvl.3
Flight distance : 1134027 ft
United States
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So basically this says to never fly.  I think the words "Please be vigilant when operating Spark in the following situations"....should be changed to "Please be vigilant when you are flying..."   So flying over a field of green grass could be an issue is the way I read this.    I hate it when legal writes tech documents.
2017-10-5
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jcgoobee
First Officer
Flight distance : 475997 ft
United States
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JCStorbeck Posted at 2017-10-5 18:50
So basically this says to never fly.  I think the words "lease be vigilant when operating Spark in the following situations"....should be changed to "lease be vigilant when you are flying..."   So flying over a field of green grass could be an issue is the way I read this.    I hate it when legal writes tech documents.

haha... I hear you JCStorbeck, I feel the same somehow.
2017-10-5
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Neil_Vals
lvl.2
Flight distance : 158772 ft
United States
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I conquered  my fear of flying over water today. just want to share. . .
2017-10-5
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JCStorbeck
lvl.3
Flight distance : 1134027 ft
United States
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Over water And at night you broke all the rules and lived to share....how does that feel?  Beautiful and you broke a lot of rules!!  Beautiful!
2017-10-5
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jcgoobee
First Officer
Flight distance : 475997 ft
United States
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JCStorbeck Posted at 2017-10-5 20:36
Over water And at night you broke all the rules and lived to share....how does that feel?  Beautiful and you broke a lot of rules!!  Beautiful!

Only if you're bold enough of not to sink your Spark into the water.... haha.
2017-10-5
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Axlbassman1980
lvl.3
United States
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Neil_Vals Posted at 2017-10-5 20:04
I conquered  my fear of flying over water today. just want to share. . . https://youtu.be/5sn4NsJn_PM

I know the saying goes..video or it didnt happen lol but i conquered my fear of flying over water yesterday.
2018-9-1
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Isaac LaRock_YT
lvl.1
Flight distance : 3031 ft
United States
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Thanks for all the help!
7-30 12:19
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