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Crashing my Mavic 2 Pro in a Cave
1071 20 2019-1-31
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Chasing Light & Shadows
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United Kingdom
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My aim was to fly from the opening of the far end of the cave and then out and above to view Castle Crag (English Lake District). I knew it was gonna be a difficult one, not only for me but for the Mavic 2 Pros dynamic range. I was pretty confident I could fly it, the main problem was my footing and the uneven ground, also having a black dog that thinks it's funny to lay down behind me can be a challenge.

The crash happened when I needed to take my eyes off the drone and check behind me, I knew it was going to be close but decided to take the risk as would rather crash the drone than potentially fall backwards onto sharp rocks. The drone clipped the wall of the cave by about an inch or so, I heart that dreaded scraping of the props, plastic on rock, I almost saved it but it fell to the ground and spazzed out for a second or two whilst I performed the emergency stick manoever to cut the motors.
Somehow... the drone survived, a few cuts and bruises and 4 broken propellers or varying degrees.

The first video is made of 2 clips, the first being a cut scene from the crash footage and then the 2nd where I flew from a location where I could see the drone and not need to check my footing. It would have been impossible to fly this whole scene from this 2nd location as the full cave is hidden around a corner, I'll return with a spotter and fly this again at some point. Maybe with the Mavic 3 Pro





Flown in cinematic mode as tripod would have been too slow once exiting the cave. Going from a dark cave to a bright snowy envirnonment proved too much for the Mavic 2 Pros sensor. Need to experiment with autoexposure and then smoothing it in post.

The cave sounds and dripping water were recorded on my iphone before the flight and added in post.
Thanks for watching

The photo was taken with the Nikon D850 and Zeiss 35mm f/2 @f/4.

Cave below Castle Crag in the English Lake District

Cave below Castle Crag in the English Lake District
2019-1-31
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Atlas_Aus
First Officer

Thailand
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Ouch.

I get what you are trying to do and well done for trying.

Only new to flying and one of the biggest problems I have been having is 'depth perception' when looking at the screen... Sometimes it looks so close and then lift my head to see drone only to see some meters of clearance.. Then one other time I was looking at the screen, everything looking ok and I hit a tree.. down it went.. Seriously who plants trees where I want to fly my drone !


Perhaps you could use Tripod mode at some FPS ( I am still getting my head around this !) and then speed it up to normal in post ? Just a thought.


I am a Canon man myself, but have always liked the colours Nikon produce Thanks for sharing.
2019-1-31
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Woe
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United States
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Ouch. I like the footage. Looks smooth.

But man glad you recover your bird with just a few broken props and not some serious damage.
2019-1-31
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Montfrooij
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Flight distance : 2329101 ft
Netherlands
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I can see what you were trying to achieve.
Great shot.
But hard to manage!
2019-1-31
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Ex Machina
Captain
Flight distance : 1806362 ft
United States
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Nice -- I'm surprised you were able to maintain that level of smooth control in the low light and sans-GPS.
2019-1-31
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eYeSkYeYe
Captain

Croatia
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Photo is fabulous. I am also a huge fan of Nikon. So much better colors than anything else on the market.
2019-1-31
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M2Wair
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Good to see you back and posting again, sad to see a crash but you never did do anything that didn't require precision flying so had to happen at some stage. Delighted it was just a few minor scrapes and we can expect a conclusion of the project, eventually.

Didn't hear any cursing during the crash
2019-1-31
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Chasing Light & Shadows
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Atlas_Aus Posted at 1-31 03:27
Ouch.

I get what you are trying to do and well done for trying.

It certainly takes a bit of time to get used to depth of perception. Also there's some lag between what you see on the screen, most of the time it's fine but if you're flying between trees or out of sight then the lag can become unpredictable so there's an element of luck involved when you're flying like that!

The thing with speeding up footage is that quite often there will be something moving in the shot and it looks unnatural, in this instance there where some sheep about, although I find them quite comical when they're sped up. Same goes for reversing shots, sometimes it's fine but people riding bikes backwards for instance just doesn't work

I don't mind the colours from any brand although the early Sony A series could sometimes be a bit off. Not too sure I like the colours from the Mavic 2 Pro, for me it's quite hard to correct but could just be that I don't have much patience with editing video for fun.

Thanks for watching
2019-2-1
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Chasing Light & Shadows
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Woe Posted at 1-31 05:15
Ouch. I like the footage. Looks smooth.

But man glad you recover your bird with just a few broken props and not some serious damage.

Thanks, it was fairly smooth but walking backwards and flying makes it difficult not to jolt the sticks sometimes. Yeah was real lucky and am surprised how tough these drones are, mine looks like it's flown through a warzone!
You can't see in the video but had to fly it up through a gap that was a couple of metres wide between the trees above and behind me, don't think I breathed for a moment there
2019-2-1
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Chasing Light & Shadows
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Montfrooij Posted at 1-31 11:20
I can see what you were trying to achieve.
Great shot.
But hard to manage!

Thank you this was definitely one of the most challenging I've attempted so far!
2019-2-1
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Chasing Light & Shadows
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Ex Machina Posted at 1-31 11:39
Nice -- I'm surprised you were able to maintain that level of smooth control in the low light and sans-GPS.

I was surprised too as I knew GPS would cut out and it'd have to rely on the VPS, it was rock solid. At one point the undercarriage LED came on for a few seconds in the darkest part of the cave but it was so much more stable than the original Mavic in ATTI.
2019-2-1
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Chasing Light & Shadows
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eYeSkYeYe Posted at 1-31 12:10
Photo is fabulous. I am also a huge fan of Nikon. So much better colors than anything else on the market.

I do love my Nikon and especially with the Zeiss glass. I'm @surreyhillscountryside on Instagram if you want to see more
2019-2-1
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Chasing Light & Shadows
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M2Wair Posted at 1-31 12:39
Good to see you back and posting again, sad to see a crash but you never did do anything that didn't require precision flying so had to happen at some stage. Delighted it was just a few minor scrapes and we can expect a conclusion of the project, eventually.

Didn't hear any cursing during the crash

Thanks I've been flying a bit but not as much as I'd like. Lots of video to edit though, just never enough time and would rather be out and about exploring!

Yeah crashing is all part of it when you're flying in close quarters, I enjoy the challenge

I recorded the audio before flying although I'm pretty calm and in the zone so no cursing, happy to have not tripped over and be in one piece myself!
2019-2-1
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BKahuna
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Did you have to turn off collision avoidance to fly in such tight quarters?  I've had problems flying through narrow spots when the collision avoidance wouldn't let me go forward.  Perhaps, since you were flying backwards, CA wasn't a concern.
2019-2-1
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Sky Carrier
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Flight distance : 590102 ft
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Nice picture and movies. Glad that the drone survived.
2019-2-1
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Chasing Light & Shadows
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BKahuna Posted at 2-1 08:57
Did you have to turn off collision avoidance to fly in such tight quarters?  I've had problems flying through narrow spots when the collision avoidance wouldn't let me go forward.  Perhaps, since you were flying backwards, CA wasn't a concern.

Yeah everything turned off on the first menu screen for collision, VPS left on. Probably the most important setting was to set home point to HOVER. If home point had been set to return to home and it lost connection in the cave, there's a good chance it would have shot up into the ceiling, or if it'd lost connection out in the open then I'm not sure it could have flown back down the way I flew it out between the trees behind and above me.

The thing with flying like this is you have to stand there for a while calmly, analyse the environment and think about what could go wrong. Then build a plan in your head so you're ready and can act quickly rather than trying to work it out in the moment of panic.
2019-2-2
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Chasing Light & Shadows
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Sky Carrier Posted at 2-1 12:00
Nice picture and movies. Glad that the drone survived.

Thanks, me too, could have been expensive!
2019-2-2
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Boffin
First Officer
Australia
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Well that took a bit of gutsy flying Chasing Light & Shadows.
Sneaky little cave, no wonder the whoopsie happened but you posted it warts and all, well done, excellent video
2019-2-2
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Chasing Light & Shadows
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Boffin Posted at 2-2 04:37
Well that took a bit of gutsy flying Chasing Light & Shadows.
Sneaky little cave, no wonder the whoopsie happened but you posted it warts and all, well done, excellent video

Cheers, I enjoy a challenge. If I crash I'm gonna share it so that other people can learn from my mistakes.
2019-2-2
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IcannotThinkOfAName
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Great shot! Safe flying!
2019-2-2
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jacksonnai
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Malaysia
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Very nice shot mate!
Be careful next time!
Happy flying!
2019-2-3
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