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#MyFirstFlight - Our Mavic Mini Sea Story
3060 10 2020-3-11
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Yuri Gagarin
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United States
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I’ve been watching the drone scene for some time.  Been waiting for the technology to evolve and create the feature set, ease of use and price point where I felt ready to jump in with my first drone.  Based on multiple reviews, the DJI Mavic Mini seemed to check all the boxes for me.  So we headed up to our seaside cottage in Maine for the weekend, and were fortunate to find an in-stock Mini at the big box store on the ride up.  The next day, after some rudimentary acquaintance with the controls in the living room, I gained the entirely unjustified confidence to take my first real flight, despite a bit of wind.  Now, I knew it was windy, but not exactly how windy.  Initially, among the houses and trees, the Mini handled very well, giving me a false sense of security.  Problem was, when I couldn't resist the urge to get just a bit higher for that even better vantage point, my impressively competent drone was then subjected to the unfettered slipstream and it quickly assumed a seaward trajectory.  In an overdue flash of brilliance, that was the moment I surmised what a complete idiot I am.  Panic quickly ensued. My son and I jumped in the car and initiated chase along the beachside road.  With my son at the controls and myself at the wheel, it didn’t take long to see in the video feed that our craft had gone “feet wet” and was now over the ocean.  It was an especially glorious day, as we viewed the spectacular video of a highly agitated ocean.  All this beauty did not assuage my nausea over the realization that the situation was utterly hopeless.  Although I activated the Return Home function, it was no match for the steady 25+ MPH breeze.  Total and unmitigated disaster.  But… hold on just a moment....  The drone was nowhere in sight, but closer inspection of its path through the controller video revealed that it might just intersect with a short jut of the coastline.  We’re nearly twenty minutes into the flight at this point, and now wondering if the battery will endure long enough.  With my son at the controls, I quickly drove to the residential area within the jut, trying to anticipate the Mini’s path and have a shot at setting her down before the battery expires.  When my son assured me that our drone was now over land once again, we frantically decided to simply command a descent.  In retrospect, we could have been more discerning about choosing our landing area, but with our concern for the battery and the possibility that it could be redirected out to sea again at any moment, we opted to simply land it quickly and take our chances with recovery.  Using the map, we were able to drive quite close, at which point the video feed revealed that the mini was hung up in a tree and staring down on a portion of a street or driveway.  Now on foot, we soon found ourselves within the video view of the Mini.  A little more searching revealed that its prop protection cage was impaled on a spindly tree branch about 60 feet above us, but seemingly unscathed.  So now it was good news that we found the Mini and it appears to be okay, and bad news that there’s no way on earth we can get to it.  However, as providence was clearly upon us after all, it didn’t take long at all for us to locate an extremely helpful and reasonable arborist who very ably recovered our drone with his bucket lift truck.

I share this story with two objectives.  One is a cautionary tale — to not make the egregious error I made, based on a false sense of security due to the conditions encountered near the ground, only to be imperiled at higher altitude.  The second is to simply share some of the spectacular video we obtained during our maiden flight.  Despite the fact that we were in a state of panic and had near-zero experience operating the drone, we somehow managed to achieve cinematic excellence -- capturing well-framed views of the spectacularly scenic coast during high surf conditions.  This even included video of ourselves in our chase car.  This experience also gave me good cause to finally learn about video editing, and this is my first product.

What came incredibly close to being a seriously discouraging first flight, turned out to be a “sea story” we will never forget.  Hats off to DJI for a spectacular product.  We are looking forward to many enjoyable, and hopefully less traumatizing, experiences with our Mavic Mini to come.


https://youtu.be/IhpMoweGktk
2020-3-11
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Yuri Gagarin
lvl.1
United States
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhpMoweGktk&feature=youtu.be
2020-3-11
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Yuri Gagarin
lvl.1
United States
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https://youtu.be/IhpMoweGktk?t=9
2020-3-11
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Montfrooij
Captain
Flight distance : 2164990 ft
Netherlands
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2020-3-12
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Montfrooij
Captain
Flight distance : 2164990 ft
Netherlands
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Here it is with preview
2020-3-12
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Montfrooij
Captain
Flight distance : 2164990 ft
Netherlands
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Not sure why the 'normal' link did not convert.
(http://www.youtube.com)
2020-3-12
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Montfrooij
Captain
Flight distance : 2164990 ft
Netherlands
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Anyway, very nice entry!
2020-3-12
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Montfrooij
Captain
Flight distance : 2164990 ft
Netherlands
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PS, I subscribed to your channel.
Mine is http://www.youtube.com/c/tricksandtipsnl
2020-3-12
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Woe
Captain
Flight distance : 4129268 ft
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United States
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Well done and good luck.
2020-3-12
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DAFlys
Captain
Flight distance : 1397858 ft
United Kingdom
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Thats a brave first flight,  I just took off, hovered and landed again,  then took 5 to get my heart under control.
2020-3-27
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A J
Captain
Flight distance : 13838848 ft
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United Kingdom
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Very cool footage
2020-8-2
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