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Aircraft tech and expectations.
366 6 2018-1-27
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Gunship9
Captain
United States
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I may think of radio control aircraft wrong since I have flown them off and on since 1990.  I may not have the right expectations for the Spark.  As a cheap aircraft (vs a $750,000 Cessna) that was sitting on a store shelf, I expect it to try to kill itself regularly.  At some point in its life it will crash.  Not a matter of if but when.  I will gather the pieces, order new parts, and repair it or use it for spares on a new drone.

I do not think every flight will be uneventfull between launch and landing just because the area allows drone flying.  DJI's implementation of an autopilot and a navigation system helps make flights less risky but the flight is still on me.  I need to be sure radio channels are clear and I keep control of the drone.

Should I expect to just put the drone up without a thought, fly to the advertised max range, and get the drone back in one piece?  Should I think of using it being as troublefree as my tripod and Canon camera?

2018-1-27
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Bright Spark
First Officer
Flight distance : 22129 ft
United Kingdom
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Good post. I fly rc too, and our moto so to speak is if you fly long enough you will crash.
In some ways the spark is so very sophisticated it's deceptively easy to fly.
But the air like the sea is capricious and treacherous within seconds.
Clearly I don't know the future, but from my perspective within reason the smaller my drone , the less damage I can do.
I forsee a spark with even more features at around 150 grams quite soon, in the no doubt vain hope that useage becomes more acceptable.
2018-1-27
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heliman
First Officer
Denmark
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Not like model hobby. It’s a package with strong vendor lock-in.
The spark is not supposed to crash. If it was, DJI would sell more spare parts than just props in their store.
2018-1-27
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FatherXmas
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Flight distance : 4058619 ft
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heliman Posted at 2018-1-27 12:43
Not like model hobby. It’s a package with strong vendor lock-in.
The spark is not supposed to crash. If it was, DJI would sell more spare parts than just props in their store.

I think they don't sell any spare parts to the consumer is because they prefer that we let them or one of their authorized repair centers do all of the repairs. There are quite a few parts available on eBay for those courageous enough to do it themselves.
2018-1-27
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Kloo Gee
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Flight distance : 10174879 ft
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United States
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I think the difference between aircraft (whether it is an RC based UAV or a manned AC) and virtually any other product is that the consequences are exponentially higher if it does not work 100% correctly.

For your Canon camera, if it doesn't work 100% correctly, you probably just get a bad picture or just have to pull the battery out and it will probably be just fine again.  However, with an aircraft, if something goes wrong, the crash at the end of the long fall is an extremely serious consequence.

For anyone to think a simple toy like a Spark, Mavic, or Phantom will be 100% without errors 100% of the time is just completely unrealistic.  

Just look at the automobile industry.  How many cars (that cost tens of thousands of dollars)  work 100% error free 100% of the time?

Hope for the best and plan for the worst!
2018-1-27
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Gunship9
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United States
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Kloo Gee Posted at 2018-1-27 13:21
I think the difference between aircraft (whether it is an RC based UAV or a manned AC) and virtually any other product is that the consequences are exponentially higher if it does not work 100% correctly.

For your Canon camera, if it doesn't work 100% correctly, you probably just get a bad picture or just have to pull the battery out and it will probably be just fine again.  However, with an aircraft, if something goes wrong, the crash at the end of the long fall is an extremely serious consequence.

I was thinking more like the ease of use (idiot proof) of the drone versus the canon.  The camera is just going to work and people can complain about it if it doesn't.  A drone hitting a tree at 30mph, getting out of radio range, failing to RTH in high winds or no GPS, or trying to out climb a dirty down looking sensor, is all part of the model hobby.

ie, I just took my dog and two unruly neighbor dogs to the park.  It is beautiful out with no winds.  It would have been nice to have some Spark shots of the walk.  However, there was no way I could pay enough attention to the flight while paying attention to the dogs.  Or, be prepared to handle any situation that came up.  I could however, use my Canon camera on the dogs while walking.  Simple.  But I bet a lot of Spark owners would have flown in that situation.   Spark then hitting tree or flying away, or RTH at the worst time.

You should do a video on the 5 ugliest drone pilots.  Youtube loves top 5's or lists.  Start with photographers sporting a man bun.  End with iPhonedo in DJI googles.    
2018-1-27
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dj_dread
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Flight distance : 622093 ft
Romania
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that is indeed a great post!
i crashed several RC models in the past. and i know how many variables come into place when flying a RC model/plane. the technology these days help a lot with controlling/flying the aircraft but in the end is the pilot.
and you do not get to understand a lot of RC flying until the first crash. then you start to think about that..reading manual, buying more gear (ie. anemometers), reading forums, reading manuals, watching youtube..etc.
2018-1-27
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