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Controlled Explosion Video
556 11 2019-4-20
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FuZZyPiLOT
Second Officer
Flight distance : 1277867 ft
Ireland
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I have an opportunity to video a controlled explosion (conducted by licenced professionals) in the next few weeks and i was wondering has anyone done this before.

Will the shock wave have any affect on drone..... what sort of distance from should i keep etc....

Any thoughts?


2019-4-20
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Cetacean
Captain
Flight distance : 2317510 ft
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United States
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Aloha FuZZy,

     No experience in my flying with a controlled explosion.  But if no one else responds, you might question the demo guys about where the debris radius would be and how high the charges will be placed.  Then plan to position your bird well outside the radius and with a full view of the explosion.  You will also want your P4 to be above the highest charge by at least an additional half of the distance the highest charge is above the ground.  

     The extra altitude will help you avoid the sound wave air compression from the charge bouncing off the ground.  It will also place you way above the arc of the debris radius.  The video will be great in slow motion!  Looking forward to it already!

     If nothing else, this is a head start in thinking about your discussion with the demolition engineers.  I hope someone else can chime in on this.

     Hope this helps!

Aloha and Drone On!
2019-4-21
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FuZZyPiLOT
Second Officer
Flight distance : 1277867 ft
Ireland
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Cetacean Posted at 4-21 00:22
Aloha FuZZy,

     No experience in my flying with a controlled explosion.  But if no one else responds, you might question the demo guys about where the debris radius would be and how high the charges will be placed.  Then plan to position your bird well outside the radius and with a full view of the explosion.  You will also want your P4 to be above the highest charge by at least an additional half of the distance the highest charge is above the ground.  

Thanks for the tips Cetacean, much appreciated.

I guess the demo guys would know the best as i am sure it not the first time it will be done ;)
2019-4-21
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KEJ
First Officer

United Kingdom
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I knew someone, who's other half helped out with filming and a few year back was working on 24.

They blew a building up and for one shot decided to hover above the explosion, too close and as heat(never mind the shock wave) rises, burnt and melted the drone(right off).

My only advise, unless really high, do not go above, especially if they are going for a fire ball approach.
Definitely to the side...........good luck
2019-4-21
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Cellblock776
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Flight distance : 647454 ft
United States
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Bridge demos are often filmed with UAVs.  It's not uncommon.  One recent example is this one from Ken Herons YT channel- https://youtu.be/62WuR4IVt4E
2019-4-21
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Cellblock776
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Flight distance : 647454 ft
United States
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Controlled explosions are often filmed with UAVs.  Don't expect much of a "fireball" or shockwave unless you are very close.  Fireballs are often something done for dramatic effect in Hollywood movies.  Most controlled explosions use just enough charge to do the job and the result is usually just a black or grey cloud erupting over the explosion.  Check out this controlled bridge demo Ken Heron filmed with a P4 -
  https://youtu.be/62WuR4IVt4E
2019-4-21
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DJI Paladin
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Flight distance : 318 ft

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Hi FuZZyPiLOT, thanks for reaching out. Let me forward this query to our designated team to see if it is possible and safe for both pilot and the drone. I will give you an update as soon possible. Appreciate your patience and support.
2019-4-21
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Cellblock776
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Flight distance : 647454 ft
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DJI Paladin Posted at 4-21 07:57
Hi FuZZyPiLOT, thanks for reaching out. Let me forward this query to our designated team to see if it is possible and safe for the both pilot and the drone. I will give you an update as soon possible. Appreciate your patience and support.

DJI has a designated Controlled Explosion team?   Really?  I know that you guys have to be affiliated with the Peoples Liberation Army but you have an ordinance department too?  
2019-4-21
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FuZZyPiLOT
Second Officer
Flight distance : 1277867 ft
Ireland
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Cellblock776 Posted at 4-21 06:13
Controlled explosions are often filmed with UAVs.  Don't expect much of a "fireball" or shockwave unless you are very close.  Fireballs are often something done for dramatic effect in Hollywood movies.  Most controlled explosions use just enough charge to do the job and the result is usually just a black or grey cloud erupting over the explosion.  Check out this controlled bridge demo Ken Heron filmed with a P4 -
  https://youtu.be/62WuR4IVt4E

Thanks Cellblock776
2019-4-21
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DJI Paladin
Super Moderator
Flight distance : 318 ft

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Cellblock776 Posted at 4-21 08:35
DJI has a designated Controlled Explosion team?   Really?  I know that you guys have to be affiliated with the Peoples Liberation Army but you have an ordinance department too?

Hi Cellblock776, thanks for sharing your thoughts. To clarify this, we have designated team for rare scenarios that are not yet discussed here in DJI forum. There are a lot of pilots who participates here usually asks queries which are not accessible in our manual or even in our official YouTube video tutorials. I understand that it is dangerous that is why I would like to forward this specific thread to the appropriate department who can address the concern. Hoping for your understanding. Thank you.
2019-4-21
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Cellblock776
lvl.2
Flight distance : 647454 ft
United States
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No prob.  No reason to make it more complicated than necessary.  If you have contacted the people responsible for conducting the controlled explosion, or they contacted you, and have your insurance and any waivers needed for the airspace,  you should be shiny.  You are working with/for them.  They will have you set up well clear of any blast zone.  Just like in the video I posted for you, it's more than likely that you will be standing with the rest of the press crew.  They will probably want to know what aircraft you will be piloting to determine if the radio frequencies might interfere with their controllers. They will give you a minimum safe distance to make sure that you are clear of any debris fallout.  Fly it like any job you have for any other client.  
Make sure, ahead of time, to find out if you will indeed be in a public area such as with the press crews or if you will be near the work zone.  Are they going to let you into the work zone?  That may mean that you will need required PPE such as a Hard Hat, Safety Glasses, Safety Green/Orange vest,  Long Sleeve Shirt and possibly ear protection.  You should have a trained spotter/Visual Observer working with you.  He/She should also have proper PPE. That should be part of your kit already but double check that it is packed.
The day/night before do your normal job prep.  Run down your check list, all batteries charged, software/firmware up-to-date, weather forecast (UAVForcast, Windy.com), check NOTAMS/TFRs (B4UFly, AirMap, KittyHawk, etc).   Make sure you know who to contact upon arrival in case you show up and Security doesn't recognize your reason for being there.  
Have fun. Get lots of video and photos.  Take your spotter out for a nice lunch or dinner afterwards.  My usual copilot/VO likes sushi but I'm more of a Steak house guy.  When you get home edit up the video and photos and whatever you think the demolition guys will pay you for it, double that and see if they bite.
Good luck.
2019-4-21
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NM_Quad
Second Officer
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I have witnessed a couple of controlled demolitions, though before I had my drone.  There were lots of people there to watch.  The demolition people set up a rope perimeter for the spectators and enforced by workers and the police.  Thus, the perimeter would be the distance deemed safe by the explosive experts.  I did not feel any shock wave, just some dust that blew our way by the wind.  Therefore a safe distance would be to respect the perimeter distance while also avoid flying over the crowd per FAA rules.  It would be an interesting thing to capture from a drone.
2019-9-26
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