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Flying off a Boat
1211 13 2016-9-11
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SAFrankSU
lvl.4
United States
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Hello all,

At the end of September I'll be "droning" my first wedding. The Inspire is in good shape, I've got 7 batteries ready to go, the country club gave me the OK, no nearby pesky airports.

The family asked me to take video/shots of the rehearsal dinner. The RD happens to be on a boat that simply sails along the shore. I have never taken off of a boat w/ my Inspire. Any recommendations or advice? I definitely don't want to risk putting this beauty into the drink, especially if the wedding the day after.

Frank
2016-9-11
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DJI-Jamie
DJI team
Flight distance : 112405 ft
United States
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You definitely want to perform your compass calibration while on land. To clarify does the boat have ample space to take off, or will you be on a dingy?
2016-9-11
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Farnk666
Captain
Flight distance : 1711394 ft
Australia
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Are you able to get a launch / retrieval spot along the shoreline instead of using the boat?
Assuming they want some footage of the boat, it might be a less risky approach to fly from shore rather than launching from the deck.
What is more important to them, rehearsal footage or the wedding footage?

This is why commercial pilots use multiple A/C, things can always go wrong and you need a backup just in case.
2016-9-11
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HobbyMounts
lvl.2
Flight distance : 206539 ft
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United Kingdom
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I'd try and avoid it if at all possible but if you have no choice then make sure you are capable of landing on a small area which may not be that stable.  Also, make sure your return to home is NOT the takeoff point or you will find it comes back to somewhere you are no longer.
2016-9-12
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SAFrankSU
lvl.4
United States
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DJI-Jamie Posted at 2016-9-11 20:23
You definitely want to perform your compass calibration while on land. To clarify does the boat have ...

The boat has a roof deck. I'll be landing on it. It's definitely not a dingy like a previous poster, noted.
2016-9-12
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DJI-Jamie
DJI team
Flight distance : 112405 ft
United States
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SAFrankSU Posted at 2016-9-13 04:49
The boat has a roof deck. I'll be landing on it. It's definitely not a dingy like a previous poste ...

From what it sounds like, it sounds like you have a good amount of space if you have the roof deck to yourself considering the circumstances. As Farnk mentioned, taking off from land is always a better course of action expecially if the boat will not be too far off shore. If you will be much farther than what would be considered comfortable, then having the Dynamic RTH function would be key for taking off from the boat.
2016-9-12
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solarscar
lvl.3
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United States
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I did this once. Never again and I have sticks to proved it. I could not land it on the boats since I was drifting down the Missouri River. The anchor was not holding so I just hover it and grabbed it. The motors revved up and the drone tilted sideways into my arm. 6 stitches. I would land it on land versus something moving.
2016-9-12
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solarscar
lvl.3
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United States
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Further more I was in follow me mode where the home point kept jumping. I think the drone wanted to go back to its last home point, about 20 ft away. Not sure but I ain't trying it again!!!
2016-9-12
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digitalmediaeli
lvl.4
Flight distance : 408343 ft
United States
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Here's a little reminder off the risks with swift winds and drifting boat.
2016-9-13
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aledaw
Second Officer
Flight distance : 1787395 ft
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Sweden
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Hi,
I was just on a sailing cruise for 11 days in the Mediterranean and took of the boat about 15 times. Always at anchor. I thought I would dare to fly while sailing when we were doing only 2 knots, but 2knots is a lot of speed I came to realise when you only have 2x2 meters to land on and wires everywhere on the sailing ship. So no flying for me on a moving boat. I flew a few days later on a small motorboat and tried to land while drifting in light seas and 1x2m landing space. Ended up with a guy helping me catch the drone in the air with thick glows. Catch it diagonal if you are going to catch it in the air unless you have grab rails.

good luck // Alex
2016-9-13
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markaguille
Captain
Flight distance : 2031818 ft
Jersey
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Hi Frank,

If you intend landing/taking off from a boat, make sure to practice hand catch/launch until you are completely confident (regardless of how much room you have for take off/landing).
2016-9-14
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MrSilicon
lvl.4
Flight distance : 4613543 ft
Australia
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I've launched off small speed boats before without too much drama. I did train an assistant to catch it instead of landing on the deck, but I had very limited space.

If you're going to catch the inspire make sure you come in with the LANDING GEAR UP and catch it on the battery. With the landing gear up you have the props as far away from the hands and possible and once caught down the throttle immediately to shut off the motors. The inspire will automatically transform into landing mode.

Do a dry-run on land first PLUS I wouldn't recommend catching with any sort of breeze.

2016-9-15
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tedbotic.gmail
lvl.2

United States
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MrSilicon Posted at 2016-9-15 04:23
I've launched off small speed boats before without too much drama. I did train an assistant to catch ...

Totally agree with this. Catching your Inspire by the battery compartment is the best way I have found. Also, not mentioned here, I always turn off the auto landing feature to prevent the landing gear from transforming accidentally while my assistant catches the drone. If you hand gets under the sensors, it can trigger the landing gear. Also, wind and waves are a big issue for sure, especially if someone has to catch the drone.
I have made the call in the past to just bring the drone down hard on the deck of the boat when conditions where poor for catching. You make break a few props, but it is better than injuring someone, or losing your drone.
2016-9-15
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tedbotic.gmail
lvl.2

United States
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Follow up to my last comment... Depending on the speed of the boat and the duration of your flight, you can run into a situation where the Inspire goes into a RTH before the battery reaches critical levels. I had this happen on the Mississippi while doing a boat chase. I followed the boat for about 7 minutes, had 50% power and the Inspire went into RTH. Since my home point was not dynamic, the drone switched to RTH because it determined it would need the remaining battery level to get back home. First time I had encountered this, and I almost lost my drone trying to regain control. Either ensure you have dynamic home point set, or turn off the RTH feature and have the drone go into a hover if it encounters an issue.
2016-9-15
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