Pre-flight Nerves

We all get pre-flight nerves don’t we? I’m most definitely not the most comfortable flyer in the world it has to be said. The wait in the departure lounge also adds to the pre-flight nerves I find, and I daren’t have an alcoholic drink in case I have to fly the plane at any point.  Whilst I usually end up enjoying most of the flight I do struggle with take-off and particularly with landing. The speed at which the land rushes up towards the plane puts the heebie-jeebies up me.

But yet – what if instead of being a passenger I WAS the pilot? Doesn’t bear thinking about does it?

Or does it?

© Dave Whenham

West Vale from the air

I went to investigate a GoPro compatible drone recently … long story … short version … I bought a DJI Mavic Pro. Which is how I came to photograph West Vale from the air (above!)  this morning.  This purpose of this blog is just to put a marker in the ground; as with most of my blog posts this is primarily intended as a memory bank for me to look back at in a few months time and see how I’ve fared. It’s been interesting looking back this week at August 2016 when I last had a play with creating videos for example.

I was very apprehensive, having never even driven a remote controlled car before,  but after an hour and a half flight time (over a couple of sessions) I’m ready to share my initial thoughts.

I am still very nervous is probably the first thing to say here.

Seventeen take-offs and seventeen landings have given me a degree of confidence in the technology and in my ability to handle it. I have deliberately kept it in beginner mode figuring I can work with the distance and height limitations for now. What is important is getting to know how to handle the craft and how to get the best from the camera. Multi-tasking is never easy when both tasks are totally new but I’ve been impressed with how the system works together.

The guide that comes in the box is pathetic; it probably doesn’t even warrant being called a quick start guide. I found how to format the SD card for example by playing with the App on my phone which works with the controller to aid flight and operation of the camera. Prior to my maiden flight I read a lot of articles and read parts of the online manual which thankfully is a bit more comprehensive although it is very, very poorly organised; DJI could surely afford to produce professional documentation at this price point?

The best advice I received prior to my maiden flight was to watch some of the many “newbie” video tutorials before turning the machine on. These turned out to be very helpful in giving me a visual reference for when the drone was on the ground in front of me with flashing lights and whirring blades.

I will write my initial thoughts after a few more sessions with the Mavic but I get the feeling that I am going to enjoy this latest addition to my photographic arsenal.

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