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Ice crystals on P3 arms after foggy flight

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by rickeyfitts, Oct 13, 2015.

  1. rickeyfitts

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    On a most amazing Sunday on the Northern California Coast, I got a bit impatient waiting for the fog to clear to fly, and did a quick flight through the fog, to 400ft, but still didn't break through.
    After descending through the fog and landing, I noticed some condensation on the arms (the P3, not my hairy limbs). On closer inspection I was a bit surprised to find that the water droplets were actually small crunchy ice crystals that melted away in less than a minute.
    The ambient temp. on the ground was around 64 degrees F. and once the fog burned away it was a perfect 76 degrees F. for the rest of the day. My wife theorizes that the wind from the props caused a chill-factor that froze condensation from the fog. I don't know.... 'whadda ya think?

    As you'd expect, video from the fog-flight was all-gray.

    But here's some 'vid from the rest of this most amazing day:
     
  2. apsphoto

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    Nice footage, very might be caused by the wind from the prop and cooling. Send some of the cool air down south would you... when I got up at 4:30 it was 81F outside in coastal SoCal.

    Alan
     
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  3. Volantis

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    The fog is water suspended in the air. It may seem inconsequential to our senses because the water density is low, but to an object being sprayed with fog it feels like a low pressure garden hose being squirted on it. And yes, with the fast moving air the water on the arms may freeze due to evaporation. You are taking an unnecessary risk flying in fog.

    Aside from the damage you could do to your UAS, you are also violating FAA rules that specifically forbid flying a UAS in fog. While the aircraft is in the fog, you cannot see objects that might collide with it, and if it fails due to the moisture, the UAS could fall out of the sky and damage something or someone.

    I know there are those who think something isn't illegal unless they get caught, those who don't read FAA regulations, and those who think they have a right to do anything they want, but you are not doing any favors to the UAS community by posting illegal flights in a public forum. This is especially true since you are using the same aerial platform the rest of us are using legally.
     
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  4. louforgiveno

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    I flew up there a few months back, it's really nice along the coast there. I also went to Pt. Reyes prior by the lighthouse to fly, but there was waaaayyyy tooooo much wind ! In fact the wind blew a 70 year old man over a cliff the next day (he was rescued by heli). Would have been awesome to fly out there....wide open ocean is quite a difference from a bay.
    On a side note, the moisture in the air probably contains salt so be aware that salt water is alot worse than straight water on electronics.
    education-pc-principal.png Woo, woo.....Did you say "straight" water bro?! (P.C Principle)
     
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  5. 4wd

    4wd

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    There's a reduction of air pressure around the blades which can cause icing when it's well above freezing, altitude alone probably couldn't make it cold enough - and wind chill isn't a real reduction in temperature - just how cold it feels to anything exposed to it.
     
  6. rickeyfitts

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    First, I am very careful about where and when I fly, and I'd say that this is one of the least egregious of the dozens of "violations" I've read about on this forum -- the flight was in a deep canyon-beach with shear walls climbing well beyond my 400' on 3 sides, and the ocean on the 4th side. The was straight-up to 400' then straight down again, just to try and see how high the fog was, and the only people below for at least 100 yards in any direction were myself and Jo-Jo.

    Still, I'm not one to knowingly violate rules without very careful consideration. I felt that I was taking a relatively small calculated risk to the 'Bird itself, and little or no risk to anyone else, when compared to any other typical flight (arguably safer than most totally "legal" flights due to the location and lack of other 'peeps). If I was aware of specific rules prohibiting UAEs flying in fog I would certainly not have stated that I had done so here, and I am unlikely to ever do such a flight again anyway (it was probably the least satisfying flight ever, and only worth mentioning because of the ice).

    Second, I dug pretty deep into the FAA-UAE web pages and PDFs and could not find anything about flying a UAE in fog (Google can't even find the word "fog" on the FAA-UAE section of the website or in the FAQs, I couldn't find anything in the PDFs either, which don't appear to be real rules anyway, but rather recommendations and directions on future rulemaking, and "Know Before You Fly campaign" was a dead link).

    I do share your concern about peceived damage by those who break "the rules"... but the closest thing I could find to "...FAA rules that specifically forbid flying a UAS in fog..." is the "strongly encouraged..." list with... "Keep the aircraft within visual line of sight at all times", a recommendation that I always carefully consider in every circumstance. If there is indeed an FAA prohibition on this, they sure make it hard to find -- can you point out where to find the specific FAA prohibition on flying in fog?
     
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  7. SteveMann

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    Not true, grashopper. For those who don't read FAA regulations: At the present time there is no FAA rule regarding flight of personal drones in fog. And I am guessing that you have never seen a California coastal fog which can be quite thin. Even from 1,000 ft I could usually see the ground when flying over the California coast when the fog is moving ashore.
     
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  8. rickeyfitts

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    Yeah, wind and fog kept me from flying on either of my first two trips to Jenner this season, (but it's only a 1hr drive for me), but three's the charm! It was one of those rare days with almost no wind, and the fog burned off by 1pm.

    Yikes, that's a good point. I can taste a bit of salt-water-mist-residue on the shell. I'll be staying out of the fog from now on, but no way can I avoid flying near the ocean ('guess that makes me a
    "bi-water" ;o)

    Any advice on protecting my 'Bird against the potential ravages of salt water mist is appreciated (short of "don't fly there").
     
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  9. louforgiveno

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    Yup, its impossible to resist....just be weary of the salt water and inspect the internals every once and a while for corrosion....just something to think about, may never be an issue but knowing is half the battle - Go Joe !! ;)
    3770972018_c50c1364d4.jpg
     
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  10. rickeyfitts

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    Close your eyes, here it comes...

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. rickeyfitts

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    Sounds like words of wisdom, thanks.
    Go Jo-Jo!
     
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  12. Fourprops

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    WOW!
     
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  13. Bill S

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    Interesting location as I was there a few weeks ago flying off the road at Jenner with similar footage. The next morning I was at the Bodega West Marina in lifting fog traversing a line of fishing boats when seagulls attacked the P3Pro and it crashed onto a fishing boat. Fortunately, I recovered the P3 and I have replacement insurance from B&H. Not sure how I managed to avoid the water. First time that I have had a bird attack. I guess it was Hitchcock's fault as the movie 'The Birds' was filmed about a mile away.
     
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  14. Fourprops

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    I think you did a great job the fact that you were in the fog and you got it back with no problems you stayed below 400 foot very impressive ! I can say that I probably wouldn't have the guts to do that !! And you didn't collide with anything have there been something else flying your drone would've been the least of their problems at 400 or below in that area just saying
     
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  15. snerd

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    Did you just pull this out of your butt?! There is no such rule, law nor any prohibition for model aircraft. Where did you come up with this?
     
  16. Fourprops

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    Thanks SNERD! I was just reading on this too this guy drinks too much of the Kool-Aid!
     
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  17. louforgiveno

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    **** ! Another reason to paint the p3 black......look more like a predatory bird.
     
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  18. Fourprops

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    Cool thought!!
     
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  19. LordEvil

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    It works! No attacks since painting mine. Thinking of putting red eyes on the front.
    [​IMG]
     
  20. LordEvil

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    Great video! Where is all the wood from? Saw some big birds flying shoreline midway through video.