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Near annihilation of P3P, came within 10ft of unseen power lines. Didn't think it could happen to me

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by NormanNormal, Mar 21, 2016.

  1. NormanNormal

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    I've been training with my new P3P for almost 20 flights now. Mostly doing VLOS practicing at the park getting a hang of it. Today I decided to do some range testing. I planned it all out a very controlled test environment. A long wide canal bank that goes for many miles in a sparse rural area. That way I would never fly above people or private property and if I had to ditch or or land I have a good area to do and would make recovery easy enough with my vehicle. I drove up and down it once to check it out, being careful to note any power lines or obstacles. I looked at google earth and discovered 1 location where power lines crossed the canal, made note of it and decided I would not go below 150ft for safety even though the canal bank was always clear, I knew of those lines.

    Well my range tests went way better than expected. I made it out almost to 13,000 ft after 5 consecutive battery runs getting further and further each time, sort of creeping out further and further to ensure nothing unexpected happens.

    Where I went wrong was that I hold only scouted out in my vehicle to 10,000ft or so, but I had studied the rest in google earth, saw no obstacles and figured that was good enough. Turns out there are a pair of small domestic power lines that cross the canal near 11Kft. Thinking the way was clear I got cocky and decided to see how low my altitude could go and still hold signal at that distance. Got down to around 60ft and still had full signal. Bear in mind the SS you see was when I was cruising along at 50mph riding a tail wind in ATTI mode. Saw what looked to be power lines flash by very close on my FPV screen. Had a sinking feeling that I almost had a disaster. Reviewed the footage after and sure enough.. I must have came within 10ft of them.

    Thought I had scouted the area and covered all contingencies. Didn't think it would ever happen to me because I am very responsible and careful. Could have been a disaster. All further testing will be done in an open field. After it happened my hands were almost shaking and I packed it up and went home. Could not even fly anymore, had a sick feeling. BTW it did not interrupt my signal at all, in case anyone was curious.

    Anyone else have close calls with power lines?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. flpholt

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    nice lesson don't fly that low
     
  3. doomclam

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    Capture76.PNG
    Oh yes. My first job my spotter was in a different car and didn't warn me in time. I clipped the top power line but everything ended up being ok. Bad couple minutes though.
     
  4. flpholt

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    low flying =cool shots
    low flying = cool crashes
     
  5. alokbhargava

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    I usually fly at 200'.
     
  6. flpholt

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    yep 200 to 400 cant run into much up that hi
     
  7. doomclam

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    I know I'd prefer it if my subjects would get up that high.
     
  8. NormanNormal

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    I will for sure resist the temptation in the future. I really thought it was safe because I investigated the area prior but turns out not so much.
     
  9. doomclam

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    There are fine lines between daring, risky, and stupid.
     
    PrecisionAeroworks likes this.
  10. ddh1313

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    My contribution to the subject of getting full of yourself and felling stupid but relieved later. (Turn down volume sorry)

    I have all that room to navigate.... It's not like there's a power cable hanging down 4 feet under the bridge or anything.


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
    #10 ddh1313, Mar 21, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2016
  11. JerEl

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    Don't feel too bad those same type of power lines have killed or maimed many pilots in manned aircraft. In many cases where they picked a little used road for an emergency landing they've hit those drop lines which are usually going to a house or business on the other side of the road from the feeder lines. The sad thing is it would have probably been a perfect emergency landing if not for that single line crossing the road. Many of them have a steel cable with the insulated wire wrapped around it and it's enough to tear up an airplane.(or rotors on a copter). As I explaind in another thread I try to stay at least 25-50' above anything around where I fly and at a minimum of 150' altitude on FPV missions which is enough to clear the tallest tree around here.