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Over water safety

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by Spaldeagle, Mar 18, 2016.

  1. Spaldeagle

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    Has anyone found a good solution to add a little peace of mind when flying over deep water? Obviously i would never intentionally try to land on it but if the worst should happen i would like to prevent catastrophic damage or total loss of the aircraft.

    Because i want my cake and to eat it too, i would prefer not to hamper the flight time or characteristics too much (might be a tall order)

    I have seen things that will mark the location of dropped keys but this would mean the P3 is already fully submerged and things will get costly.

    Am i being to concerned about flying over water? It just seems that if done long enough, a mistake is bound to happen eventually.

    I would love to hear any advice, products or diy inventions you guys can give.


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  2. Waylander

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    Hi I think that you possibly are a bit twitchy, I would however turn off the downwards facing camera (do it in the Go app), because some contributors have found that this can cause problems whilst hovering over water.
    I have flow my P3P within 2 feet of a lakes surface without problems.
    Waylander
     
  3. LK8472

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    I mostly fly over water that I couldn't access to retrieve in the event of a splashdown. Over 15 flight hours logged. No negative experiences or glitches. If anything you're a safer flyer in the scheme of things as you don't run the risk of property damage or personal injury. I've seen one YouTube video of a guy who zip tied ziploc bags to the landing gear and it seemed hold in his tests.


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  4. mandalay

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    Did you mean VPS, not downwards facing camera, when flying just a few feet over water?
     
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  5. Erroll

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    VPS incorporates the downward facing camera, with the (edit- ultra sound sensors.
     
    #5 Erroll, Mar 18, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2016
  6. mandalay

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    I got what he/she meant now. I was thinking about the actual camera, not the sonar sensors:) I always turn off VPS anyway.
     
  7. WetDog

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    Flying over 100 feet high and flying over water are about the same in terms of risk - if the thing crashes, you are unlikely to have much in the way of usable electronics. Yes, you can sometimes put a Phantom back together after a crash from height - gonna cost you. At least you will get your SD card back. And yes, you can sometimes hose out a Phantom after a dunk and not lose anything but the battery - but I wouldn't count on it.

    Big issue over water, from a craft safety perspective, is that an autoland from a dying battery might result in a decent landing (and might land smack in the middle of a roadway). Water, not so much.

    To me, it's just a different set of risks. No trees / power lines / buildings over water. Great radio reception.

    Can't have everything.

    And to specifically answer your question - no, there are no good solutions. There are a couple of inflatable sponsoons around. You can make your own from a baggie. You can buy a rod saver - something that would keep the P3 from actually sinking although what you are left with is anybody's guess. There are videos about people attaching pool noodles to the bottom. Seems to work in a pool - doubtfully stable in open water. One company was touting one of the hydrophobic coatings that were advertised not too long ago - they no longer advertise it.

    There is always the Lily.
     
    #7 WetDog, Mar 18, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2016
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  8. happydays

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    The phantom doesn't know it is over water. Just the operator.
     
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  9. Erroll

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    You do need to be careful though......

     
  10. Waylander

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    Yes my friend I did mean VPS thank you for correcting me. I could not remember the actual term at the time of writing but I understood the technology, I I think perhaps the OP new what I meant....

    Here is a small exert from DJI's web site

    What is the VPS and how does it work
    The DJI Vision Positioning System uses ultrasound and image data to help the aircraft maintain its current position. With the help of Vision Positioning, the P3 can hover in place more precisely and fly indoors or in other environments where a GPS signal is not available. The main components of the Vision Positioning System are located on the bottom of your Phantom 3 Professional; they include [2] two ultrasonic sensors and [1] one monocular camera.
    Probably a downward facing camera :)

    Ciao
     
  11. Spaldeagle

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    Thanks for all the comments thus far. It sounds like the best advice is to fly smart, check your battery levels and hope that some random firmware glitch doesn't send you $1000 investment down to Davey Jones.

    While i do agree that a drop from 100+ ft will do just about the same damage as falling into the water, I rarely fly that high. Except for a few establishing shots, I'm usually down closer to where the action is to make the video more interesting.

    This of course leaves less room for error and little time to correct for a mistake. I'm not made of money and at the moment all flights are for hobby/ amateur video purposes so loosing the craft is not an easily accepted scenario.

    I guess the key is to practice, practice, practice. If I can simulate as much as possible the shots I want to make while still over somewhat forgiving dry land, i should be able to boost my confidence level and skills to bring my baby home after an over water shot.

    There will always be that slight worry in the back of my head that some piece of tech will fail at the worst possible moment. But I suppose the only way to feel perfectly safe from crashing is to never send the craft up in the air. And i guess that would be the ultimate waste of money.

    Thanks guys.


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  12. WetDog

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    Yes. Practice and safe sex, err, safe flying. Operating from a boat has a whole other level of complexity but even that can be managed. Certainly get comfortable with the craft before doing anything risky. We've discussed this dozens of times here - run on a full battery (batteries are expensive, but then again, so is replacing the P3 and batteries ARE a weak link), think through your flight three times, measure twice. Practice ATTI mode.

    And if you do fly low, remember, you may not turn the P3 into recyclable scrap, but you are losing some situational awareness and are generally closer to Things-That-Don't-Like-Propellers.

    Have fun. It should be moderately stimulating, not white-knuckle-fear.
     
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  13. Spaldeagle

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    Besides making you a better all around pilot, how does flying in atti help? Less likely that gps will take you on a wild ride?

    I like that atti gives you more fluid shots due to the coasting when letting off the sticks and not the dramatic braking effect from p mode. Does altitude stay relatively constant in atti mode or will i need to stay on top off the throttle to prevent a swim?


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  14. xave

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  15. PrecisionAeroworks

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    ATTI-mode uses the on-board barometer to maintain altitude, just like P-GPS mode (without VPS), so no worries there.

    Flipping into ATTI-mode and being able to control your aircraft is your last and best contingency if/when one or more of our many pilot aids fail due to hardware or software issues. IMO, you should practice it enough to understand how the aircraft will behave if you find yourself in such a position.
     
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