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Phantom on a Cruise Ship

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by jsinco, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. jsinco

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    This may be crazy, but I was thinking of taking my Phantom on vacation with me, part of which is on a cruise ship. I was thinking of taking videos (when in harbor or anchored) of the various port destinations, assuming I could get the permission of the captain. I was trying to anticipate the potential problems. For example would the huge metal boat structure screw up the compass so badly that it wouldn't work. Other problems? I do not have a lot of experience with the Phantom yet. Thanks for your advice.
     
  2. fizzviic

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    I think you might be looking for trouble. There have been plenty of instances of folks trying to launch from the metal hood of a car with some disasterous results. Yet I have seen video's of others landing quads on the hull of the Concordia. Be that as it may, the deck of a cruise liner is pretty crowded and finding a safe place from which to operate might not be easy. Also, Phantoms don't float very well, should you run out of battery power and lastly, what might the local foreign authorities think about a camera toting "drone" flying over their port facilities?

    Just some thoughts...
     
  3. Gizmo3000

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  4. DrestonF1

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    Sounds risky. Other than the obvious points already made, I think port authorities in any country (even laid-back Caribbean nations) would be suspicious of an American-based cruiseliner with a drone flying around.

    Having spent plenty of time overseas (much of it in hostile countries), AND had my fair share of cruises both foreign and domestic, I can say that many people are suspicious of technology they don't understand. Depending on the location, piracy is a always a concern and nobody wants to raise tempers on a vacation vessel already with enough logistics to worry about.

    I'm not saying it wouldn't work out and it wouldn't be amazing video. But I just say analyze the risks. I can tell you that if you actually bring it to the attention of the ship's captain, chances are 99% sure they would deny your request. If I were responsible for all that boat and the people on board and the amount of alcohol available, I know I would.
     
  5. Gizmo3000

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    Obviously there's a little bit of risk flying in foreign locations (such as .. Colorado!@#?).

    Tho most cruise ships pull into friendly ports that are full of tourists and such, and the Phantom looks more like a toy RC craft than a surveillance drone.
    So I'd say just fly safely away from crowds as you normally would, respect local laws, and you'll probably be fine.
    -the further away from crowds as possible, or you'll likely be bombarded with people asking you in foreign languages "what is it? how high can it go? how much does it cost?".
    .. or even "Which souvenir shop was selling THOSE?"
     
  6. jsinco

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    Thanks, I appreciate all of the advice. I guess the biggest unknown to me is the technical issue of the Phantom working around
    such a large metal structure. Any additional insight there would be very helpful.
     
  7. longhornfan

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    I wanted to ask this very question... i was thinking of taking my P2 with me on my next cruise... but i was just curious if it would even make it on board and pass security?!?! can anyone at least answer that???
     
  8. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    I don't think they'll stop you from bringing it but they certainly can stop you from flying it.

    You notice in the end of the second video he says he lost ANOTHER quad into the sea. So, there you have it. And he was flipping his quad inverted in the second video so it's not like he was inexperienced.
     
  9. gbshovel

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    Change your plans go to a nude beach instead
     
  10. BobUnplugged

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    The problem with taking off from a car hood is that the Phantom won't get a GPS fix. I tried on the top of my minivan, and after 4 minutes, no GPS fix. I moved it to the ground, and got a fix in 30 seconds.

    The cruise ship poses another problem: It moves. So that GPS fix creates the opportunity for disaster.
     
  11. gordhunt

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    Lots of antennas and stuff might cause interference

    Sent from my S4
     
  12. FSJ Guy

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    Easy solution. Start at the bow and end at the stern. ;- )
     
  13. Quadro

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    Could be a lot of fun flying on the islands you visit. I wouldn't dream of launching from the ship itself, however. And it the ship were underway at the typical cruising speed of 21 to 24 knots, even at full throttle your Phantom would slowly vanish in the distance.
     
  14. NMG318

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    I've thought about this myself but I'm pretty sure you would have problems getting it on board and I think the Captain would have a cow if you launched it from the ship... Keep us posted if you try.
     
  15. lgeist

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  16. gfinney49@gmail.com

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    Risky Business....I have been on 8 to 10 foo foo ship cruises and first and foremost I am sure that any type of drone usage would be totally out of the question because of passenger and crew safety concerns. They will probably make you walk the gang plank or put you in the brig and throw the key away. I personally would not attempt such an event and as other posts have mentioned you are dealing with foreign affairs at other ports of other countries that do not operate in the same fashion as the USA. I have traveled extensively in the Caribbean islands for over 30 years... all the way from the ABC islands up thru the Bahama chain. Even if you go ashore to launch your drone you may be in for quite a surprise on some islands. However there are other ways to skin the cat. For the last 15 years I have explored the Caribbean on Windjammer type sailing vessels. Many of which that only carry from 45 passengers to 12 passengers. They hit smaller ports that the foo foo ships cannot get into, so clearance is done by a designated crew member or Capt. at each entry point. I will be packing my Phantom 2 Vision to shoot a documentary in May on a two week sail from Grenada up to St. Lucia and back. At some ports that I am familiar with I will not even let my Phantom leave my cabin, but most ports and anchorage that I encounter will be receptive to my drone flights on the beaches and from the vessel. Hell, I may even let some of my local island friends fly the darn thing!
     
  17. KBurn

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    I'm on a 12 and 13 day back to back Nordic and Baltic cruise right now leaving from UK. No issues bringing it aboard a Royal Caribbean vessel. I doubt I'll try taking off from the ship itself though. Entirely unnecessary. If you want to get aerials, it would be easy enough to get off and to shore... then fly from there.
     
  18. QYV

    QYV

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    you shouldn't have any trouble getting it on board there's nothing illegal about it... I've carried mine through airports several times and am actually yet to even be stopped so you shouldn't have any trouble getting it on board.
    I agree with the other folks saying you should definitely talk to the captain about it if you plan on launching from the ship itself, and respect his orders regardless of what they are. I'd definitely offer to share the videos with him! I'd also take the opportunity to ask him if he thinks the ship is doing much in the 2.4 or 5.8Ghz frequency ranges (interference), if he doesn't know he can direct you to someone that does but those are consumer bands the ship probably won't directly interfere on the same frequencies except for their local wifi, but I'd still stay away from the antennas in general.

    I'm a risk taker... when you fly is up to how much risk you're willing to take... how awesome would ship under sail footage be?! I HIGHLY recommend you get good at catching! imo catching a Phantom can be safer than ground landing if you're careful and practiced and it's the only way you're getting the phantom back if you fly while the ship is under sail. imo there is a perfect catch at the beginning of this video, approach from above, set your height, use one hand to control lateral movement and reach up and out to catch it. I'd recommend having a neck strap if you don't already.
    I would ask the captain what speed he typically cruises at someone here mentioned 21 to 24 knots (24 knots = almost 28mph), that's below the ~33 mph max speed in GPS mode people are getting. supposedly ATTI has a higher max speed but remember if you have a headwind that would affect your ground speed.

    so let's put the "under sail" part to rest and talk about launching from port or anchor, and how it would relate to GPS/home lock. I've gotten perfectly good gps/home lock from wooden surfaces with metal underneath, which the back decks of the ship should be. As long as there's a couple inches of wood between the metal you should be fine... just watch the indicator lights you're familiar with those right? If I fire up the phantom on a metal outdoor table, car, or I even accidentally put it on a metal grate that was barely covered by grass once the rear lights will never do that rapid green flash, my P2 just blinks constant yellow but as soon as I move it away from the metal the lights flash green and you're gtg.
    These sound like short distance flights, as long as your batteries are good you hopefully won't need failsafe/RTH which wouldn't work under sail anyway.

    lastly, imo every pilot should be aware and accept the risk if you're going to fly over water. ANYTHING can happen from equipment failure to a bird strike to lord knows what, and you should mentally prepare yourself for a total loss before it actually happens. If you're not willing to lose your toy, then don't fly over water. risk vs reward :)

    good luck! be sure to post your videos!
     
  19. Jermz

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    The main thing I'd recommend is make sure you know the laws for any country you'll be in. If you're at port or within so many mikes of the shore, you're in that country. Make sure you know if you can fly your phantom there, and what restrictions there are.
    If you're at sea, then the captain / crew is pretty much the law. Whatever the cap says goes. If he lets you do it, you're good legally. I'd take the speed of the ship and wind speed/direction into account. Most of the cruise ships go 18 to 24 knots, that'll be something like 20-24 mph. The wind speed and direction also go into play. If you have a headwind then that will add to the speed your phantom needs to maintain, 10mph wind and 24mph ship = 34mph phantom, which is about the fastest the thing will go. A tail wind would actually help you. Cross winds make it different as well. I'd try some sort of practice, trying to keep it flying around a car or boat to see if you can even keep it near you.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  20. Happyflyer

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    Reads like it is not a good idea. Enjoy your trip and I hope you don't get sick. Common thing on those ships now days.