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Video: P3 Prop Eats Fishing Line Over Water (Near Loss & Lessons Learned)

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by UAV-Video, Aug 9, 2015.

  1. UAV-Video

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    Like everything in life, flying a UAV has risks. Hope this post helps someone avoid having a problem.

    My Goals:
    1) Eliminate any risks that the UAV poses to other people.
    2) Minimize the risk of me loosing my quad.
    3) Have fun. Get great videos/pics.​

    Yesterday I got an education in risk #2. I encountered a threat that I never even considered, and I nearly lost my P3 to a lake.

    What Happened:
    - I was flying my P3 over a lake at about 4m AGL, with the intent of flying close to the branches of a tree overlooking the water (no people other than me were nearby).
    - The tree was 100m from me, clearly within line of site, but not close enough for me to see the translucent fishing line that was dangling in the tree branches right in front of my UAV.
    - While I could not see the fishing line on my transmitter mounted phone display, you can clearly see it on the below video from the P3's onboard camera. See video of the incident below.​



    I was REALLY lucky that I was able to regain control of the UAV. Credit to DJI's engineers here (I did no advanced maneuvers to regain control).

    Lessons Learned:
    1) If I'm intentionally planning to fly near something (especially when over water), I should get close enough to visually inspect the object from close up before flight to make sure there's no hidden obstacles. This is sometimes easier said than done. In retrospect, I was flying too close to the tree, regardless of the fishing line (you can see the props are too close to the small bits of the tree branches).
    2) Stuff happens. Sometimes you get really lucky (like I did).
    3) If you need to wind fishing line, a Phantom 3 does an excellent job.

    I've read the P3 manual. I've read and comply with FAA recreational guidelines for Model Aircraft Operations. Sometimes though, there is no substitute for experience and a healthy level of paranoia :)

    Here's a couple photos of the fishing line after the P3 wound it up at 10,000+ RPM...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    Note to Mods: The "PSA: Read Before Posting in the P3 Forum" sticky HERE asks that videos be posted in the "Videos and Photos" section. The point of this post is to identify a flight risk that others may not have considered, rather than to showcase videography, so I have posted this in the "General" section where more pilots may see and benefit from it. Mods please feel free to move as you see fit.
     
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  2. dirkclod

    dirkclod Moderator
    Staff Member

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    You got lucky on that one bro ! had that line been like Spider Wire or of higher pound test it still be hanging there or worse !
    Thanks for sharing that :)
     
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  3. Clipper707

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    Great story!

    I was doing some low level runs over a wet rice paddy at sunset on a recent trip. After reviewing the footage, I saw there were some power lines I had missed from my launch point. Luck was on my side that night.
     
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  4. UAV-Video

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    I thought about that. If the fishing line stayed attached to the tree and the UAV, I would have been SOL, since the limb was hanging way over the water (no way to get it from climbing the tree).

    The video was taken in Minnesota (I was there to attend a wedding that started shortly after that flight), so I would have had to choose between A) leaving the P3 hanging from the tree and making the wedding on time, or B) trying to find a boat that I could use to get the P3, and being late to the wedding.

    I was super lucky. :eek:
     
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