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canyonair

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 #16 
The Mavic Pro I checked out last weekend. My main concern is image quality with the proprietary camera from DJI. How is the image in recorded playback?

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djordan

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 #17 
It is recorded on an SD card installed on the drone itself, and you can record the same image at the same time on the viewing device.  The image is very high quality HD on the SD card, but the quality on the viewing device depends on the video quality available on the device itself, and the way you have the camera adjusted.  You can adjust the exposure, and on some drones even the focus, from the remote control unit.  When you upload to YouTube or Facebook, you don't always get the best quality. That's the problem with both of those sites.

Yes a guy in a Cessna or Piper can go as low as he wants.  Crop dusters go even lower.  You have to use common sense when flying  a drone.  You are not allowed to fly within 5 miles of an airport without making contact and getting permission from the controlling authority, either by phone, letter, or handheld VHF radio.  I specifically discussed the use of a radio with the FAA many months ago.  They did not say it was illegal.  Personally, I don't intend to fly near an airport anyway.  I am a commercial rated fixed wing pilot, and have used my portable radio while on the ground many times.  Though admittedly, not in association with my drone.  The DJI Go app will give you a warning if you are within an airport or other restricted area.  Common sense is the prevailing factor here.  Most T.V. nature programs are now using drones for those special shots.  It's a lot cheaper and safer than flying a helicopter that low.  Those drones are much more expensive that the one I fly.

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Don Jordan
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 #18 
Something else I forgot to mention.  You must register with the FAA as well.  You get a registration number much like an "N" number on an airplane.  The number is basically for you as a pilot, and the same number must be visible on all drones that you fly.  You use the same number on all of them.  I have two.  The cost is $5.00.
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canyonair

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 #19 
The one big problem we run into with drone operators in Las Vegas, NV is that even though they may be 5 miles from an airport, they don't consider the airspace they are flying in. The Las Vegas Class B controlled airspace extends from the surface to 10,000' and extends to the north past Nellis AFB. To operate a drone in Class B airspace requires a waiver which is granted though FAA Headquarters in DC. It generally takes 45 days to process and I have yet to hear of one being approved. Anyway, we've had people fly drones across the street from McCarran Airport and through downtown Vegas. One guy even hit the top of the Stratosphere Tower at the 1,200' level. I'd like to start a collection of confiscated drones in the office, but Las Vegas Metro Police usually grabs them.

Out in the middle of the desert is probably the best place to fly them, but then again and as you said common sense and consider the type of airspace you are flying in. We have a place out in the middle of Nevada called Groom Lake and I doubt a drone buzzing overhead would be very welcome.

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djordan

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 #20 
Ya, I know about Groom Lake.  I'll  bet some idiot will try to fly over it in the near future.  And yes, the open desert is a great place to fly.  I never fly over our town.  And this is a very small town.  Much of my flying is done looking for crash sites, or just practicing.  I have no need to go above 2 or 3 hundred feet on a search.  Can't see the detail from up there.  Many times I'll stay at about 50 feet or less, and do a slow flight in a search pattern.

A guy down the street has the same drone I have.  He is an older fella, and is often flying over town.  If there is a problem, I'm hoping they don't confuse mine with his.  Even though the Pro is capable of going out 3 miles. I reallly see no need to do that.  The search pattern is then just one thin line out and back due to battery power.  I prefer no more than 1/2 mile squares.  I'll go farther to have a look at a particularly interesting feature on occasion.

I'm surprised that there arn't more folks in the wreck chasing community who fly drones.

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Don Jordan
TreyB

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 #21 
Mike-

The camera works very well for photos and video. The camera settings menu has a number of options and features you can adjust to get the output you want. You can either set it for Auto or Manual. I have been experimenting with the exposure and film speed and have been happy with the results.

So far I have just used it out in the desert while exploring. I don't see the need to fly it in the city with the trees, power and phone wires as potential obstacles.

Trey
canyonair

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 #22 
I think the MavicPro would be a good choice to view up close the UAL Flight 718 wreckage located on the ledges of Chuar Butte in Grand Canyon. I have presented the idea years ago to the NPS with little interest from them. I like the idea of the portability of this drone over others. Of course I will need permission from the NPS and a waiver from our FSDO to operate in the GCN SFRA.
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djordan

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 #23 
Trey,

Let's see some video!!!

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Don Jordan
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 #24 
 Back in 1974, I visited the Bishop Convair crash site two months after it happened.  We did not have GPS in those days.   I hiked up there one day after work while still in my suit pants and dress shoes. I hikes along the top of the ridge, and not up from the bottom.   I was very young back then, and easily made the hike.  Not so much any more!  I'm going to be in Bishop early next week on a service call.  I have many photos of the site that were sent to me by other members of the forum.  I believe the cross on the site is visible from the valley floor.  I would like to try and fly my drone up to the site and get some video with it.  The drone has a 3 mile range, but can only stay in the air for about 17 minutes.  Does anyone have GPS coordinates for the site?  I could sure use them now if someone would care to share them with me.  I need to fly as direct as possible.  If so, send them to me by email. My address is in my Profile.

Don

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Don Jordan
Mtflyer

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 #25 
Hi Don, I'll send the coordinatess to you in an email in a few minutes.
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Joe Idoni

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djordan

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 #26 
I thanked Joe by email.  I wasn't far off on the location from what I remember back then.  I just plotted the course for the drone to reach the site from the closest road down below.  It's beginning to look doubtful for a drone flight from there.  I would be 5.2 miles from the airport, so I would be legal there.  The altitude gain would be in excess of 1,500 feet , and the distance would be just about  1 mile.  That is really pushing it for the Phantom 3 Pro.  I'm not sure I want to risk losing the drone on a flight like that.  I think the best thing to do is to hike in from the north to a ridge line as I did in 1974, and then launch from there.  I remember sitting on that ridge back then and looking directly across the little canyon at the wreck site.  The straight line distance from there is only 1/4 mile.  That's an easy flight path.  I'm just not sure I can make that hike again.  I'll keep you posted...
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Don Jordan
djordan

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 #27 

Didn't make it to Bishop.  Long story.  Two big Navy fighter jets flew over my head at no more than 300

AGL.  Didn't even hear them coming until they were upon us.  Thank goodness we were not flying.


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Don Jordan
canyonair

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 #28 
Back in 1995, I visited the site with Doug Scroggins. There was still quite a bit of wreckage and personal effects scattered about. I found a manifold pressure gauge that was melted and had a pilot crew wing imbedded in the melted metal. Later on I located a ball of decaying paper that turned out to be the co-pilot's appointment/planner book dated 1974. It listed by day his schedule of flights with Sierra Pacific including his last flight on March 13th.
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djordan

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 #29 
Well it looks like the world of Drone flying just got a little more confusing.  I guess we don't have register our drones any longer.  It looks like the FAA rules are changing again.



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Don Jordan
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