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Mini Bisti Badlands Wilderness northern section (New Mexico)

Paleomanjim

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We spent a total of 3 days at the Bisti Badlands. First 2 days were mostly cloudy and windy. On the last day we hiked to the northern section of the Badlands and were rewarded with blue skies and calm winds, ideal for droning and bringing out the natural colors of these landscapes.

I’ve been using a technique I’ll call “drifting” to control the course of the drone lately. This involves using the right stick or “Roll” to change the path of the flight without the use of “Yaw” or left stick input. Normally both yaw and roll are used in aircraft to make coordinated turns. The advantage of using roll for course corrections is that heading can be maintained without corrective yaw inputs. The Mavic Mini has extra sensitive yaw control that can show up as jerkiness in the video, so using roll to steer can provide very smooth video.

This technique is also useful to increase the amount of scenery that can be observed on a flight from point A to point B. As well as to avoid obstacles in the path. An example is in the below video from 1:40 to 2:00. Instead of flying over the hill I chose to fly around it by drifting or crabbing to the left until the hill was cleared and then flying directly forward again. In this case forward speed was reduced as increasing left roll was applied and the result was a panning effect until the hill was cleared. It’s a different perspective if nothing else. There is more intentional drifting from 2:43 to 3:20. Note how distant objects in the horizon remain fixed on the screen, where as yaw inputs would result in a shifting of objects left or right. It also is useful when flying low between objects, such as some of the hoodoos in the video, the use of roll is just so much smother in trying to stay centered between the hoodoos and avoid impacts. For tighter course corrections or to RTH a combination of Roll and very slight yaw can works well also. It may not be useful for shorter flights of a few hundred yards or so, but can make a difference for longer lower skimming flights. Enjoy the video, this has to be one of the coolest places I have ever seen.
 

macfawlty

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Great locale. I’ve never seen it before. Very interesting with the drifting. Thanks so much for describing the technique. I’m gonna have to practice it in combination with a slight yaw. Controlling yaw is definitely where most pilots need work. I’m constantly working on moves, particularly slow turns. The intelligent modes are helpful, but I also like to work on custom combination moves.
 
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