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Crashed in China

Joined
Jan 6, 2018
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Age
61
Just returned a couple weeks ago from a month traveling throughout China and just before returning to the U.S. I crashed my Mavic in Xi’an (one of the oldest cities in China with a population of 12 million).

I was flying in the downtown area on my third battery when I decided to do a close LOS fly by on a high rise office building about 100 feet from me that was clad in mirrored glass. I did a slow pass by to see if I could set up the shot and I totally misjudged the distance to the windows and clipped the glass.

The Mavic dropped 10 stories like a rock onto the sidewalk (no one in the area on early Sunday morning so the area was safe).

I walked over to it and the metal airframe was broken along with one of the arms and the gimbal. Toast. I returned it to DJI Refresh the day I returned and they got me a replacement MP which I flew today. I’m pleased with their service.

Moral to this incident:

1. Don’t get cocky when you are unaccustomed to flying around densely-packed high-rise in a urban area.

2. You can’t always trust your eyes even when flying LOS. The mirrored glass made it look like I was farther away from the glass than I was. I screwed up big time and it cost me a MP.

BTW, I flew Chinese airlines 5 times and rode bullet trains throughout China and had zero issues with the Chinese TSA carrying on the drone and four batteries. The biggest issue I had was every time I flew the Mavic it would attract a crowd. Really enjoyed flying in China. DJI has a ton of NFZs throughout China, but I was able to find spots to launch outside their fencing.
 
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Wolfie52

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Just curious if you did the registration process for flying in China? I have a China SIM but don't want to use it until I arrive as it has 15 day limit for use. I am hoping to get some shots around Tianmen Mountains which are awesome. I am afraid that the crowds may be too think there. Fortunately my wife is Chinese and can speak Mandarin so sometimes that can help with local people.
 

Thomas B

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Just returned a couple weeks ago from a month traveling throughout China and just before returning to the U.S. I crashed my Mavic in Xi’an (one of the oldest cities in China with a population of 12 million).

I was flying in the downtown area on my third battery when I decided to do a close LOS fly by on a high rise office building about 100 feet from me that was clad in mirrored glass. I did a slow pass by to see if I could set up the shot and I totally misjudged the distance to the windows and clipped the glass.

The Mavic dropped 10 stories like a rock onto the sidewalk (no one in the area on early Sunday morning so the area was safe).

I walked over to it and the metal airframe was broken along with one of the arms and the gimbal. Toast. I returned it to DJI Refresh the day I returned and they got me a replacement MP which I flew today. I’m pleased with their service.

Moral to this incident:

1. Don’t get cocky when you are unaccustomed to flying around densely-packed high-rise in a urban area.

2. You can’t always trust your eyes even when flying LOS. The mirrored glass made it look like I was farther away from the glass than I was. I screwed up big time and it cost me a MP.

BTW, I flew Chinese airlines 5 times and rode bullet trains throughout China and had zero issues with the Chinese TSA carrying on the drone and four batteries. The biggest issue I had was every time I flew the Mavic it would attract a crowd. Really enjoyed flying in China. DJI has a ton of NFZs throughout China, but I was able to find spots to launch outside their fencing.
Thanks for communicating and emphasizing the difficulty mirrored surfaces cause.
 
Joined
Jan 6, 2018
Messages
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14
Age
61
Before the trip I communicated with the CAA and they said it was not necessary for me to register. I assume it’s because I was a tourist. When you get there prepare for lots of geofenced NFZs. Just use common sense where you fly. I was outside Beijing and Shanghai most of the time so could find open areas to fly. Usually when I was flying I would attract a couple of people who wanted to see the screen.

Be especially careful if you are in or near politically sensitive areas (Tibet or Muslim). We had two “minders” who followed us everywhere in those areas and flying was out of the question.
 

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