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Fly Stress-Free: Seeking Advice After Close Call in Switzerland

clouds9

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Apr 17, 2024
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Switzerland
Hello everyone,

I recently had a nerve-wracking experience while flying my DJI Mini 2 in Switzerland and I'm seeking some advice and ideas from the community.

After my previous drone crashed into the sea, two weeks ago in Italy , DJI graciously replaced it at no cost, providing me with a brand new Mini 2. (System failure of drone)

Excited to take it for a spin, I headed to fly again nearby where i do live. However, my excitement quickly turned to panic when three seagulls appeared out of nowhere and began flying dangerously close to my drone, with an intent on taking it down. I was able to lower my drone to safety, but now I find myself feeling anxious about flying again. The thought of encountering birds and risking another incident is stressing me out.

I'm reaching out to the community for advice on how to prevent bird encounters while flying and regain my confidence in the skies. Have any of you experienced similar situations? How did you handle it? Are there any strategies or techniques you can recommend for flying more relaxed and bird-free?

Any insights or ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance for your help!
 
three seagulls appeared out of nowhere and began flying dangerously close to my drone, with an intent on taking it down.
The birds probably did not have the intention of "taking it down".
They would have been intent on chasing the drone out of their territory.
I'm reaching out to the community for advice on how to prevent bird encounters while flying
There is no magic solution to prevent bird encounters if you are flying in their territory.
None of the "solutions" you might find to bird-proof the drone will really work if you encounter a bird that does not want you in its territory.

Now the good news
Most drone flyers never encounter real bird problems.
Very few bird species are going to act aggressively toward your drone
Some that can, will only do it for a month or so in their breeding season..
But if you fly in the territory of one of the problem species, the only way to prevent negative encounters is to fly somewhere else.
Have any of you experienced similar situations? How did you handle it?
I have had problems with three bird species.
The worst two were in places where I've flown many times without problem.
But during their breeding season they aggressively try to drive drones out of their territory.
Here's one:
i-DkBjXDp-XL.jpg


These large crows would not leave the drone alone and would chase it for more than a kilometre, repeatedly diving very close.
Unfortunately I had to return to the site a few times and flying there was quite stressful.
I had to keep moving and if I hovered briefly they would quickly catch up and mob the drone.
The photos above were shot with the drone flying backwards at full speed.
After 4-6 weeks, they went back to their usual behaviour and had no interest in the drone.

This large gull was less determined, but still concerning.
i-cJnKp3b-L.jpg

I've flown with them several times and although scary at first, they give up chase after a short distance, but are quick to remind me if I flew back into their patch.
Are there any strategies or techniques you can recommend for flying more relaxed and bird-free?
Whenever this topic comes up, there are several suggestions to scare off birds, but none will really work.
One popular suggestion from people who have never had to escape a determined attacker is to climb higher.
That might help with a casual attacker, but with birds like those crows, even though the drone climbs faster than they can, that only exposes the drone for longer before you can get back down to safety.

If your drone is attacked the best I can suggest is to take evasive action to make it harder for the bird to attack.
Don't fly straight and level, go left and right and get away from the area.
If the bird is very determined, flying close to the ground can help to get the drone back to safety.
Then pack up and fly somewhere else.
 
Thank you, sir, for your detailed assistance and clear information. I personally pack the drone up and just went home. I didn't have the courage to stay more.

Without intending to, I was moving my drone right and left, but as I got stressed out, I wasn't moving it forward or backward. They were really close to my drone, and I saw that they tried to put their feet on it. Then, I just moved right, left, and down, so they turned to take position and aimed again at my drone. After i land it, they were screaming like crazy and literally pooping over me and drone, so funny.

By surfing into the web, I jumped into some advises of putting stickers to my drone that can apparently scare the birds away. Can these help something or just a myth? Thank you again.
 
Last edited:
I jumped into some advises of putting stickers to my drone that can apparently scare the birds away. Can these help something or just a myth?
Perhaps they might have an effect of some bird species, but if a bird is annoyed by your drone in its territory, probably not.
 
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Hello everyone,

I recently had a nerve-wracking experience while flying my DJI Mini 2 in Switzerland and I'm seeking some advice and ideas from the community.

After my previous drone crashed into the sea, two weeks ago in Italy , DJI graciously replaced it at no cost, providing me with a brand new Mini 2. (System failure of drone)

Excited to take it for a spin, I headed to fly again nearby where i do live. However, my excitement quickly turned to panic when three seagulls appeared out of nowhere and began flying dangerously close to my drone, with an intent on taking it down. I was able to lower my drone to safety, but now I find myself feeling anxious about flying again. The thought of encountering birds and risking another incident is stressing me out.

I'm reaching out to the community for advice on how to prevent bird encounters while flying and regain my confidence in the skies. Have any of you experienced similar situations? How did you handle it? Are there any strategies or techniques you can recommend for flying more relaxed and bird-free?

Any insights or ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance for your help!
I’ve been flying over the coastline of where I live in Australia for about two years now. Only ever had one close call with a bird 🦅 (wasn’t a gull) but it swooped very close. Over let it worry me though. Too many other human concerns whilst flying lol
 
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Recently had a Red Kite show a high level of interest in my drone, lots of circling. I just left the drone to hover where it was and the Kite lost interest very quickly, I’m sure if it lost its “prey drive” due to lack of movement. Have found similar experience with a pair of Buzzards had the same effect.
 
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If your in an area with Bald Eagles, stay away.
One as they are protected and you can get fined/jailed for disturbing them if caught, even if unintentional. Your in Switzerland so laws may not be the same.
Two they will protect their area especially if they have young in the nest. Typically they cover an area up to 10 miles. And depending on the area and food supply they can travel as far as a 100 miles. Your concern would be those with nests nearby. I have a friend who is a raptor rehabilitator for over 50 years. He thought it would be safe to fly a drone over a mile from a nest with Eaglets. An Eagles vision is so good they can spot a rodent over 3 miles away. The parent crushed his drone.
 
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