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Flying around downtown skyscrapers - suggestions?

TrayBoz

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I'm planning on taking some footage in and around my downtown area, specifically some closeups of the skyscrapers from all angles. Obviously, I plan on doing this in the middle of the night or VERY early in the morning when our downtown is a ghost town, so no people will be around. I'm a "fairly experienced", but still very cautious pilot. I have about 50+ hours flight time with the Mavic, but so far I've only flown in open spaces or high above urban residential ares. I can generally fly about 1500-2000 feet away in urban areas before my RC signal starts to get weak and I immediately turn around.

Does anyone have any thoughts or experience about flying behind tall buildings? Can I realistically expect signal loss the second I get the Mavic behind a tall building? I will always be within 500 horizontal feet of the drone, and I plan on setting the Mavic to "HOVER" in case of signal loss, instead of RTH, so at least if I do lose RC signal, I can quickly move back to within line of sight. I plan on piloting from the ground, so I can quickly walk around the block if necessary to get within line of sight. Our downtown is not within 10 miles of an airport, and it's totally desolate between 3am and 6am.

Also, any thoughts on camera settings to capture the lights of the skyscrapers in the dark and/or early dawn/sunrise hours?
 
Consult your local laws about proximity to buildings, populated areas, twilight flights, etc. I won't lecture you.

That said, proximity to large steel objects and high electrical current in cables will throw off your compass sensors and confuse the aircraft. If you get within a couple meters you may find it hard or impossible to control. Also, the 2.4GHz signals are easily reflected or absorbed by all kinds of things found in buildings so line of sight and limited range is very important. Do not attempt to go "behind" a building at any time.
 
Can I realistically expect signal loss the second I get the Mavic behind a tall building?
Yes. It's not possible to fly around the back side of a tall building. You should be able to pull it off though if you walk around the building while flying.
 
As mentioned, if you get a building between you and the MP it is pretty much guaranteed you will lose signal. The best advice was given by halley, consult your local laws and the legality of all that you are planning. In case something goes wrong, don't give the Goverment more ammo for restricting our sport any further.
 
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Sounds like a really bad idea to me for multiple reasons. Just not worth the risk to get a video.
 
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As mentioned, if you get a building between you and the MP it is pretty much guaranteed you will lose signal. The best advice was given by halley, consult your local laws and the legality of all that you are planning. In case something goes wrong, don't give the Goverment more ammo for restricting our sport any further.
I don't mean coy but you consider flying a drone to be a sport? I thought it was more of a hobby.
:D
 
Sounds like a really bad idea to me for multiple reasons. Just not worth the risk to get a video.


Dosen't seem to be a good idea....

but...using FPV Camera App for example, flying a pre programmed video or photo mission around objects is no problem at all
In case you loose signal the quad just completes the mission as programmed. The above mentioned App is rock solid for this type of application so you do not have to worry for your investment to get back safely. Just double and tripple check all adjustments and waypoints on the saved mission before take off. I use a check list as I had a couple of close calls at the beginning, all my fault.
 
Unless you use a preprogrammed app you should avoid flying behind buildings. Too many thing can go wrong imho...
 
Also, if gps is blocked, the drone goes into atti mode. Not good when you need to be as close as possible to building to get what client is asking for!
 
Also, if gps is blocked, the drone goes into atti mode. Not good when you need to be as close as possible to building to get what client is asking for!
This thread is from 2017 . . . . (just saying :) )
 
I'm planning on taking some footage in and around my downtown area, specifically some closeups of the skyscrapers from all angles. Obviously, I plan on doing this in the middle of the night or VERY early in the morning when our downtown is a ghost town, so no people will be around. I'm a "fairly experienced", but still very cautious pilot. I have about 50+ hours flight time with the Mavic, but so far I've only flown in open spaces or high above urban residential ares. I can generally fly about 1500-2000 feet away in urban areas before my RC signal starts to get weak and I immediately turn around.

Does anyone have any thoughts or experience about flying behind tall buildings? Can I realistically expect signal loss the second I get the Mavic behind a tall building? I will always be within 500 horizontal feet of the drone, and I plan on setting the Mavic to "HOVER" in case of signal loss, instead of RTH, so at least if I do lose RC signal, I can quickly move back to within line of sight. I plan on piloting from the ground, so I can quickly walk around the block if necessary to get within line of sight. Our downtown is not within 10 miles of an airport, and it's totally desolate between 3am and 6am.

Also, any thoughts on camera settings to capture the lights of the skyscrapers in the dark and/or early dawn/sunrise hours?
The all-seeing Guru of high-rise urban close proximity flying is without question that shadowy renegade Phantom 3S pilot called Dirty Bird, who lurks in the city of Baltimore despite the bounty on his head.

Some say a sheriff's posse is galloping out to round him up and bring him to justice, but he's slipped away more than once in the past. In the meantime here is evidence of his dastardly crimes, all perpetrated using Litchi to plot fully automated flights that require zero operator input after takeoff.

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No GPS does mean that Litchi waypoints will not work. I would not take any drone flying assignment that requires close proximity to sky-scrapers. I simply do not trust my reflexes to handle such a job without incurring the wrath of gravity or momentum.
 
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Similar scenario to some of the building shoots I've been asked to do, not skyscrapers, but big, tall and very old. White knuckle stuff. I've always used my mav 2 zoom with the zoom racked to 96mm for video and 48mm for stills. Walked around the foot of the structure while flying to maintain VLOS and full signal and made sure I'd got propguards on. One instance of propwash turbulence dragged the drone into the brickwork: but the propguards turned what would have been a disaster into a light kiss and the flight continued. Before anyone decides to lecture about regulations and legality: the flights were permissioned, on private property with the asset owner on-site and requesting closer close-ups.
 
That guy is a consummate drone pilot to fly that concrete labyrinth so smoothly and without mishap. I know for a fact even the legendary Dirty Bird would not try this type of precision manual flying since he relies on Litchi for all his amazing flights amid the Baltimore city skyline.
 
I'm planning on taking some footage in and around my downtown area, specifically some closeups of the skyscrapers from all angles. Obviously, I plan on doing this in the middle of the night or VERY early in the morning when our downtown is a ghost town, so no people will be around. I'm a "fairly experienced", but still very cautious pilot. I have about 50+ hours flight time with the Mavic, but so far I've only flown in open spaces or high above urban residential ares. I can generally fly about 1500-2000 feet away in urban areas before my RC signal starts to get weak and I immediately turn around.

Does anyone have any thoughts or experience about flying behind tall buildings? Can I realistically expect signal loss the second I get the Mavic behind a tall building? I will always be within 500 horizontal feet of the drone, and I plan on setting the Mavic to "HOVER" in case of signal loss, instead of RTH, so at least if I do lose RC signal, I can quickly move back to within line of sight. I plan on piloting from the ground, so I can quickly walk around the block if necessary to get within line of sight. Our downtown is not within 10 miles of an airport, and it's totally desolate between 3am and 6am.

Also, any thoughts on camera settings to capture the lights of the skyscrapers in the dark and/or early dawn/sunrise hours?
Which mavic? I would say you could only do it with an out of signal range waypoint mission. Signal won't go through buildings. Start high.
 
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