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Landing drones on a rocking boat deck

There is of course a Sail Boat Race where they flew a Phantom 4 into the boat at full speed and caught the drone but was reckless of course and Never Recommended .

If the Boat your going to land on is going to keep moving than you want to Hover in the Path of the Boat so you can reach out and grab it pending on the speed of the boat..

2023-05-25_11h24_04.png

Phantomrain.org
Gear to fly in the Rain. Land on the Water.
 
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Long explanation that was unnecessary, and missed my point.

Sorry if I missed your point. I'll keep it simple:

- hand-catching on a traveling boat is a bad idea

- if landing on a boat or CSCing into a boat works for you, great!

- neither of those is a beginner maneuver because even a stopped boat moves more than most people realize

- when people ask for advice on how to land on boats (i.e. the point of this thread), I don't think we should be recommending landing or CSCing. Hand catching is risky, but probably a more reliable way to get a drone back.

- I work in a field (marine biology) where we launch and land on boats constantly and hand-catching is the standard (with protective equipment). Experienced pilots have thousands of flights under their belts with drones ranging in size from minis to freeflys and almost all are hand caught (I'm more in the high 10s to low 100s range). I don't like hand-catching drones on boats, but for now that is the standard.
 
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- I work in a field (marine biology) where we launch and land on boats constantly and hand-catching is the standard (with protective equipment). Experienced pilots have thousands of flights under their belts with drones ranging in size from minis to freeflys and almost all are hand caught (I'm more in the high 10s to low 100s range). I don't like hand-catching drones on boats, but for now that is the standard.
Question: Do you stop the boat (i.e. stop thrust, not drop anchor) to hand-catch, and if not, how fast do you move while you hand-catch?

Also, you mention, "with protective equipment". Well, that changes everything!! Hand-catching with an appropriate glove can be done all day long with near zero risk.

I doubt very much that most here encouraging hand-catching take any meaningful safety precautions like this. I'm pretty sure that heavy duty leather work gloves would be more than enough... gonna test it 🙂
 
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Yes, definitely! If I'm on a small to medium size boat, I get the skipper to orient the boat in the most stable position (usually into the swell). I've only flown from big ships a handful of times and I avoid it for many reasons.

Yes yes! I'm a big stickler for safety. A small plastic prop drone is relatively safe for fingers - I saw a guy put his fingers in a Phantom 4 prop and it hurt but he didn't get cut. BUT, eyes noses and ears are a different matter. I have a $30 chainsaw protection helmet with earmuffs and a visor - probably overkill for small drones but easy to throw on. If we're in a remote area with a small drone, I have the catcher wear a mesh visor, a hat (to cover ears) and gloves (practically any gloves will do). For most people I'd recommend at least sunglasses, a hat, and some thin gloves. Big drones with carbon-fiber props are a whole different story, I don't fly those myself but I always get nervous seeing my colleagues catching them. I think the real answer is drones that can land on water - but I don't think the commercial options that are out there are anywhere near as good as the DJIs.

I wrote a thread here that details what I do. This is just my method, but I figured it might help some people out:

 
A small plastic prop drone is relatively safe for fingers - I saw a guy put his fingers in a Phantom 4 prop and it hurt but he didn't get cut.
Can't speak to the risk from phantoms. However, Mavics have been responsible for some very serious hand injuries. Take a look:

Air 2
dont-try-catch-you-mavic-air-2-v0-bh55eym1csq81.jpg


Unknown drone

larger-drone-injury.jpg
droneselfie2.jpg

As they say, you can get it right 1000 times, but it only needs to go wrong one time for a catastrophe.

You're doing it right. Wearing protection is the way to go.
 
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