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Mavic Air Active Track on NON level plane.


Active Member
Jan 9, 2019
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Hawi, HI USA
Aloha Pilot-Photographers:

I am wondering if anyone has experience using Active Track on a non-level plane of view. This morning I went to an awesome place here in Hawaii (see photos) that involves a steep decent into a valley. I wanted to place the drone out over the cliff and track the progress of my subject down the switch back trail leading to the beach. The elevation change is roughly 400 feet and the angle of view would remain roughly the same as the subject descends the trail.

The reason I ask is because the manual states that the pilot should be "extra vigilant when using Active Track if the subject is not moving on a level plane." So, does the Active Track (or other?) track over ascent and descent situations? Additionally, how well does the system work when the subject is temporarily hidden from view by trees or other obstacles? In the first photo you can see a hairpin switch back in the bottom third of the photo. This might give you an idea of the Profile Active Track shot I had in mind—ideally more close up.

Mahalo for your help!

P.S. I am still learning to shoot manually and the photos are a bit dark. The sun was not yet up. No filters, no post edits, white balance 5200K, and a very cloudy sky.

Last edited:


Well-Known Member
Oct 3, 2017
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Brier, WA USA
Originally, Active Track would rise up to follow a target but would not descend. I have not used it for a while so am not sure if it is different now.

It would probably lose contact if the target went under trees and appeared again out of the scanning field of view.

You do need to be extra vigilant using Active Track. YouTube is full of crash videos using this mode. The most common crash is because the subject makes a turn and Active Track will cut the corner (not follow the same path) and side-slip into a tree. That is probably why Go 4 was originally set up to not descend; it would not see that it is dropping into an obstacle.