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Mavic Air for water sports?

guthrie

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I am thinking to get a Mavic Air - and my goal is to do some general hobbyist photos, and some video of Windsurfing and Kitesurfing.
A few questions;
1) I assume that obstacle avoidance would not detect things like the cords in a kitesurfing set of lines?
2) How much practice time is required to be reasonably proficient to do something like this?
3) I know it has a follow mode, but for a sport like this, one wants to film from a side view while moving forward, is this possible?
4) it would be best if it could track both the rider and the kite (~50-100 feet above), can it do that, or would it just focus on the rider?
5) I would launch and start from shore; if it ran out of range or battery power, I assume it would just auto-return and land on shore?

I am assuming that with a manual operator, such things could be controlled, but I am wondering about automatic filming modes.
 

Ian in London

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I am thinking to get a Mavic Air - and my goal is to do some general hobbyist photos, and some video of Windsurfing and Kitesurfing.
A few questions;
1) I assume that obstacle avoidance would not detect things like the cords in a kitesurfing set of lines?
2) How much practice time is required to be reasonably proficient to do something like this?
3) I know it has a follow mode, but for a sport like this, one wants to film from a side view while moving forward, is this possible?
4) it would be best if it could track both the rider and the kite (~50-100 feet above), can it do that, or would it just focus on the rider?
5) I would launch and start from shore; if it ran out of range or battery power, I assume it would just auto-return and land on shore?

I am assuming that with a manual operator, such things could be controlled, but I am wondering about automatic filming modes.
Hi...
Love the idea, but I reckon a manual pilot may be your best bet; remember the Air only has around 18 mins useable battery life per flight so if you're planning to film yourself, that will be difficult
My thoughts are:
1. OA will defo not pick up kite strings.
2. You can practice for a few hours but it flying around an open space is different to chasing a kite or surfer over water. And you'll only crash it once over water :)
3. Active Track can follow you from the side, but I would be really hesitant about letting it active track itself whlst you're actually surfing or kite surfing. Any situation that prevents you from quickly regaining control is a bad situation to be in.
4. Fly higher or further away to get both, but you can't expect it to active track or follow me on two subjects that are moving indepentandly.
5. Default setting is to return and land where it took off if it runs low on power. But again, things go wrong; if you can't take control, you're at the mercy of everything woirking and there's no retrieval if you go down in water

Hope that helps
Ian
 
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Kevjones777

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I am thinking to get a Mavic Air - and my goal is to do some general hobbyist photos, and some video of Windsurfing and Kitesurfing.
A few questions;
1) I assume that obstacle avoidance would not detect things like the cords in a kitesurfing set of lines?
2) How much practice time is required to be reasonably proficient to do something like this?
3) I know it has a follow mode, but for a sport like this, one wants to film from a side view while moving forward, is this possible?
4) it would be best if it could track both the rider and the kite (~50-100 feet above), can it do that, or would it just focus on the rider?
5) I would launch and start from shore; if it ran out of range or battery power, I assume it would just auto-return and land on shore?

I am assuming that with a manual operator, such things could be controlled, but I am wondering about automatic filming modes.
My only word of advice is, practise flying your aircraft until you are very comfortable in all modes. Then and only then start on the filming aspect. You have 1 chance only over water, 1 mistake and you are in the market for a new aircraft. Windsurfing and kite surfing by it's very nature implies that there is WIND around and while the Mavic Air is extremely stable in relatively windy conditions you will need to instinctively be able to manage your flight time under windy conditions and remember to give yourself ample time to get your aircraft over dry land as you will probably have an offshore wind. With a bit of practise you will get some breath taking footage.
 
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guthrie

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Very Helpful - thanks.
Doesn't sound too hopeful to do self-filming on the water.

How long would it take to learn adequate piloting to do this type of filming, competent enough to at least not lose it in the water!
 

Kevjones777

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Look an average person with a bit of co-ordination can fly these things after a few hours pretty competently. I would go to a sports field and fly some "boxes" in other words practice flying along a white line in a nice rectangle. Then fly lower along the same lines. When you pretty sure you can follow the lines on your screen speed it up and practice flying along the lines adjusting your height until it becomes second nature on the controls. Then do it sideways so you following the lines but flying sideways (yawing). Lastly practice flying around a stationary object while the drione is moving around it in a big circle. A few hours at most. Remember with a drone like the Mavic Air and Mavic Pro it you just let go of the controls it will stop and hover without you having to do anything. This will give you chance to orientate yourself and get it pointing back the way you want it. They are really easy to learn to fly.
 
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riverripper

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I am thinking to get a Mavic Air - and my goal is to do some general hobbyist photos, and some video of Windsurfing and Kitesurfing.
A few questions;
1) I assume that obstacle avoidance would not detect things like the cords in a kitesurfing set of lines?
2) How much practice time is required to be reasonably proficient to do something like this?
3) I know it has a follow mode, but for a sport like this, one wants to film from a side view while moving forward, is this possible?
4) it would be best if it could track both the rider and the kite (~50-100 feet above), can it do that, or would it just focus on the rider?
5) I would launch and start from shore; if it ran out of range or battery power, I assume it would just auto-return and land on shore?

I am assuming that with a manual operator, such things could be controlled, but I am wondering about automatic filming modes.

Hi Guthrie!
I am also into wind-/kitesurfing and bought the Air to capture some nice action footage.
Didn't yet find time to test in on a windy day, season hasn't started for me.
Here's what I can tell you bases on my 8 weeks of testing ashore.
1.) correct. only larger object.
2.) First and most importantly safety first, don't rush & take your time to get used to it and dive into all the modes & settings. I'd say several flight hours...
3.) Follow mode/Active Track is really nice and works fine, as long as the moving object doesn't move to fast. Object needs to stay in focus and I guess when planing fast it will loose track and hover in place. You would definitely need an operator ashore to take over the drone.
I would not risk to leave my controller ashore and fly in active track !
4.) For the Active Track mode keep in mind, the higher you fly the smaller the object is trackable. Best get a drone operator to film you, active track is not really a choice for us.
5.) Yes of course, as long as you set your starting point correctly. Keep a large battery buffer to allow the drone to fly back safely to shore even in windy conditions and from a far distance.
Make sure to check this Mavic Air high wind test clip -->
Well I guess we should be able to fly the drone in up to 20 knots wind.
Cheers,
Frank
:: editor of river-rippers.net :: rivers are our playgrounds ::
 
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guthrie

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Thanks - sounds like I need to convince a buddy to buy one instead - to get some video of myself (for self improvement...)!
Neat and helpful video - very cool how he could just park the Mavic Air, and it just sits there even in that wind!
 

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