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Risk Management for Over Water Operations

LowCountryFlyer

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Anybody have any thoughts on this subject? I invested quite a bit of cash in my M2P and really don't want to send it to a watery grave early on in its life.

My initial thoughts are:

If you don't want your drone in the drink, don't fly it over water.

But if a shot does require over water flight

- Thorough preflight - inspect the flying area for obstacles, vessels, wildlife, terrain, wires, etc., which can pose a flight hazard and plan a flight accordingly
- Thoroughly inspect aircraft prior to flight. Ensure propellers and battery are secure and that battery has a full charge.
- Obtain a standard weather briefing from Flight Service (1-800-WX-BRIEF) for the area the flight will take place and at for the proposed time window for the flight.
- Perform a hazard and risk assessment of the area of flight prior to takeoff and mitigate the risks to the greatests degree possible
- Once airborne, be sure the homepoint is stored per operator's manual and that an RTH altitude has been decided on which will keep the UAV well clear of obstacles should a low batt or failsafe RTH be needed.
- Verify aircraft and battery health are good one more time prior to going feet wet.
- Maintain VLOS at all times. If using APAS or other autopilot features on the drone, be ready to disconnect and hand fly if obstacle collision becomes imminent.
- Refrain from high performance flying in high risk situations.
- Do not launch or recover UAV from moving vessels at sea
- For low altitude flight over water, do not descend below 10 ft ASL + Swell Height.
- Monitor weather prior to and during flight. Terminate flight and land as soon as practical if conditions deteriorate. Do not fly in winds that either exceed your personal limitations or those listed in the manufacturer's user manual for your aircraft.
- Set a bingo fuel point such that you will be feet dry ie over land with no less than 20% of available battery left.
- Be wary of hazardous attitudes ie impulsivity, macho, resignation, etc. and counter them.

Anybody have other suggestions here?
 
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msinger

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Those are good thoughts. Also, don't fly close to the surface of the water unless you're close enough to clearly see the drone. And if you're flying over salt water, you don't want the drone to be close enough to the water to get wet.
 
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Meta4

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Most of my flying is over water.
Much of my over land flying is in areas where recovery after an accident is not possible.
I think over water flight is much like over land flight and no particular safety rules are necessary.
Over water is safer as there are no obstacles to hit and no interference.
- Set a bingo fuel point of no less than 20% of available battery left.
I'm not sure what you mean here.
Bingo fuel is the point where you must return or you won't be returning.
I aim to be back on dry land before 20%.
You need a comfortable safety margin when flying over water.
 

Porky

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Have a 2nd landing area just in case you encounter problems and can’t make it back to the home point. Really it’s just the same as flying over land but a bit wetter.....😀😀

Really it’s not as bad as people think, my fly zone is always over water.
 

BigAl07

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If I'm going to flying extensively over water I'll add the "Get-er-back" system just to be able to retrieve the airframe and maybe salvage the SD card.

If I'm just randomly flying over a portion of water (say for instance crossing a river or pond etc) I just fly normal and don't give it a 2nd thought.

The only sUAS I've lost since 2013 was one I lost in our local lake when I had a battery cell deviation error and had to pick an off-site landing area where there were no people.. Unfortunately the area was below a line of trees (a forest actually) and while descending to land lost Tx to Rx signal and initiated a RTH. My RTH settings were less than the 100 year old Oak trees and the RTH took the aircraft into the trees and it then tumbled into the lake.

I retrieved it 16 months later (they lowered the lake for dam repair) but of course it was a total loss. Sadly the SD card had some one-off photos from an event I had shot that morning that could not be re-shot. Oh well.
69895

69896

69897
 
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MavicFT1P

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Lol thats a sad tale & sight.

When I lose a drone.
I disconnect from it signally and emotionally lol

I calmly log onto eBay, find the best deal from some OS seller,
spend all my money (If by chance I have that much pay left).
That way the crash is completely negated.

Then I only have to deal with lack of Food/Beer Money, which Ive dealt with before for many
different reasons.
Still sucks but it ensures you didn't just lose your drone
 

LowCountryFlyer

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If I'm going to flying extensively over water I'll add the "Ger-er-back" system just to be able to retrieve the airframe and maybe salvage the SD card.

If I'm just randomly flying over a portion of water (say for instance crossing a river or pond etc) I just fly normal and don't give it a 2nd thought.

The only sUAS I've lost since 2013 was one I lost in our local lake when I had a battery cell deviation error and had to pick an off-site landing area where there were no people.. Unfortunately the area was below a line of trees (a forest actually) and while descending to land lost Tx to Rx signal and initiated a RTH. My RTH settings were less than the 100 year old Oak trees and the RTH took the aircraft into the trees and it then tumbled into the lake.

I retrieved it 16 months later (they lowered the lake for dam repair) but of course it was a total loss. Sadly the SD card had some one-off photos from an event I had shot that morning that could not be re-shot. Oh well.
View attachment 69895

View attachment 69896

View attachment 69897

Good night, sweet Phantom. And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest
 
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Mossiback

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Anybody have any thoughts on this subject? I invested quite a bit of cash in my M2P and really don't want to send it to a watery grave early on in its life.

My initial thoughts are:...
You had some good thoughts and I would add to monitor wind speed and direction aloft. Fighting a head wind on the return trip is a big reason Mavics go swimming.
 

GH02050

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The majority of my flights in the summer months will be over water. I'll be launching and landing from my hand, probably from the the bow of my boat. While I'm hoping it doesn't go swimming, I do realize it's a real possibility but I feel like the risk / reward makes it worth it. Even seen a whale watch from 20 or 30 feet above? Neither have I, but I will soon. [Language Removed]I'm even planning Litchi missions to scout specific fishing areas.
 
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MavicFT1P

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You had some good thoughts and I would add to monitor wind speed and direction aloft. Fighting a head wind on the return trip is a big reason Mavics go swimming.
I gave you a Like, Licked it then put it in the Air to see which way the wind is blowing ;)
I dont know what loft is
 

MavicFT1P

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I’ll recomend to disable downward sensors
Because if you are at low height maybe will think you want to land and begin auto land procedure 🤨
I agree, except for 'Precision Landing' you might want to leave ON.
if It senses anything below it will climb.
*It's what you turn off if you want to hand catch as you know

The tricky thing is, out of the box, Hovering about 1-2m above ground, and holding descend stick can initiate a landing.

Ive been 4-5 kms out to sea, but never had the guts to skim much lower than 10m
 
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dougputt

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Anybody have any thoughts on this subject? I invested quite a bit of cash in my M2P and really don't want to send it to a watery grave early on in its life.

My initial thoughts are:

If you don't want your drone in the drink, don't fly it over water.

But if a shot does require over water flight

- Thorough preflight - inspect the flying area for obstacles, vessels, wildlife, terrain, wires, etc., which can pose a flight hazard and plan a flight accordingly
- Thoroughly inspect aircraft prior to flight. Ensure propellers and battery are secure and that battery has a full charge.
- Once airborne, be sure homepoint is stored per operator's manual and that an RTH has been decided on which will keep the UAV will clear of obstacles.
- Verify aircraft and battery health are good one more time prior to going feet wet.
- Maintain VLOS at all times. If using APAS or other autopilot features on the drone, be ready to disconnect and hand fly if obstacle collision becomes imminent.
- Refrain from high performance flying in high risk situations.
- Do not launch or recover UAV from moving vessels at sea.
- Monitor weather prior to and during flight. Terminate flight and land as soon as practical if conditions deteriorate.
- Set a bingo fuel point of no less than 20% of available battery left.
- Be wary of hazardous attitudes ie impulsivity, macho, resignation, etc. and counter them.

Anybody have other suggestions here?
Obviously from a aviation background.. Good risk management strategy.
Only issue I have is the reported battery health never seems to be very accurate in the cooler temperatures . I've shown battery at 15 minutes remaining then rapidly decrease to low battery level, (25 percent set on my rig) and having to land just minutes after that.. Very much gets the pucker factor going..
 
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Fufar Visual

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If I'm going to flying extensively over water I'll add the "Ger-er-back" system just to be able to retrieve the airframe and maybe salvage the SD card.

If I'm just randomly flying over a portion of water (say for instance crossing a river or pond etc) I just fly normal and don't give it a 2nd thought.

The only sUAS I've lost since 2013 was one I lost in our local lake when I had a battery cell deviation error and had to pick an off-site landing area where there were no people.. Unfortunately the area was below a line of trees (a forest actually) and while descending to land lost Tx to Rx signal and initiated a RTH. My RTH settings were less than the 100 year old Oak trees and the RTH took the aircraft into the trees and it then tumbled into the lake.

I retrieved it 16 months later (they lowered the lake for dam repair) but of course it was a total loss. Sadly the SD card had some one-off photos from an event I had shot that morning that could not be re-shot. Oh well.
View attachment 69895

View attachment 69896

View attachment 69897
Sorry for my ignorance . But what is "Ger-er-back" system ?
 

Makofire1

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Anybody have any thoughts on this subject? I invested quite a bit of cash in my M2P and really don't want to send it to a watery grave early on in its life.

My initial thoughts are:

If you don't want your drone in the drink, don't fly it over water.

But if a shot does require over water flight

- Thorough preflight - inspect the flying area for obstacles, vessels, wildlife, terrain, wires, etc., which can pose a flight hazard and plan a flight accordingly
- Thoroughly inspect aircraft prior to flight. Ensure propellers and battery are secure and that battery has a full charge.
- Once airborne, be sure homepoint is stored per operator's manual and that an RTH has been decided on which will keep the UAV will clear of obstacles.
- Verify aircraft and battery health are good one more time prior to going feet wet.
- Maintain VLOS at all times. If using APAS or other autopilot features on the drone, be ready to disconnect and hand fly if obstacle collision becomes imminent.
- Refrain from high performance flying in high risk situations.
- Do not launch or recover UAV from moving vessels at sea.
- Monitor weather prior to and during flight. Terminate flight and land as soon as practical if conditions deteriorate.
- Set a bingo fuel point of no less than 20% of available battery left.
- Be wary of hazardous attitudes ie impulsivity, macho, resignation, etc. and counter them.

Anybody have other suggestions here?
You’re military aren’t you? I haven’t heard “feet wet” and “bingo fuel” in awhile.... Semper Fi
 

Mossiback

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...I dont know what loft is
Aloft means at altitude. The wind speed and direction at flying altitude may be very different than at the launch point. If you see faster flying speeds than normal it indicates a tail wind. If flying from shore with a tail wind you have to account for the head wind you will be fighting when you come back to shore. You can also just hover and check the horizon line in the "radar" display. A tilted or above/below center line will show wind direction aloft.
 
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