The Phantom fleet is grounded pending a complete investigation. Although unproven at this time, leading indicators point to severe pilot error.
Although bitterly cold the sun was shinning and there was very little wind. The makers of the Phantom recommend that you not fly in temperatures below 24 degrees F. Well, what’s a few degrees or 20 for that matter. I hadn’t flown in a couple of weeks and still have less than a full hour of flying experience. Mark was home yesterday and I wanted to show him the flight as well as take some aerial shots of the new snow cover.
As is often the case, things went pretty well through most of the flight. I still have some trouble with orientation looking at the monitor, a problem that will vastly improve with more flight time. Anyway, things were just fine until I came in for final approach.
I don’t know if it was wind shear, pilot fatigue, or a complete lack of talent but things started going very bad all at once. I was able to advert a crash into the bush and I even got a, “Nice save” from Mark but my overreaction from the first mistake caused a more profound and catastrophic mishap with the neighbor’s tree. There is a five-minute video of the flight (highly edited) and the final moments of the Phantom.
I’ve been asked about the music I use on some of my videos. The group is from Ireland and they are called Gaelic Storm. I heard them a couple of years ago at the Irish Hooley, held in Dubuque every year. They have a wonderful performance and their music really appeals to me so I’ve purchased a couple of their albums. If you ever get a chance to see them perform don’t miss the opportunity. That’s it for today.
The Phantom itself is fine, just needed a couple of new props and some drying out. I will wait for warmer weather but it’s hard. 🙂
Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your day and be careful. The video is below.
Dave I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your pictures and video that I receive every day. It’s one of the first emails that I open every morning. The video from your dji phantom is what got my interest initially as I plan to purchase one this summer and have watched drone video since last year. I am considering an FPV type of add on because I think I will have problems seeing my cell phone in the sunlight. Have you looked into this at all? (Fatshark seems to be a popular one). Even though the drone video is what got my attention at first, I think your still photography is just incredible. I have enjoyed photography myself for many years and especially aerial photography-I took a lot of pictures when I was an active pilot. Keep up the good work. I hope I will be able to start taking aerial stills and video in the not too distant future.
Steve Maxwell Dubuque
Sorry to hear your drone fleet came under attack from the nasty tree next door. I agree with Mark it was a “great save” to keep it out of the bushes, although I agree that may have been a somewhat softer option as it turned out. Keep on practicing and you will have it mastered in no time! Those little props can’t cost all that much, can they? Be safe and stay warm my friend! Looking forward to seeing you soon.