Last week we were on a job with another drone operator – that doesn’t happen much as usually it’s only 1 of you per job. However, we were asked to camera operate for a drone operator from Liverpool……in Plymouth! Not a bad journey for us but a 6 hour M5 jaunt for the pilot, Adam from Rotor UK
The job involved jumping on a ferry (no passengers aboard apart from us) and tracking an underwater vessel (whilst it was above the water obviously!).
It was a great job and managed to get some fascinating aerial videography using the 2 person op. For anyone who cares, having a 2 person operation (pilot and camera) is infinitely better than having a single op, more so on a moving subject; the difference is ‘night and day’.
Drone Teething Issues aboard!
There were a few things that we weren’t expecting to happen:
Firstly the drone had some serious IMU issues/compass calibration issues – we put this down to the ferry being made mostly of metal so was playing havoc with the compass software. In one instance we took off and the drone immediately dropped back to the ground – luckily no harm done. Our canny producer had managed to procure a piece of 2m x 2m plywood from ‘somewhere’ too which gave us a platform to take off from away from the deck.
Secondly we weren’t able to set the home point to the controller since there was limited GPS signal. We weren’t sure why but it mean’t we had to be extra vigilant with our distance. This was made acutely more difficult because we were on a boat that was moving at around 9 knots so our distance from home was ramping up quicker than we could have imagined.
On top of this we had to hand catch the Inspire 2 since it was proving very difficult, if not impossible to land it on a moving subject with the winds and swell. Luckily we had catching handles on the drone which you can just make out on the photo. Coupled with chainsaw gloves and a hard hat we were fully equipped with our PPC gear!
With wind speed blowing at around 20 knots we had a challenge on our hands. Fortunately, the pilot, Adam, handled the conditions extremely well and the catching handles made it much easier to keep hold of your fingers!
Remember, if you need a CAA Approved Drone Operator, we can help! Please don’t hesitate to get in touch – 01363 725 001 or 07976 804 378