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Posted by on Apr 5, 2014 in Blog, Video

Drive-By Flyings, Chalfont


The Lure of Gold…

Today's field(s).

Today’s field(s).

There’s something really quite good about the particular flaxen yellows of a massive field of flowering rapeseed. And they’re not doing the flowering for very long, so as soon as I see one, I know it’s time to go drive-by flying, and see if I can find a field of it that has parking and isn’t locked.

Today’s field was a chance find on the hill-top road out through Clanfield, then through to Chalton and beyond, nearly all the way down to Denmead. Having passed up about 30 alternative fields as having one thing or other wrong with them on the way here and the sun was not far off setting, I stopped here mainly because there was lots of parking space, it was adjacent to a public footpath, didn’t have a 300 ft electricity pylon in it, and because I didn’t think I’d find a better one before the sun disappeared.

Swings and Roundabouts

Once in the air, it transpired that I’d picked a rather sparsely populated field, and take-off was in a chalky / muddy corner of an area that formed the middle of an almost featureless landscape, apart from a couple of decent skeletal trees, and a neighbouring field growing something green.

Today's Farmer, here trying to find the video bit on his phone.

Today’s Farmer, here trying to find the video bit on his phone.

There are 2 types of farmers you might encounter during drive-by flyings. The first comes running at you with dogs, or just tries to shoot your flyer down directly. Fortunately most I meet are the other type: nice, decent people, who correctly assess my flights to be interesting rather than threatening. But they all stop to have to a look if they see me, and I’d only been flying 5 mins before I was joined in the field by its owner, who was suitably intrigued to see what was occurring… indeed, muchly thanks to him for allowing the flyings to continue !


I’m no expert, but I do appreciate a good bit of tractoring… 10 / 10.

Flight School

Aware that I am still in ‘test mode’, I didn’t fully utilise the airspace available to me for the normal sort of requisite aerial hijinks and uber-cinematic camera moves. Nor did I push the range of the system, or even go very high. (maybe 350 ft). Or leave GPS mode, which would have given me much less shaky footage if I’d let the craft drift with the wind rather than¬†auto-battling it. And it was quite a wind, especially above 200 ft.

I had 5 flights, averaging 6 mins+, and an enjoyable, relatively worry-free session, which yielded some pics and a short video (coming soon)…

Most of the shaking in the video was from flying slowly into the wind in GPS Mode, and the bits of it that are more stable show me the rig is basically working, but doesn’t like that wind so much…

'It looked yellower from the road'

‘It looked yellower from the road’

Graceful curves...

Graceful curves…

Less yellow from above.

Less yellow from above.

Field lines...

Field lines…

Blue skies. But still very cold and windy.

Blue skies. But still very cold and windy.

It’s Trevor Morris on the soundtrack again, this time harmlessly borrowed from the Season 2 Tudors soundtrack, which you should definitely buy.

See you next time