There has been a lot of rain recently, but I had battery packs that needed running down to storage charge, so I was very much looking for the gaps in it. Not brilliantly, as it turns out, as seen in this quick video, where I arrived at Iping / Elsted Common with a relatively bright sky, but by the time I had set up, a heavy cloud bank had moved in, was heading very much my way, and the quality of the light was quite muted and eerie. I decided to do my first flight while I thought the impending rain would hold off, and it did, until right as I was coming in to land. Got her down without problems, and just had time to shelter the craft under the landing pad before the heavens opened, and we had the lengthy shower the cloud was threatening…
To fly or not to fly ?
On another day I might have given up and gone home in the face of rain like that – the TH can handle great degrees of wind, but not really moisture of any description, so I was very keen not to be getting it wet. Fortunately, the rain didn’t last long, the cloud bank passed by, and revealed clear sky behind it. So up I went for the second flight of the day, and was rewarded by some excellent rainbow action and a very much nicer quality of light in the now golden hour sun.
Although the weather meant I didn’t go especially high today, flight behaviour was again excellent, as I am coming to expect from the H these days, and it remained dutifully parked in the sky wherever it was put, and there was no evidence of any drifting issues, even in some fairly robust steady winds coming off the nearby hills. I am consistently impressed by how well the H deals with wind – 6 props really is better than 4 in this case…
LoS is particularly important at this location – there are a lot of obstacles of wildly varying heights and widths all over this common, some livestock to not worry, and a massive body of water in an unrecoverable area that I mustn’t fall into… and a lot of trees in tight groups that could cause me big problems if I ever let them come between me and my craft, which is certainly a possibility if you want the sort of tree canopy parades I like to film, where you get quite close to the tops of them. So, as well as the filming, today’s session was a good exercise in piloting practice, distance judgement, and keeping a rock solid line of sight at all times. I was aiming for slightly larger outward distances than previously, so trusted the H out to about 500 meters, but kept it at least 3m over the treeline where I could always see it. Consequently I had no control or video drop-outs for the entire 35 mins I was airborne..