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Posted by on Jan 5, 2013 in Blog, Video

South Downs Heights

Cloud-bashing for beginners.

There have been a lot of flights since Christmas, but not many have made it into videos so far in 2013, either because I’ve been using old flight grounds that you’ve all seen many times before in my vids, or because of our old friend the wind, and its comprehensive video-ruining properties. So this is another one that ends up more about the flight than the video footage…

It’s Queen Elizabeth Country Park…

Today, more specifically, I was meant to be heading down to the D-Day museum in Southsea, to do the seafront there, but aborted that plan because of distance and the likelihood of rain, so stopped half way at Queen Elizabeth Country Park, and drove all the way to the top car park to see what the view was like from the hill the other side of Butser.

Some trees, yesterday.

Some trees, yesterday.

Normally, given the blanket tree cover, I don’t fly from here very much because the clear spaces in the trees aren’t huge, which makes eyes-on contact with the craft difficult to maintain outside quite a small area. Also, because of the danger from high wind in a valley, the always busy A3, people, dogs and the sheer amount of hex-snaring trees themselves, this is a Level 4 fly-site, so I needed my wits about me. Mainly the secret is to stay nice and high where there is less to get in the way. This is especially true if your UAV is doing that thing where it suddenly shoots up 10m – you don’t want to be at ground level in trees when it does that…

I did one flight with the GoPro taking photos twice per second, so edited that down to a tidy 1 minute mini-flight you can see below…

But I thought I’d better do a proper vid too as the view from on high is quite nice…

Oh God, it’s disappeared…

And high I certainly went – we actually enter the cloud bank at one point, so everything goes eerily grey before I lose my bottle and remember my GoPro isn’t in its waterproof case. I was not, on this occasion, brave enough to continue through the cloud until I got out the other side of it, which would have meant losing visual contact completely – and I was way out of video range and didn’t want to fly blind. One day I will get above the clouds, but not today.

More trees, from higher up. As you'd expect.

More trees, from higher up. As you’d expect.

Even more trees, this time completely obscured by a cloud.

Even more trees, this time completely obscured by a cloud.

Danger, danger !

There was a quality moment or 2 involving a light aircraft flying at about 100 ft above the tree canopy, but the GoPro had magically stopped recording, so thanks to that little failure we are spared the joy of reviewing the evasive action I had to take. Never mind.

Anyway, unusually for me it’s a whole flight, and Youtube have had a go at stabilising it, which has worked in places and not in others. Brian Tyler is doing the soundtrack again, because it’s nice and cold, and winter is coming etc, but mainly because I like it :)