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Posted by on Jul 24, 2018 in Blog

Water Works

New Fly Site Alert

Just one of the many massive fields here…

Ever since curiosity got the better of me and I airwheeled my way down that lane down by Penns Place I have admired the view from the field that waits at the end of the road. We have a clear view all the way to Butser, but I couldn’t help noticing how perfect it would be for flying too. But I wasn’t flying at the time, so that plan was shelved for a while. But I am flying now :)

There are a couple of houses there, but they are perfectly hidden by tree banks, so their privacy shouldn’t be affected by my presence. It is good in terms of space – there is certainly more than enough of that, very few obstacles (some powerlines, positions / heights noted), but it’s less ideal in terms of openness, being SO open that a fairly colossal amount of wind comes off the hills and sweeping into that field on most days. That keeps me away from here on all but the most windless of evenings, but this evening was an exception, and there was the merest gentle breeze when I got there. I’ve been trying to do this site for a long time, but if the wind doesn’t keep me away the crows just might :/ This place, being largely unmanned, has hundreds of roosting crows lining the pylons inside the water works site. They can bring down UAV’s if so minded, but today, as if giving their permission, they all flew off as soon as I arrived and got out of the car ! So, excuses gone, safety scout done, up I went to get a view of the things on the ground…

Ready for launch…

The Things on the Ground

Initially I’m all about the spinning about having fun, and showing off all the fields we have to play with, but eventually we have to go over and see the things don’t we ? This is an ungated field (or rather the gate is permanently open), and the station is unmanned in the evenings, and thanks to a quick high rise before I started filming closer I confirmed it was empty of people at the time of flying. Given that it’s static buildings with nobody in them, and automated machinery, I consider that a building ‘under my control’ and therefore OK to overfly if I do it carefully and at a good height, with a clear VLoS all the way round. I would minimise my time over the tanks, and limit my site inspection to just 2 main passes and a high pan.

H in business…

From 200 ft above…

My level of trust in the H is high at the moment, and I was right to entrust her with this mission, which went exceptionally well, the craft responding smoothly and positively to all inputs, never losing GPS or video, and even though we went right up to 330 ft at one point, everything was still crystal clear on the screen… Then, having spun my way out of there in what I’d call the ‘money shot’, I continued flying on the field just for fun for quite while afterwards, though in the interests of keeping these things focused I haven’t put all that in the video…

To err is human…

There was one err today, in a non-vital area; happy to admit it – for the first flight, I forgot to lock white balance, or thought I had, and was wrong, so there’s a couple of shots in there where we go steadily more golden as it goes on, but I can forgive myself that for such lovely smooth footage…

In Summary

Quite happy with that, let’s hope the water people are too if they see it. It was a lot of fun, but a good exercise in focus and concentration. I’m not too worried – I haven’t shown anything that can’t be seen on Google maps, and I left their site exactly as I found it, without setting foot on the property once.

See you next time

J