Perseverance

Spoiler alert: I crashed my drone.

I was flying backwards, very low, over a field of sunflowers. The wind pushed her down as she passed above a particularly tall specimen and… it was a calculated risk, I was prepared. But still. Blush.

Now, I could have kept this to myself, but I felt it would be of more value to others if I didn’t. So I’m putting it out there: I hit a problem. Here’s how I fixed it.

Perseverance

It’s a lesson in perseverance, and preparation. And learning. The three tools of the Spanish Inqui… no, that’s just being silly. The drone was somewhere in the middle of a field that stretched to the horizon. I know the farmer, this field was planted as fallow. Everything in it will go back to the earth as nutrient for the crop next year. It contains a dozen varieties of plant life, not just sunflowers, which are there only to please passers-by (true, I swear it. Canadians are so nice).

The resulting undergrowth was so thick I couldn’t even see my feet. No problem.

Preparation

I studied, got my license. Read the manuals. Made a flight plan. Did a site survey. I knew what to do.

One, I knew exactly the line along which she went down as she was in visual sight at all times (Oh! So this is why that’s a law?). I fixed my eye on that line. Two, I knew from the monitor roughly how far away she was from the treeline, so that gave me rough distance – I gauged around five hundred metres. Three, the clever manufacturers understand that if these things come down they may be hard to see, so they install visible and audible alarms which sound if the motors cut out unexpectedly, as they are designed to do after a crash. Time to get walking.

In essence, I simply walked across the field until I could hear the chirping and picked her up. She was lodged under some foliage. Couldn’t even see her, poor thing. Without the audio alert I might have stood on her or even still be looking. Rather, everything went exactly as expected. Preparedness 101. I got her back easily with no visible damage to drone or field or flower. Nice.

Learning

Hmm, I thought to myself. I won’t do that again (Note: I probably will). After dusting her off and giving the required safety inspection, I sent her up and ran some basics to check flight worthiness. All was good.

So I persevered. I continued my planned flight and shot my intended footage. The original aim was to get background b-roll to add to my stock library for use in future productions, but after this I thought it would be fun to share the story behind it. And make this video from that b-roll.

This story is about perseverance. See, if you give up you won’t be able to fly. See what I did there?

Finding something the size of a dinner plate half a kilometre into a miniature forest is a daunting prospect. But it’s just another challenge to overcome. Life is full of them. Best foot forward, and off you go. One step at a time until you reach your goal.

This video is not about me messing up, but feel free to laugh. It’s about what you can go on to achieve, however hopeless you think your prospects are, if you don’t give up.

So, you know. Don’t.

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