Let It Be Known That The Dromida XL 370 Does Not Float!!

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Well, you try to do a favor for a friend and it usually backfires. Isn't that what they say?

Today, it did. A friend of mine called and asked if I would assist him with the first flight of his RC Seawind Airplane at a local large pond owned by a mutual friend. Of course I said yes. What are friends for, right? Then I thought to myself, what a great opportunity to practice my aerial video skills and perhaps grab a few shots of his seaplane in action. The wind was at 5-7mph from the southwest and we were located south of the pond, which of course had the breeze constantly pushing the drone, a Dromida XL 370 which I'd flown many times, towards the pond.

Well, long story short, the plane never flew because my friend forgot to connect the linkage rod to the rudder that allows the plane to maneuver while in the water. So that the outting wouldn't be a total loss, I decided to try and grab some aerial footage of a group of geese that decided to take respite on the pond. All was going well until, in my mind very prematurely - 3-5 minutes, the drone began losing altitude and flight control was limited to none. **Note: I charged the drone battery right before heading to the pond and the transmitter bateries were brand new. Normal flight times for this drone avg. 10-13 minutes.

Although I made every attempt to reach any bank of the pond, all I could do was helplessly watch the drone consistantly lose altitude. In a desperate attempt to cling to any shread of hope, I began to chant, "I hope it floats, I hope it floats!" ............Well, let it be known that the Dromida XL 370 Quad w/1080P Camera, DOES NOT FLOAT!!! No way to rescue the drone until perhaps a drought dries up the pond next summer.

(expensive) Lesson Definately Learned.....

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Greetings Alan,

From an equipment standpoint, I don't think I could have done anything differently.

All batteries were fresh, Props in great condition, distance from control point to drone well within specifications.

The obvious answer from a piloting standpoint is (and this a total 'in hindsight' answer) not to plan the entire shot sequence over the water.

As I mentioned, the breeze from the control point was toward the pond. I knew that from the previous flights and I also knew how much effort was required to keep the drone on my side of the pond but still obtain the shot angles I was hoping for.

I believe the lesson I walked away with was that on breezy days which require lots of positional adjustments during videography, (no position hold) mentally adjust your battery life/air-time expectations down 30% and plan your flight path accordingly. If your normal calm day flight times are 10-12 minutes or 12-15 minutes, adjust to 6-8 minutes or 8-12 minutes. Had I done that, I would not have assumed there was time for that "one last shot" before returning home. Which in this case was dry land.

Never again...... (yeah, right!!)

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