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macboffin

VIDEO FLYING SAFETY ISSUES

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I have been involved in the design, construction and operation of UAVs, (unmanned air vehicles in U.S. parlance) for around 50 years. Some of them rather large! However, flying small r/c planes "On the goggles" can result in some serious problems; admiring the countryside below, and getting lost, for example, or losing video signal and discovering that the plane is out of sight! Or flying out of radio range; sixty miles an hour is a mile a minute, after all, so real easy to do.

The best cure for these situations is a GPS unit with the flying field location entered as first/last waypoint, together with a height hold unti and of course rudder or aileron steering; in addition an auto stable unit ( infra red horizon sensing types are ok).The unit is operated via one of the fail-safe positions, and the throttle set fairly low.If you "get lost" or lose sight of the plane, turn the transmitter off;the fails safe turns on the GPS and the plane will come back and orbit approximately overhead at the pre-set height, when you can turn the Tx back on and regain live control. All of the above equipment can be got at various places; go to "u-nav.com" for some ideas of whats available.

It's also a good idea to fly with a partner who can advise if the plane is getting a bit small in the distance, or there is possible conflict with other aircraft.

And of course check all batteries fully charged before starting!

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Nothing new. Normally 99% of people stay inside 1 kilometer, we can't get lost, it's too close. Autopilot like you suggest are good for UAV, not for r/c planes.

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I am in the 1% that go over 1k and as it happens I use the setup macboffin talks about apart from the fact I dont have an altitude hold yet. It has not been a big problem as my failsafe sets the motors to cruise power and there is very little change in altitude from start to finish. I often aim to gain 100ft or so every few minutes to be on the safe side.

And yes I have got lost flying on the goggles too, when flying a new site that is 90% open fields its very easy to do. I always print off an aerial photo map to check out landmarks such as roads, rivers, railways or anything thats easy to pick out before flying a new site now.

Terry

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