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HomeAircraftHelicopterAerial Photography and Video › crashed the maxi
11-13-2005 09:58 PM  12 years agoPost 1
DANNO

rrKey Veteran

St. Petersburg, Florida

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we had our first crash while working today. it wasnt terrible. rotor blades, tailboom, main shaft gear, and one servo. the job we were working on was the aerial video of a triathalon in miami and we got 2/3 of the job done before the crash so even with the repair costs we will still make a small amount on the job. the worst part was the ebarrassement. there must have been 50 people right behind us watching the race when it happened....


the cause of the crash looks like pilot error in the fact that i pushed the flight time and had to do a partial auto back to land and didnt hit the flat spot i wanted to and the heli tipped forward on the slope. i was hovering over a lake about 200 feet away and about 20 feet off the surface when i hear the kontronic esc start to decrease the rpms in order not to over discharge the lipos. i made a b-line for the landing zone, which was a 20x 50 foot area we taped off on the grassy shore of the lake. the landing zone was boarded by the water and by the crowd watching the race, and had our vehicle, us, and 2 small 10ft trees in it. i got the heli there as fast as i could but didnt have power enough to stop and hover and set her down gently between the water and the crowd so i just kind slopily hit the grass, and that was that. my main concern was making it to the land and not over shooting into the crowd, both of which i managed to do.

anyway, it was a learning experience. 1st thing i learned is our saftey rules need to be changed. i need a bigger landing zone if there are going to be lots of people around. normally a 20 by 50 foot area is plenty of space but if you need to hit that during an auto, you need to be sure that if you miss it your not going to be putting people in danger. 2cnd thing i learned is that older lipo packs loose capacity faster than i thought. i was timing the flight and this happened at 12 min. 3rd thing is i need to practice autos with the fully loaded camera ship.


well, i think we were lucky that i didnt land in the water as that would have been a total loss. i think all the electronics, k2, gs400 and everything are ok too.

the video producer needed the tape but hes going to send us a copy and ill post as soon as i can.

Dan

www.skypiximaging.com

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11-13-2005 10:07 PM  12 years agoPost 2
wesb1999

rrApprentice

Athens, Texas

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Sorry to hear about the crash but it sounds like you handled it very well considering the circumstances. No one was hurt, you got most of the shot and your core equipment is functional. Good work...

Wes

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11-13-2005 10:22 PM  12 years agoPost 3
ericslife

rrApprentice

vancouver b.c. Canada

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Danno
glad no one was involved.
i would say at least 60 by 60 with another 50' buffer zone to keep the lookyloos away.i give some orange vests to my sons hi-school buddys to do the perimeter zone and use them as free labor and PR/saftey/dont come closer please people.
As for autos with camera gear,i use a small dumbell(7lbs) to practice with and zapstrap it under the heli at the CG.In the Vario it dosent have a driven tail so things get fun when the tail blades spin at 200rpm or so,It will weathervaine but when the pitch is increased it wants to come around...I dont do this often enuf as you can imagine
2 Cent's
Eric D

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11-14-2005 01:55 AM  12 years agoPost 4
Invertedflyby

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TX

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Sorry to hear about the crash. Glad no one was hurt. Thanks for posting.

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11-14-2005 02:22 AM  12 years agoPost 5
lt1pwr

rrVeteran

Douglasville, GA

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Dan, sorry to hear about that. Good thing you kept it away from the crowd. You can always repair or replace the heli. Hopefully you will be back in the air real soon.

Take care,

Jay

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11-14-2005 03:00 AM  12 years agoPost 6
fitenfyr

rrProfessor

Port Orchard, Washington

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Sounds like my last one....
I know the feeling don't feel bad mine was about 90% the same.
Only thing I lacked was the water.

I honestly don't think any of these ships will survive a full blown auto.
The CG is too high and the landing weight is too great to make a smooth landing and prevent a bounce with the usual tip over.
Best thing to do is just what you did. Get it back to a safe zone soon as you can and keep it away from people and property.

Jason Stiffey
Fly Fast....Live Slow...

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11-14-2005 05:22 PM  12 years agoPost 7
jeffscholl

rrKey Veteran

Whitefish, MT

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Dan,

Take a look at the onboard "Watts Up" meter.

Cheers,
Jeff Scholl
GravityShots.com

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11-14-2005 05:38 PM  12 years agoPost 8
Dakine

rrElite Veteran

OC, Commifornia

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Sorry to hear

Jeff,

What is your application on the 'WATTSUP'?

What info do you check with this device, and with your preflight checks?

Thanks

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11-14-2005 06:15 PM  12 years agoPost 9
jeffscholl

rrKey Veteran

Whitefish, MT

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"What is your application on the 'WATTSUP'?"

Think of it as your gas guage with a few more measurements to understand how your battery pack and motor are performing. Lots of info to digest, but if you use this along with your charging information, you should have a good idea on your Lipos condition.

Cheers,
Jeff Scholl
GravityShots.com

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11-14-2005 06:35 PM  12 years agoPost 10
Dakine

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OC, Commifornia

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Thanks Jeff, I'll give it a go.

DANNO,

One of my personal rules is, ONLY FLY TO HALF CAPACITY.

That is, if I know I could fly 18 minutes with my lipo packs in one flight, I would land in 10 minutes, approximately with 1/2 capacity left. This way, I would have plenty of time for human errors or battery condition errors. This is MY rule and I would never let any special circumstances push me to exceed this personal flying rule. Even if the client were to say, "come on, one more pass for the shot." I'd say, "F#ck you!". Well not literally, but it's the kind of mindset I've got to live by because if I don't, essentially I'm saying to my self, "f#ck the safety of people, I'll go for the shot".

I know it's a conservative approach but, it is MY personal rule for safety. There are a lot of people who like to push the packs. I like to take care of the packs. I'd rather land and swap packs with the inconvenience.

I'm not saying that you took the risk other than suggesting....just fly to half capacity and it would reduce the 'all the factors could go wrong with electrics'.

Sorry the hear about your crash. You should try the flying 1/2 capacity and see whether it will work for you. I know it's overly conservative approach but, I shake a little less when I'm in the air with this 'personal rule' of mine.

Good luck

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11-14-2005 07:03 PM  12 years agoPost 11
DANNO

rrKey Veteran

St. Petersburg, Florida

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thanks for the replys. that watts up meter sounds promising....

dakine,

in the past i figured my max flight time was 18 min with the video set up. i usually come in at 10 min but in this case, i didnt follow my own rules and stayed out too long. the race was done in waves and they count down each wave and they started the 30 sec countdown when i first thought i should come in, but decided to stay out and get the start.

well, i called joe at joker usa and he was out of a few of the nessary items and i wouldnt be able to get the thing in the air for a big job we have in portland maine on the 24th, so he is overnighting us a maxi2!

www.skypiximaging.com

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11-14-2005 07:08 PM  12 years agoPost 12
aambrose

rrElite Veteran

Pana, IL

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I've been following this out of general interest because I really have limited knowledge with the electrics but I had to comment on this:
well, i called joe at joker usa and he was out of a few of the nessary items and i wouldnt be able to get the thing in the air for a big job we have in portland maine on the 24th, so he is overnighting us a maxi2!
DANG!!! Now that's customer service!

Sorry about the mishap. Good luck! You're shooting on Thanksgiving?!


Tony

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11-14-2005 07:41 PM  12 years agoPost 13
DANNO

rrKey Veteran

St. Petersburg, Florida

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yea, joe is great, but perhaps i should clarify....we purchased a new maxi2 to replace the maxi1 that crashed...

www.skypiximaging.com

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11-14-2005 07:45 PM  12 years agoPost 14
DANNO

rrKey Veteran

St. Petersburg, Florida

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tony


yea, my camera operator (wife) and i are spending our thanksgiving holiday doing a job in portland. It was the only time she could get off for that long in november. we dont have kids and our folks live too far to come down for thanksgiving so we didnt have plans anyway. the airline tickets are already bought and thats the reason we have to get a bird in the air quickly.....

www.skypiximaging.com

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11-14-2005 07:48 PM  12 years agoPost 15
aambrose

rrElite Veteran

Pana, IL

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Yeah, I figured that, but good to hear he's willing and able to overnight the new one for ya!

You shooting a parade on the 24th?

Aint it nice having your wife as the camera operator?


Tony

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11-14-2005 07:48 PM  12 years agoPost 16
ELOSSAM

rrVeteran

Es

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Jeff, Danno, Tony , why not to use a lipo checker / Voltage guard on your machines to certainly know when to land instead of guessing when to do it?

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11-14-2005 07:53 PM  12 years agoPost 17
Load Factor

rrApprentice

Colleyville, Texas

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Danno,

Buy a couple Watts Up meters......Like Jeff said there pretty infomative.
I think they are pretty cheap for what they do.

Elossam.....The Watts Up shows voltage and Mah used.

Take Care,

Tanner

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11-14-2005 08:14 PM  12 years agoPost 18
ELOSSAM

rrVeteran

Es

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Tanner, of course it do it but it shows you the results after the land (or worst, after a crash). It´s a great tool but you must guess the next flying time based on the last one. Better that nothing but not as accuracy as a real time based device.

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11-14-2005 08:29 PM  12 years agoPost 19
Dakine

rrElite Veteran

OC, Commifornia

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ELOSSAM,

I believe you get both with WATTSUP......preflight voltage, then, data after you land, ah used.

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11-14-2005 09:01 PM  12 years agoPost 20
DANNO

rrKey Veteran

St. Petersburg, Florida

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elossam,

what kind of volatage checker tells you the voltage in flight?

www.skypiximaging.com

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