End of the Pier show

Boscombe Pier on a sunny day in February

After a winter of discontent made glorious summer by this Pier of wood (excuse the Richard III quote slightly mangled), it felt great to be getting out and about again with my inspire 2 drone.

Boscombe Pier was my second drone shoot in a week. The first in contrasting drizzly murk was around Southampton comparing old with new architecturally.

I hadn’t spent time in the centre of that city before and I must confess I won’t be in a hurry to again. I must have met the A-Z of winos and lunatics.

Do you have any idea how many times a minute poor unfortunates wander up to drone operators in city centres and ask how much the drone cost, how high it goes and am I spying on said weaving unsteady cheap wine receptacle? It’s about 19!

We have all been there and it’s a difficult course to chart successfully. I don’t like talking to people while I am airborne and say so politely. I tell them I am more than happy to chat once I am shut down and safe.

This however is not enough for the blotto and probably mentally unstable. It’s an affront. A cue to engage in fisticuffs. They are there with the sole objective of putting you off so you crash fifteen grand’s worth of drone into a pillar.

Boscombe Pier was a complete contrast and a revealing insight into a classic English coastal resort off season. The glorious summer weather appeared suddenly in February and the town was out to enjoy it.

Charming, friendly and politely interested. And that was just the under tens. I had lots of very friendly chats with locals who stopped to talk. They seemed happy and relaxed and a complete contrast to the horror show who populate the centre of Southampton.

Flying around the Pier in the unfamiliar warm sunshine was an absolute pleasure. I’d been following the local meteorological conditions on my UAV Data App which gives very accurate local conditions including wind speed at height, KP level and number of satellites to lock to as well as cloud cover, temperature and percentage chance of rain.

Today was the day for it and it did not disappoint. Hardly a breath of wind which just makes life that much easier and extends flight time because the drone isn’t working against a prevailing wind.

Lens choice

I have an Operational Authorisation which was a PfCO until Jan 1 this year and to stick to CAA rules about separation from uninvolved people and, although the rules have changed this year about 50m plus from roads, structures and vessels, I selected a dji 50mm prime lens as well as keeping to a 60-70m distance. This is 150m for other operators. Unless they are flying a tiny sub 250gm drone.

In fact the new rules seem to have caught a dose of Covid lockdown complexity but we soldier on.

The 50mm lens makes your subject appear much closer than it actually is which compensates for having almost a Usain Bolt distance between you and your subject.

New DJI FPV kit released this week

Flying with FPV goggles in a sort of virtual reality with high speed acrobatic shots is the craze this year and you’ll see a lot more of that on Top Gear and the Red Bull Channel but the filmic ease of a very exact shoot of a long object like an old pier is hard to beat.

FPV throwback

Having said that I can’t wait to add the kit featured in the picture above to my repertoire. I learned to fly on rc helicopters which were a nightmare as they were always rushing somewhere. They have no gps control like drones which if you take your hands off the inputs stops and stays there until you tell it otherwise. Helis crash into the ground at every opportunity.

RC Helis of old remind me of the FPV kit and I predict a lot of people will be dusting the drone on a regular business until they really get the hang of it.

I’ll let you know how I get on!

Stop press

No sooner had I finished this article these pictures of a brand new aforesaid dji FPV fly by goggles drone popped up.

Pic courtesy 2.4 GHZ
Pic courtesy 2.4 GHZ
Pic courtesy 2.4 GHZ

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