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Electromagnetically safe to fly I2 near overhead electric train wires?

Joined
Mar 16, 2016
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Location
New Castle, NH
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cleareyephoto.com
I have a job request to capture some still photos from about 60'AGL, about 10 feet next to an electric train commuter rail line in south Boston, MA, USA. The electric supply lines are about 15' AGL (so I'd be flying about 45' above, and 10' offset from the wire). I've never flown my I2 this close to train supply lines before, but have flown that close to neighborhood distribution lines without any problems, and have heard that I2's are used to inspect high voltage distribution lines. I also know that the I2 manual says to not fly near trees and power lines, but suspect that's in there due to liability concerns rather than because of electromagnetic risk.

So I'm wondering if anyone knows if electromagnetic fields from those train power lines might interfere with normal operation of the I2 by disturbing the link to RC, by screwing up the Compass or IMU, by blocking GPS reception, etc.. Anyone here have any experience/advice/limitations they can share?

BTW, I am just asking about electromagnetic interference concerns. I know there are other risks from flying near wires and train tracks, and that I'll need airspace authorization to fly in S Boston. I am an experienced Part 107 pilot and have done several other properly authorized and safe operations in this same area for the same project, but never this close to the train wires. I may decide to nix the operation because of those other safety concerns when I do my site survey. But I'd love to know more about the electromagnetic issues.

Thanks in advance.

(And please forgive me if there are other posts about this. I did search for a variety of related terms but found nothing useful.)
 
I have flown an I2 within approximately 20’ of an overhead power supply from an electric train, and within 50’ of a high voltage transmission line. No issues whatsoever.
 

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I've never had problems with power lines. Even my Phantom 1 wasn't bothered by them. Initially I was concerned about the induction field, but after several flights it's safe to say that drones don't seem to be affected.

This image was taken with a Phantom 1 with a very wide angle Hero 3 camera. It's a screen shot from video.

1598627928360.png

So the bird was about 4' from this insulator.

D
 
I have always been a bit nervous with my I2 getting too close to the power lines. The ones I am most concerned about are the really high voltage transmission lines that carry a lot of power from generation plants. The one thing that I try to avoid is to fly with the lines between me and the bird. Above and below are likely OK. That said, I have never had any issues - BUT, and always on high alert for any weirdness.
 
I have flown near distribution wires without issue. Think through what you want the bird to do if signal is lost. Also, be comfortable with quickly switching to ATTI mode in case of emergency.
 
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I have always been a bit nervous with my I2 getting too close to the power lines. The ones I am most concerned about are the really high voltage transmission lines that carry a lot of power from generation plants. The one thing that I try to avoid is to fly with the lines between me and the bird. Above and below are likely OK. That said, I have never had any issues - BUT, and always on high alert for any weirdness.

I know a pilot who flew above very high voltage lines of the type you mention, his drone immediately lost comms & crashed to the ground straight away. Scary!
 
I know a pilot who flew above very high voltage lines of the type you mention, his drone immediately lost comms & crashed to the ground straight away. Scary!

Probably coincidence. Electromagnetic fields are everywhere, and are especially prevalent in densely-populated areas. So I would think any flying product out of China would be well shielded against electromagnetic interference. I have flown around power lines many times without issue.

D
 

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