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Flying an I1 V2 to 1500 feet - any experience?

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Hello all. I have been reading 100’s of threads before I posted and wanted to see if anyone here has any actual experience flying a I1, V2 to 1500 feet. I have a possible project to perform a video inspection of a TV tower which is 1500 feet tall. To answer some of the obvious questions that may be asked (yes I have 107 license, will stay within 400 feet and not in any other restricted airspace and will be coordinating with owner/operator)

What I was wondering is given the VLOS requirements and the ability to “see” where the drone is via tablet, has anyone done this? It is not unlike a typical tower inspection. I was hoping the Inspire would be the right tool for the job, but given the guy wires and some possible drifting, is there a better drone, Can’t really justify the I2 for this single project.

Would the Oly 45mm lens (90mm effective ) allow me to see details in the structure while staying 20-30 feet away?

Thanks for any help, experience, or other thoughts.

Jeff

(PS. I am not a tower inspector and not looking to get in the business. The inspection is at the direction of an attorney so cant provide too many details.)
 
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By the time you reached the top of the tower it would be time to come down again, you would use up alot of power getting there, and when you do, you would have no time for video if your going to descend safely. Also keep well away as the top will be slightly swaying in the wind. I'm completely confident that a DJI M100 with dual bat and Z3 Camera will do that job, as I use on my rugged work. Very important to have all the right permissions and insurance.
 
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Thanks for the replies. I am concerned about flight time and figure I will be doing it in sections. Say 0-50 ft, 50-100, etc

I dont see any restrictions for the tower locations, am i missing something that would requie FAA waiver?
 
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I,m not to sure about the FAA as i'm in the uk, But I would definitely be contacting them.
 
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Hello all. I have been reading 100’s of threads before I posted and wanted to see if anyone here has any actual experience flying a I1, V2 to 1500 feet. I have a possible project to perform a video inspection of a TV tower which is 1500 feet tall. To answer some of the obvious questions that may be asked (yes I have 107 license, will stay within 400 feet and not in any other restricted airspace and will be coordinating with owner/operator)

What I was wondering is given the VLOS requirements and the ability to “see” where the drone is via tablet, has anyone done this? It is not unlike a typical tower inspection. I was hoping the Inspire would be the right tool for the job, but given the guy wires and some possible drifting, is there a better drone, Can’t really justify the I2 for this single project.

Would the Oly 45mm lens (90mm effective ) allow me to see details in the structure while staying 20-30 feet away?

Thanks for any help, experience, or other thoughts.

Jeff

(PS. I am not a tower inspector and not looking to get in the business. The inspection is at the direction of an attorney so cant provide too many details.)
The P4P is much more stable, has greater flight time and a better camera. If you're looking for the most "bang for the buck" for that kind of job, use a P4P. I own and regularly fly a P4P and an Inspire 1, v2. The latter is like a floaty barge in the sky compared to the former. That said, you CAN use the Inspire for the inspection. You'll just have to put up with more drift.

Regarding the FAA, clearly you know the rules regarding towers and altitudes. I see no reason why a special waiver would be required. I would be interested to know WHY some believe a waiver is needed.

Good luck.

D
 
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Thanks Donnie. I was hoping someone wouldn’t suggest a P4P :-{. They are hard to come by and was hoping the lens options of the I1 with an X5 might be the better option. I read conflicting reviews of the P4 vs I1 and wind stability. I am kind of thinking the additional size of the I1 would be a benefit. But lack of sensors and proximity to tower and guy wires may tilt the preference to a P4P.
 
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Thanks Donnie. I was hoping someone wouldn’t suggest a P4P :-{. They are hard to come by and was hoping the lens options of the I1 with an X5 might be the better option. I read conflicting reviews of the P4 vs I1 and wind stability. I am kind of thinking the additional size of the I1 would be a benefit. But lack of sensors and proximity to tower and guy wires may tilt the preference to a P4P.
As you know, I own the Inspire 1 v2 and a P4P. If I were hired for this job, I would bring the P4P. Especially since you will be ascending up a single column. You will find the drift of the Inspire 1 a hindrance to this kind of job. I trust the P4P to ascend strait up. I don't trust the Inspire 1 to do the same. This does NOT include automated flight, which may net better results with the Inspire 1. I did a video about it.


And this:


D
 
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Thanks again Donnie. I had seen one of thise videos but not the other

One slight priblem though. The P4P has been discontinued and i cant find one for sale. I tried reputable places like B&H, Adorama and Floruda Drione
 
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Thanks again Donnie. I had seen one of thise videos but not the other

One slight priblem though. The P4P has been discontinued and i cant find one for sale. I tried reputable places like B&H, Adorama and Floruda Drione
I started to offer my opinion above but it went out before I finished it. Your upcoming project brought back many years of memories when inspecting and photographing very high towers with real helicopters during daylight hours and at night bringing engineers and equipment to the base of TV towers to get them back online. I also own both a I1V2 and a P4PV2 as well as Mavic Pro. I fully agree with Donnie and suggest you look at using a Mavic Pro 2 which are readily available at affordable prices. Besides worrying about guy wires which will not be easy to see at altitude on a tablet, the winds will be a major concern! Best to luck to you!!!
 
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One slight priblem though. The P4P has been discontinued and i cant find one for sale. I tried reputable places like B&H, Adorama and Floruda Drione
Yeah...that's a crying shame. The good news is that a lot of guys purchase these things on a whim, fly them twice and then list them for sale on eBay or Craigslist. I purchased mine gently used on eBay and it's been a money machine for the past year. The one thing nobody talks about is the mechanical shutter, which is a real game changer in the mapping game. I know that doesn't pertain to you, but it's still a great feature to have.

If you DO decide to go hunting for one, avoid the plus, is my advice. I don't like being pigeon holed into using a small monitor. I like the fact that I can decide how big of an iPad I'm going to use. I was never an Apple fan, but the iPads work really well with the DJI stuff...but I digress...

I found a bunch on eBay that I would personally buy if I needed another one (between me and my partner, we have 3). Ironically, the Phantom 4 Pro 2's are CHEAPER than the Phantom 4 Pro's. To me, that says a LOT about the quality of the P4P.

Good luck!

D
 
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Thanks again Donnie. I had seen one of thise videos but not the other

One slight priblem though. The P4P has been discontinued and i cant find one for sale. I tried reputable places like B&H, Adorama and Floruda Drione
I have two, essentially unused. I could part with one.
 
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I,m not to sure about the FAA as i'm in the uk, But I would definitely be contacting them.
In the US, we are allowed to fly to any height provided we are within 400 feet of a structure or structure. It is clearly stated in regulations, training materials and tests. No need to contact the FAA.
 
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On the FAA - you already know about the alititude part. If you've done the airspace research and are clear that there's no other consideration (such as TFR's, restricted / prohibited airspace, etc) you should be fine there.

Regarding the choice of aircraft - I have 3 I1's and a Mavic 2 Pro. For this job I'd use the Mavic 2. Reasons:
1) In my experience, they handle the wind better. Smaller form factor is probably the reason, but the I1 tends to move a lot with the wind and the M2P much less so.
2) Better battery life - 2x the flight time. I took some footage of the top of a table mesa in the hill country that started about 500' AGL. I could (and did) legally fly to 900, and had enough battery for 20 min at that altitude with room to get back comfortably.
3) I have an I1 with an X5 camera, and the Hasselblad on the M2P seems to produce excellent images, as good as the X5 so far as I can tell. The X3 that comes on the stock (not "pro") I1 is nowhere near as good for what you're looking to do- fixed focus wide angle will give you some noticeable distortion.
4) The Mavic 2 series has optical collision avoidance, which may be helpful around the tower, if not the guy wires. You will certainly be able to see the guy wires on your tablet.
If you have to go buy an aircraft for this shoot, I'd suggest a Mavic 2 Zoom, since the Pro camera is foxed focal length and the Zoom can get you a closer image without having to get too close to the tower.

Hope that helps.
 
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I did not want to be a single post and done person. Thank you to everyone who responded. The case looks like it will settle without the need to fly the tower.

I appreciate everyone’s response and help with this. I am still an active UAS pilot so I will be here

Thanks again
Jeff
 

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