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Has anyone taken off on top of a 50+ metre tall building before? A client is requesting that we do

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Hi everyone,

A client has approached us with a job that would require taking off on top of a building that we're trying to get footage of, then flying out and away from the building while filming back towards us.

I'm not sure how the rooftop would factor in terms of return to home working correctly and also in an interference that could be present or the change in conditions once we leave the rooftop.

Any input or advice would be very much appreciated so I can consider whether this is a contract we can fulfil!
 
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No problem,but I wouldn't trust RTH and stay in contact with your Inspire.Make your shot and return back in time.With jobs like this build in enough safety and no risks at all.If there is any obstacle on the roof refuse the job.After all it's your responsibilty ( and Inspire) when you fly.
Make sure your not breaking any law also.Get info
 
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No problem,but I wouldn't trust RTH and stay in contact with your Inspire.Make your shot and return back in time.With jobs like this build in enough safety and no risks at all.If there is any obstacle on the roof refuse the job.After all it's your responsibilty ( and Inspire) when you fly.
Make sure your not breaking any law also.Get info
I guess I dont know but I would find it easier to take off at a place on the ground away from the building and fly up providing I had approval to do that. I would probably fly out from the building and fly in towards the building and simply reverse the footage. It depends how high the building is and how close you need to get to it.
 
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Reversing your footage can result in see cars ,people or whatever going backwards.Especially if you do a job for a client this will look unprofessional.
 
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Reversing your footage can result in see cars ,people or whatever going backwards.Especially if you do a job for a client this will look unprofessional.
Yes, but if its a tall building, I didn't think there would be any cars or people in the shot. I still think I would do that or even climb to the building and come in close before pulling out. I think I would rather take off from ground level. I have the 42mm lens so I can get right on top of the building and be hundreds of metres away.
 
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You should have no issues as long as you are within permitted maximum altitudes for the regulations in your area.

As for filming going away from you my recommendation would be to rotate the inspire to face towards you, set the camera on "free" mode so that small yaw adjustment don't result in changing camera position and go back ( away from you) fast and firm and up slowly. The reason you dont want to simply turn the camera to face rearward is that often the inspire body will enter your frame particularly if there is any wind.
RTH should work but don't rely on it.

Its easy to practice the same shot from the ground so you know what your doing up there.
Enjoy your flight.
 
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I have actually done a few shots just like the way you are describing and it worked perfectly. I did have a building once that was loaded with rebar in the concrete which I assume was the cause of my compass being off. That was not a fun flight at all. Other than that almost all of my RTH situations have ended with the bird very close to its take off position. In the event an RTH is needed, just take over command of the craft once it returns and is in a relatively close proximity to where you are and then just manually land her safe and sound.
 
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I never use rth and don't know why any competent pilot would. It's nice to know it's there and may work if you lose signal but there is zero reason to use it regularly. It's a bad idea unless you know you have the correct settings for your location as there are too many potential dangers.

That said it really doesn't matter where you take off from, the altitude is measured from the take off point, it's not actual altitude so theoretically if nothing is in the return flight path it should work on top of a building if the roof is big enough, in my experience it will land anywhere within 20 feet of takeoff which is why I don't use it, far too inaccurate. My take off and landing zone is much smaller than that making it useless, not to mention it flies at half speed in auto mode. Much easier and faster to fly and land manually.
 
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I never use rth and don't know why any competent pilot would
I agreed.RTH happens to me once when contact was lost suddenly.But as soon I did have contact again I switches ASAP to manual.
 
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For me the RTH is a tool that is only used when loss of signal occurs which for me personally hasnt been very often. I stop the return to home as soon as I can regain signal. I like to be in command of the craft so letting the return to home function complete the crafts landing is not something I like to do as I feel the landings are a bit to quick on the descent rate. If I were going to allow it to completely land via RTH I give a little up throttle a few meters off the ground to slow the descent rate to a smooth buttery landing which in the X5 case is more important than ever with the camera's increased weight and recent broken gimbals we have seen. I haven't had an issue with any of my X5's breaking at the connection point but a hard landing is to risky with such an expensive camera. For me personally I would like to be able to set my RTH descent rate in the app RTH section. Just a personal preference. Everyone fly safe out there.
 
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My only concern with that would be what the regulations are for the area you work, and also being in a city you may need to ensure whatever is underneath, road walkways etc are cleared for legal/, health and safety reasons... this may be simple, it may not...
 
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I agreed.RTH happens to me once when contact was lost suddenly.But as soon I did have contact again I switches ASAP to manual.
Yup that's the smart thing to do, it's what I do as well. It seems like at least half the crashes talked about on here are due to rth/user error with rth settings or an object in the flight path and they didn't realize they could still override control while in rth or cancel and take over full manual control.

The other half are due to moving it immediately after powering it on while its doing the self test/initialization process.
 
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I only ever use RTH when the Inspire has gone far enough away that correct orientation is difficult and I want to be sure that im actually bringing the bird straight back.
If I have any doubt and the bird is some distance away ( still line of sight) then rather than waste time and the risk of getting confused going from side to side I RTH it.
I always bring it back to manual control once its back in closer proximity.
 
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I only ever use RTH when the Inspire has gone far enough away that correct orientation is difficult and I want to be sure that im actually bringing the bird straight back.
If I have any doubt and the bird is some distance away ( still line of sight) then rather than waste time and the risk of getting confused going from side to side I RTH it.
I always bring it back to manual control once its back in closer proximity.
Is it not easier just to utilise the aircraft 'radar' graphic in conjunction with the straight line plot on the map back to home?
I have always found this very reliable.
 
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Is it not easier just to utilise the aircraft 'radar' graphic in conjunction with the straight line plot on the map back to home?
I have always found this very reliable.
Yeap,by far the best tool on your screen I think(orientationwise)
 
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Is it not easier just to utilise the aircraft 'radar' graphic in conjunction with the straight line plot on the map back to home?
I have always found this very reliable.
Very good point @The Editor, however on a personal note I have always had a preference for "eyes in the sky". I'm not a fan of spending too much time looking down at the screen other than for vital information and framing shots. but you make a very valid point. The radar screen is not something that I find very intuitive but you have me thinking that perhaps its something that i should spend more time with.
RTH is something that I have only used as an aid where the Inspire really is too far away to be easily able to ascertain direction. Before I go to it i will have hit C2 to orient the camera forward and then check the screen to try and correctly establish direction, i then have to reselect follow mode on the camera gimble and rotate the craft to try and establish correct orientation. If I am out over 800 metres or more and I have any further doubt I will initiate an RTH to be sure and then take over control once more.
I see it as a preventative step. on reflection a good look at the radar should assist. I remember using it more on the Phantom when that first came out, somehow it seemed more prevalent on the old DJI app than ran the early phantom.
 
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Very good point @The Editor, however on a personal note I have always had a preference for "eyes in the sky". I'm not a fan of spending too much time looking down at the screen other than for vital information and framing shots. but you make a very valid point. The radar screen is not something that I find very intuitive but you have me thinking that perhaps its something that i should spend more time with.
RTH is something that I have only used as an aid where the Inspire really is too far away to be easily able to ascertain direction. Before I go to it i will have hit C2 to orient the camera forward and then check the screen to try and correctly establish direction, i then have to reselect follow mode on the camera gimble and rotate the craft to try and establish correct orientation. If I am out over 800 metres or more and I have any further doubt I will initiate an RTH to be sure and then take over control once more.
I see it as a preventative step. on reflection a good look at the radar should assist. I remember using it more on the Phantom when that first came out, somehow it seemed more prevalent on the old DJI app than ran the early phantom.
Totally agree with you.
I have never used RTH other than to test it works and I was required to use it on my flight assessment.
I treat it as insurance - It is comforting to know it is there but you hope you don't have to use it!
Like you, I can orientate by using forward and yaw but I actually find the radar screen quicker. You also have a straight line plot on the map in the right hand corner. I find that helpful as well, simply line up the point of the triangle onto the line and you are heading back from to point. :)
 
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Thanks to everyone who replied to this. In the end we weren't able to access the roof on the day of filming so everything had to be done from the ground. We were able to climb to a height above the top the building and get some great shots, both within legal operating limits and with local ATC agreements for that shoot.

There has been some great advice and interesting insight given in this thread so thank you to everyone who contributed!
 

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