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Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by RaptorMan, Apr 21, 2016.

  1. RaptorMan

    Dec 18, 2015
    Likes Received:
    I've been planning a location for 4 months and envisioned it more than a year ago but all my plans have come crashing down -- no, not the drone, just my plans. As I mentioned in my thread on the Utah, Arizona and Colorado trip I'm on I arrived in Durango Colorado about 6PM and did a reconnaissance of the location so I'd know what I needed when I went there tomorrow.

    The location is on a hillside overlooking the Animas river and the Durango & Silverton Railroad as it winds long a cliff overlooking the river. I'd taken the train a year ago and it put the idea in my head even before I had a drone and I carefully reviewed the location with google earth to see the best place to park my car and hike to the hillside takeoff location.

    The train is a narrow gauge steam train that is only used for sightseers and as it climbs the cliff averaging about 8mph it rides along the edge of this cliff some 200 feet above the river. I'd planned to take off when the train was about 0.75 miles away and fly about 0.25 miles towards it then wait as it approached. Then the plan was to fly along at a distance for about half a mile then sit and watch as it departed for the remainder of the battery. The flight would have been about 12 minutes and would have been spectacular except for one small problem -- the area I needed to get to to hike the 0.75 miles to the hillside, which looked perfectly open to me from google maps, is actually a gated community and is therefore off limits.

    My planned takeoff location ( 37°29'35.18"N, 107°47'26.48"W) and the parking location I'd planned ( 37°29'47.77"N, 107°47'43.35"W) are 0.35 miles as the crow flies and probably closer to 0.75 miles by ground which would have been a 20 minute or so hike if I'd been able to park where I planned. From the takeoff location to the bottom of the canyon where the river flow is no more than 320 feet so as long as I kept my height at less than takeoff + 80 feet over the river I'd be good to go by the rules. In fact, as the train varies from 175 feet below to 25 feet below my takeoff location I might actually be as much as a couple hundred feet below the takeoff location.

    I'm not 100% dead in the water as I may be able to park closer to the small rail yard (37°29'28.04"N, 107°48'3.87"W ) the train stops at on the way to/from. I'll have to check tomorrow if I can do that and then hike the wooded hillside to my takeoff location. If that works out and my guess is it wont the hike will be about twice as long but the elevation gain is only a few hundred feet so that shouldn't be a problem.

  2. IrishSights

    Jan 14, 2014
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    Bangor, Northern Ireland, UK
    Was wondering what the point of the long post really was as its in General 'Discussion'. Good for a blog i supose. I should read it all the way through again in case I missed something but then I gotta go to work.
    Scotflieger and sirnikolas like this.
  3. SanCap

    Sep 18, 2013
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    South West Florida
    The train goes a long distance, there has to be another location somewhere along the route to get some aerials?
  4. Phatzo

    Feb 17, 2015
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    can't you talk to the owner of the property to let you in and fly from there?
    you are not littering or doing anything harmful...

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