Welcome to InspirePilots.com

Join the leading DJI Inspire community for free!

Advice on flying in a tunnel

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Simon Mallin, Feb 17, 2016.

  1. Simon Mallin

    Joined:
    May 14, 2015
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    East Sussex, UK
    I have received an initial enquiry to shoot some footage descending down a large shaft and into an underground tunnel (in the UK) but as yet don't have any specifics on diameter, construction, location, etc. I've asked for more information but in the meantime would welcome advice from anyone that may have done this.

    - Should I even consider it ???
    - What is the minimum diameter for safe flying (4m?)
    - Flight mode: I'm thinking Atti as P-Opti probably wouldn't work in that environment anyway
    - Likely to be lots of steel buried in the walls so another reason to fly Atti
    - Is failsafe RTH automatically disabled if no home-point can be set?

    Also, where does this fit with the CAA regulations? I've never really thought about this before but do they apply when flying a drone 'indoors' which in effect is what I'd be doing? I have my CAA PFAW.

    Appreciate any helpful comments.
     
  2. huppe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2015
    Messages:
    900
    Likes Received:
    317
    My opinion?Just don't do it.Too much risk.Better get an OSMO and lower this down;)
     
    #2 huppe, Feb 17, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2016
  3. Scotflieger

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2015
    Messages:
    1,245
    Likes Received:
    580
    Location:
    Buckie, Scotland, UK
    The BBC did something similar with a Phantom filming in the London Cross-Rail shaft and tunnels. I would never consider risking an Inspire but a lighter Phantom with prop guards might work. You could only consider ATTI but tunnels are notorious for strong drafts that can appear from nowhere. Also consider what lighting is available. Unless it is floodlight the won't be enough light for anything usable.

    See

    - actual report
    - how to fly in tunnels
     
    #3 Scotflieger, Feb 17, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2016
    huppe and slim.slamma like this.
  4. MrDRC

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2014
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    7
    When I got my first Vision I decided to be a smart azz and fly it under my boat dock in GPS mode. Had the thing like 2 days. Lost signal (metal roof) and it drifted into one of the roof braces and BAM...in the lake 40' of water. Dumb move on my part. At least nobody was around to witness my embarrassment. LOL...Beware of flying under structure.
     
  5. John Alan

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2015
    Messages:
    225
    Likes Received:
    62
    Location:
    Central IL - USA
    Assuming size of tunnels is not too small...
    Consider a Matrice 100 with a properly set up Guidance attachment...
    Just a suggestion... plenty of videos online of them flying in parking garages and crowded warehouses...
     
  6. Simon Mallin

    Joined:
    May 14, 2015
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    East Sussex, UK
    Thanks @Scotflieger , I've seen the Crossrail tunnel videos and think that this job could well be something similar. Note your point about Phantom v Inspire. I've raised the issue of lighting and drafts so will see what they come back with.

    Any thoughts on how or if CAA regulations about distances apply when flying 'indoors' ? I can't really see that they do because we wouldn't be flying in 'airspace'. I've tried Googling this but nothing coming up.
     
  7. Simon Mallin

    Joined:
    May 14, 2015
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    East Sussex, UK
    Worth a thought, thanks. I've been thinking of getting an Osmo handle kit so maybe this is a good reason to do it.
     
  8. Scotflieger

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2015
    Messages:
    1,245
    Likes Received:
    580
    Location:
    Buckie, Scotland, UK
    Unless you fly in 'free air' or UK Airspace (above ground level) then the CAA regulations do not apply. However, you will come under normal health and safety rules. It will come down to a strong risk assessment and agreement with the site operators.
     
  9. Simon Mallin

    Joined:
    May 14, 2015
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    East Sussex, UK
    That's my interpretation as well. Thanks.
     
    Scotflieger likes this.
  10. FlyHighUSA

    Approved Vendor

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
    Messages:
    935
    Likes Received:
    317
    Location:
    Munfordville Ky
    The Matrice 100 is the appropriate bird if the diameter is not too small and all other flight conditions are correct.
    Ralph
    FlyHighUSA
     
  11. huppe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2015
    Messages:
    900
    Likes Received:
    317
    The only problem with Simon is he is talking about descending and I forsee a damaged Inspire.
    But I like the video's.:cool:
     
  12. Simon Mallin

    Joined:
    May 14, 2015
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    East Sussex, UK
    That would be nice but not really worth buying a Matrice just for this.

    Think I'll be declining this one !
     
  13. Phil-RCGeeks

    Approved Vendor

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2015
    Messages:
    169
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    West Sussex, UK
    I flew in the crossrail tunnels too last year for a channel 4 series - Drones in Forbidden Zones
    Flying an X8 rig (substantially bigger than the I1), but it handled fine in the tunnels of various diameters (smallest being about 3 meters). I was expecting problems with turbulence but as it was flying dead central, there weren't any issues.
    And yes, like you said Atti all the way and it had no problems.
    Set your failsafe to auto land (not return to home).

    Hope that helps
     
    Scotflieger likes this.
  14. Simon Mallin

    Joined:
    May 14, 2015
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    East Sussex, UK
    Wow some amazing footage - can't have been easy with pillars, cables and scaffolding everywhere.
    Useful information thanks.
     
  15. Phil-RCGeeks

    Approved Vendor

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2015
    Messages:
    169
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    West Sussex, UK
    No problem, and thanks.
    It was an interesting and full on day that's for sure!
     
  16. Steve@AerialImagesPro

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2015
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    23
    In my opinion, this is an example of using a drone just to use a drone. There are other ways to get that video inside a tunnel. I could understand if there were obstruction on the ground, but in the video above, I saw clear pathways on the ground. What I've done in these types of situations is to simply mount my drone on a tripod rig and carry it, or set it on a dolly of some kind.

    Osmo, maybe mounted to a pole, would definitely be better suited to this. But if you don't have an Osmo, consider mounting your AC (without props installed) on a platform on a dolly.

    You might even think about a Gopro mounted to a tripod extention using a dolly. I've used a $59 pull cart as a dolly before and it works great, combined with the Gopro fisheye, and it will be just as stable.
     
  17. Simon Mallin

    Joined:
    May 14, 2015
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    East Sussex, UK
    Yes as somebody else suggested, an Osmo may be the way to go. I'm still waiting for the client to get back to me with details on the tunnel but unfortunately it's through a third party. I'll try and have a 1:1 conversation to explore the options.

    Thanks for your comments.
     
  18. huppe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2015
    Messages:
    900
    Likes Received:
    317
    Good luck Simon
     
  19. Phil-RCGeeks

    Approved Vendor

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2015
    Messages:
    169
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    West Sussex, UK
    I couldn't agree with you more Steve. There were plenty of shots that we filmed in that episode that could have been done better and safer without the use of the drone but like you said, we were 'using a drone just to use a drone', it was the main selling point of the series.
     
    Phatzo likes this.