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White Hawk Down

Discussion in 'Inspire 1 Discussion' started by Mani, May 24, 2015.

  1. Mani

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    As many of you know, I tried to share on this forum only good news and helpful informations for this community.
    Unfortunately today is my turn to report another Inspire crash, a serious one, as my bird looks beyond repair at this moment.
    However, if you will have the patience to read this post, you may consider my crash good news for this community.

    A friend of mine asked me to help him with aerial footage for the promotional video of a naval company, in the port of Burgas, Bulgaria.
    I had to film the loading operations of 5 huge pipe connectors on to the ship owned by the company he works for.
    The operations were scheduled for this Saturday at 8 A.M, so it was kind of tricky to get there.
    On Friday evening I had a concert in very beautiful outdoor venue in Bucharest ( when I am not flying I am a musician) so straight after the concert I had to drive to Burgas, Bulgaria, to be there early in the morning.
    The operations were delayed until 2 P.M, due to weather conditions (severe fog), as the ship could not enter the port for loading operations.
    The filming conditions were not friendly at all, with rough winds at around 20-25 kph, we were surrounded by hundreds of huge shipping containers and I had to fly quite close to 2 giant cranes (around 100 meters height).

    To be honest, once arrived there I was seriously thinking to cancel the flight, to inform my friends is too risky and complicated to fly.
    But it was a long journey, a promise have been made and most of all, it was the best way to test my Inspire in a very complex situation.
    So I decided to fly.
    I had to choose very carefully a take off point, to keep my compass out of trouble ( we were in the middle of a shipyard, with hundreds of metal containers) the workers on the ground were informed about possible risks, and all of them were wearing protections helmets.
    I had around 4 successful flights, and during the last one, actually during the last planned shot, the worst scenario happened.
    I was flying very closely & slowly on the top of the both cranes, and due to a powerful wind gust, a propeller touched one of the cranes, game over.
    The bird fell down from around 70-80 meters, and on its way down hit the arm crane and landed on the ship. No one was hurt, no damage except total damage for the Inspire, as the fall speed was attenuated by the crane's arm.

    So here I am today, with my bird in pieces, beyond repair, as you can see in the photos attached.
    Funny the way it is, on Friday I have purchased six 1345s propellers sets and a Landing mode case.
    Definitely not happy times for me, as the purchase of my Inspire was a serious investment, made possible with a lot of efforts & sacrifices, I invested also a serious amount of money in gear & accessories, and last but not least next week I was about to start filming a very important project, which was about to cover the purchase of a Ronin M gimbal and a Phantom 3, in order to secure all the gear necessary for my efforts to raise awareness to the endangered architectural & cultural heritage of my home country.
    I will contact DJI to see what can be done, but as I said before, it looks like a total damage and I am not in the position to purchase a new one in the near future.

    Bottom line, not happy days for me, but this unfortunate incident is somehow good news for this community.
    As this Saturday I was once again completely amazed by the possibilities offered by this amazing machine.
    In a very complex scenario, with unfriendly weather conditions, Inspire 1 was outstanding, flying impeccable, smooth and steady.
    If I would have the possibility, I would purchase a new one in this very second, as I am more convinced than ever that this is the most complex and sophisticated aerial platform available at the moment.
    Chasing the perfect shot didn't ended well for me, but somehow I am pleased that I had the possibility to test my bird to the limit, and it was a real joy to see it fly in such a complex scenario.


    Hope you'll enjoy your birds longer than I did, hopefully in the near future I will be up in the air again, best regards to all of you
     
    EMCSQUAR and Tim Whittaker like this.
  2. The Editor

    The Editor Moderator
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    Hi Mani,

    Very sorry to hear about your mishap.
    As I was reading your account of what happened there was one part where there is a golden rule that should not be broken.

    If you have doubts about the possibility/safety of a flight then you do not make it.
    Even if you have traveled hundreds of miles and people are waiting on you.You are the pilot and you have the absolute last say whether that flight takes place or not.

    I hope you get back in the air soon. :)
     
    SCM660 and Gary Bateman like this.
  3. Firefly_AI

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    Bad news Mani, sorry to hear about the loss of your Inspire. I couldn't see the images you mentioned?
     
  4. Mani

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    I agree with you, sometimes it's better to listen to your instincts and play it safe.
    However, I have to be honest, the decision to give it a try and fly was something I don't regret and the facts proved it was a responsible decision.
    The wind speed was a little bit under the maximum limit mentioned in Inspire's manual, and before every flight compass data was carefully verified.
    Also the first flight was carefully made to estabilish a clear safe flight path.
    As I said in my previous message, just before landing, during the last shot, I tried to redo a crossing above the two cranes, something already achieved during first flights, I will try to edit a short movie during the next week.
    That was a mistake, I was very happy with the results of the first flights and I tried a glorius finish.
    Bad decision, and I paid a high price for it :(
     
    #4 Mani, May 24, 2015
    Last edited: May 24, 2015
  5. Outta Control

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    Sorry for your loss and The Editor is right but also not right.

    The Editor is correct in that it is your responsibility in both the operational use and safety of the craft and a personal financial burden on you but what he is also inaccurate in that in each human being there is an innate desire to take risk and in some cases this is the driving force that make us want to get that shot.

    Our decision to take such risk differs in many levels but in this case you knew the risk and you felt confident in your ability and the craft's performance but there are the hidden variables that can make things go sideways. In the most likelihood some of the most amazing Inspire 1 shots I've seen involves a higher than normal risk.
     
  6. Mani

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    I will attached them tonight, altough they are not the kind of photos to be watched on a peaceful Sunday :)
     
  7. The Editor

    The Editor Moderator
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    What????.....How dare you.... I am NEVER wrong ...
    Well, I have only ever been wrong once, that's when I thought I had made a mistake and I hadn't! :p:p.

    Actually, you're right and you're wrong..... In order to keep my CAA certified permission for aerial work I have to fly under a very tight set of safety guidelines and within the confines of my ops manual.
    If I work outside any of my defined parameters or make a flight without doing a site survey and risk assessment and something DOES go wrong, I have to file an incident form by law and then wrestle with the insurance company:mad:.
    Don't worry.....you FAA regulated guys have got all this coming to you :rolleyes:
     
    Demented1, Outta Control and Mani like this.
  8. Outta Control

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    Hey Editor y'all really need to make a ThumbUp smiley.

    :thumbup
     
    sirnikolas likes this.
  9. sirnikolas

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    That's so sad! I wish her a speedy recovery!
     
  10. Mani

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    thank you all for your kind support, here are the photos, one with my wounded bird and some screenshots from our last adventure together.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. Firefly_AI

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    Lovely looking shots, glad you got some of the footage from the previous sessions.
     
    Mani likes this.
  12. Mani

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    Since my first flights with Inspire, I decided to use a different micro sd card, during every new flight.
    On my checklist : new battery, new card.
    Guess it was an Inspired checklist..
     
  13. Figbar

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    Very sorry to hear of your loss. I think your attitude is really great. I think the one thing that would have helped immensely would have been the use of prop guards. I used them on my Phantom and had several bumps trying to get really nice shots and had no crashes whatsoever. I really can't understand why DJI did not design these and offer them from the getgo with the Inspire. Safety alone...knowing that prop guards would increase the safety factor around people...would make a whole lot of sense.

    There is a third party Inspire owner on this forum working on this...if they test well, I'll be first in line.

    At any rare, we all share your pain. I'm guessing you will be back in the air in the near future.
     
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  14. Mani

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    maybe some of you can help. The sd card which was in the aircraft during the crash doesn't work anymore, it is not recognised by the computer. Is there a way to recover the material ? I had some nice shots during the last flight, hopefully I will be able to recover it, it will ease my pain :)
    P.s still no news from DJI, tried to contact them but DJI Support Europe is closed until tomorrow, due to bank holliday. Since Saturday every hour seems longer than usual ...
     
  15. InspiredOne

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    I'm curious. Would this still be your philosophy if you were actually inside the aircraft?
     
  16. Mazz

    Mazz Moderator
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    Calculated risk is what drives our species to evolve. If you can take some risk without affecting others but with the potential for greatness I am right behind you.

    Also, that will probably buff right out. I apologize.
     
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  17. InspiredOne

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    "Calculated risk" being the operative words here. If that "calculated risk" includes the loss of my $3,000+ Inspire 1, then it's a no-go. On other hand, if the client is willing to fully cover the loss of any such risks to get their shot, then I'm ready to go.
     
    Gary Bateman likes this.
  18. Mani

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    I'm curious too. Are you seriously comparing the situations, do you really fly your drone like there is a human being inside ? Guess you're not spinning too much, it might hurt your passenger..

    P.s since I got my Inspire, I treated like it was a living bird, taking care of her needs with responsability and respect. Did my best to offer her best conditions, and for a couple of months we were quite happy together, even during risky flights. Just because this bird was built to fly :)
     
    Gary Bateman likes this.
  19. InspiredOne

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    My Inspire is still flying. Need I say more?
     
  20. Mani

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    Amazing !Your Inspire is still flying ! This is really outstanding & extraordinary, you must be a role model in this community, I really envy you... Mine is not flying anymore, I crashed it, what can I say, not everybody has your skills, or maybe it was just bad karma. Either way, just my two cents opinion, maybe this was not the place to brag about your brand new shiny Inspire. It's like going to the hospital and tell the poor patients that your health is impeccable. It's not gonna help them too much, if you know what I mean...