Drone in Sinkhole

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#1
Hello all. I’ve had my drone for a couple of years and have always wondered in its safe to fly it into a Sinkhole. I live in SE New Mexico and have a fairly large sinkhole about 20 minutes from the house.

It’s large. several hundred feet across and have been told it’s well over 100 feet deep. Id love to explore it from the air if it’s safe for the drone.

thanks in advance for any advice you can give me.
 
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#2
Well that would be a interesting place to fly. My first thought is gps signal. You might not know what kind of interference you might encounter, with maybe non-ferrous materials. You’d be quick to switch to fly atti and be sure not to get to close to the edge of the sink hole.
 
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#3
I worked in a large hole building a power plant in Fl. It was one hot dead air space. It shouldn't be any harder then flying over a cliff. Probably easier. Being only a 100 ft. deep, and twice as wide as deep, I don't think GPS would be a big problem. Always be on guard though.
 
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#4
Ok. thanks guys. it’s fairly large and I’ll be sure to capture some pics and videos. I can’t get close to the edge as there is fence because the ground is mainly sand and it has continued to grow over the years. I don’t want to become a casualty lol.
 
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#5
Ok. thanks guys. it’s fairly large and I’ll be sure to capture some pics and videos. I can’t get close to the edge as there is fence because the ground is mainly sand and it has continued to grow over the years. I don’t want to become a casualty lol.
Where is this located??? Can’t wait to see your video on it!!
 
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#6
it’s about 10 miles north of zip code 88252. The theory is it was a cavern left by a shallow oil or water well. When it imploaded there were some very large car size rocks that were ejected from the hole. Pretty cool. I haven’t been out to the site in years but have been longing to take my drone.
 
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#7
I saw a video recently where these scientists flew what appeared to be a P4 in to a volcano. They also used wind surfers on the antenna.
 

BigAl07

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#8
Just make sure you're confident with flying in Manual/Attii mode because 100' down in a tight column isn't where you want to cut your teeth on Atti Mode.

Looking forward to your video and pics :)
 
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#9
Above comments about atti mode are good points. I recommend bringing an observer so you can focus on flying the drone, and they can warn you of any hazards/collisions. Make sure obstacle avoidance is on, as well as setting a proper rth location and altitude, and it should be just like any other flight, the only thing changing is the subject.
 
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#11
I have the P3 pro. I usually fly in P mode but I’m ok with flying in A mode as well. I’m not at all worried about collisions as this things is really really wide. Is A mode still what you folks would recommend ? There is not really a way to have a spotter as we can’t get close enough to the edge to be able to look over and watch the drone. It will be flying by camera only.
 
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#12
How far down do you think you can go before you loose enough light to be able to see? Might want to attach a light.
 
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#13
Light isn’t an issue. This hole is literally about 1000 feet wide if not more. Last report I remember was 100-150’ deep.
 
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BigAl07

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#15
Light isn’t an issue. This hole is literally about 1000 feet wide if not more. Last report I remember was 100-150’ deep.
Sounds plenty wide. Wish I was closer I'd want to try it too :)
 
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#16
You are right to be concerned about GPS coverage. As you drop down into the hole, the rising walls around the drone will as you get deeper, block more and more of the GPS satellites, and reduce the satellite count on hat is usable. This is not calculatable in advance, without picking an exact date and time for the flight, as the GPS satellite positions are always changing.

Watch the satellite count carefully as you go down. Rule of thumb is you need 10 satellites for reliable positioning. 3 satellites is the absolute theoretical minimum, and looking the 3rd is a disaster. Remember that both the drone and the satellites are moving, and the conditions can change quickly.
 
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#17
The biggest concern is losing contact with the drone due to it being down in a hole out of direct line of sight of the controller. Watch the signal strength closely and be certain you have aquired a good RTH point before you start you flight. If the signal strength gets weak I would not push the issue. Better to have some “long distance” pictures and video than to loose a drone.
 
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#18
Do you know anyone else with a drone?? Maybe you fly down and into the sink hole and the other hover above and give you a birds eye view on your bird from above?? Just another idea
 
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#19
Do you know anyone else with a drone?? Maybe you fly down and into the sink hole and the other hover above and give you a birds eye view on your bird from above?? Just another idea
That is exactly what I was going to suggest! Also, at the first sign of signal degradation, I would fly straight up immediately out of the hole, to regain signal strength and then land.
 
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#20
I don’t know anyone else with a drone. We have had some serious wind the last several days so I haven’t been able to venture out. I will be super careful while trying to get some good video even if I can’t got too far below the surface
 

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