Flying over water

About six weeks ago someone offered a drone flotation recovery device. It uses a gas capsule to inflate a bladder as soon as it hits the water, and it keeps the drone at the surface. I can't find that post now. If you have DJI Refresh that covers water damage, then it's probably worth the cost, which is less than a parachute.
 
It is a mystery where this fear of flying over water came from.
Exactly.
It makes no difference to your flying machine what it flies over, land or sea is all the same to it.

The only difference is that you probably will not be able to get the drone if it by any reason falls down.
Once you realise that a crashed drone isn't going to be worth recovering anyway, you can get over the psychological barrier and enjoy your flying.
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No oceans in North Texas but I do fly over a lot of lakes, ponds (in Texas they are called tanks) and rivers. Just like flying over heavily wooded areas, watch the battery, signal strength and everything else. The only problems I have had was flying near buildings where there were a lot of power lines. At the end of the day, it is just common sense.
 

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Hello all. I'm a professional photographer, had my P$P v2 for about a year. I've been wanting to get some shots flying over water and have done so a little, but I have to admit it makes me nervous. What tips can you provide to ensure a safe flight and great photos and video. I live near Lake Michigan so would consider that but so far just small inland lades and ponds. Any advice is appreciated. Thank you!

I fly over water a lot. I rarely have any issues even at low altitudes 10ft or so. No issues with sensors. I do use a fairly inexpensive water recovery device called "Getter' Back". They are made for fishing poles that go over board but they work for anything you's like to recover that went in the water. Especially if you have DJI Care refresh, they want the original drone back to honor warranty, no wiggle room.

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Hello all. I'm a professional photographer, had my P$P v2 for about a year. I've been wanting to get some shots flying over water and have done so a little, but I have to admit it makes me nervous. What tips can you provide to ensure a safe flight and great photos and video. I live near Lake Michigan so would consider that but so far just small inland lades and ponds. Any advice is appreciated. Thank you!
Before flying over water, I strapped a couple of sponge noodles, about 2 feet long to the legs of my phantom. At least if something happened, and it fell in the drink, it would at least float so i could get it with a boat or other means.
 
Hello all. I'm a professional photographer, had my P$P v2 for about a year. I've been wanting to get some shots flying over water and have done so a little, but I have to admit it makes me nervous. What tips can you provide to ensure a safe flight and great photos and video. I live near Lake Michigan so would consider that but so far just small inland lades and ponds. Any advice is appreciated. Thank you!


Point Judith Flight Over Water
This was my most ambitious flight over water, Over a mile up the coast and back, then a mile out to sea to catch the sailboat and then return. It was windy, too. As it always is on the coast.
 
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I actually feel more comfortable over water. Better VLOS, no tall obstructions (trees, power lines), few people within hearing range, and many other benefits. Obviously, you need to be very conservative about remaining battery life. Here is an example of my subject matter which requires frequent flight over oceans.
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Duplicate which could not be deleted.
 
I fly over water 80% of the time. Some great comments above. me a P4 advanced flyer.

1) yes, fly into the wind first. It's great to fly home in a tailwind. I am amazed at the drone's ability to fly in wind.

2) I fly from a bluff, so my 0 altitude is referenced from the bluff. So as I get closer ( below the bluff ) to the water, my altitude goes negative which stresses me out! I wonder if I can set an offset for this or config the display to use the GPS altitude. Or remove the offset that the controller is factoring in to use my takeoff point at 0 altitude.

3) when flying around boats or other objects, ( I photograph boats and sea turtles, still haven't gotten dolphins ), the wide angle lens of course makes things look further away. I need a formula for this. So you are closer to the object than you think.

4) Sun angle, camera angle, polarizing filters, time of day, monitor brightness all factor into my over water flying. Glare is a pain.

5) I avoid getting close enough to the water to throw up salt water spray.

I'll have to add some photos. Great conversation starter!

Jim
 
I actually feel more comfortable over water. Better VLOS, no tall obstructions (trees, power lines), few people within hearing range, and many other benefits. Obviously, you need to be very conservative about remaining battery life. Here is an example of my subject matter which requires frequent flight over oceans.
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Great video, someday I would like to film Barnegat Light in New Jersey. Enjoyed your three's company piece.
 
I wonder if I can set an offset for this or config the display to use the GPS altitude. Or remove the offset that the controller is factoring in to use my takeoff point at 0 altitude.
No to all of those questions.
And there's nothing to be alarmed about negative altitude.
You know how high above the water your launch point was and you can see how far the water etc is below your drone.
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I actually feel more comfortable over water. Better VLOS, no tall obstructions (trees, power lines), few people within hearing range, and many other benefits. Obviously, you need to be very conservative about remaining battery life. Here is an example of my subject matter which requires frequent flight over oceans.
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WOW very nice I've been there and will be there again in July. Are you allowed to fly from inside the park?
 
Hi aneal321.

The good news is that you’re already familiar with camera settings, so that’s one less thing to think about. And I’m assuming you’re already using a ND/PL filter? (We use the Polar Pro ND/PL set.)

My second point would be to acknowledge that a certain amount of nervousness is actually healthy. We don’t fly our P4P+ for fun, only for work. And we’ve yet to have a crash. Healthy nervousness keeps you on your toes, reducing the chances of sloppiness or complacency.

As others have said, flying in canyons and/or mountainous terrain is fraught with additional dangers because there are more variables. The only specific worry with flying over water is “don’t descend too quickly” as the perspective can be potentially deceptive.

I think the step by step approach has a lot of merit, gradually building up experience and “confidence” (which doesn’t actually exist, but is a useful/quick descriptive word).

Wind would be my biggest concern, although less so than in mountainous terrain where it can be more complicated. Don’t fly at first if the wind is too strong. And make sure you know if you’re heading out with the wind because it will be tougher/longer getting back flying against a headwind.

One final point: capturing stills or video using a drone will never be the same to a professional photographer as shooting from a solid tripod. Our brains are hard-wired to the latter (tripod) as the norm, simply because that’s what we’ve done and do thousands of times. That said, drones allow us a different perspective that we could only otherwise get from a light aircraft or helicopter (or similar) at much more expense. Indeed, some images can only be achieved by drone. To repeat: healthy nervousness is a good thing. In addition to combating sloppiness and complacency, it helps with achieving better performance. “Having fun” and “relaxing” are massively overrated. Fulfilment through stretching yourself and achieving higher potential is far better.

For any specific technical questions about stills photography over water, I’d ask Meta4 - especially about shooting commercial ships.

All the best.
 
WOW very nice I've been there and will be there again in July. Are you allowed to fly from inside the park?
I fly before 8:00 AM and after 8:00 to avoid crowds. The last time I flew there, the gift shop people said, that due to someone who actually crashed a drone on the light tower, there should be no drone flying In general. They did give me permission for another specific flight at a time when no tourists were present.
 
Very pro. done video! excelent filming and positioning of that lighthouse.
But - what about flying over the people?
 
I flew my first Litchi Mission over water. A 15 minute trip of nearly three miles. This is the edited version but I have the uncut version on my channel as well. I was very nervous but the thrill when it was back over land was beyond awesome!

Geo

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People often ask me if I am nervous when flying over water... The reality of the matter is, crashing over land or over water, you are going to end up losing the craft...
 
Very pro. done video! excelent filming and positioning of that lighthouse.
But - what about flying over the people?

I was mostly flying over water. When over people, who had entered the scene after I was approaching the light house, I was among the small group at the base of the light house and got their approval. As indicated before, I stopped filming at 8:00 AM when most people starting arriving.
 
I was mostly flying over water. When over people, who had entered the scene after I was approaching the light house, I was among the small group at the base of the light house and got their approval. As indicated before, I stopped filming at 8:00 AM when most people starting arriving.
Leave to the amateurs to ruin it for everyone, how do you crash your drone into a lighthouse?. I my seek permission myself before I Travel. Thanks
 

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