I flew my M3P today for the first time. Never flown a drone before so I was caught out a little by how difficult it is to spot the drone in the sky even though I know roughly where it is. I spent a bit of time composing the shot looking at the screen then when I looked up I couldn’t find the drone in the sky.
What do people do? Do you have a technique to help you spot the drone when you look up from the screen?
Learn to fly VLOS first, not by screen.
I can fly VLOS. I have flown a lot of R/C helis and fixed wing so very familiar with the flying. It is composing the shot that needs me to look down. You can’t do that while looking at the drone.
Keep it close to start with , it gets easier, but realistically VLOS is about 500m officer
I still frequently lose sight, what I do i know its high just lower it to a safe level and still cannot see it I will use the gimble button to look at the ground around for orientation of my location then know if I’m looking in the right direction.
What I’ve been using lately instead of having my strobes on for everyone to know I’m flying around is on the Air S2 is hit the FN button to turn on the auxiliary landing light until I’ve got that important VLOS
It’s amazing how far the drone can travel when composing a shot. If I lose sight, I use the camera to point the drone directly at myself. When it’s pointing straight at you it just seems to pop into view.
Use the map or compass as well for orientation. I sometimes raise and lower the drone quickly, which usually catches my eye. Used to worry about losing it at first but now dont care that much as you can soon figure it out; just make sure your clear of the tree tops etc though.
The first few times it happens you panic but, once you remember the drone’s going nowhere, you can take time to workout where it is. And, as a last resort, there’s always RTH to fall back on.
Scan the sky to find it and then there’s moves you can do to check orientation. If you consistently cannot find it there’s an argument you’re not flying VLOS (and the visible distance does vary between individuals). As others have said, start close and work out as you become accustomed to see it in the sky. I also find bigger brighter screens help as it’s easier to see the contents in a short look compared to a small dim screen.
There are lightweight strobes (Strobon Cree) which can help visibility, lots of info on Mini2 threads on here, with 3-d printed attachments available via eBay. However I don’t have a Mini3 so not sure whether putting Strobon Cree on it would take it over the 250g threshold… (assuming you’re someone who would worry about the odd gram over, some people do some don’t).
And if you ever do want to rely on RTH, just make sure you get satellite lock and hear the nice lady say “home point has been updated please check it on the map” before you take off… The Mini 2 seems to take a while to get sat lock sometimes. Also make your you check your compass and calibrate if necessary.
DJI drones unfortunately aren’t designed to be the best colour to spot against the sky. There’s a few tricks I’ve developed that help though. Add brightly coloured or fluorescent decals to the arms of the drone, like bright orange. If you’re looking for a spot of orange in the sky it becomes a fair bit easier than looking for a grey one.
I usually turn my body to face the drone before looking at the screen, then I only need to scan straight up and down, rather than scanning every possible direction
I sometimes slew the drone side to side and I spot the movement in the sky and can then get back to framing the shot.
Use a point of reference like a treat or a building on the horizon as you quickly look up & down - then you can usually go back to that point & look up from there to find it.
Personally I always fly with 2,3 or even 4 stones on as we do get buzzed by the RAF up here in the lakes irrespective of when they announce they’re flying.
What I found I need is a portable 50” flatscreen controller, that would make things so much easier.
I just stick a couple of flytron strobon Cree on my mini 2 works perfectly, use the GADC discount code for a great deal and problem solved
You could also fit a strobe onto your drone . They are very effective for not losing sight of your drone.
Various strives are available for purchase and that are not expensive usually come with Velcro tape to stick onto your drone .
Speak check is on again
…. various types are available
Won’t even spell spelling check