I have been asked to write a few words on my experience of taking my drone / quadcopter / UAV / flying camera thingy on holiday to Fuerteventura – so here goes.
First of all I checked on the current regulations for flying these things in Spain. They are a lot more relaxed about it than we are in this country & basically just regard them as another form of R/C model aeroplane. Link: Flying drones in Spain
The next thing that I checked was a map of NFZs on the island itself. As you would expect, there is a large one around the international airport, then a couple of smaller ones dotted around the island, which I believe are related to military installations. Link: NFZs on Fuerteventura
Just prior to the flight I discharged all of the batteries to 10% / 15% charge. I left one in the Mavic, which went in the checked in baggage together with all of the accessories. The other two were in a Lipo bag, which I had in my hand baggage. At Manchester security I removed them from the bag & placed them in the tray, fully expecting to be questioned about them. They didn’t even get a second glance from the security staff, so I guess that they must be getting used to seeing them now.
And it was exactly the same coming back – hassle free, & no issues with security at either end.
I saw several Mavics in use whilst there – most being flown sensibly, some not. What I didn’t witness however was any form of “anti-drone” behaviour, the drones, & their pilots were simply ignored & left alone to get on with their flying.
A word of caution however, Fuerteventura is called “Strong Wind” for a reason - we had several days when the wind speed made flying completely impossible. I did hear of one Mavic pilot whilst I was out there who tried flying in the wind - he lost control, crashed off the rocks, & the drone ended up in the sea. No sympathy - it could just as easily have been a young child that he crashed into.
As some of you already know, my MP1 went “technical” half way through the holiday, which was incredibly frustrating. On my return it was despatched to the “Drone Doctors” who confirmed that a “cascading firmware error” was the culprit. Working, then intermittent failures, then total failure over the course of a few days. Good to know that it wasn’t an expensive hardware error, but annoying none the less.
So now I need to find some time to edit the few bits of video that I did manage to capture – and that’s another learning curve!