Third flight and not safe. Great impression of a leaf blower!

Last one,honest, unless something really funny happens.

Interestingly, going back over the session I remember things that I had forgotten and sometimes they are useful to remember.

I looked for a new spot this morning, lots of driving around but found an ok place but quite a breeze for my drone.
Oh wow a bench as well, I can sit in comfort as I grapple with the controls and those unmentionable demons that seem to be growing in number.
I guess C.S. Lewis was right! (“The Screw Tape files”)
Set up was quick, done like a pro (ye right) as my fingers start to loose heat and I still have no take off platform.
Connections ok, vid on, wifi and calibration all in the right order.

I decided the bench was too much to miss and set my coffee on the bench, my back to the wind and about 10 meters from two trees to my left and a fence behind me but the ground is flat.
I feel rather than see the demons come to life around me jockeying for position, yawning and waiting. The breeze this early is quite chilling but steady. Flight plan filed I think, Drone Scene consulted, no wires and only dog walkers distantly around. From here it looks like there is some good looking low mist up Cricklade as I rub my cold hands together

I nod to the demon of failed flights and it winks back. And away!!
I have control, The drone zooms around the open ground scattering the demons like leaves on the grass, oh wait those are leaves. I’m flying really low, way low, almost trimming the grass and not getting paid for it.
I take the drone, um is a drone a him or her or just it? Hmmm. Distracted! So many questions!

I try a few turns and sideways scalping some more grass but recover. I note that the drone really drops when going sideways, maybe that’s the breeze?
I let go of the controls, it stops and then starts to drift sideways (not the direction of the breeze) and I use the trim function and all seems better, it hovers there and I check it out getting an extreme close up of me, luckily the camera does not break from the shock.

I try a zoom over and then a spiral to the sky about tree top level…. ‘Trees’… ‘Trees’ a little voice whispers in my head, ‘ those trees, it would be great to fly around them?’
I shake the voice out of my head and see the demon of failed flights sitting with me on the bench. I get up uncomfortable at his familiarity.
I try an orbit keeping me in the centre, really, really difficult as the breeze changes the flight dynamics of the circles.
I zoom out to 35 meters and wonder why the auto return did not work. Its set at 30 Meters and 30 meters height, nearly 40 meters and still no return. I check the settings, all seems ok. I rise up and start to bring it back. The drone becomes very sluggish trying to get back to me?
Is the battery cold? Have I annoyed it? Hurt its feelings?
Its the breeze! So seductive to race away easily, nice and responsive only to feel the drag of paddling up stream as it fights into the breeze.
Remembering the latest videos I switch to the slightly faster mode and throttle it while slowly descending and it works, the drone makes headway towards me and speeds up especially as it passes into a slightly more sheltered area closer to the ground. Another point to note!

The demons are getting bored now, I’m not play fair because I’m playing safe. Again this voice says, ‘Trees, easy to go around, you really do have enough skill now. You can’t write the next bit without at least passing behind one tree!”

I land and wait for dogs to lead their owners out and away. I greet a couple of people waiting for one to say “SWOT are inbound to get me, stay where you are!” Nope each is convivial, and that demon fades out disapointed.

Looking around again, clear. I take off and I head for the trees! Sigh.

I loop around the back and decide to pass between them noting all the sticking out branches at about my drone height and head around and back towards me when a small gust makes the drone drift to the right tree. I let go but the drift continues!
I correct by sliding right slightly but the demon of failed flight suddenly blocks the breeze and the correction becomes an over correction and I fight for a very, very long second “ I’m going tto make it. I’m going to make it! Then reality takes a hold and I wimp out by reversing out of there a few feet.

I should be sweating but its too cold. Now I’m determined to get between the trees and line my self up. Oh the gap between the trees is at least 5 meters! I drift the drone forward and suddenly without incident I’m through. Yay my first tree pass. I congratulate myself and bring the drone back for its second landing and more dogs.

Flight three and I attempt a fly over and then a fly down towards, I failed and it came down easily towards me and downed itself, gently, in the grass. Oops. Chalk up another for the demons. The demons share a congratulations and toast my failure. I shrug and clear my throat.

I should be going and try a final flight, after doing some more leaf blowing I race the drone towards me and fail to stop. Turning the drone aside at the last embarrassing moment, I’m safe but the bench seat gets a tap from the drone. The drone recovers but continues to the tree. I correct the wrong way and yep, it ‘lands’ in the tree about 4 feet from the ground looking sad and waiting for a rescue.
The demons woops of joy are palpable and the tree high five hundreds the demon. Ye ye, mutter, mutter.

I do the recovery walk of shame and return to the bench. It was a gentle crash but still a crash and another lesson well learned. Those trees really, really, really hate drones! Well I was warned many times, I tell myself.

A dog owner walks towards me and we have a conversation about drones. They are a drone flyer as well, what are the chances! They say theat their drone upsets the dogs and the vids seem to suggest that the gun dog return the downed bird instinct is strong in them. I throw the ball for the dog and we chat about drones for a while.

I pack up, my morning droning over, the drone battery nearly exhausted and I don’t have a spare yet. We part, I having told the other about Grey arrows.

The demons don’t seem so dangerous at the moment but that I realise is part of their power, to seem small and insignificant till they pounce! I had already started to block out the tree crash!

I find another spot around Gloucester and set up, but unfortunately the drone battery was too depleted to fly. What a shame, this one has water near! Do I have a wet suit?

I’m disappointed and so I fake a flight of the drone nearly crashing into a tree by the water. I chuckle, no one will know, they will think it was good or lucky flying, har har. Um, yeessss :frowning:

I need some more coffee, home time!

PS. Still no still shots, maybe they only record to an SD card? I will have to read up.

Thanks for reading.


Good practice if you ever decide to try FPV. Sometimes seems like all they ever do :rofl:

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Not cool man, not cool! :rofl:


Yet so damn true :joy:


Lol Im loving reading these. Make me chuckle.
I would say though for a beginner, find a flat open field with NO trees to practise. Untill your fingers have the muscle memory trees will always be your nightmare.
Just stay away from trees untill you have a very good controll of your bird!


If you practice the walk of shame enough, you will be able to carry off the pink tutu of shame easily if you come to one of the big meets.

Ok, Ok, I think I get what you all might be , um, hinting at…

Stay away from trees man!


Please N.O. T R E E S.


no matter how seductivly they beckon...
1 Like

What a great story and so enjoyable to read!
Have you ever thought of short story writing?
Perhaps your first will be about your drone adventure.

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Them you for the lovely response.

I do write bits of stories on and off but never seen to get past the first few chapters.

I have one short story, ironically about an encounter with a demon.