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How to fly a job inside a sawmill?

Clinton Carman

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Hello Everyone,

I typically use my drone to supplement my fire investigations and that sometimes means flying inside or around buildings that are badly damaged by a fire. Typically this means the roof is open in certain spots, or is gone all together. There have been a few times where I've tried to fly my drone inside where there is still a roof and I've had some issues with the drone constantly switching between GPS and ATTI mode which makes flying very difficult.

I own a Mavic Pro and am confident in my flying skills, and that the space is large enough to fly safely, if I could get it into one of the modes (GPS/ATTI) and keep it there. All of my googling hasn't revealed a way to do that though.

Can anyone give any advice on how to safely fly through an unoccupied saw mill to document the layout of the machinery? Is it possible with my drone? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you!
Clinton
 

shooter

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Hello Everyone,

I typically use my drone to supplement my fire investigations and that sometimes means flying inside or around buildings that are badly damaged by a fire. Typically this means the roof is open in certain spots, or is gone all together. There have been a few times where I've tried to fly my drone inside where there is still a roof and I've had some issues with the drone constantly switching between GPS and ATTI mode which makes flying very difficult.

I own a Mavic Pro and am confident in my flying skills, and that the space is large enough to fly safely, if I could get it into one of the modes (GPS/ATTI) and keep it there. All of my googling hasn't revealed a way to do that though.

Can anyone give any advice on how to safely fly through an unoccupied saw mill to document the layout of the machinery? Is it possible with my drone? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you!
Clinton

ATTI should still be OK so long as you're not flying over 15 feet or so of altitude. At that height, the optical flow sensors are still functioning even though you may be in ATTI and you should still have stable flight.

If you're still concerned, just mount some "buzz saw" adapters on the props...that way, you'll just buzz right through any wood beams left over from the fire. :D

But seriously, consider the DJI Spark for a great indoor platform for tighter spaces.
 

Clinton Carman

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ATTI should still be OK so long as you're not flying over 15 feet or so of altitude. At that height, the optical flow sensors are still functioning even though you may be in ATTI and you should still have stable flight.

If you're still concerned, just mount some "buzz saw" adapters on the props...that way, you'll just buzz right through any wood beams left over from the fire. :D

But seriously, consider the DJI Spark for a great indoor platform for tighter spaces.
The last time I tried to fly my Mavic Pro indoors, the building still had the corrugated metal roofing in place. As I flew the drone, it kept switching from GPS mode to ATTI mode and that made things very difficult and unpredictable. From what I could tell, I could NOT switch it into ATTI mode only.

Thank you for your recommendation about the Spark, but what about that drone makes it great for indoors? Just its size? The space I'll be in is a commercial saw mill that is hundreds of feet long, with ceilings of 50'+ so I'm not too worried about the size of the Mavic, just being able to put it into ATTI mode.
 

TreeLineView

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I've flown many time indoors shooting commercials for local Companies. Large warehouses, Gyms.... Never had any issues but the lighting was strong so vision sensing helped. Don't forget to change your RTH settings. Unless you are using those buzz saw props :)
 

Clinton Carman

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I've flown many time indoors shooting commercials for local Companies. Large warehouses, Gyms.... Never had any issues but the lighting was strong so vision sensing helped. Don't forget to change your RTH settings. Unless you are using those buzz saw props :)
What drone did you use for the indoor flights inside of commercial structures?
What setting/flight mode were you in?
 

BigAl07

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I own a Mavic Pro and am confident in my flying skills, and that the space is large enough to fly safely, if I could get it into one of the modes (GPS/ATTI) and keep it there. All of my googling hasn't revealed a way to do that though.

Can anyone give any advice on how to safely fly through an unoccupied saw mill to document the layout of the machinery? Is it possible with my drone? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

With the Mavic we have no way to "manually" switch back and forth in terms of Atti/GPS mode. They took that away to make it more "beginner friendly".

Put it in TriPod mode but keep in mind that slows EVERYTHING down including breaking so practice in an open area before going into tight spaces.

Also you might want to get inside (where GPS signal is poor) and practice flying around in ATTI mode so that when it happens you're already familiar and confident with handling the aircraft in that mode.
 

Clinton Carman

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With the Mavic we have no way to "manually" switch back and forth in terms of Atti/GPS mode. They took that away to make it more "beginner friendly".

Put it in TriPod mode but keep in mind that slows EVERYTHING down including breaking so practice in an open area before going into tight spaces.

Also you might want to get inside (where GPS signal is poor) and practice flying around in ATTI mode so that when it happens you're already familiar and confident with handling the aircraft in that mode.
Thank you for your response. That is what I was afraid of. I've had Phantom's in the past and could switch, and do have experience flying in ATTI mode. The thing that got me was the last time I tried it, the Mavic Pro was getting enough GPS signal to occasionally jump out of ATTI mode and start making unexpected "corrections" to the flight, but not enough signal to stay in GPS mode. That left me having to constantly correct for these "corrections" on top of flying in ATTI mode.

Unfortunately as the property is 2.5-3 hours away from me, and is a working saw mill, practicing flying in the building ahead of time is not feasible.

Maybe I should get a used P4 or P4P for things like this...
 

R.Perry

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I flew my P4 inside a a couple of building and didn't have any issues, they were both very large warehouses with wood ceilings.
 

FatherXmas

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I've flown indoors a good bit. The Phantom 4 Pro in ATTI mode works the best. The Mavic Air works fairly good but when it jumps in and out of GPS quickly, acts a little wonky sometimes. The Mavic Pro was a miserable failure, it doe NOT like being indoors. Always always always use prop guards, your props will thank you unless of course as a previous poster said, use buzz saw props.
 

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