I did not get a chance to go on this underwater Easter egg hunt, butIan from DroneMaui.com was there to document the action from the air. Happy Easter!
Went on an awesome zipline adventure with my friends Ian and Ryan so I dragged a few cameras along with the Drone in case they would let me fly it. Luckily, they did on the last line and we got some footage. They did not want me to fly around or film anyone but the people in our group so I did not get to make any practice runs to figure out the best way to shoot these shots so they turned out sub-par. Don't get me wrong, they are still interesting but way below what I could get if I had a little more time to practice. It just goes to show you that there will always be a learning curve and a new challenge awaiting every new activity you want to film!!
Thanks to Marty for the pictures below!
My drone mission for today was to film Windsurfing on a super windy, super big wave day. The waves were probably double + overhead and the winds were 20-30mph. There was not much room for error. I am new to windsurfing so I viewed this as education and luckily I met some cool people who helped me get into good filming positions (Thanks Max and Ricardo). While I was flying in my goggles, Max kept telling me about all the pretty girls all around trying to figure out what the hell I was doing and testing to see if I could see them by bending over - I still have no idea if he was serious or not! This was some pretty challenging drone flying and I enjoyed every second of it.
"I am a HUGE fan of your Blog: Drone Above! When I asked if you would be interested in taking photos for my land listing my exceptions were high because I already knew your work. You excelled above and beyond my expectations, not only in what you captured visually and in the quality of the photos and video, but also in your quick delivery and your very concise communication skills. I look forward to utilizing your services in the future and I recommend you to all Realtors on Maui." THANK YOU, Katrina Wilson, Realtor On Maui. Century 21 All Islands - Wailea
When I first moved to Maui, I did not initially plan on doing much real estate photography but a realtor contacted me about a lot for sale right down the street from my house and I could not pass up another opportunity to fly along the north shore. The cliffs and crystal clear green water are just stunning and this lot is the perfect subject for aerial photography from a drone. Maybe you will agree that this is possibly the best way to view acreage - maybe even better than being there in person! What a perfect way to show people who might not even be on the islands an idea of how beautiful a property is. Make sure you check out the video at the bottom of the page, and as always if you have any questions or comments please leave them below or contact me directly.
Taking pictures from a drone is way better than flying an airplane or helicopter for a number of reasons - It doesn't bother the neighbors, it is safe, you can get significantly closer, and it is so much more affordable!
Just look at that crystal clear water! I can hear the waves crashing at my house when the surf is big and I live on the other side of Hana highway. I bet you can hear it all the time from this lot.
Off in the distance you can see the west Maui mountain.
The wind was howling, and it let up for a few minutes so the captain let me fly. It was great flying off the Alii Nui! The Phantom is much easier to launch on a big boat because there is so much less to fly into. The entire video was edited from about 5 minutes of video, so this was an efficient camera drone flight! Usually I get 30-45 minutes of footage to make a short clip. Following the Alii Nui chase style would make for some awesome video, I hope I can try it soon.
If you look closely, you can see the Phantom 2 above the whale and her baby. This is what you would see from the boat, the view from right above the whale is so much better if you keep the sun behind you. The GoPro does really well filming over water as long as you keep the sun in the correct spot - behind. Anytime you film into the sun you lose detail and color because of the reflections.
Behind us to the left is where I launched the Phantom. My kids loved this trampoline but it was difficult to keep them from doing flips and somersaults on it as you can see at the end of the video.
This is one step in the right direction. Of course the FAA is appealing the decision but the flood gates have been opened. It seems unlikely they will make a move to officially ban them because enforcement alone would be a huge hurdle. Not to mention turning thousands of drone hobbyists into law breakers. So for now, Drone ON!!
Here is Team Blacksheeps press release:
Hong Kong (PRWEB) March 11, 2014
Team BlackSheep is pleased with the dismissal of proposed FAA fines directed at its lead pilot, Raphael “Trappy” Pirker, (National Transportation Safety Board, Docket No. CP-217) announced on March 6th, 2014. The civil penalty, proposed in connection with Mr. Pirker’s operation of a videography drone at the University of Virginia in October 2011, was dismissed on the ground that at the time, “there was no enforceable FAA rule or FAR Regulation applicable to model aircraft or for classifying model aircraft as [unmanned aircraft systems].”
“I hope that the March 6 decision by the NTSB administrative law judge will create a path forward for beneficial use of civilian drones in the United States, after years of regulatory delay,” said Mr. Pirker. “I also anticipate that it will prompt an international discussion about the appropriate level of regulation for small, lightweight airborne robots that bear almost no resemblance to the passenger aircraft that aviation agencies were historically established to regulate over 60 years ago.”
Team BlackSheep takes safety very seriously and does not view the decision as a license to use drones in an irresponsible manner. Many of the Team’s aerial videos demonstrate dramatic flying styles using equipment that has been rigorously tested, flown by drone pilots with proven experience. These operations involve safety measures and operational protocols that are not visible in the final production videos. Mr. Pirker has 18 years of experience piloting radio-control drones, including test flights in extreme weather conditions, and the Team boasts a perfect zero-injury safety record. Team BlackSheep invests considerable amounts of its revenue into research and development to make its civilian drones safe and reliable. The Team also works with community-based organizations in various countries to help implement or improve voluntary safety guidelines for model aircraft (drone) operators. In addition, they advise customers and all drone operators not to undertake advanced drone photography missions until they have established complete confidence in their equipment and skills.
Mr. Pirker was represented by Brendan Schulman, head of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems practice at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP.
“We understand that the FAA intends to appeal the decision. We are disappointed that the agency feels that continued litigation is the appropriate path forward for this emerging industry,” said Mr. Schulman. “However, Mr. Pirker will continue to defend against this unprecedented attempt to impose a penalty that has no basis in any law or regulation, and the nearly decade-long commercial drone ‘ban’ that sends the wrong message to high-tech innovators and entrepreneurs.”
About Team BlackSheep:
Team BlackSheep currently sells drones to more than 79 countries worldwide, including the United States, for aerial videography, agricultural use, facilities inspection and the recreational hobby community. For more information, please visit: http://www.team-blacksheep.com
If you look carefully, you can see all the surfers in the background. These waves were 20-30 feet at the surf break Jaws. It is also raining, so Ian proved that the Parkzone Radian is waterproof. Excellent flying under the pressure of a no recover flight area!
13 year old Ian had this to say about his flight around Jaws:
"Flying my only powered glider over a 100 foot cliff was kinda scary because i've had a plane that had signal and could control everything but as soon as I let it go it lost signal but it was not the radian it was a dsmx 2 reciver on a diffrent glider but the radian comes with a new and improved dsmx reciver. So when I chucked it I was super scared because if i lost signal I wouldent ever see that plane again but as soon as I chucked it, it was a breeze. It was super easy to fly off a cliff with the radian. I fly the parkzone radian all the time because it is such an easy plane to fly. It's kinda funny because the plane comes with a installed motor that will take it vertical at 3/4 throttle."
Marty and Ian transported the Radian on their dirt bikes down the 1.5 mile ride to the cliff side. I can barely ride my dirt bike with both hands, not sure how they managed to do it without wiping out.
A better picture of the Radian doing some extreme maneuvers over the massive north shore swell.
Thanks to my mother in law JoAnn for getting this awesome picture!
If I look like I know what I am doing I have fooled you! All this actual motorcycle gear is Marty's and he let me use it so I would not fall apart f I crashed. Thanks for loaning me the gear and giving me some tips, I certainly need them!
Another cool picture from JoAnn showing the big waves. These guys are paddling in here!
I really love the Hubsan X4. I fly it at least twice a day to exercise my dog Benny and it has really been improving my flying skills. I know I am getting better because I am having to buy less of them because he is not able to catch them now! I love the lights because they make it so easy to fly at night or dusk!
Tired, happy dog.
Today (March 6 2014) I went to Ho'okipa to film because the waves finally were getting good again after being so huge they were closing out and rendering Ho'okipa unsurfable (but very incredible to wave watch). I was fortunate enough to have Ekolu Kalama as my subject again. His style on the stand up board is just unreal. I am getting better at filming surfers, but you can tell that I am still learning because a wave almost ate my Phantom and one time I could not keep up with Ekolu because he was just ripping all over this wave - left, right, up, down - hard to follow in the fatshark video goggles on shore. I trust the Phantom 2 platform enough to get within a few feet of the waves and this is surely going to cost me a drone eventually. The footage is so cool that I am willing to risk it, it is why I own this cool toy isn't it?
I got a chance to film SUP world champion Ekolu Kalama at Ho'okipa and I was lucky enough to capture this clip. I have watched this over and over and just can't get over the level of style this guy has. World class.
If you need some inspiration, just watch this a few times.
This was filmed from a DJI Phantom 2 with theGoPro Black set on 720p 120fps.