I don’t think I’ve shared this. I remember posting an image of this incident, but never the full video. If you pay close attention at about 45 seconds you can see the quad level out (it’s so very subtle) and that was my fatal mistake because it didn’t clear the hill and I still had legal room to climb. Once the forest starts to appear in the shot it’s not long before it happens, but I end this video before that point. It won’t take much imagination to figure out what happens next. A shout-out to my brother and son for heading off after it. After all that, I still got the shot!
Let’s lead with this…
I now join the ever-increasing number of UAV pilots who’ve crashed their aircraft. I should make it clear that it was 100% pilot error. Luckily it did NOT involve any other people, buildings, or vehicles (including aircraft). I can tell you that it had everything to do with me being rushed in the moment trying to capture the perfect lighting on an incredibly cinematic scene. And guess what, I got the shot! I suppose that’s the photographer’s mantra (after “ƒ8 and be there”).
Long story short (here goes) reception officially starts at 7pm:
- Took a little longer with the bridal party that I had anticipated (family waiting for pictures at ceremony site). 6:45
- Arrive, sprinting, to waiting family. Have to set up aerial platform fast to capture that fading, but awesome, sunset. 6:50
- Finish setting it up and ready to fly. Guests now waiting for dinner. 6:55
- Line up shot and start flight.
- I continue flight to get more landscape while, at the same time, I begin lining up family shots. 7:05
- Last image I see in the display is tree branches
- Still have formal family photos to get (including me).
- I kinda don’t remember the next hour or two…
My brother and son immediately volunteered to go after it. We all put our heads together (and our smart phones) to determine its last known position and they went after it. It was about a kilometer from its ground station and 30 feet up in the tree! I just didn’t have the altitude to clear the terrain, but it was so close.
Just look at my face – that expression says it all!