Flying above the clouds, one less on my bucket list.

September 10, 2012

Finally, another item I can strike through from my bucket list.

Flying above the clouds!

Many regulations are preventing us from flying easily above the clouds. So is my drone limited to fly at a maximum altitude of 500 meters from the take-off point, and this in my country also to high. In the Netherlands, it’s only allowed to fly at a maximum of 120 meters, and you need to have a virtual line of sight at your drone. So it’s not easy.

But I got lucky. We were with three of us (Danny, Maurice and me) on a beautiful sunny day trying to fly at the beach at Zandvoort. Maurice and Danny were in the air faster than I was. But their back was turned to the sea because of the sun was brightly shining. Because I was setting up my drone, I noticed that there was fog coming from the sea fast (coming out of nowhere)!. Within 20 seconds we couldn’t see much, expect the gray fog clouds. But when I look up straight above me, I could still see some blue light coming through the fog, so the clouds weren’t that high. I immediately made my drone ready to fly and started the engines. With a firm push on the throttle, It left the ground and started ascending rapidly.

Just after a few seconds, I already noticed that the fog, was getting thinner, and keeping a close eye on the altimeter, I noticed that around 110 meters I was above the clouds. Perfect conditions!

Above the clouds, you could see the sun perfectly, and looking down you could see the white clouds. I decided to stay at the same spot, just rotating the drone, to have a different view. Looking land inwards, you still could see some land, but looking to the seaside, you could only see the clouds and the sun. So I decided to stay at the same spot, and just let the drone hovering. After 15 minutes I brought the drone back to the ground.

When I got the drone back in my hands, it was wet, because of the fog, it had passed when descending. So a quick dry with some towel made it dry again.

When I downloaded the footage from the memory card and made a time-lapse (speed up the footage), it looks that the drone is flying extremely fast (like an airplane). But in fact, it just stays at the same spot, and the clouds are rolling under the drone.



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