This week, a friend of mine who is also very keen on drone photography, and I decided to take the drone out for a sunset mission in Table View. One thing that we were a bit worried about, was the incident with the nuclear power plant and a drone pilot last year. In short, a drone pilot who was unfamiliar with Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) guidelines, crashed his drone into the nuclear power station. Unfortunately, the Koeberg’s safety official was unaware of procedures for such matters, and proceeded to give the drone back to the gentlemen, and was put on suspension. You guys can check out that story here if you are interested.
Needless to say, this put us slightly on edge because we were planning to fly juts down the road from where the incident took place. Due to the fact that we were sure Koeberg would be keeping an eye out for drones, we made sure that we checked CAA guidelines before we left just to make sure that we weren’t planning a flight that could get us a serious fine of up to R50,000, or even jail time. It was decided that we would err on the side of caution, and do a similar flight plan about 1.5 kilometers further down the road than we had planned.
We got all the gear ready, charged both batteries meaning that we should have about a 50 minute flight time, and headed out to Table View. The weather looked perfect with light wind conditions of about 10 to 15 knots and great visibility. We parked the car, set up the drone, configured our settings to put a 120 meter cap on the flight height and took off. The one thing that we hadn’t taken into consideration was that there were a large amount of seagulls in the area that we had taken off in. Quickly, we realized that seagulls are not big fans of drones’ and proceeded to attack the drone, sweeping down close to the blades, and coming up beneath it where the camera is placed. By this point, the drone was about 50m meter out over the sea, so I knew that if one of the seagulls had managed to get hold of the drone, it would crash and I wouldn’t be able to get it out fast enough before it sunk to the bottom. We managed to land the drone after a tense couple of minutes, and decided that we should probably move another couple of hundred meters down the road and tried again.
This time, we managed to get the shots that we wanted without disturbing any of the wildlife in the area, or breaking any laws, which is always a plus! I got some really nice footage of surfers in the water, cars driving down the road alongside the sea, and of some birds flying in the distance. I will be compiling all the footage that I get on these missions, and making it into a five or six minute video which I’ll post on this blog in a couple of weeks time, so make sure you stay tuned! The photo attached to this post is a quick screenshot from some of the footage that I’ve gotten so far so you know what to expect! I hope this info helps for anyone who is considering taking a flight out to Table View and please, feel free to send through any questions if you are unsure about your next flight and I’ll be happy to help!
(All photos on this page are my own)