Our First Drone Crash

This weekend we’re off down to Glasgow Celtic Connections for the National Whisky Festival, so while the distillery may look quiet from the outside, in my little office it’s all go as we prepare marketing materials, video content and photos to show. All the more so now that we’re debuting not just the Raasay Single Malt I mentioned a while back, but also our new 30 litre casks! I still managed to have some time outside of my little office, however, and on coming in in the morning I caught sight of beautiful snow covered Glamaig in all her glory.

This is part of my usual style using multiple photos and panorama stitcher, which I think gives it this lovely depth and ‘pop’ compared to just a standard photo. I stitched it together from three rows of images stacked on top of each other, this time however using the built-in panorama stitcher in Lightroom rather than the ol’ reliable hugin.

The ‘before’ photo. What a different a few lightroom edits make!

Hugin is great for absolute fine-tuning, as well as hundreds of options and different projections, but 90% of the time, my panoramas are like this, rows of photos that simply need stitching and I think, for that anyway, Lightroom is faster, more convenient and sometimes more accurate. I’ll probably still use hugin for more complex photos like this, however:

My main task today was meant to be video highlights, and for both the ‘masterclass’ sessions we’re holding there and the stall we want video that can loop and play at our stand. So, I thought, what better weather than to break out the old campervan and get some footage of it around the distillery. I grabbed my drone, heaved the old VW bus out of the warehouse and then attempted to get a beautiful shot of the pass the distillery… when this happened:

Hurts to watch

Smash! My DJI Mavic went straight into the tree. We got her down, with the ever-handy Joseph climbing into the tree with a fishing rod to push her out, but she certainly looked a bit ‘worse for wear’.

Once I raced home however, I got my desk setup for surgery and had a look at the damage. Surprisingly, after a tangle with a tree and a long fall to the ground (hitting most branches on the way down), she was in remarkably good shape!

I’d worried that the gimbal might have been damaged- the small rubber bands that hold it in place aren’t super robust, but they’re also build to shake and move, which I think helped it. There’s the nasty bash on the battery, and I’m going to keep an eye on it as I don’t want it to overheat during flight or anything but it’s probably just superficial. Otherwise, after a fresh set of blades (I was still on the first pair from over a year ago!) and a clean up, she was flying again in minutes.

Good as new!

I did make sure to re-calibrate the drone in case the onboard stabilization and gyroscope had maybe been a bit rattled, but it seemed to fly just fine. Even snapped a nice photo of the bay!

So, an eventful day… first time crashing (properly) which gave me a bit of a scare, but thank god for Joseph and my extra long fishing rod! Some battle scars on the drone always look nice anyway.

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