Flying from and across (not into) deep canyons: anyone done it?

Discussion in 'X-Star / X-Star Premium' started by Silversand, May 2, 2017.

  1. Hi All; new Forum member here:

    In my on-going research towards acquiring a quad for mapping and related work, has anyone done the following with their X Star Premium:

    -launched from an altitude of ~5000 feet or much greater (8000 ~ 9000 feet) at say 300 ft AGL off canyon/mesa tops that drop straight down 1000 feet or much more, straight across 800 to 1500 feet distance to another mesa top at roughly the same altitude + 300 ft AGL?
    *wind <15 MPH; updrafts possible; no obstructing peaks or trees near-by

    -launched at ~12,000 ~ 13,000 feet altitude at ~300 ft AGL following a steady declining mountain slope appx 1500 feet, down altitude ~4000 feet (all at ~300 ft AGL) and returning back up to 12,000 ~ 13,000 feet at ~300 ft AGL ?

    I'd like to hear from anyone doing anything like this or similar (not necessarily precisely my altitude numbers).

    Thanks in advance.
  2. I have flown my XSP at 5000 and 6000 feet above sea level and gone over as well as down into deep canyons while in the Moab, UT. area. Have not been looking for winds at 12 to 15Knots but even with calm winds, there is always up and down drafts in the heat of the day. The camera gimble has always been able to maintain stable video.
    Have not tried to fly at 12,000 feet. I may get to Ouray, CO late this fall. Would like to fly Engineer Pass but density altitude would certainly be a consideration.
  3. With good GPS signals, and compass calibration, the first scenario is simple. I spent last weekend at 6k'+. This coming weekend, I'll cross that canyon.

    I'll be launching at 11.5k' later this season(late July).

    Flying down will be your challenge, in the circumstances you describe. It'll be all on you.
  4. I always do a compass calibration before the first flight at a new location.
    Was flying at a place called Gemini Bridges, 7 or 8 miles from anything. Had to stay mindful of the position of the antennas on the controlle. Two or three times during 2 flights I saw an interference warning. Both flights went great and got some good video but the winds would get flakey anytime the drone got close to rock walls below the top of the Mesa.
    Friend of mine was flying his DJI Mavic and it went down in an area that was not accessible.
  5. I "jeep" in Colorado and Utah so am familiar with the places you guys are talking about. Haven't been there with my drone "yet"....

    Here in Flatland I don't fly at huge altitude changes but I DO fly very low to the terrain. I've crashed twice and always because of low level flight and obstacles.

    I wish we had altitude information rather than elevation. Many times I'm flying in negative numbers so the information is totally irrelevant. If the drone could just give me an idea of vertical height from terrain I'd be much happier and less stressed. :)
  6. Elevation is always my concern. When I'm close to the ground, I always keep the drone in sight. Plus I have only been flying a drone since October with a 2 month hiatus while volunteering at a National Wildlife Refuge in Texas in February and March.
  7. I've only been flying since March. I'm trying to video moving targets so I concentrate on the viewfinder. Learned early on if you switch your sight between the viewfinder and the drone you'll get so disoriented that you can't fly successfully. I've taught myself to launch and elevate to a safe height watching the drone. Then not look at it again until landing. Not saying that's the best course. Totally learning. :)
    2 people like this.
  8. Thanks Guys! Just what I was waiting to hear (great news XSP at high altitudes, not necessarily > 400ft AGL: perfect).

    Nice ATV Sparky! Great locale and video, too.

    Gr8 Flying: nice diesel pusher and tow rig! Wow.

    We've got a rigged-out 2500HD (Silverado) with fully equipped truck camper for long expeditions; truck with locking diffs (the camper is fiberglass with full aluminum frame, 2x Group 27 AGM batteries-tuck to battery charging system-- also dual truck batteries) for our 8 foot bed. I've also got a wi-fi repeater set up in the rig with outdoor long-range antenna (6500mw / 80 dB(i). We've expeditioned through Valley of the Gods, Horseshoe Canyon (Canyonlands: with special offroad 4x4 permit for the truck); parts of the White Rim trail system; Hovenweep plateau; Chaco canyon (and, to several outlier ruin sites); Los Alamos plateau & Valles caldera; Garita, NM plateau region; the Very Large Array on the Plains of San Agustin, NM; Trail of the Ancients, US 162/262; Dark Canyon wilderness area (Utah); and many, many other locales (including 9 Mile Canyon ---the world's longest art gallery LOL)...ultimately, I'd like to fly around Tajumulco (the tallest volcano --stratovolcano-- in Central America, but nearly unknown to those living outside its surrounding Mayan villages) at just about 14,000 feet (I climbed it (and Tacana volcano) back in the '90s).

    OverSzd: ....that is an interesting flying tip. Thanks for that. I too was hoping that an "unlock code" could be given to XSP flyers who meet certain criteria, to allow 1000 ~ 1500 AGL.
    2 people like this.
  9. GR8: I live in Colorado and am seriously considering an XSP. However, I've been concerned about the altitude at which I'd be flying (over 8,500 ft). I've seen that DJI has 'high-altitude props' but I'm not going to buy a DJI just to get their props. I'd be very interested to know how your drone performs at high altitude.
    Also, have a great time in Ouray, Silverton, Telluride. It's a great area!
  10. The vertical limit can be set as high as 2625' above your home point altitude. It will fly that high.

    I've flown above 8000' ASL, and didn't experience any noticable performance losses. Almost all of my flying has been at +6000' ASL.

    You guys are some adventuresome people!!
  11. Vegas,Thanks so much for the great information. :)

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