I had not done video with the drone for a couple of months. Sure, I did take quite a few drone photographs lately, but nothing involving flight patterns where you are so focused on what you see that you tend to forget where you are. In other words, you may end up loosing situational awareness.
To me, loss of situational awareness was just a phrasing from the Part 107 textbook until yesterday afternoon. I was doing prep work for a job, scouting and getting some b-roll. I was practicing pan shots over the waves, following the wave with the drone as it barrels and breaks on the shore.
If you see the video, you might think “Oh my! he’s a couple of feet above the waves, that IS reckless!”. In truth, I was not. The DJI Mavic Pro 2 has a field of vision option that zooms forward and yet keeps the image at full resolution. This means that things appear way closer than they are, but also that you don’t get to see what’s immediately around you.
After a particularly satisfactory shot I decided to keep the fluid motion on all of the drone axes to get a dramatic view of the beach. And that’s when it happened.
This story has three more benefactors that I omitted in the video: three teenagers were hanging out by the trail and saw the whole action: they were able to pinpoint with extraordinary precision the spot where the drone had crashed. Had they not, the Search part of the Search and Rescue endeavor would have taken much more precious time. I am incredibly grateful for their attention, too.