Just wanted to share some experience that will hopefully save a few drones out there. We all know that DroneDeploy initiated a dynamic drone selection to the program which detects the model of drone once it is connected and sets the overlaps accordingly. The major problem with this system is that in flight planning it defaults to a Mavic 2 Pro so the first thing you have to do is change that (if needed) before you start configuring. This is normal process now but yesterday we had something happened that lost us a drone.
I was at a large concrete plant yesterday and the first thing I notice was a huge tower right in the middle of the site so I sent the drone up to do some manual inspection and document the elevations of all the towers. The tallest one was 410-415ft above home! I could only go to 400ft with the way I have the drone configured but it was obviously slightly taller than that. One caveat was that highest point was just the stack and the main structure was down to about 385ft. Setting the mission at 395ft was done with care making sure that the overlap/altitude configuration would create flight lines on either side of the main tower. I didn’t have a problem with this as there was a good 50ft clearance on either side and I should have been 10ft above the structure even if it did fly over.
Now the problem. @Andrew_Fraser @Jamespipe Even after verifying all flight settings and then having an observer take a look we were both comfortable with what was about to happen. What we didn’t realize was that after the drone was connected DroneDeploy decided to change the flight lines. Even though we planned with a Phantom 4 Pro camera the app decided it had made a miscalculation, I guess. Point is that it threw the flight line right in the middle of the tower (at least according to the map) and we ended up crashing into it.
Moral to the story is that I should have stuck with my gut feeling and made two flight plans. SINCE DRONEDEPLOY DOESN’T HAVE EXCLUSION AREAS, you know who you are. My other fault was not putting more thought on the accuracy of the map. Google Earth can be deceiving at times because it is capturing oblique imagery so the taller something gets the more the top of the structure will be out of line. This is why it is better to look at the base of a structure than planning by the top.
While I can’t be mad at DroneDeploy it was definitely partly at fault. I hope this at least keeps these factors in everybody’s thoughts a little better.