Year: 2012.

A short story of an adventurous 30 minute journey to the mountain ridge 3km away, and almost returned...

Gimmer & I decided to go for a chase flight to the top of a cliff face on a nearby mountain.
All was going well, a bit of a challenge to keep up with Gimm due to his bird being the larger & higher powered Skywalker compared to my meek lil' Bixler, he would pick up some lift while I'd struggle behind until I picked up the same lift he had just passed through. Once on top we followed the ridge north, then I followed Gimm while we banked to go south, I nudged up closer to the Skywalker but in the video snow I lost sight of Gimm.
Now, Gimm being the smarter of the two of us, decided he had enough of the poor video feed, so once I had lost him he followed the ridge south then bailed out to head home.
Myself on the other hand, being the idiot of the two of us, decided to have some fun in the lowering clouds, at times with zero visibility, at times with zero video.
I have edited in snipetts of video of the fpv camera ground station recording, so you get a feel for what the pilot can see, with the HD video to refernce against.
Flying on the edge of danger for far too long without casting a thought to the OSD staring me in the face, it wasn't until I actually turned back to the mountain and started a short surf down the mountain when I realized I no longer had full throttle... I had inadvertantly well depleted my flight battery (later discovered one cell had also failed).

Lessons:
~ regularly scan your OSD. I know this is stating the obvious, but when adrenaline kicks in, not everything is obvious.
~ High humidity seriously effects 5.8ghz video. You can see in the distance some serious rain is falling, it was a very hot & humid day, and shortly after this flight it began to lightly drizzle.
~ When I realized I had no more propulsion I had to decide where to set her down, as safely & controlled as possible. I had considered turning around and literally fly her into the foot of the mountain in the name of safety but made a judgement call to glide as closely as possible to the car track ahead.
~ I have my failsafe set to neutral trims with camera panning slightly to the left (so I know when failsafe has kicked in).
Note that failsafe did not activate until well behind the hill the Bixler flew into, DragonLink held link almost until she nosed into the grass. This did surprise me!
~ There is a lot of debate on the application of utilizing a seperate battery to power the video/OSD/rcRx. I do this pretty much on anything I fly beyond 1km range for safety. I have had esc failure, bec failure, even lipo failure, at different times, yet I have had total control over my plane for a controlled emergency landing AND most importantly, video until she goes down so I can review the footage for SAR.

I hope you enjoy this video as much as we did flying it, was an absolute barrel of fun with a twist of adrenaline, shaken and definitely stirred!
Although this video is a little lengthy, I tried to keep the feel of adventurous journey throughtout, as I had chosen the music to also add to the feel of the video.
By the way, this is a re-edited version of my original edit, so unfortunately some of the quality has been lost.

Bixler v2
DragonLink v1 UHF
Boscam 5.8ghz video
Clover Leaf/ Skew Planner Wheel antennae
SN555 CCD fpv cam
RD32II 1080p HD Sports cam
IRC EzOSD
FPV-Japan DVR GS recorder
5000mah flight lipo
800mah video lipo

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