Post-event report: Drone Bootcamp 29 July 2017

Many thanks to the great group of enthusiastic Drone Bootcamp participants from Saturday 29 July for their focus, engagement and positive feedback… what a great day.

After settling in and immediately unboxing, pre-flighting, arming and calibrating drones included in the program’s cost, we retired to the ‘bat cave’ and got busy learning definitions and terminologies, flying safety, CASA rules and regulations and handy resources and apps before a break. Post-lunch we hit the Sports Complex proper to fly the small, inexpensive but challenging Syma X5C’s and X5UC’s.

A drone captured high up in the safety net did not deter tenacious Niran with fellow participant Andrew recruited to assist with retrieval courtesy of his natural height and with the aid of the instructor’s homemade telescopic GoPro pole (thumbs up to that team effort).

I hope all involved enjoyed the chance to fly the DJI Phantom 3 despite a bit of wind making the prospect touch and go but the aircraft’s intelligent flight system made it a breeze (did you see what I did there… that’s a weather pun). Images featured here are ‘selfies’ shot by the participants first time out.

Many thanks to all that attended – you’ve earnt your ‘wings’ as recreational drone pilots – go forth to fly safely and responsibly.

The above images can be downloaded in high resolution via Flickr.

Mark Will – Chief Drone Nerd 


Which Drones Have the Longest Flight Time?


Flying a drone can be a liberating, creative and breathless experience. But there’s one thing that’s guaranteed to always bring you back down to earth with a bump: low battery.

Short flight times are something that the industry as a whole is trying to tackle. But current battery technology can only go so far. Running out of power is frustrating and can ruin the flow of your shoot. And by limiting the time you spend in the air, it puts you under more pressure to capture the perfect shot first time. So what’s the solution?

The most obvious is to buy plenty of spare batteries. Although these tend to be an expensive outlay, they are definitely your best option. Aside from that, try and use a drone that has strong battery life to start with. Here are a few examples that fit that description.

DJI Inspire 2

DJI’s latest and most impressive prosumer model…

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Post-event report: Drone Bootcamp 24 June 2017

An enthusiastic group numbering 10 ‘pilots’ participated in our adult program on Saturday, 24 June 2017.

After settling in and learning the definition of ‘drone’s, the history of UAVs, how they actually work and the CASA rules and regulations, students hit the Sports Complex proper to fly the small, inexpensive but challenging Syma X5. Participants were agasp at the natural skill of our youngest participant (Ruben) who had the Syma X5 in a perfect, controlled hover first time out enabling the safety glasses-adorned instructor to proceed forward and demonstrate the craft’s gyroscope and accelerometer by carefully trying to nudge it from it’s controlled hover – it settled back into position each time highlighting the amazing 6-axis stabilisation these ‘drones’ are equipped with.

The patience of the group was appreciated as participants took turns to conquer various manoeuvres. Mother nature presented constant 12km/h plus winds on the day making outdoor flying too dangerous but it did allow for resources and apps (such as ‘Can I Fly There’ and Wind Compass) to be referenced as handy drone-pilot tools to influence risk-management decisions when identifying if flying can occur at any given place and in any given conditions.

Challenges encountered on the day have influenced a program change going forward where all participants will operate ground-based craft (such as the Sky Walker rolling drone) enabling those new to remote control operation and Mode 2 transmitter configuration to ‘cut their teeth’ without having to conquer a flying craft at the outset.

Many thanks to all that participated – you’ve earnt your ‘wings’ as recreational drone pilots so please fly safely and responsibly.

All images taken on the day can be viewed and/or downloaded on Flickr.

Mark Will – Chief Drone Nerd 


Bootcamp Bravo, Charlie & Delta – 20 April post-event report

Our final Drone Bootcamp workshop for the April (Easter) school holidays saw a full enrolment of enthusiastic UAV pilots with ages ranging from 10 (with parent in attendance as duty-of-care) to 14.

We got off to a late start and were unfortunately 30mins behind schedule at the end of our seminar phase with a Kahoot quiz sacrificed in order to get flying started as close to 11am as possible. Flying activities where compressed in the session prior to lunch but we managed to get to our 12:30pm lunch window with most basic flying drills covered.

More sunny skies and light winds meant participants got to fly outdoors and the chance to fly our Kaiser Baas Delta drone with GPS arming, GPS hover hold and return-to-home feature as well as put their own drones (as provided by Drone Bootcamp) through their paces. Students checked out the recommended ‘Am I safe to fly?’ and ‘Wind Compass’ apps introduced to aid pre-flight intelligence.

Students completing the Bootcamp CHARLIE program left with a Syma X5C Explorer and DELTA took home the X5UC (featuring auto-take off and hover hold). Congratulations to all our graduates for earning their ‘wings’ – hopefully we’ll see you again in July for follow up programs.

Images from the event can be viewed and/or downloaded at:

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A small but motivated group participated in our Tuesday 18 April BRAVO and CHARLIE drone-flying bootcamps at the Emmaus Sports Complex. Ages ranged from 10 (with parent in attendance as duty-of-care) to 65!

The weather behaved itself and we were able to get outside for a good flying session on the soccer oval with all flying complying with CASA >2kg recreational RPAS flying rules and regulations.

Due to a participant identifying they did not want photography or video from the day to be published online and two incomplete pre-event registrations we only have a few images to publish here.

All images can be viewed and/or downloaded at:

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