Back to Singapore & Mavic Air Flight above F1 Racetrack

Today’s flight location: ///poetic.table.acted

I’m aware that it’s been a while since my last post here, but I’m finally back to the sky and coincidentally back to Singapore, which is apparently one of the more drone-friendly places around.

Last time I posted, I just arrived in Germany and was eager to get started on some much needed vacation time and also catching up on some flying across a vastly different landscape than usual. Obviously, I packed my Spark and downloaded the German Air Traffic Control’s App for drone flying. That last bit proved as a bit of a setback as most of Germany’s airspace is out of reach for recreational drone pilots. In addition to “the usual”, aerodromes, helicopter landing pads, etc., you can’t fly within 100m of government buildings, fire stations, police stations, rail lines, “federal water ways” (such as the Rhine), over “populated areas” and near the Autobahn. Add the German public’s sentiment that “drones are bad and are spying on you”, and you quickly get the feeling that you are not really welcome.

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Map of Germany’s Air Traffic Control App for drones

Note that in this picture, you can only fly in places where there is “no” color. Even the color green denotes a nature reserve which means you can’t fly. Now, on our family vacation to the beautiful island of Sylt, I did find a teeny-tiny bit of “non-coloured” space in the south of the island and managed to take this video:

Sadly, however, this turned out to be my Spark’s swan song as strong winds prevailed and the place that the app denoted was surrounded by dense forest. Add in some pilot error on my side and the result was my drone flying into the trees and crashing to the ground from about 10-15 meters. This broke the rotor (obviously… but that could be replaced) and more importantly also the front arm at both the connector to the motor and the connector to the Spark’s body.

Now, most drone blogs (here, here and even a Youtube Compilation here) show, it’s not unusual to crash your drone, but nonetheless very sad (not to mention a tragic waste of money). But most drone blogs also mention that people who have started flying will want to keep flying and as you can see from my previous posts here, I usually can’t stand to be on the ground for too long. So my decision moving forward was for a slight upgrade from the Spark to the DJI Mavic Air. In addition to the obvious benefit of more sensors (front/back/down) to avoid crashing in the future, it also comes with longer flying time (21 minutes/battery), faster speed and more distance to cover in a much more compact and travel friendly collapsible package.

Back from the above mentioned Sylt vacation, and armed with my new aircraft, I decided to go for one more flight in the Black Forest in southern Germany (obviously carefully selected in the above mentioned app) before going back to Singapore and daily life:

Now, this also shows that most of the time, when you fly in Germany it’s away from civilisation, but it’s still possible to capture great landscapes that you don’t see in e.g. Southeast Asia.

Which brings us back to today’s topic and a flight across Singapore’s Kallang River and Marina Bay Area where preparations are heating up for the annual F1 Grandprix, to be held in the city on the weekend of 14-16 September.

With just a few more weeks to go, the circuit is almost completed (although some parts are public roads and will be closed down just before the race weekend) and I decided it would be nice to take a look from the (Mavic) air at how things are going.

That being said, I hope you did enjoy the video of today’s flight as much I enjoyed flying there. And one word of caution – Singapore is comparatively drone friendly, so at any time, you may find that you’re not the only pilot in the air. Which makes Singapore’s requirement to be flying within line-of-sight all the more sensible as this is the only thing that enables you to take actions such as these when someone else is in the air around you:

Watch where you’re flying and safe flights!

And as always, thanks for watching/reading and subscribing!

See you next time!

Flo

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