This was fun. I arrived at the field at 7am about 15 minutes before dawn. The air was still and there were patches of ground fog.
Adam Mangett, a drone pilot I met a couple of weeks ago, came to fly and film his drone with Rob Nordlund and I. We had a quick safety briefing and I launched. Adam’s drone was fast and incredibly nimble. I flew around the patch for about 15 minutes while he flew barrel rolls around me. Then I followed Rob out to Gaspirilla Island.
The air was bumpy even before the sun cleared the horizon. There were three layers, at 250 ft, and again at 800 and 1600. As I approached the causeway, I could see that there was a healthy breeze coming from the WSW. Halfway across the causeway I was whacked by sharp turbulence and took a partial collapse of the wing. So… I decided to abort and turned back toward the LZ. Rob wasn’t far behind.
Back at the LZ, the turbulence had come down to about a 4. The wind sock was showing zero wind so I decided to land opposite of takeoff. The must have had some breeze above the surface, because I came in hot and had to drop the wing into the grass to avoid dragging it on the pavement.
Here is the video Adam took with his drone.
At the LZ we shot the bull with the drone guys and a couple groups of cyclists who stopped by.
Adam’s edit from todays flight. Next time we will have communication and a plan of maneuvers.