Last time I was in the US I convinced Chad to take me to the Niagara falls. It was a 5 hour drive from the Flitetest base, which I didn’t think was too bad. Chads wife Julee and son Christian accompanied us when we set out at around 9am. We made pretty good time and arrived at the falls at around 3.30pm. Jumping out of the car I was hit by the most chilling wind I have ever felt. It cut like a knife through clothes and chilled you instantly. And on top of that, it was super strong. Never the less, I was determined to fly.
After setting everything up and pulling down the goggles over my eyes my pulse was racing. I was about to fly over the Niagara falls in really, really strong wind. I gave the newly built FPV manuals Tricopter 3/4 throttle and took off.
What a beautiful place to fly! The wind was really strong so I started out by getting some nice high footage. The tricopter flew really nice. After flying around for a couple of minutes I suddenly feel the video googles being tugged half way off my face! The image was gone so I pulled the goggles of as fast as I could and looked up, searching for the tricopter in the sky. It far out over the middle of the falls, so far it was hard to tell the orientation of it. It was still pretty level and I just tried to keep it steady. Chad had jumped to my side instantly and was picking up the ground station that had blown over. I looked down for just an instant on the ground station and saw that the video cable to the goggles was unplugged. Looking up again at the tricopter I lost orientation and the tricopter was already pointing verticaly, heading straight for the edge of the falls. I managed to correct my error with just a couple of meters to go. Meanwhile Chad had fixed the goggles and checked that the image was back. Placing the goggles back on my head I pulled them on and was able to fly it back and land it in one piece. My heart was racing like mad. Definitely the best adrenaline kick I had in a long while.
I didn’t feel like flying any more flights that day as the sun already was too low and my heart probably would have exploded. So we went back to the hotel and prepared for the next day. The plan was to get up before sunrise and get a glorious and magic flight with the sun just peeking over the water.
Next morning I got up early, got dressed and packed everything up and brought it out into the hallway where Chad and I was going to meet. Out in the hall I passed a window. Something in my newly awakened brain registered something odd. Everything was gray and white. Pausing in mid step I turned around and looked out through the window again. It was snowing and the cloud cover was super dense and really low. Sighing I turned around and went back to bed.
A couple of hours later it was apparent that the weather wasn’t going to get any better so we decided to give it a try. I had brought my DJI quad (build log coming soon) which has a return to home function, which I though could be a really good idea as the visibility was terrible. It flew pretty well and I got some ok footage. Nothing like I had hoped for but at least some cool passes.
Maybe next time. At least I got a cool story to tell.