LZ Options for fun in the field

Discussion in 'CineStar FAQ - Tips and Tricks' started by MIke Magee, Jun 10, 2013.

  1. MIke Magee

    MIke Magee Active Member

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    We needed to shoot Sunday afternoon post hurricane in a salt marsh. We had to port our gear in through the woods to reach it. Of course the winds were 8-12, and the salt marsh was flooded when we arrived. Given the choice of an untested hand launch or an untested tarp launch, we chose the latter.
    The tarp was supported somewhat by the taller grass and the water beneath it. We weighted the corners with rocks.

    My concern that takeoff would blow the tarp and shred it were unfounded. The propwash was uniform and a brisk ascent did just fine.

    My concern about landing was the same, and the propwash actually helped out a part of the tarp that we windblown a bit. It worked well, but in the future I will bring some long tent stakes. It's a workable solution.

    What do other folks do?

    Here's a gimbal's eye view we took on the first landing to be able to learn from it:

     
  2. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Thanks, Mike. I've got a shoot out in the Alvord Desert of SE Oregon in July and I was planning a tarp landing zone to cut down on the dust, so it's good to know what the tarp aerodynamics are.

    I'm out in the extreme west of Canada (Vancouver Island) so this might be an effect of my Internet connection, but I don't see the image in your posting.

    Andy.
     
  3. Gary Haynes

    Gary Haynes Administrator
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    Looks good. It will land much better on a blue tarp. :cool:
     
    Steve Maller and MIke Magee like this.
  4. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    I'm going to take a 10 foot x 10 foot tarp -- I still can't see the image, so can you tell me what size you used Mike?

    Thanks
    Andy.
     
  5. MIke Magee

    MIke Magee Active Member

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    Hi Andy. I used a 6X9 tarp 10Mil tarp. Brown. Although as Gary says, Blue should work better.

    The picture is just a vimeo link: vimeo.com/68046792
    What's notable in that short clip is that you can see the LZ was folded over on one side due to high wind, but the propwash flattened it back out in a hurry. I strongly urge tent stakes. The landing was actually fairly smooth, as far as mine go, it just appears like a slam in the film.

    We had considered a 6X8 rolled exterior carpet, but to to the portage issues tried the tarp.
     
  6. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    The tarp I was planning to use is indeed blue so it will work well, as well as adding a tasteful je ne sais quoi, a dash of color, and a tad of feng shui to the otherwise rather drab exterior of the Alvord Desert. Eat your heart out Martha Stewart. :)

    Andy.
     
  7. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Oh....and the bandwidth to Tofino seems to be such that access to Vimeo is blocked otherwise it will bring down the net connection for the entirety of Vancouver Island -- or some similar reason! :)

    Andy
     
  8. MIke Magee

    MIke Magee Active Member

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    Good luck Andy. Let us know how your LZ does. It was certainly unnerving for me during the first TO. But as I said, a vigorous ascent for the first 3-4 feet worked well.
     
  9. Michael McVay

    Michael McVay Active Member

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    I think the tarp size and weighing are key things to think about. I fly around beaches often and recently took off from a tarp that would have been a little smaller than Mike's 6x9. I had some soft lead dive weights that I had put on the corners and also did a a nice swift ascent on take off with no issues. However, on landing, my dive weights were not enough to hold the small tarp in place and as I was getting near it I could see the edges and corners shifting and looking like they were going to come loose. I moved to my alternate landing area and put it down there instead.

    I think the larger tarp with plenty of weight or stakes is a better idea. I think I have read about someone else who had their name or logo embroidered into a canvas one.

    Although far less portable, I have also taken off and landed from sections of plywood on the sand.
     
  10. Josh Lambeth

    Josh Lambeth Well-Known Member

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    We have done a lot of hand launches and catches. We find this the easiest way to takeoff and land in confined spaces or dirty places. We have a video somewhere of us doing this. Ill have to find it.

    Josh
     
  11. MIke Magee

    MIke Magee Active Member

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    Do the launchees get hazard pay?

    Josh, do you power up and initialize the radians any special way? Are they cool with being hand held during startup?
    Do the Gyro's calibrate OK if you hold it still?

    I Know that hand launch and retrieval are in my future. Any experience related hints that will help me that day will be appreciated Josh.
    -m
    that I should be careful
     
  12. Josh Lambeth

    Josh Lambeth Well-Known Member

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    We do all the powerup/initialization on the ground including calibration of the gyros. Once its ready to fly I help my cam op get the copter above her head and then start the motors. I gradually increase power then once its pulling away from her she lets go. Ill then do a quick ascent and fly away from her to clear the area.

    Josh
     
  13. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    In all seriousness, a motorcycle helmet and sturdy leather gloves like welders use (that go halfway up your arms) will do the trick. Takeoffs are pretty easy. Landings are hard because the ground effect can play tricks on you. The catcher has to literally grab the copter out of the air. Somebody with long arms is essential.
     
  14. Josh Lambeth

    Josh Lambeth Well-Known Member

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    Here is the video of a launch: https://vine.co/v/bVzEET5hLaF

    Landing is actually really easy to do. She just puts her hands in the air and i land down in them. We haven't had any issues with ground effects.

    josh
     

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