Just for Fun

Aeroshell Aerobatics Team

Here's the Hammond Air Show in Hammond, LA on October 21, 2023 in 4K. Performers include the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team, the A-10C Thunderbolt Demonstration Team, the Aeroshell Aerobatic Team, Third Strike Wing Walkers, Greg Koontz and the Alabama Boys, Skip Stewart, Cody Elkins, the Homewrecker Jet Truck, and more.

This is a re-run of a 3-mile long waypoint mission JD has run before with other drones (Yuneec Typhoon H, Autel Robotics EV II Pro 6K). Out to Lake Shadow, north to St. Michael's High School, then west to a pond and pasture in the northwest corner of the Shenandoah subdivision in Baton Rouge.

Flight turned up a squawk or two. Drone kept climbing to the maximum altitude (393 feet) after waypoint #2 at the lake for some reason. It should have descended from 354 to 347 feet. After pausing and manually descending to 335 feet and then resuming the mission, it immediately climbed back to 393 feet before moving on. But it ultimately descended on its own to cross waypoint #3 at the high school at the prescribed 347-foot altitude. The rest of the flight was pretty much uneventful, with just one instance of low video link signal as the drone momentarily disappeared behind a house.

JD held his nose and bought a new drone compliant with the FAA's Remote ID mandate. He still can't find any Remote ID modules to strap onto his four other non-compliant drones. It's yet another trip out to Lake Shadow in the Shenandoah suburb of Baton Rouge. It continues north to St. Michael's High School, then west to the pond and pasture. FPV video with OcuSync® 4 and its theoretical 20 km range was solid all the way. JD forgot to record the FPV video, though, so there's no telemetry overlay. But the 4K video in standard color profile is gorgeous.

Here's my final drone flight for now. Remote ID modules are essentially unavailable. All my drones need one if I want to fly them after today (9/15/23). The FAA says enforcement will be "discretionary" for the next 6 months due to the availability issue. To me, that means if you fly your drone without Remote ID in the next six months, maybe we'll prosecute you, and maybe we won't, depending on how we feel. I've been a Part 107 commercial drone pilot since 2016, and a private pilot since 1975. I'd like to keep those certificates. This drone is an Autel Robotics EVO II 6K Pro V2. Autel says there'll be no firmware upgrade for Remote ID for this model. A strap-on module is required. At the moment, they're 2-6 times the price the FAA planned ($100-$300 versus the FAA's guess of $50). More importantly, they're unavailable and backordered everywhere. The flight is out to Lake Shadow in the Shenandoah subdivision of Baton Rouge.

By request, here's an Autel Robotics EVO II V2 Pro 6K waypoint mission with waypoints set at different altitudes along the way. It expands an earlier flight (EVO II Continuous Video Waypoint Mission Success). A commenter asked about altitude changes. That mission had all its waypoints at 150 feet or so. In this mission, waypoints vary from 150 feet to as high as 396 feet and back down again. Autel Explorer app v1.16.3 is running on an iPhone. Drone firmware is 2.3.23. It's not the latest, but my drone hasn't yet told me it wants the update. I'll wait until it does. As expected with this firmware and app versions, the drone pauses at each waypoint, turns to the new heading, sets its gimbal to the chosen angle, and resumes. It does not stop the recording until it returns to home and lands. Then the video stops automatically. With a different app and firmware version, all bets are off, of course. And the key to keeping the video running throughout the mission and not stopping at each waypoint is to set the Camera Action to "-" (No Action) at each waypoint. Please pardon the video caption reference to "Batoon Rouge" (d'oh!)

Southern Oaks Athletic Club (SOAC) in Baton Rouge loves fireworks on Independence Day (and New Year's Eve). JD put up his Autel Robotics EVO II Pro 6K drone to watch this year's display for July 4th. 4K video. The Rumble default quality setting is standard definition, so you'll want to click the settings icon once playback starts and choose the best quality for you, up to 4k (3840 x 2160 pixels).

Seems like he's been there a million times before, but it's JD's go-to destination for running his Autel Robotics EVO 2 Pro 6K battery down to storage level. 4K video edited in Cyberlink PowerDirector 365, which also provided the music.

JD programmed his Autel Robotics EVO II 6K Pro with an autonomous waypoint mission along and over the Mississippi River at downtown Baton Rouge, LA. You'll see the destroyer USS Kidd, the Belle of Baton Rouge Casino, and the bridge carrying I-10 across the river from an altitude of 200 feet. 4K video edited with Cyberlink PowerDirector 365, which also provided the licensed music. Flown 2/5/2023. Thanks to Visual Observer Roy Arrigo. Be sure to set video quality to the highest you can display. Default is SD 480.

A mid-January 2023 trip with the Autel Robotics EVO II 6K Pro V2 out to Lake Shadow again, just to use up some battery. A sunny day, but still a lot of winter brown below. 4K video, so be sure to use the Settings icon to bump up display quality to whatever you can handle.

JD put his Autel Robotics EVO II Pro 6K up over his neighborhood on 12/31/2022 to capture the New Year's Eve fireworks displays from above in 4K. Exposure was manual: 1/30s, f/2.8, ISO 1600. Edited with Cyberlink PowerDirector 365, which also provided the licensed background music. This was JD's first test of a nighttime autonomous landing. You'll see the EVO II's LED floodlights switch on automatically at the last moment to illuminate the sidewalk very near the takeoff point for landing. Hosted on Rumble, so remember to manually select the best quality setting (4K is 2160p) your display can handle. Default is 480p SD.

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