The Irony of our latest safety measure
On this occasion we wouldn’t necessarily be sharing the airspace with aircraft, UFO’s or even superman himself, but you guessed it…with those “Pesky Seagulls” that are one of the biggest nuisances to the drone community and of which inspired our company name.
Although close up they are beautiful creatures and have a look of elegance whilst gliding through the skies they are also be very territorial! They are naturally aggressive towards drones as they see them as a threat especially during nesting season, often swooping down to attack!
First of all we would try to keep away from known nesting sites particularly during nesting season and as usual we would have a safety spotter whom with other tasks would be looking out for them, giving the pilot advance notice of their approach, but what then?
Our pilots would immediately fly straight up as they make their approach. The reason we fly “up” is because drones can actually ascend a lot quicker the gulls, therefore removing our craft out of the danger area! They also tend not to fly over 100ft as spend a lot of time looking their next meal! Next we would put drone into sports mode (up to 58mph!) By doing this would also turn off our obstacle avoidance ensuring it wouldn’t grind to a halt in the vicinity of the birds!
Although this can be extremely frustrating (imagine being in the middle of capturing the perfect footage or 360 picture) we learnt early on that it can be uncomfortable and unnerving experience when they do attack. We can always start again!
Another measure we have also taken has been to give our Inspire 2 and Phantom 4 pro drones a mini makeover by adding a skin of reflective tape which act as deterrent as the Gulls realise, they are not natural predators. Luckily we have never come across a wasp that size afterall! If all else fails we have also considered distracting them by carrying a bag of chips!