I waited for the longest time and resisted purchasing a drone. I thought they were way too complicated to learn how to fly, too expensive, and far too big to be that practical for everyday use. That was before DJI introduced the Mavic Pro and even then, it was so in demand and pricey that my initial fears continued persist even though it was a lot cooler looking and far more portable than the other drones.
I’m really not sure what changed but around May 12th I bought my first Mavic Pro and loved it. It’s an amazing bit of unmanned aerial engineering and I was pretty bold with flying it once I realized how easy (and overly confident) the software made for an out-of-body flying experience. It’s truly addictive and you feel like you can be in two places at once. The device is so portable that you can take it anywhere and the battery life is equal to that of much more expensive drones. Camera and picture quality is very good and I find myself considering subjects that would make good drone shots. Such was the case during a visit to Chicago last week when I wanted to capture a shot of the iconic Ebony & Jet building that sits on Michigan Avenue facing out toward Lake Shore Drive. I got the shot, but lost the drone in a crash between buildings due to magnetic interference, loss of satellite connections, a strong gust of wind, pilot error or a combination of all of the above. It’s surreal seeing $1000 smash into a building and fall from the sky. Luckily, I purchased the OEM insurance plan and I’ve sent the device in for repair or replacement.
My $1000 shot of the Ebony & Jet Building on Michigan Avenue in Chicago.
The cost of getting the shot of the Ebony & Jet Building. There goes $1000.
Given my addiction and expensive learning experience, I promptly purchased my second Mavic Pro a few days ago since I won’t have my first for at least two to four weeks and have been bitten by the drone bug. I’m even considering getting my remote pilot certification from the FAA which will allow me to fly my drones for commercial purposes as a means of paying for my new habit. Drones like the Mavic and others will literally take photography to new heights.
Like most things, you learn best when you make mistakes. Since crashing my first drone, I’ve gained a much greater appreciation for the discipline required to be keenly aware of all flight conditions and the proper settings and controls for flying my drone. I’m not sure that I could have absolutely avoided my first crash but I’m much more aware of how to avoid having a second. Once my first drone is repaired or replaced, I’ll welcome it back to the fleet and soon begin my journey to become an FAA certified pilot.