Taking your Drone on a Plane & What Equipment I Carry (& which model to fly over a volcano…)
So i thought how about a quick update on traveling with drones and what equipment i take when going on a road trip: Music, hello, i’m ian and i play with drones and, as i said, i’m getting uh all my gear ready for a couple of weeks. Road trip uh going up to iceland uh i’ve, been to iceland before last time. I went, though, was in the middle of winter plenty of sub zero temperatures, snow and ice and a fair few northern lights. But of course, in winter most of the northern part of the island is cut off, which is where we’re heading to this time, so uh no chance of seeing any northern lights this time as it’s 24 hour daylight and along the north of the island, the sun Is only setting for around half an hour around 1am and, of course, this time there’s also an added bit of fun with the volcano that’s been rumbling away for a few months. I do, of course, want to get a couple of aerial shots of the lava and the crater, if possible so anyway, that’s the plan for the road trip here’s the gear that i’m going to be taking – and this is what you have to do when you’re going On holiday, basically um first off, you want to be checking the rules of where you’re heading to many cases, you’re going to need to register your drone in advance of where, wherever it is, that you’re heading to.
Sadly, despite adapting the nasa rules, the uk operator and flyer id is not valid in other iata countries. Yet, although i’m hoping that’s going to be changing soon, but anyway, certainly at the moment, go online check what the rules are and for registration in the country that you’re going to um anyway for the kit that i’m taking uh. This trip gon na be on the road. An awful lot i’m gon na easily be running out of battery so being able to charge in the car, for me, is absolutely key. Now some of my models do have 12 volt car chargers, whilst for others i’m simply going to be taking uh this little gadget a little 12 volt mains adapter. So i can then plug in the normal mains adapter into into the car and charge on the go. It’S a fairly low power, so you can normally get away with using those uh. Obviously, you want to be using them when the car engine is running, though, and of course, charging the batteries, the remote your phone, and god knows what else you are going to run out of uh 12 volt outlets. I also take along one of these, which is just a little uh 12 volt splitter. I think it was hannah simpson who said you can never have enough 12 volt outlets in your car, but look on to the drones that i’m going to be taking. As i said this time, i want to do some flying over the volcano itself and they are not the greatest things to be flying close to.
So for that i’m going to be using the trusty mavic 2 pro, and also the original mini now look mini. One is almost in the league of semi disposable uh. If it gets too close to the crater, then so be it i’m hoping that will not happen for the two pro and uh. Obviously i should get some decent 4k footage and some excellent stills um. Ultimately, i wouldn’t be too upset if the 2 pro got a little bit too close, uh it’s kind of three years old and due for replacement this year anyway. But that is not the plan. The the plan is to get up close and personal, using the mini one and hopefully uh, hopefully they’ll all come home. Uh yeah let’s see what happens, but the other drone i’ll be taking for everyday use is the trusty air 2s. This is now my main drone for the time being, and i genuinely do not want any damage with steam smoke or ash or anything so won’t be using the air 2s over the volcano. That will be for the rest of the road trip. All of these models that i bought are the combo models, so they all came with plenty of spare batteries and the air 2s of course uses the same batteries as the original air ii, so i’m, actually taking six batteries for the a2s. So i really doubt i’ll be running out of power for that, but, of course, talking about batteries, good idea to check with your airline, specifically the hazardous items page on their website, that’ll tell you what their particular restrictions are for flying with lithium batteries.
Almost all airlines will allow you to take them, but almost all airlines require you to carry them in carry on luggage. Some will allow the drone with battery into checked luggage and only spares to be taken on as hand luggage. Some others may restrict the number of spares you can take, especially if they’re over 100 watt hours, but all the dji folding drone batteries, the mavics and the like uh. All of those batteries are well below 100 watt hours, so um, but anyway, either way check with the airline check on the hazardous items page, and you will normally see a lift an area dedicated to traveling with lithium batteries. Some people do use lipo safe bags. Personally, i don’t, i do have quite a bit of faith in the dji intelligent batteries. They tend to be pretty good and uh good at looking after themselves and have practically no chance of shorting out, but ultimately very much your choice. Now i said my drones were combo models, so they came also came with their own carry case and i do prefer to use those over any large hard cases. I know the hard cases are going to provide a bit better protection, but i want to be reducing the the size and bulk of everything that said, i’ll be playing with this little beast from pgy tech. This is a hard waterproof case, i’ll be playing with that when i get back from iceland, but for now certainly like i said i want to try and keep space to an absolute minimum so using the the cases to their maximum stuffing various bits and socks.
If anything, just to keep them from scratching, but anyway, yeah keeping the size down as low as i can so that’s the drones and in fairness, most people are only going to be taking one model with them, but there are some other things to keep in mind. First, off micro, sd cards now i’ve got a link to the cards that i use. You need to have very hard high, rather write speed. You can never have too many sd cards and 4k memory is going to absolutely eat up memory and storage in your laptop. In no time so keep a few spare cards in your case, for when you forget the sd card in the laptop from the night before also get yourself some usb flash drives as well. You keep some small ones that you can leave in the charger. All the time i’m. Sorry in your laptop all the time you can get larger ones. So i’ve got this one here from transcend very very fast uh read and write speed. So if you’re transferring four or five gig files, then you’re not going to be waiting all night but, like i said you can never have enough storage and sd cards when you’re on holiday, so go well stocked up with that. If i were you now, i tend to back up the files uh in more than one place on the laptop and also on a flash drive as well each night, so that i can then safely delete the files from the sd card.
The very last thing you want is the full card message halfway through a flight, and i do try and download the files every single night as well just in case the worst happens, and you do lose your drone in the ocean or a volcano or whatever. Then at least you have got the previous days files and you haven’t lost all of your happy holiday memories laptops another thing as well. Remember most laptops are going to struggle to display 4k video unless they’ve got a dedicated graphics card and they actually state that they’re built for 4k, but even so, it’s useful to take a little laptop on holiday with you, because then they’re very useful for moving files Off cards for storing stuff, transferring to usb flash drives and, of course, looking at pictures so yeah if you’ve got a little laptop, bring that along now when i’m on a major filming trip, i also take a spare phone to use as the drone screen. It keeps things i find a little bit easier if you’re, using your main phone well as a phone or sat nav in the car it’s quite nice to have a separate, dedicated screen for your drones. Also, remember that if you do lose your phone you’re going to lose your ability to film and take decent photos with your drone. So look, i know some people might think it’s a little bit of overkill, but if you have got a spare old phone, take it along, you might find it useful and hopefully, like i said you won’t lose your phone.
But if you do you’ve got to spare back up to to run your drones with now. I also take the osmo action and the osmo pocket uh still with me. The pocket is smaller, of course, and it takes amazing panoramic uh time lapses, uh, where you can actually scan across the sky, but obviously the osmo action is. I find far more useful for every day. It’S, waterproof it’s shock, proof and it’s still got great electronic uh stabilization and it can also do time lapse. It’S, just it can’t. Do the panning with the time lapse, but um different tools for different jobs, but i do find the osmo action is certainly the more usable of uh of the small cameras. Now, if you’re doing time lapses, they need tripods. You can get away with a lot of decent mini tripods uh, if you’re just going to plunk it on a little table to do a time lapse or something obviously, you’ve got the bigger tripod that the camera is sitting on. Now that i can keep in the uh when you’re driving around with the car and finally, of course, power banks, power banks have got it with me. Now i find a power bank or two is always useful charging things on the go. Sometimes you can actually be using if you’re doing a time lapse with this. You can plug the power bank in to make sure it doesn’t run out of battery if you’re doing a three four hour time lapse either way power bank it’s always useful.
I find, and finally, when taking all of this kit, remember the golden ball for me enjoy the view take in the memories. Don’T spend the whole time worrying about whether your battery is charged and whether or not you’re getting that perfect shot um. I have to say it’s a brutal fact that we actually probably use around just five percent of the footage that we film and we look back on these photos, probably once in a blue moon but what’s inside your head. Hopefully, will last forever so great to take videos and photos just remember to stand back, take it all in and and just smile once in a while, anyway, look that’s. All i wanted to cover today very quick video i’ve had to cope with dogs fighting madly all over the place here. So if you can hear them i’m sorry, but look hopefully, as you start, your travels you’re going to find some of these tips. Useful drop me a comment below on your thoughts, whether or not you’re traveling thoughts about volcanoes. Where i should fly what i should do, whether it’s a bit hit and miss here to say at least in iceland. I am hoping to get some decent footage. So look out for that in the next couple of weeks. Obviously ding the dong get notified.