Filming action sport scenes is what most consumer drones are capable of, but a YouTuber named XtremeTeamTV took it to another level when he attempted to get a close drone shot of his biker friend doing a backflip into a lake. Right when the biker launched off the ramp, he attempted to do a backflip but ended up letting go of the bike about halfway through the flip. The bike’s rear wheel slammed into the DJI Mavic midair while it was still doing the backflip motion, and the drone inevitably met its last flight. Obstacle avoidance would have made little difference in this case because the airborne bike was already flying fast towards the low flying drone. Drones are perfect for getting the right angle, but UAV safety still needs to be prioritized, especially when pilots are dealing with flights over bodies of water.
The DJI Mavic was doing a pullback shot while it was filming the biker. Right before the biker launched off the ramp, the drone’s gimbal tilted downwards and caught its last view as the biker’s tire slammed into the Mavic midair.
Right when the bike struck the DJI Mavic, people in the crowd were shouting, “Get the drone! Get the drone!”
DJI Mavic Midair Fail
XtremeTeamTV made another video of other bikers launching off a ramp into the Port Bay Lake. Every single one of the bikers who jumped from the ramp ditched the orange bike while they were airborne. Whether they were doing a backflip or just using the momentum to go higher off the ramp, the orange bike was always abandoned midair. The unknown trajectory of the flying bike should have been considered before the pilot even flew that low.
The drone footage of the crash can clearly be seen in the first video, but it could have been pulled directly from the DJI Go App instead of the drone that swam in the lake. Even though most micro SD cards are waterproof, drone pilots must end a video recording to basically close the file for computer viewing. If video recordings unexpectedly shut down, like in a drone crash, then a corrupt file may be all that’s left on the memory card.
This crash could have been avoided if the pilot flew a little higher. The wide angles lens on the drone was the reason why it was positioned close to the biker, but it obviously ended in a crash. DJI’s drone insurance covers these types of water damages so long as the drone itself is retrieved and returned. Even if the drone took a swim in the lake, at least these guys had fun while they were flying!