Monday Blues

Well, as with most people i don’t really like getting up for work on a Monday morning. It was made worse this morning as i had a walk to the station in poring rain. I could have taken the car but it just seems such a cop out driving such a short distance.

Got to work and did the usual management bits, work out who goes were, prioritise the work etc. I did have some emails which were stupid issues. Maybe they will become provolone in the future.

As i have said before i am more of an ‘out in the field’ kind of guy then an office desk jockey. I’ll do the management bits and do them well but some members of staff are such idiots. Some 40 year old guys still need dypers.

Anyway i managed to get myself off to an arson scene today. Its not really the kind of job we normally take on but the officers have asked for aerial images to show the extent of the damage from above. I don’t mind as i love getting the toys out.

I’ve now returned from the scene and everything went well. After the preliminary checks to see if there were any frequencies in the area that may interfere and having a chat with a local air traffic control tower we were all clear to fly. Virtually every ATC tower is cool with us, they know we are safe and will always work within their guidelines for that area. I had permission for 2 hours and a ceiling height of 330 feet. Trust me when i say that is plenty height enough, i’ll probably stay under 200 feet, its only a house.

The cordon that was already in place was perfect for safety so i set up the rest of the safety kit and was ready to fly. According to the fire brigade the fire started in the top floor and spread down, although they admitted they hadn’t stepped foot on the top floor as they were waiting for me. A bit of health and safety for them. They could work out the seat of the from the aerial ladders but didn’t have a great view due to the smoke still masking the area.

Everyone was pushed back from me and i took off. I love it even though I’ve done it loads, its just a big kids real toy especially as i’ve got one of the larger rigs out which is a meter across. A good reliable rig that the manufacturers keep unto date for us.

Its only a 20 second flight to reach the middle of the roof and oh yes its well and truly gone. A few manoeuvres across the roof and some great images are taken. Every inch of the area within the house is covered by the photo’s and with the camera we have slung underneath quality is the name of the game.

I return to my landing area and quickly replace the battery. I decided that a mega high quality 3D map of the area would be nice and i quite like doing them. Using the RC controllers screen i fly a route around the house which creates waypoints recognised by the craft. I set the system to max quality as its quite a small area and with arsons you need as much help as you can in the imagery department. Blackened areas need light and quality.

All done and i show the fire brigade and officers what i captured on my laptop. An eagle eyed fireman asks for a section to be zoomed in on, i naturally oblige whilst being confidently smug about the images i have captured. I soon become the nobody as the fireman thinks he’s spotted a body.

Not really wanting to hang around as they try to get the person out i give them a working copy of the images. It was going to be a long protracted exercise to get him/her out as the building wasn’t even safe for the fire brigade.

I’m out of there and on my way back to the office. I’ll still be off late so the post production will have to wait till the next day.



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