Wimped out on first time trying FPV on my hexacopter, any help to get over the fear - RC Groups
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Mar 27, 2012, 05:50 PM
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Wimped out on first time trying FPV on my hexacopter, any help to get over the fear

I took my FPV equipment and spotter to a HUGE park with no one there and I was going to try to fly FPV and I chickened out.
I only planned on hovering within 10-20 feet of me for the first time.
I put on my goggles and was ready to try but couldn't do it.
I have almost $1,000 into this and it's only a few weeks old and didn't want to wipe it out.

I've since sold my goggles, BUT I decided to give it another go and bought a pair of Vuzix 920's and will attempt it again.

I have a (Way Cheaper $200) new Radian Pro that's been sitting in a closet for 6 months that I was thinking of attaching everything to but I don't know if that would give me the same feeling as the hexacopter. I fly gas helis so maybe that helps some.

Just looking for any suggestions to help me. I'm a very experienced general aviation pilot with tons of hours so I think that once I get going I'll be fine.

I just need help taking that first step. When I put the goggles on I got the same feeling as when the instructor got of the airplane when it was time to solo almost 20 years ago.
Last edited by jasper7821; Mar 27, 2012 at 06:18 PM.
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Mar 27, 2012, 05:59 PM
Shikra's Avatar
Plane is completely different... It's a steep learning curve at first, but takes a little time and perseverance
Forget learning on a $1k hexa... do it on a real cheap easy to repair tri/quad. Learn all your mistakes on that.
Mar 27, 2012, 06:05 PM
Registered User
I wish I had money left over to buy a cheap quad.
Mar 27, 2012, 06:06 PM
Registered User
Hi Jasper,

FPV'ing any mulitrotor is always scary for the first several times. It's a lot like scuba diving for the first time and can be very claustrophobic compared even to flying a plane FPV. Starting out in a large open park with a spotter (in low wind conditions) is the best you can hope for. Use at least a 2.8mm (2.5mm is better) wide angle lens on your FPV cam and always keep moving forward while flying. With that said, you really just have to "get your crashes in" to finally get it. It was about 5 to 7 complete flights in (and crashes) that I finally wasn't wanting to yank the goggles off and throw in the towel. FPV via multicopter is very different from a plane, but is great once you get the hang of it.

/I'll often let a LOS R/C flyer at the field fly my FPV plane thru goggles while I moniter video on my laptop, but I'd never let anyone fly my quad via FPV. It's too risky, too much liability, and there's too much experience required to fly it via 1st person. When they ask if they can try it, I say nope, "Build your own FPV quad and get your crashes in to build up your experience level."
Last edited by patricklupo; Mar 27, 2012 at 06:25 PM.
Mar 27, 2012, 06:17 PM
Registered User
I have a KX191 camera from Range Video.
I think I'll take my Graupners off and put the stock props back on a give it another go when my goggles show up.
I have no idea if the Vuzix 920's are any good but I just thought they looked ok.
I have 900mhz so I couldn't use some of the other ones out there.

I've seen lots of crashes with the DJI quads and Hexas and they're built pretty tough. I thing that if I had a minor crash I'd only HOPEFULLY bust a prop or two so I think I'm stuck trying with this one.
Mar 27, 2012, 06:25 PM
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Locko's Avatar
Flying Heli's FPV is easier then LOS
Mar 27, 2012, 06:37 PM
Your attitude is your alt
Gary Morris's Avatar
I just recently completed my first FPV with my Naza stock Quad kit. I have to admit the first time my fingers were shaking so bad I almost didn't take off, but I did. Once I was in the air I became comfortable enough to fly up and hover in front of myself for a few seconds. That was two weeks ago and I am anxious to fly again. I had the good fortune to have and experienced FPV pilot as my spotter. As Patrick said always fly forward, I almost hit a goal post and probably would have been it not for my spotter. I now have gotten over the jitters and look forward to my next FPV adventure. Here is the boring video, nothing special but it was my first time.

First Naza FPV.mkv (6 min 45 sec)

Mar 27, 2012, 06:48 PM
Registered User
That looked pretty ballsy Gary for your first time, you went pretty high.
Congrats, That's way more than I would have done, you seem pretty confident and not scared like I am.
That was awesome.
Mar 27, 2012, 08:01 PM
Registered User
sia100's Avatar
Jasper, I feel ya. I've been flying my heli FPV for years, and I still get the jitters when I go under the hood. I think having someone there to watch out for others, keep and eye on things LOS, and just providing moral support, is a good idea. Especially the first few times out.

I have to echo the others suggestions of planning to crash a few times. Then you are lucky if you don't! Heli crashes are expensive and timely. I built an RCExploere DIY tricopter to fly FPV with, in addition to the heli, because one of its major benefits is that is designed to crash with minimal damage and minimal cost to repair. Things just pop off instead of breaking. And if something breaks, it will likely be a $1 prop, or a $1.50 wooden arm stick you can pick up at Hobby Lobby.

Another thing that can sometimes make it a little easier to transition to FPV is to use an external monitor vs. goggles. My main setup is Headplay goggles. But I also have a 21" battery powered monitor setup that lets me switch back and forth a lot between LOS and FPV without having to put on and take off goggles (a 10" LCD would do the trick, though). Sometimes that can be a good thing, sometimes bad. But if going "under the hood" with the goggles is a little scary at first, using a regular monitor can be a good stepping stone.

Also, you mentioned something about Gary going so high on his first time out (nice first flight, btw Gary!). I actually feel like about 100' of altitude is better for the first few FPV flights than staying close to the ground. It may sound and feel counter-intuitive at first, but once you get some distance between you and the ground, you feel more free to yank the sticks around a lot and get a feel for the way the craft is behaving. Close to the ground, you can't really do that and not expect to hit something.

One last thing: Flight sims. Any type of RC sim will do. I haven't looked at your posts to see if that is something you're already doing, so forgive me if you are. But simulation practice really does a lot for motor memory development and orientation. I went whole hog several years ago and got Realflight. I recommend it.

I hope you find some of this information helpful. Good luck!

Mar 27, 2012, 10:01 PM
Member #1
Teamsherman's Avatar
Hit reply too soon, see post below.
Mar 27, 2012, 10:04 PM
Member #1
Teamsherman's Avatar
Meh, if you can fly it LIS then it will be tons easier FPV. Just set it up so you can see the two motors or arms they are on from the camera. It will give you perspective as to how the copter is sitting in the air. When you take off, don't muck around just get it up quickly to about 8-10 feet high. Once there, just practice keeping it stationary and then slowly move up to forward flight and using yaw control (rudder) then get the copter facing yourself and try to keep it about 5 metres away from yourself.

Don't hesitate, just get the goggles on and do it! You will kick yourself for not doing it earlier.

Forget the spotter, forget the screen, just find somewhere open with little or no wind and NO AUDIENCE! Just do it!
Mar 27, 2012, 10:44 PM
Registered User
Originally Posted by Teamsherman

NO AUDIENCE! Just do it!
+1000 to that!!!!

I've never flown an FPV quad, but I can tell you from experience that trying something new and a little scary is MUCH easier with no audience.

No matter how cool you think you are, you are still a human being. And as such, you will feel some subconscious pressure to perform well if others are watching you. Of course, this effect varies greatly from person to person, but we all feel it...

That pressure to perform will cause you to make mistakes. Almost guaranteed!

Of course, having a skilled helper is OK. But NO AUDIENCE!!!
Mar 28, 2012, 01:59 AM
Registered User
Thank you very much everyone for the assistance.
I guess higher is safer but lower feels safer in my mind
When I learned to power paraglide my instructor would always get mad at me because he kept telling me higher is safer in case of a wing collapse. But I was always just skimming across the ground because that felt safer.
I guess I'm going to have the attitude of just screw it and do it. I'll go into the desert alone and see what happens.
I'll have my fingers crossed.

Thanks again
Mar 28, 2012, 08:15 AM
Registered User
sia100's Avatar
Of course, having a skilled helper is OK. But NO AUDIENCE!!!
This is so true!

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