DJI Mavic Pro: First Flight! (Antananarivo, Madagascar)

Finally, it has arrived!

Back in mid-October, I heard that DJI, the company that manufactured the first drone I owned, was releasing a small, foldable drone with an integrated camera.  In other words, one that would allow me to carry something besides just a drone on my back when we go hiking in Madagascar!  I figured 2, 3 weeks…

Months later, I was still waiting.  The company I had ordered it from wrote me every few weeks to let me know it was still on back order.  Then, finally in mid-December, I got a notice it had shipped.

Followed immediately by a notice that the item had been rejected by our mail service because of lithium battery restrictions.

So I had them ship it to a friend who was in the U.S. for the holidays, and he removed the battery and shipped it again.

Again!  A rejection notice telling me it was being returned to sender!  I was distraught.

But then my colleague walked in smiling a few days later with my DJI Mavic Pro which had actually been delivered to him by mistake (we work in the same office).

It’s an awesome little drone – the menus and settings are much more customizable, and therefore much more complicated – but once it’s all set up for the first time you can just unfold it, turn everything on, and be airborne within about 45 seconds.  The 3DR Solo I have is a great workhorse, but it can take 3, 4, 5 minutes to get airborne, depending on how quickly the Wi-Fi connects and everything synchs up.

Here is its maiden flight, over the rice fields of Antananarivo, about a mile from our house:

So the weird thing happening in the lower left quarter of the frame is from a plastic cap that comes on the drone, and snaps over the camera and gimbal to protect it.  It seemed natural to leave it on, but from now on it comes off!

Expect a lot more footage from this thing as I get better at flying it over the coming months!

This entry was posted in Aerial photography/videography, Gear, Madagascar and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to DJI Mavic Pro: First Flight! (Antananarivo, Madagascar)

  1. Jamie says:

    Amazing drone shots. Thanks for sharing. I gotta get one of those.

  2. Lynn Daniels-Anderson says:

    Nice! The images look great.

    We were all ready to take my Phantom 3 4k to the Arizona desert this last month (even got the backpack–yes, it’s a monster) when the controller stopped working. I expect it on Monday, five days after our return home. It was tough getting info out of DJI as to when we could expect it, but I’m hoping it’ll be as good as new (or new) when we get it back.


  3. William says:

    Nice video and I love the music. Very soon I planned to go there with my DJI Mavic and I want to know if I need a special authorization to use it in Madagascar ? Tkx

  4. Tom (Admin) says:

    Thanks very much. Per, flying a drone in Madagascar requires approval from the Civil Aviation Administration. However, practically, this is very difficult to arrange – nobody I know has ever managed to do so. But if you fly safely, away from airports and populated areas, normal common sense stuff, nobody will give you any trouble. A couple of us have flown in a number of places in Madagascar and the only issue is that the locals are very interested in having a look at your screen in order to see their neighborhoods from the sky! So plan some extra battery time just for demo purposes.

  5. Dr. Niaz Abdur Rahman says:

    Hi Tom: Your site is wonderful, lots of information and great videos. I do a lot of bird photography as a hobby, will be visiting Madagascar mid September. Arranged with a local tour company. I will have a dji Spark with me. I read your comments above. Please let me know any precautions or any advice. Thank you very much.

  6. Tom (Admin) says:

    Enjoy your trip! I don’t think you will have any issues. The only place I have been given any trouble is at Tsingy de Bemaraha – the guides said to ask the gendarmerie, and when we went to ask them, they called the civil aviation administration and were never given any response. The Tsingy is a sacred spot to some of the locals, and by the same token I would not fly in any of the other national parks if you think the drone might disturb other visitors or scare away the wildlife. The spark is pretty nonintrusive though, but if on any guided tours (as most visits to national parks are) I would always ask the guide first. Outside of parks and outside of major populated areas, no issue.

  7. Niaz says:

    Thank you very much for your most helpful response.
    Much appreciated. Regards Niaz

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