Angeles National Forest was the site of our first dedicated copter trip as a team. Vork, Crispy Cargo, Spackletoe and Bandicoot were the participants in what amounted to a weekend that closely resembled a Vince Vaughn movie. But before that, the plan was to go somewhere not too far away, camp quickly and fly a lot. We got a little more than we bargained for. It started on Friday the 13th — more on that in a second. We took off after work in a couple of different cars and went straight into the mountains North of Azusa. It didn’t take long to find a spot to burn through a few batteries: a huge open area with a large paved turn-out on the roadside. This is where we had our first casualty. The plan was since Bandicoot didn’t have a copter of his own, that he’s use one of my old ones that still (barely) flew. The first quad I ever made with a multiwii Paris board in it. Welp, for some reason it decided to flip and crash inverted on the asphalt. Dunzo. Glad I was flying it and not the newest Wild Pilot. Anyway, the rest of us flew there a bit and then we moved on just as it was getting dark. The road we planned on taking over the mountain was closed so we decided to find tent space for the night. Ironically, being Friday the 13th, the place we found was called “Camp Crystal Lake”! We slept there, keeping watch for Mr. Vorhees throughout the night.
The next morning we decided to get up early to check out something we saw on the way up. As luck would have it, there was a grand opening for a 4×4 Rock Crawling OHV area just down the hill! We approached the folks in charge and asked them if they minded us flying overhead a bit to capture the action. They were thrilled with the idea and we spent all morning geeking on giant vehicles and flying. After we did that, we all piled into Vork’s truck and we took some some of that 4×4 terrain. Was a blast and Crispy got some more flying in down there too.
After lunchtime we decided we ‘d better get going to the other side of the mountain to see if we can get in some ski runs. On the way there we saw a spot with these HUGE rocks jutting out of the ground that we all agreed to come back to later (which we did!). Then Vork drove up a hill and accidentally parked on a rattlesnake! After determining it was mortally wounded we had to put it out of it’s misery, it was a tragic comedy as we didn’t really have the tools for that job. After dealing with the serpent, and of course getting some more flying in, we made our way down the road a bit more and found the ski runs. Crispy nearly flew to the bottom of the entire mountain from up top! I was having all kindsa trouble with my copter, so the only thing I did up there was crash. Just before dark, we made our way to the next camp site: a ridge that had amazing views to both the North and the South of us.
We went into town for dinner that night, and on the way back there was a lightning storm! It was crazy looking. We had to stop and take some pics.. so we did.
After sleeping up on the ridge that night, Vork and Bandicoot got up early and flew around another ski run. Vork came up on a deer and got some nice footage of that. We took off and headed back to the giant rocks where the next crazy thing happened. First of all, it was windy, probably too windy to fly, but we seem to be using the “heck we have flashed ESCs, we can fly in any wind!” excuse lately (thanks SimonK!). So I take my misbehaving copter up and fight with it to stay in the air for a battery. Not much usable footage out of that one… but we noticed that there were some falcons living in the rocks that took a liking to the HT-FPV. Next it was Crispy Cargo’s turn. Right out of the gate, he literally throws caution to the wind and dives under a bridge, that was cool.. but it was later in that flight that was the kicker. That falcon came out again and had designs on fighting with his quad! We were all yelling at him telling him the bird was on his tail so he flips a couple times and on the 2nd one shook the pursuer, all while grabbing some great footage of it.
Check out the video for some of the stuff we got over the course of the weekend. The first Wild Pilots field trip was a huge success. I’m sure there will be many more.
Video Music: Personal edit of Skeleton Boy (Zio’s Stellar Extended Remix) by Friendly Fires