Nihal Singh

I like to know things

Flying a DJI Mavic

On yet another Summer weekend, I drove to the NRI Complex in Seawoods. It was a sunny day, and we were to fly a drone that evening.

The Lake

Just adjacent to the NRI Estate is a lake where a raft of flamingoes with almost a dozen other species visit during the summer. During the season, the lake also becomes a hive for photographers from all over Navi Mumbai. During winter, this lake also becomes home to thousands of migratory aquatic birds including ducks, herons, and kingfishers. There’s also an interesting story behind the lake’s preservation and it’s battle against being converted to a golf course.


The Drone

The drone belonged to Vaibhav. It was a DJI Mavic, the one listed here. A small transmitter hooks on to a phone, and the drone relays a clear view to the phone’s screen, saving higher quality footage to the SD card. There were four of us flying that evening, each reluctantly passing on the transmitter to the other.


The drone is pretty smart and packed with features including collision avoidance, wind monitoring, constant battery monitoring for safe return and a fantastic return-to-home option that brings the drone back to the take-off point with centimeter accuracy.

The software side from DJI is pretty amazing too. In addition to providing the above-listed features in a clean interface, it does a great job at pre-processing too- threading together an entire video from the shots taken during flight and overlaying music with one button tap. The videos attached below are created automagically by the DJI app.

After Saturday’s exciting flight session, Arpan and I couldn’t get enough and ended up exhorting Vaibhav for another flying session on Sunday.


This time we took off from Vaibhav’s roof (14 storeys high) getting an aerial perspective and a larger field of view to maneuver the drone. We flew past the lake again and also took cinematic landscape shots of the NRI colony.

Overall, it was a weekend well spent. Also, this happens to be my last weekend here in Mumbai as I fly to Tokyo this Saturday for my internship.