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Kite Over Anzio Italy - Crash Landing - Eat Sand - A570 Broke

edited January 2009 in General
Flying kites with cameras on them is risky business.

This time the ending was not good.

The high wind speeds followed me to Anzio Italy.

I had a brief KAP window of about 2 hours. The forecast called for 15 knot wind


  • Sorry it happened!

    You may try to open the camera and clean from sand, bend some parts and hopefully you'll get it to working again. My G5 dropped about 150 meters, lens broke but I got it working again, only some plastic parts of the lens were broken but electronics was ok.
  • Not a good story this time, Jim. Pitty.

    I hope it will not happen again, but in case a camera lands in the sand, don't switch it off. Remove the battery while it's still switched on an don't blow in an attempt to remove sand. Use a vacuum cleaner instead.

    Good luck with repairs.
  • edited January 2009
    Hy WindWatcher,
    Too bad !, I had a same story on a roof in 2005...

    Try to see here for opening your A570is : They show the rear side, but I think it's good informations to find the good screw position.

    I saw on E-B.y some little gear for reparation of the focus (just try a Google search with "repare A570is", they are strong, they're always on the top of list...).
    But, if you have flown with a additionnal tube, it's protection worked, and if the lens doesn't retract perfectly when you power off the camera, it should only by the sand remaining in the lens. So you don't need the repare kit of gears.

    Regarding the "front plastic curtain", I would choose for a total ablation of the part remaining on the lens.

    Good luck for the next time.

    PS : doesn't seems to be a repare manual, it's in French, but you can try to download the manual here. If the link doesn't work (session), try from the root of the website.
    I just found the link in English, it's
  • The fun just keep coming!

    I noticed the pan servo was not rotating near the end of the Anzio flight. I thought my batteries were wearing down. Upon a more detailed inspection I found more serious was not the battery.

    The pan servo would not rotate at all. I could hear a faint sound periodically but the gears did not budge.

    I decided to break down the servo and inspect the gears...I had my suspicions.....

    Sand was everywhere inside the pan servo. Most of the gears were full of fine grain Italian sand (almost a powder).

    The gears were removed, cleaned, lubricated and placed back into the servo housing. Not perfect but I did get the pan servo working again.

    The pot adjustment hole on the servo case is the most likely entry point for the sand. To prevent a repeat, I placed a small piece of Gorilla tape over the hole.

    See picture of sand all over the gears here and below.

    Ramon, photocerfvolant - thanks for the tips. I am searching the internet for "repair" options for the broken A570IS. As time permits I will be tinkering with repair options. I expect the same sand that I found in the pan servo will also be present inside the A570IS.

    KAP Pan Servo Repairs - Digging the Sand Out
  • Great story, as usual, Jim, but with a sad ending this time. But I'm sure you'll fix the camera and the servo.

    My 570 has also a bit of sand in its lens. If you can find how to dissasemble it, please keep us informed.
  • Waho, I never noticed such mess in a servo. (I perhaps to see inside my cradle's ones ;o)
  • Hey Jim,
    It sounds like "Paul's Fishing Kites - Super Kite" is less super these days. Are you still liking this kite? Does it need repair from a previous crash?
  • Scott, I agree. The last 4 KAP sessions with my "Super Delta Kite" have all had issues with adverse impact on my rigs and cameras. The kite has been beat up over most of 2008 and into Jan 2009. I am thinking of retiring the kite and picking up the Paul's "Nighthawk Delta Kite". Given that I fly in high wind about 1/3 the time!

    Do any of my fellow KAPers have any recommendations for flying in the "windy stuff"?

    How about a little poll. Vote for your best "high wind kite":

    - Paul's Super Delta Kite
    - Pauls's Nighthawk Delta Kite
    - Trooper
    - Other

    My vote would be a 1/2 scale G-Kites Dopero...

    P. S. I got my pan servo working again after two clean outs. Got some great pictures with the G9 this weekend....will post a report shortly. The A570IS is still in the repair bin....just need a few free days....
  • Interesting question, Jim. I fly sometimes in high winds. Not so often like you, and not in so high winds, but I want to have a reliable high wind kite. Knowing your great experience in these conditions it would be good to know what part of the issues you talk about are related with a specific kite or are general high wind problems.

    Of the three kites you mention, I only have experience with the trooper. I have flown it in winds up to 25 knots, and for me is an extraordinary kite. I think that we might also consider the FF8, which I've also used in high winds with good results. It has a higher drag to lift ratio than the trooper, resulting in more pull with the same lift, and a lower flying angle. My impression is that is less stable than the trooper. Other high wind kite with good reputation here is the calomil. I don't have (yet!) experience with it.
  • I figure just about everyone here has more experience than I do flying in high wind, only having done it a handful of times. I know this is a little off topic, but I have to ask:

    Vicente, my high wind kite is a FF8, so I know what you're talking about. But I hate to use it, and here's why: With every other kite I have, if the wind lulls or dies out entirely, I know I can take in line fast enough to keep the rig airborne. But with the FF8, if the wind dies the rig dies with it. There's no way I can take in line fast enough to keep things up. I've never had it happen with the FF8, but the thought is always there.

    Am I just being paranoid? Or is this a reasonable concern?


  • Tom,

    I have the same concern with my Trooper. Seems we're trading low wind performance for high wind performance.
    I've only flown the Trooper a few times and found that a heavy camera will descend fast when the wind slows. It's less likely that I'll see a problem when flying a lighter camera but just recently I gently grounded my 570is recently when the wind slowed on my Trooper. (Fortunately I was in an area where I could land it 50 yards in front of me and wait for the wind to pick back up again.)

    I'm thinking the Trooper needs at least 10mph to keep me out of trouble. How much does the FF8 need?

    The other problem with high winds is that they tend to be gusty and are prone to occasional lulls. But if the forecast calls for strong winds all day, I'll expect that the lulls will still have reasonable speed and their duration will be short. As a hedge against lulls I'll try to fly the kite at higher altitudes to give it more space to descend and more time to find new wind at other elevations.

    With my FF16 in gusty winds I'm more concerned about abrupt wind changes causing the cells to collapse, but I'm tempted to flying it in stronger winds because it has a better chance of holding the DSLR when the wind slows.

  • Tom, Scott, I think that I understand your concerns. The risk of fast descent in a lull is higher with these kites. From my relatively short experience with these two kites, I would say that this risk is lower with the trooper than with the FF8. From what I've read, the calomil is safer at this respect.

    I think that this risk depends on your flying conditions. My experience in high winds has been always with relatively constant onshore winds associated with fronts. Changes in wind speed in these conditions tend to be slow, and I've always had time enough to take down my kite. Perhaps these is different with inland or local/thermal winds, with their sudden speed changes. Also, I've always used these kites with my light rig and camera, weighing around 0.5 kg, wich gives me a little more margin to react.

    Anyway, I realize that the risk is there, but this is part of kaping!
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