America has undoubtedly developed an obsession with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), popularly known as drones. It has become quite common to see drones being flown everywhere especially now that the laws of the United States have become lenient toward them. But there have been inconveniences that come with drone flying, as many have been crash-landing on public areas or getting completely lost without a trace, causing stress to owners everywhere.
People have reported that lost drone posters are almost as common as missing pet fliers around the community. But just what exactly has happened to these drones?
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One drone owner lost his Phantom 2 Vision Quadcopter while filming a burning building. Based on the description he gave, the missing drone was made of white plastic with red-and-blue stripe stickers on the propeller arms. As the name implies, it has four propellers and comes with a camera and a micro SD card mounted on its back.
There’s no update yet as to whether the man has reunited with his drone or not, but it could only be either stolen or burnt as it got lost in the dense smoke. But the distressed owner pleaded for anyone who might find it to return the drone to him, adding that the device was his treasured possession. Seeing how these products retail over $500, it’s not too difficult to see why.
Numerous cases of flyaway drones have been popping up in the forum lately. It can happen to anyone, even drone experts find their investments flying away with no warning. This happens when a drone loses contact with its remote or it just simply malfunctions. No one can really pinpoint the exact reason behind a flyaway, so the best thing you can do here is to have a backup plan just in case.
Losing drones in public places
Another unfortunate case was that of a man losing his drone in a dog park. His quadcopter went missing in the afternoon after suddenly flying off west. Even after an extensive search, it was still nowhere to be found.
The physical framework of the drone is not the only big loss here, but the camera equipment as well. In a drone forum, one owner lamented about losing his GoPro Black and video transmitter after filming in a dense jungle.
“It took off and started to climb, soon I realize that the Phantom was not responding to my control inputs,” he wrote. “It seem to respond only to up and down, but it was drifting away from me.” The man never did get to recover the drone in the end.
Many people may ask themselves, aren’t drones equipped with the ability to find home base when remote signals are lost? As mentioned, that feature is not as reliable as you think since a number of owners have helplessly watched their drones drift away.
Darren Kelly lost his DJI Phantom and Go Pro when it flew into a lake. He thought it was just a one in a million occurrence, so he decided to purchase another one. But lo and behold, Kelly experienced the flyaway issue yet again, but luckily, the second time around, it didn’t fly straight into a body of water.
The lost drone endemic seems to be sweeping around America. In San Francisco’s Mission District, two drone owners were left disheartened after their sky cameras went missing at the same time.
Amber Schadewald is not a drone owner, but she did happen to come across one. Her boyfriend was smoking outside her house when he spotted a fancy-looking drone. The owner never did come knocking at their door so the couple decided to take the batteries out as a precaution.
How to avoid losing your drones
The first step to avoid losing your drones is to list all probable causes beforehand. Drones have a feature that allows you to have it locked to their home location before they take off. To really make this function work, you should leave your drone on the ground for a reasonable amount of time to allow it to lock the GPS coordinates of its home location. A lot of owners who take off right away after powering on discover that their drone heads to a location they flew to weeks ago, until it runs out of power and crash-lands into the ground.
Another probable cause are software glitches. Do check if your drone software is up to date to prevent it from flying away. Lost connections are yet another problem that drone owners face. Study the manual before flying your drone to know its range.
As technology matures, so do the innovations that prevent flyaway drones. Getting a GPS tracker should give owners peace of mind since it increases the possibility of retrieving a flyaway drone. Trackimo is a GPS tracking device that effectively tracks down your drone via a Web or smartphone app with coverage anywhere in this world.
To find out more about Trackimo, visit our Trackimo page.