As some of you may have read on facebook or twitter I lost my quadcopter – and then found it again. I was extremely lucky to find it! It stayed out overnight in the brambles that surround Hadleigh Castle where we were flying and I was able to search for (and find it) the next day. Its a popular dog walking spot but heaven knows if anyone would have found it if they weren’t specifically searching for it. Also, we knew vaguely (very vaguely) where it came down. We did put signs up (like lost kittens, lost quadcopter, with a photo but Mike said it made it look too cool & that anyone who found it would want to keep it). Thankfully I don’t think it rained overnight (well at least the gopro would have been waterproof if it had). It doesnt look in too bad shape considering it fell from the sky, no propellers hurt or bent but one of the landing legs is bent, so it landed mostly butter-side up! Lucky! Since I may not be as lucky next time I thought I’d learn my lesson and write a blog about my experience. All this excitement and it was only my second flight out.
My list of Dos and Don’ts (assuming you’re flying in GPS mode)…
- Wait until you have a single green blinking light telling you its all ready to fly with proper GPS locks etc (we did this anyway)
- Do take video & stills at the same time (if your camera does it, the GoPro black edition does). If your video turns out bad you still have some nice photos.
- Put your name & phone number on the quadcopter. Mine was on there but in biro on a sticker that wouldn’t have stood up to much rain. I’m now considering putting it on the topside of the props in permanent marker :)
- Consider painting the back or front of the craft in black (see why below).
- Do investigate putting some sort of tracker on it incase it gets lost (this is next on my todo list)!
- Do consider getting someone else to fly it next time ;) (Mike you’re up if it still works).
- Fly in the slightest of wind. It didn’t seem that windy where we were standing but as soon as that little fella got into the air he was flighting for his position against the wind – this makes terrible video and easy loss of control.
- Fly too far away. The wind took it further than we wanted and we couldn’t see the green & red lights to see which way it was going to turn it around and bring it back. Hence why we’re considering painting the back of it black, it was far away but we could see it was white, maybe we would have had more of a chance to see if the colour difference was very strong?
- Panic and accidentally cut the power to the propellers instead of cutting the power to the controller. I had in my mind (once it was clearly out of control and flying off into the distance) that cutting the power would initiate the GPS return to home function, I was meaning to cut the power to the controller but in my slightly panicked brain I did the wrong thing by turning off the propellers instead of sliding the power button)! Doh!
If anyone else has any duh tips or useful thoughts on what preventative measures we can take, please add them in the comments below.
Here is the video from my recovered footage…
You can watch it in HD on vimeo here.