Malfunctioned controller, hardware failure, dead batteries, and stormy weather are common causes of drone loss, flyaway, or collision. Checking your drone before flying can reduce the risk of flyaways and crashes, but such devices are prone to damages anyway.
Although losing a drone is a frustrating experience for all UAV pilots, the problem becomes more prominent when one does not know how to recover it. A recent report published by Trackimo highlights that 30% of UAV pilots lose drones and never find them again.
Determine if the drone is still airborne
Even if your drone is out of sight, it is better to keep your remote connected to the device. Make sure the remote is turned “ON” all the time, even if the drone runs out of power. The remote can track down your drone’s location.
It is easy to recover your drone if it is still airborne. Do not disconnect the remote from your drone while it is in the air. Doing so can lead to further complications, such as your drone falling on the ground. The remote is a useful device to ensure your quadcopter remains in the sky, making it easy for you to recover the product.
Begin from drone’s last known location
High-end drones are equipped with GPS technology, and users control the GPS through the app. It is easy to recover your drone if it has a GPS feature. You can quickly head over to the last known location using GPS technology via the app. Because drones are prone to frequent flyaways, it is wise to invest in a quality GPS tracker, especially if your drone lacks this technology.
A quality GPS tracker costs no more than $25. Most UAV pilots have an extra GPS tracker besides the built-in GPS technology on the drone. For instance, if the built-in GPS is not working, you can monitor or find your drone’s last known location through the tracker.
Keep track of areas already searched
Although searching the area for your drone is the most daunting task, you don’t have any other choice. You can reduce the hassle and time by seeking help from your family members or friends. Searching your drone in an organized manner increases the probability of your success.
For instance, if you have flown your drone in the North Direction, make sure you search it in the North, North East, and North West. There are fewer chances that your drone has fallen out of the sky in the South. Continue searching in the north and ask your friends to go in the North East and North West directions.
Don’t forget to look for your drone in the trees or rooftops if you have lost it in an area with residential or commercial buildings. Search your drone in small bushes, shrubs, and other areas. Although it will take some time, the chances are that you will recover your drone.
Check the Flight Logs
You can quickly recover your lost drone through the flight logs. However, some drones do not come with this useful feature. Therefore, you must check the app to access the flight record and explore the map.
The app will show you a map and spots where you had previously flown your drone. Refer to the latest flight log to see the location where you lost your drone. That way, you can start or continue your search from that particular point on the map.
Actions to take before losing your drone
Undoubtedly, losing a drone is a frustrating experience for most UAV pilots. That’s why it is crucial to get proper training and maintain your drone to avoid unpleasant situations. Here are a few mandatory steps you need to take before flying your drone.
Register your drone upon purchase
The US government passed a drone registration law in 2018. Whether you have a recreational or commercial drone, register it upon purchase. Not only does the registration ensures safety, but it also gives you other perks, such as the police can help find your labeled drone if you show them your registration certificate.
Buy Drone Insurance Policy
This is self-explanatory and works exactly like other insurance policies. Having drone insurance can help you get another drone of the same model. If you have recovered your drone, but has damaged parts, use your insurance policy to get new parts or components. So, a drone insurance policy will safeguard you at all times and save you money in the long run.
Buy a GPS tracker
Although most drones come with built-in GPS trackers, they can go down. Purchasing an additional tracker will come in handy during unpleasant situations. Even if your drone’s built-in GPS tracker no longer works, you can use the other one to track your device.
Take Photos and Videos Periodically
Photos or videos recorded on drones are usually stored on an SD card, external hard drives, phone memory, or in the cloud. Irrespective of where you keep the images and videos, you must take them periodically. You can use these random photos and videos to find your lost drone quickly.