Trackimo, a GPS monitoring business, reports that 30% of drone owners entirely lose their drones.
Finding a lost drone can be complicated and time-consuming. This is the worst nightmare of any drone owner.
One of the most common reasons for a drone getting lost is because of it’s failure to maintain connection with its pilot. There are many explanations that a remote control may fail, most likely when it has not been received a power connection or an unusual power signal.
Finding Lost Drone with tracker
The use of a GPS tracker enables you to locate your drone easily. With the help of the tracker, you have a considerably better chance of discovering your lost drone. A tracker will cost you about $80. The less expensive models rely on SIM cards to deliver location data as needed.
Some trackers use a mobile phone’s data plan and Google Maps. There is no doubt that they are more costly. However, you can get an accurate, real-time location with that type of connection. Other useful tracking capabilities include time, speed, elevation, and distance.
Browser tracking and a free app are also available from Trackimo. Look around for a tracker that fits your needs and price range. Some of them are even waterproof.
Finding Lost Drone without tracker
To find a missing drone, you don’t need a tracker, but there are still a few things you can do. First and foremost, you’ll be aware that the drone has left your sight if you lose the video stream. Then then, it can’t be that far off.
Keeping Your Controller On
As long as your drone and remote controller have battery life, your controller should try to reconnect with it regularly. As you move closer to the drone, the controller should reconnect, and you’ll be able to see the drone’s exact location on the map.
Your controller is the only link between you and your drone.
DO NOT switch off the remote control for your drone. It’s the only way to communicate with your drone and the most effective way to locate it.
Use Flight Logs to Locate Drones That Have Crashed
For those of you who are still debating whether or not to acquire a tracker or even a free app, this may be the lesson that convinces you.
Drone photographer Joseph Linaschke lost control of his DJI Spark during a shoot. He’d lost contact and couldn’t find a way to get it back. He did, however, have a smartphone app that allowed him to check the flight log from his doomed plane trip.
He was able to locate the drone using the recorded flight route. He went one step farther, despite the wonderful sight. In order to find out where he was in reference to the landmark he saw in the flight record, he opened Maps on his computer.
As a result, he discovered the downed Spark. Because he lacked a tracker, it necessitated additional measures. That’s for sure, he had a lot of good fortune. To see the whole demonstration, click here to see his video.
Use the Screenshot
When the drone loses communication, you will get a visual of its last known location. You may now see the telemetry data on the controller in addition to readings (more on that next).
As a preventative step, screen capturing is a good idea. Capture a screen shot as soon as you see your drone’s image become choppy while in the air. Only drones equipped with cameras are affected by this.
Advertising a poster of a lost drone
Posters advertising the search for a “lost drone” might be printed and nailed up throughout the neighborhood. Sure enough, you’re absolutely correct. Your flyer should be displayed right next to a poster for Winston, the missing teacup Chihuahua. An image should be attached. This works because there are still enough good people in the world.
Truth be told. It’s humiliating to acknowledge that, despite your technological prowess, you lost your drone totally. However, if anything like this does occur, it will occur. The only thing left to do is to begin the hunt.
Check The Online Market Place
Yes, I know I just mentioned there were still good people around, but you get the idea. Not everyone is a member of that group, but You should start hunting for your missing drone on eBay and other local internet marketplaces as a precaution against being taken advantage of by unscrupulous individuals.
It’s much better if you know your drone’s unique serial number. Contact the vendor and lay everything out. Instead of having the cops knock on their door, they should agree to return it to you.
Making a Report to the Police about a Lost Drone
You can go ahead and report the incident to the local police department just to be safe. The serial number and FAA registration number can be included with a description of your UAV. Handing in a UAV would be the act of a kindhearted person. It’ll be easy for the authorities to track it down if it’s yours.
Use The DJI “Find My Drone” Feature
iOS app Find My Drone connects your iPhone to a drone. Even if your drone is out of sight, this amazing software can help you find it.
The software locates your aircraft and then takes you to it. The MAVlink protocol is used to do this feat. There are various open source autopilot applications that use this similar protocol.
A map view of your drone’s whereabouts is one of the app’s fancy features. It also tells you how much power your drone has left and what its current state is. During a power outage, the app recalls the last position you were in.
Additionally, the manual mode allows you to search for your drone using a different autopilot or telemetry system. Find My Drone uses your drone’s last known location to compute the bearing.
Is it possible to track my drone using DJI?
Use the DJI GO app if you own a DJI drone. The Find My Drone function is available in that app. DJI is unable to track your flights without it. Then you have DJI Go’s Find My Drone feature.
There’s no excuse not to download one of these applications because nearly everyone owns a smartphone these days.
Use an app to locate a missing drone
It’s simple and cost-free to download DJI GO or Find My Drone. The attributes have previously been described. That’s it, my friend!
You may be able to find your drone by following one of these tips. People do lose a beloved bird to extinction from time to time. My first DJI Phantom without a tracker still gives me the creeps whenever I recall it. Older and wiser, I’ve come! Any of my drones that don’t have GPS and a Find My Drone link are never taken up by me.
Take precautions to ensure that your drone is not lost for good!
DJI Go App
It’s important to note that the name “DJI Go App” refers to the manufacturer’s brand, and not the application itself. The DJI Go App was developed by professional drone hobbyists. The product offers users the most efficient way to locate, map, and track down almost any form of remote control or aerial vehicle in the world. In addition, the software has been modified to work with the DJI Phantom 4, allowing users to check the aircrafts controls from their smartphones.
Most pilots erroneously think that locations where their lost drones are impossible, but new technology has made it entirely possible. The DJI Go app allows users to input last known coordinates into the program, allowing the search engine-based system to give up-to-date coordinates wherever the aircraft may be in the air. Furthermore, the program utilizes the real-time data from the autopilot system to continually update and improve the quality of results. In addition to the easy search function, the app also offers more advanced searches through a drag and drop interface. This advanced search function allows users to enter a particular area or city, as well as specify whether they want to search within the national, state, or even city borders.
Users can furthermore use the DJI Go app to inspect whether their drones have already been lost. By using the mobile app, they can input details about the types of flights the quadcopter has flown by, as well as how many miles (or kilometers) it has flown. This will enable the user to determine whether the craft is new or not, especially if they often fly long distances over uncharted areas. If the craft has already gone missing, the app will also reveal information about the weather in the area, but as well as other useful data such as difficulty in landing the craft, engine failures, flying conditions, landing barriers, etc. This valuable data will help the owners identify weak points in their systems before they actually lose their quadcopter, resulting in the timely recovery of their craft.
For those who have invested in a DJI Phantom 4 without a GPS receiver, there is no hope. The free app gives users the ability to input flight logs and receive real-time location updates. The mobile application uses Google Maps to pull together all information from the GPS and UAV sensors on board, as well as a variety of other onboard resources including battery charge, flight duration, current altitude, current speed and the estimated of arrival. The resulting report includes the name of the craft, its latitude and longitude, altitude, speed and distance travelled. To provide this detailed information, the application must constantly update itself with onboard data. A subscription is required to access the tracking data, but users can expect to receive many detailed reports each week.
Searching for a missing drone at night
Make use of your secondary quadcopter, if you have one. Renting a drone is an option even if you don’t need one. It’s possible that this is all the justification you need to purchase a second drone. Even when the sun goes down, the best method to search may be from the sky.
If you’re looking for your drone while on foot, you’ll need to pay attention to sound and light. You may hear the drone’s propellers whirring if it has electricity. If it gets trapped in a tree, it will create a lot of noise. The drone’s anti-collision lights may also be visible.
An accident with a drone occurred in a forested area near a park. Because it was becoming dark, the illumination was just right for me to see my drone’s lights, but not so dim that I couldn’t see anything else. However, I didn’t need to be concerned. I could hear it slicing the bushes where it fell with such ferocity.
If none of the above options work, there are still a few things you can do to bring your beloved drone back to life.
Tips to avoid losing your drone again
With the benefit of hindsight, this section should have been placed first. However, we are here. “An ounce of prevention” is exactly what my Grandfather advised. Here are a few common sense tips to help you avoid losing your drone. To be clear, this is not impossible. Just a bit less likely.
Get a GPS tracker.
Although this program is costly, it may be worthwhile in certain circumstances. Consider putting up your drone if you need to fly it in high-risk locations or in terrible weather and are worried about it being lost. It might save you thousands of dollars, and a basic drone tracker like the tk102 can be set up for as cheap as $30.
Avoid flying in high-risk locations
When flying in high-risk locations, be prepared. Make sure you know where you’re flying if you’re flying in a high-risk region. Take all required measures as well.
Avoid flying at night
Flying in severe weather or at night is not recommended. In these situations, most drones go missing, therefore you may avoid it by only flying when the weather appears to be favorable.