Every pilot’s worst nightmare is when he loses his drone out of sight and the drone stops communicating. Your drone can be lost at any day, and this can happen for many reasons, like- strong winds, software glitches, malfunctioning, lack of battery power, and so on. Here, we have listed most of the tips on how to find a lost drone. What should you do about your lost drone? How can you stop it from missing in the first place? Here is everything you need to know.
How to Find a Lost Drone with a Tracker?
What happens if a drone gets out of range? Firstly, you need to look in your drone’s direction and look for it in the trees or bushes. A GPS tracker can help you in this situation. It pinpoints the place from where the drone was last seen. You can find your UAV with the help of a tracker that costs around $80. The cheaper trackers use SIM cards to provide coordinates when you need them.
Many trackers have a connection with Google Maps, but they cost more. They will provide you with a real-time location and a real connection to track features like- flight duration, speed of the drone, distance from the controller, and altitude.
Finding a Lost Drone Without a Tracker
Establish Whether The Drone Is Still Airborne
Suppose, you have realized you’ve lost your drone. Now what? The first thing is to check if the drone is still in the air or not. Luckily, drones are very loud and you can hear it easily from a distance. If you can listen to your drone that means it is still flying. At this moment, many things can happen. The most common scenario that happens is a flyaway. If this happens, read below to know what steps you need to take while finding your lost drone.
Keep Your Remote Connected
Always turn on the remote and connect it to the drone no matter what. After some time, your drone will run out of battery. At that moment, the remote will help you to locate the place from where your drone was last seen. That’s why your remotes need to be turned on until you don’t find your drone. When you keep the remote turned on, it ensures that the propellers are still running, so the drone keeps flying. Press the return button so that you’ll come back into range, and the controller reconnects.
It may take time, but the drone will come back. Look at the information in the controller. So when you walk around looking for the drone, look above because drones often get stuck in tree branches. Look at all the possible places where your drone can get stuck. If the process doesn’t work, it’s time to level up the search.
Also Read: How Far Can a Drone Fly?
Look for The Drone’s Last Known Location
Some drones like DJI Drones have features like GPS technology. This is a fantastic feature to find out the drone’s spot from where the drone has been lost. If your drone doesn’t have GPS technology, you must buy a GPS tracker if you want to keep your drone in your hand. There are many different options, and you can buy an effective one for around $30.
If you have a drone with built-in GPS, and you think you’ve spent a lot of money on it, we always suggest to level up and get a tracker because it helps you to find your drone quickly and efficiently when it is downed.
However, if your drone doesn’t have GPS, keep reading to learn how to find a lost drone without a GPS tracker.
Check The Flight Logs
Some drones like DJI drones provide flight logs. If you’re a DJI user then you need to head to the DJI app, go to “Me” in the bottom right-hand corner, and select “Flight Logs.”
Then a map will be presented before you showing almost the same place from where you were flying your drone so that you can pinpoint the place where it was when you lost it.
Use Another Drone to Find the Drone
You can use a second drone to rescue your lost drone. The drone can be old, but if it has a working camera and can at least fly some distance from the controller, it will help find the lost drone. Fly your second drone, get a bird’s-eye view of the landscape, look for anything that stands out in the grass, water, rocks, roofs, etc. If your drone’s battery is still running, wait until nightfall. Make some rounds where the drone without a tracker crashed.
Use Find My Drone App
Find My Drone is a fantastic app, and it is an entirely free app for iOS. It connects your iPhone to your UAV and helps you locate your lost drone when it goes out of control. The app directs you to its location using the MAVlink protocol. Some of the app’s features provide a map view of your drone’s location and tell you about your drone’s battery levels and current status. There’s another feature named Manual Mode, and it helps you search your drone using a different autopilot or telemetry.
If All Else Fails
If you completely lost your drone and there’s nothing to do now, print up some “lost drone” posters near the place from where your drone was lost, including a picture of your drone. If you are familiar with a drone community, post about your lost drone in the group, ask people to help you, or join the search efforts. Most drone users can relate to the pain of losing a drone so that they may help you out. The last thing is to report your lost drone to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). They will tell you if they find out your drone anywhere since it has a registration number tied to it.
Losing your drone is a heartbreaking and hectic experience. We hope now you know everything about how to find a lost drone. As you see, there is so much hassle finding a lost drone; always try not to lose your drone. Secure your drone with a 3G drone GPS tracker in no time. Write down your name and phone number attached to your drone before letting it fly so you can find your drone easily when it gets lost.