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Botswana aerial rescue

Discussion in 'News' started by Alf, Oct 18, 2016.

  1. Alf


    Apr 4, 2015
    Likes Received:
    After camping at the Mabuasehube area in Botswana with our friends we headed off to the Nossob camp on the South African side using the Mabuasehube Wilderness 4x4 trail which is about 155km. We were in two cars a Land Rover Discovery 4 and a Toyota FJ. Things took a turn for the worse when the Toyota got stuck on top of a dune about 38km from Nossob Camp. I was in the Land Rover and tried to turn around to go and rescue the Toyota but through errors on my side I also got stuck in the sand. Both vehicles were thoroughly stuck and required a recovery vehicle. We spent several hours trying to free the vehicles with no success and therefore had to the night in our vehicles. Nossob Camp would have been worried that we did not turn up and we found out later when we arrived at the camp that they thought we were on the lower road (Nossob/Bosobogolo 4X4 Acess route). It would have taken time for anyone to find us as the road we were on is not frequently used. There is no cell phone communication in this area so one could not simply pick up a cell phone and call for help. Cell phone communication only exits at Two Rivers which is right at the bottom of the park which is about 3 ½ hrs travelling time from Nossob. The next morning, we had a brilliant idea of attaching a cell phone to my Phantom 4 writing a text message and sending it up to 500m. I left the Phantom at this altitude for about 5min, and to our amazement, when it landed, the message had been sent. By this method I then let my Brother-in-law know where we were and he in turn he contacted Two Rivers Camp who in turn informed the Nossob Camp. The Phantom was sent up every ½ hr to receive and also to send new messages. Eventually a recovery vehicle found us and got both vehicles out of the sand and we arrived at Nossob Camp with stories of how my drone had saved the day.

    The reason I am writing this article is to show that this another way in which drones can be positively used other than for search and rescue or video and photography.
  2. Johnny Bellew

    Sep 19, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Nice! You can do anything with McGyver skills and a roll of duct tape!

    Sent from my XT1096 using PhantomPilots mobile app
    Cactus Wren likes this.
  3. Waylander

    Jul 14, 2015
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    Hi Alf
    Well done mate, sometimes it takes a great deal of innovative and clear thinking to get you out of a fix, looks like you had plenty of that and the right equipment to do the job, not many would have thought to attach the cell phone to the phantom to try and get a signal....... survivor :)
  4. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jan 5, 2015
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    Western North Carolina
    Excellent story and VERY "outside the box" thinking. I'll share this story with our local SAR group. Thanks for sharing :)
  5. RodPad

    May 20, 2015
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    Pacific,NorthWet, 97031
    Well this is funny, my idea a few months ago, but never tried it, in July where we were at there was only one cell carrier that could get out and wasn't the majority, mine ether.

    After the fact, the next day, I was only there for the day. I thought I could have sent my phone up with the Phantom with WiFi hot spot turned on, heavy forest area but 60' easily above the trees, then anybody else could have texted or got there emails with there phones or even tablets. Because even the carrier that worked, voice was OK but data was pretty poor.

    If my pals go out there next year, well!
    I'm going to give it a whirl, that is with 4 props. :D

    Here is vid, I did that day, was a little windy, well a lot :eek:
    But the view was good about 60' up.

    We were south of Mt-Hood.

    Rod :)

    Added: HHS
    Hovering Hot Spot
    #5 RodPad, Oct 18, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2016
  6. Cactus Wren

    Sep 22, 2016
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    Although ... your own story could fall under the "Search and Rescue" category, I would think.
  7. Sagebrush

    Jan 3, 2016
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    By day three I would have been gnawing on a lipo battery.

    Great story. :)