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Lost bird - do I need to report to FAA?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Les Hall, Apr 5, 2016.

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  1. Les Hall

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    Was flying on my buddy's ranch in way SW Texas near Alpine - it's beautiful out there and I was just starting to get some nice video. To cut a long story short, Phantom just flew off into the distance.I could see it but no matter what I tried could not get it back. Finally it crashed into a valley about two kilometers away, I could see as I was on the ridge looking down on the valley. Two others were spotting for me too.

    Terrain too rough to even consider searching.

    It landed in a ranch owned by Herb Kelleher of SW Airlines fame, a compact 190,000 acre smallholding! We called the ranch manager and left a message asking if his men were ever out in the valley and if they found it could they call me.

    I'm not hopeful as I've only ever seen a truck in the valley one time.

    So do I need to report it as missing to the FAA? I have registration number on it, but stupidly not my cell number. The camera was still working when it crashed - nice close up of grass.

    Bummed, Dallas.
     
  2. eaglegoaltender

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    That sucks - LOL on the "small holding"............I have no idea the procedure as to reporting it downed.........however, on the other hand if someone finds it they might call the FAA local field office and give them the registration number.....something to think about I guess as to reporting it or not.

    Any chance of flying over with another to check and possibly find/see your downed Phantom - if it is a grassy area might only be limited damage.

    Hope you get it back - surely since you called and left your number anyone who works that area and finding it will call you.

    Best of luck.......
     
  3. soulphantomflyer

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    FAA couldn't care less if your quad fly away and land in a remote field somewhere.
    However if it fly away and land in the stand where a major tennis match is held. Then my friend. You are in a world of hurt

    You guys with the white drones that give us a bad name...

    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  4. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    The FAA never knew about your Phantom and if it's not up in their airspace, they definitely don't care about it now.

    But if it was a P3 or P4 and you want to learn what went wrong or find it, the flight record stored in the app will be a lot of help.
    Go to http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/Upload/
    Follow the instructions to upload your flight record.
    Come back and post a link to the report it provides and some of the experienced people here will probably be able to analyse it and give you an understanding of the cause of the incident and perhaps point you to a likely area to search for the Phantom.
     
    BigAl07 likes this.
  5. DavidW63

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    If you were able to see "grass" in the camera after it crashed, then most likely you can use "find my Phantom" on your app to locate it using gps with your phone or tablet. That happend to me last summer. I used my tablet to find my Phantom, but the owner of the property would not let me get close to it. He found it a month ago and called me. Found out I walked right under it since it was 40 ft up a tree.
    I had my cell # on it..
     
  6. Mark The Droner

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    There was a thread on a similar situation a while back except it was about a person who found the drone. No phone number, just the FAA number. So the founder was kind enough to contact the FAA to try to find some contact info on the owner and the FAA told him/her to give the Phantom to the nearest police station.

    So apparently that's the protocol.

    Presumably the cops will then contact FAA, get the contact info, and file charges if warranted (haha hopefully not). Otherwise, you'd get it back that way.

    So my point is, you might contact your nearest police station.

    Personally, I'd be inclined to go searching for it. Rough terrain? There's gotta be a way down into that valley. You probably have a son or grandson, right?

    Here's an elevation tool that might help: www.daftlogic.com

    Also, we'd LOVE to know what exactly went wrong, as Meta mentioned.

    Good luck!
     
    BigAl07 likes this.
  7. kennedye

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    If you have an N-number for it then you might need to notify them so they know that particular one is out of commission, otherwise I assume they're not interested.
     
  8. Les Hall

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    I was not using the DJI app I was using the beta of Autopilot. I had tested the follow function earlier and it worked great. We were going to ride around the property on this way slow 2x4 called a Pug and the drone was meant to follow. I changed the distance to follow at and then took off. It immediately just flew off over the valley - in the complete opposite direction.

    If I had the presence of mind I should have immediately cut the motor. But I thought I could get it under control.

    As for retrieving it. I was on a plateau looking over the valley. It is about 1/4 mile down to the valley floor at an angle of about 60°. It's all scrub, cactus, yucca and mesquite. It's hard going and it's hot and dry. I have lost most of my saliva glands due to radiation treatment for throat cancer, so if I'm out in the heat without enough water I get sick soon.

    At 60 I was the youngest in our party. I wanted to go retrieve it but my friend and my father-in-law would not let me go down. I guess my father-in-law didn't want to tell his daughter that they had lost me or worse...

    If I was younger or healthier it might have been doable. But it's not worth risking your life for a drone.

    Who knows, maybe some cowboy will be out in the valley one day and come across it.

    Thanks for all the responses.
     
  9. Mark The Droner

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    Something else just occurred to me. If you had another hefty drone such as a P4, you could send it out searching. Once you found it, you could consider a rescue mission. I saw a vid once of a drone picking up another drone from a neighbor's back property.
     
  10. DavidW63

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    Most 3rd party apps have the same locating software as the DJI app. I was using Litchi/ and Ultimate flight which both have the option of locating it if lost. I do have mine Registered but I do NOT have the number on it. But I do have my cell number and name on it which keeps the cops out of the situation. But if asked about the Faa number, I have the certificate with me in my storage box. I do that in case of another person using my number on there drone.
     
  11. Mark The Droner

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    One of the things that the FAA is asking LEOs to do is to confirm that a UAS pilot has an FA number on the drone. If it's not on there, you are inviting problems such as confiscation.
     
  12. m0j0

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    HAHAHAHAHAHA.... Confiscation!
     
  13. Air Ontario

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    It's not that one they found in Deer Park Texas is it. Lol
    The one Deer Park PD wants the owner to call and claim?

    Sorry, I'll just get my hat and show myself out...........
     
  14. dewster

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    I wonder how many Phantoms are M.I.A.


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots mobile app