We’ve all heard the saying “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”. Well, today we have learned a new application for this little gem.
A bad day for training wheels
A few years ago we got a good deal on a nice drone. We have not gotten good at flying it yet. We still keep most of the default settings on including flight assistance. Today was a cold blustery day, but we decided to take the drone out. The fall colors have been so nice and we wanted to get some pictures. We decided to keep the drone within the shelter of the trees to protect it from the wind.
Launching the drone from the front porch we flew it around the house toward the ravine in the back yard. We carefully piloted the drone close to the edge just beyond the shelter of the towering pine trees… and got some great footage of the fall colors. We brought the drone back to safety relieved that all had gone well. Just then the drone’s low battery warning started sounding.
A fateful turn
Flying back around to the front of the house we took a minor sidetrack down a trail next to the house. We wanted to get some footage of the lovely canopy! Besides the hard part of the flight was over! About 10 feet down the trail the drone’s battery reached 20%, which is a magical number if you have the safety features on. At 20% battery, the drone will return to its “home”, or launch site, so that you, an inexperienced pilot, do not try to fly until it drops. It does this by shooting up to a high cruising elevation so that it can fly in a straight line back home.
When our drone hit 20% battery it was perfectly located below a completely enclosed canopy of oak trees…
That is our drone, thoroughly stuck in an oak tree’s clutches.
It also happens to be approximately 50 feet off the ground.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
A question fell upon us at this point, “How are we going to get it down?” We stood there for a bit and discussed options. We called over a neighbor for a consult. Together we threw rocks to try and jostle the branch, but it was too high enough up to make it a challenging throw. Our neighbor got his slingshot out but it didn’t fair any better.
After discussing more options we decided to see if another neighbor could come over with his long handled limbing saw, to cut the limb off the tree (which is only 30 feet off the ground at the trunk). He came over took one look and said his saw wouldn’t get even close even with our ladder. So we started trying to get a rope or string thrown over the branch to try and shake or pull it down. After nearly two hours of discussing and trying different weights and string combinations we finally succeeded at getting a piece of twine over the branch!
Excitedly we started pulling on the ends to bounce and shake the drone loose. We watched as the branch swayed and bounced until… the twine snapped. The drone never even moved.
The saga continues
So our story concludes for the night. Our bird is not in our hands, our efforts to retrieve it went about as well as reassembling Humpty Dumpty after his fall. We can now attest from experience that a drone in the hand is worth any number of them stuck in the bush.
However, hope is not lost yet, there are plans at work to try to retrieve our drone from that tree. With any luck, our next report will be a brighter one.