Where we left our heroes
When we left off in our adventure our bird was still, well, here:
We had tried dislodging it by throwing rocks, getting ropes around the branch to shake it, shooting a sling shot at it, and our neighbor even tried to break the branch by shooting a rifle at it (yes it was a dumb idea…). Nothing had so much as shifted the drone from where it rested.
This was a Friday, on Monday a big rainstorm was due to hit. As the sunset, we knew only had two days before the drone was dead if we didn’t get it down.
Desperate times call for desperate measures
As we went about our chores on Saturday we regularly came back to the tree the drone was in to try and come up with new ideas. Our neighbor brought over a 28 ft. ladder hoping it would allow us to gut the branch off the tree entirely. Sadly, it was still several feet too short (not to mention extremely unstable on the rocky terrain). The wind, which had been blowing for two days, was starting to calm down giving us a new option.
So we discussed our last option, as we could see it. Cut down the tree and hope for the best. It wasn’t a great option, the tree’s natural lean was toward the branch the drone was caught in. There was a good chance that this course of action would crush what we were trying to save. Our choices were a slim chance of saving the drone or no chance. If we couldn’t get the drone out of the tree by Sunday morning, the tree was coming down.
A hero rises
As I went about the last of my chores I kept reflecting on our efforts over the past two days and where they went wrong. Throwing rocks had not been accurate enough. The sling shot was too weak to get a large rock up and the rocks were two oddly shaped to fly straight anyway. The ropes were either to weak to break the branch or too heavy to get up that high. Plus the only time a rope had gotten around the branch was more of a lucky break than skill.
Finally, I concluded that we needed something that weighed roughly the same as the drone. It also needed to be aerodynamic like, a football. Except, we do not own a football. Disappointed, I started trying to think which of the neighbors might have one and would be able to bring it over. Then, I remembered, we did own a softball.
As a teenager, I played baseball for a season. During that time I learned two things; one) I apparently have the build of a pitcher, two) my aim is so terrible no one will ever ask me to be a pitcher. So finding our softball’s hiding place beside the door (I walked past it at least five times while looking for it) I went outside filled with excitement and dread. I knew that to get the drone out I would have to hit it with the ball, this was going to take a miracle.
Twenty minutes later, after a lucky throw, the drone came tumbling to the ground. The softball had rescued it.
Surveying the damages
When the drone hit the ground I cringed, wondering how much damage the impact had caused. A quick inspection showed that two propellers were broken, a leg had come disconnected, and the body was scratched. I took it inside to charge it and see if the internal electronics were damaged. To our relief, the drone came on and functioned correctly. The only major damage was the now broken leg which will have to be repaired.
All in all, things could have gone much worse and we are grateful that the rescue worked.