Updated: Nov 28, 2018
So your drone got stuck in a tree! Oh no! What do you do?! Well here is a quick tip that I found useful for me in such a sticky situation while on my most recent shoot!
Flying a Quadcopter: Risks
Flying my quadcopter for business has been extremely beneficial for Real Estate Professionals in that it helps capture angles you can't normally see. There are a lot of great shots you can get when flying your Drone, BUT there are the risks you face when flying, such as getting your Quadcopter stuck in a tree that seems too high for recovery. Today whilst flying, my drone caught one tiny branch sticking out of the top of the tree and it was enough to flip the drone and tumble into the top branches of the tree. As you can imagine, my heart started racing. My drone was stuck and the client was needing their images for their listing! I think the part that had me most in a frenzy was I told my Wife I would only be gone about 30 minutes, boy was I wrong!
The Options I Faced.
• Climb the Tree
This was not even close to an option seeing as the time of year is winter, the branches were weak, and the drone was stuck at the top of the tree standing about three stories high.
• Get a Lift
As you can imagine, this is not an easy task. I don't know about you personally, but I don't know anyone off hand that has a lift readily available to come to my rescue in getting something out of a tree.
• Use a Ladder
As I mentioned before, even with a 24ft ladder, I was still coming up quite shy of the location where my drone was sitting.
• Throwing Something Heavy At It
I wont lie, this was my first guess. We grabbed a football and threw it at it until arms could no longer throw. With the height of it, we would have needed Aaron Rodgers for this dilemma, and even after his current season, I don't think he would have even been able to make this magic happen! We gave up on this after about 30 minutes.
• Build a Long Poker with Poles
This would have been a fairly decent option, however with the height that the drone was sitting at, even if we could have built a pole that high, I feel we wouldnt have been able to lift it or even control it for that matter. This was in and out of mind faster than any other option.
• Call the Fire Department
So I did do this, and unfortunately when not an emergency, Fire Departments do not use their staff and services to help. They were extremely friendly on the phone in that the man I spoke to was in this situation with his child recently. They used some before mentioned methods to retrieve theirs, but those ideas were of no help to me in recovering my drone.
• Cut Your Losses
I was told that I may have to cut my loses, and seeing as how my Drone is about $1,000.00, I really did not see this as something that I could accept. I am a firm believer that if you set your mind to something, it can and will be accomplished.
• The Winning Answer For Me!
After my time of standing and staring up at the tree, I finally got in the car and drove over to Walmart to pick up a few supplies and think like McGyver/a Stallis Kid. With a few minutes in the "Outdoors Section" I picked up some 50lbs 150 yard Fishing Line, some Lead Sinker Weights, and a Wrist Rocket Slingshot. By tying the lead weights to the end of the Fishing line, I created a make shift lasso concept. I took the weights and put them in the slingshot and "FIRE AWAY!" I shot until I caught the branch the Quadcopter was stuck on. Once this was secure, I began to shake the tree until the Drone flipped out of it and fell about 50ft into my hands! My heart was racing so fast with excitement. Yes a some propellers were broken, but everything else was still in great shape! I would rather spend money on a few propellers than a full new Drone!