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        Discussion Fort Polk searching for unmanned aerial vehicle

#1 Ensignnolo Sep 26, 2006 07:29 PM

Fort Polk searching for unmanned aerial vehicle


#2 Myron Sep 26, 2006 08:34 PM

It would be interesting to hear the story of how it got lost.. If it was fully autonomous it should have a GPS on board and telemetry back at the ground station. Its last know position would be a good start..


#3 typicalaimster Sep 26, 2006 11:27 PM

Have they checked Ebay yet?

#4 lvspark Sep 27, 2006 01:47 AM

What is that, the second one in as many months?? Geeze they need to get some of you RCG'ers in there to train those guys..

#5 CenTexFlyer Sep 27, 2006 08:19 AM


Myron and I could take a wing up there and do a search & rescue.... :)

The Wing is the Thing!

#6 Myron Sep 27, 2006 09:02 AM

Woudlnt that be a kicker! An inexpensive AP bird finding their 30K+ vehicle... Knowing a little bit about the logic use, they are probably sending full scale helicopters out and burning thousands in fuel. Probably a bunch more in diesel with the humvees. Not to mention the man ours in a large scale foot search... I would guess that if they are looking hard for it, It is costing the taxpayers about 60K if you include the price of the lost UA..


#7 Myron Sep 27, 2006 09:19 AM

Well, You all know what killed the cat... I have been on the phone for the past 30 minutes trying to get the low-down... I finally got through to the right department and I am expecting a call back when the Brigade S1 he gets in...


#8 Unterhausen Sep 27, 2006 10:27 AM

that thing is tiny, no wonder they can't find it.

#9 Magician Sep 27, 2006 01:38 PM

From the description and the fact that it's the Army, my guess is it's a Raven UAV made by Aerovironment. It's probably a $20K asset, more if it had an IR camera onboard. Probably worth finding :-)

They may not have a good last known GPS location if they lost link, lost GPS or many other possible failure modes and it kept flying. I find it odd that they put out an APB to the community. A minor issue can become a major PR problem real fast.


#10 kd7ost Sep 27, 2006 10:05 PM

I'm sure they have a pretty good handle on how far it would have gone. Also, a fair sense for what cardinal direction it went. That would narrow the search.

What would be worse than telling a community that a small military UAV was potentially lost in their town, would be not telling the community you lost one and then having it show up. That would be a PR nighmare and totally irresponsible. They have to ward off any potential panic or fears. They have a responsibility to alert the public that if in fact it shows up, that "here is where it came from and it's totally safe."


#11 Myron Sep 27, 2006 10:36 PM

Hey Guys,

I spoke with the S1 about the situation. It has been two weeks since the UA was lost.. they "beleive" it went down in either "densly wooded or rolling hills" type terrain.
They gave me the # of the major that is in charge of the deal.. I have left a message for him and I am awaiting a call back.. They have used full scale helos in the attempt to find the bird but it appears the case is growing cold.. If it was a raven, it coudlnt have gotton too far!.. Maybe tomorrow I will have more details...


#12 Magician Sep 28, 2006 09:11 AM

Looks like the military will need to come up with a mil-spec "if found" label :)

Something like:
Property of US Government
inert device
this is not a model airplane
contact (XXX)XXX-XXXX for pick up
reward offered

Maybe this would help when operating on small test ranges :cool:

I'd want to remove the label when operating overseas though :D

#13 typicalaimster Sep 28, 2006 10:34 AM


Originally Posted by Magician
Looks like the military will need to come up with a mil-spec "if found" label :)

Actually looking at it this could be a very good discussion...

On my amateur stuff I try to place the electronics battery, GPS, and telemetry downlink in a crash resistant area. After checking out a few model crashes I noticed behind the spar and 1/4 in from the wing tip usually survives. I usually place the battery on one side of the wing. The the electronics on the other side to counter balance things out. I've also switched over to wires and connectors that can resist a very blunt tug on them. This includes a loop for some stress slack tucked away in the wing. The hope is should the main battery fail resulting in a crash, the backup will still power the GPS and telemetry. In a perfect world this would allow me to track down where the plane might be.

What is everyone else doing in the amateur world to help them track down a lost plane?


#14 Myron Sep 28, 2006 11:19 AM

Hey Scott,

Pretty much same as the above and the AP we have logs all the flight data so we know what the last known position is/was.. We also have a "lost plane finder" from Communications Specialist. It has a tiny transmitter that runs on a pancake battery and the RX has a signal meter... Fortunately we have not had to use it!


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