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Old Jun 11, 2012, 08:52 PM
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Berkie's Avatar
Australia, VIC, Rosebud
Joined Feb 2007
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How To Find a Lost Plane

Today I found a lost plane with this method, so although I'm sure it is not new, it might be of help to someone else out there.

Onboard camcorder & GPS system
Of course the first thing to do when you lose a plane is to not move.
Take as much time as you need to fix in your mind just where it went down (if you were lucky enough to see it go) Visualise the sight of a landmark that is relevant to the spot the plane disappeared

Use say, a video cam like this http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Real-720P...item337043d8c7 & say, a GPS like this http://canmore.com.tw/productshow.ph...1&mainkidname=

Camera needs to have time stamp visible on playback which the #16 has.
Set the time of the cam from your PC. For the #16 you can use this program to set to the same time on your PC http://www.mytempfiles.info/nr16/index.html.

It is best to set this time within say, an hour of launch, because the clock on the cam will gradually go out of synch. Point the camera straight down to earth. Mount the GPS on your search plane, plug it in to the Rx and wait until it gets a satellite lock. The time on your GPS should be automatically the same as the camera

Fly in ever decreasing circles (until the plane disappears up its own orifice) over the area.

Now, back at your PC play back the video in a go/stop, go/stop action. Once you spot the model note the minutes & seconds on the timestamp. Using the GPS software like GPS Photo Tagger http://gps-photo-tagger.software.informer.com/ which will show the track of your flight. Now locate the exact time in Photo Tagger that matches the time on your video. Select "Satellite" in GPS Photo Tagger and you will see your track overlaid onto Google Earth which shows the actual terrain..

The camera needs to have time stamp visible on playback which the #16 has.
Set the time of the cam from your PC. For the #16 you can use this program to set to PC time http://www.mytempfiles.info/nr16/index.html.

It is best to set this time within say, an hour of launch, because the clock on the cam will gradually go out of synch. Point the camera straight down. Mount the GPS on your search plane, plug it in to the Rx and wait until it gets a satellite lock. The time on your GPS should be automatically the same as the camera

Fly in ever decreasing circles (until the plane disappears up its own orifice) over the area. Back at your PC play back the video which shows the timestamp in a go/stop, go/stop action. Once you spot the model note the minutes & seconds. Using the GPS software like GPS Photo Tagger http://gps-photo-tagger.software.informer.com/ which will show the track of your flight, locate the exact time that matches the time on your video. Select "Satellite" in GPS Photo Tagger and you will see your track overlaid onto Google EarthGoogle.

Now that you can see the terrain in Google Earth you may be able to recognise the spot where the plane is. If you can't, look at Photo Tagger again. It will show you the compass co-ordinates. With these you can then use a handheld GPS like http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Mini-Hand...-/320585536268.

You then enter the co-ordinates into the Navigator and let it guide you to the spot.

A still camera that has built in GPS and can be set to fire at one second intervals would be a better method because the still camera will give much higher resolution. Something most beneficial if you are trying to find an aircraft that is nose down in thick 2 metre high grass! Plus, no time synching required.Then there is this gizmo http://www.amazon.com/GiSTEQ-PhotoTr...p_ob_e_title_1 that plugs into any digital still cam that provides co-ordinates to every photo.

Good hunting!

Kev
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Last edited by Berkie; Jun 11, 2012 at 08:58 PM.
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Old Jun 12, 2012, 01:17 AM
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StewieRC's Avatar
Minneapolis
Joined Sep 2010
639 Posts
i lost two plane ( out of sight ) i got both of them back no problem.
After you crash ( or you know you going to crash ) don't panic, stay where you are, make a good guess of where you plane is crashed and walk that direction.
Look left and right, your plane usually a lot farther away than you think it will be at.
Look up at trees, corner and some obvious place.
Scan the ground from left to right ( or right to left ) while walking. ( a plane laying on the ground is pretty hard to spot )

and get there before other people get a chance to find your plane.
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Old Jun 12, 2012, 04:35 AM
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keeping Eye contact, is the Key here.. when you get to where you think the crash was mark it. and If you search alwayswant to go the extra few steps. it may be one more step out.

Use your Tx to hear the servo and or motor. so do not just shut down the tx..

I lost my plane a good distance and found it not once , all teh time. by keeping an eye, and beeline
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Old Jun 12, 2012, 07:25 AM
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United States, NY, Syracuse
Joined Oct 2008
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I crashed a few planes in the woods at my old field, it was usually 4-5 people that would come with you and we would comb the woods in the direction of the plane. We almost always found the plane unless it was much farther out than we thought.

As of late however, I usually plow it in somewhere within 50 feet of myself, doing something stupid down low.
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Old Jun 12, 2012, 07:31 AM
Registered User
United States, NY, Center Moriches
Joined Feb 2012
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I had this happen last week in a field of wheat. I had an idea of the general area it went down. I walked around with my tx moving the sticks [not throttle] listening for the sound of the control surfaces moving. It actually worked and I found the plane in about 5 minutes.
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Old Jun 12, 2012, 08:46 AM
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United States, KY, Paducah
Joined Mar 2011
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I walk around listening for servo movements or the beeping of the ESC.
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Old Jun 12, 2012, 09:40 AM
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United States, FL, Lehigh Acres
Joined Aug 2011
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i take the rx and move the sticks also turn it on and off and the esc will beep.

the initial post is very interesting though ; i wonder if i could just tape my droid onto a plane and overfly the area and review the film.
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