Need help recovering FPV plane near Denver, CO - Plane recovered! - Page 4 - RC Groups
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Jun 10, 2011, 04:51 PM
Great Britain
MrBen.'s Avatar
dont give up I lost my zephyr yesterday after hours of searching we eventually used a skywalker with a hd keychain cam to take some aerial footage and we found the plane straight away once we had reviewed the footage

this is the live feed

this is the aerial footage which told us where the plane was

Looking for downed FPV Zephyr (7 min 23 sec)

My ground station battery went flat its very lucky I wasn't far or high as I have had some very testing flights recently.
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Jun 10, 2011, 06:24 PM
Powered by 1.21 Jiggwatts!
I'm the pilot of the plane. Jeff Hendrix (also a licensed pilot) is the First Officer / Coffee Boy. *laughs*

I'm happy to help out! I'm an FPV pilot as well, and this is basically the worst-case scenario! I hope we can find it. I won't be able to fly at 400 feet seeing as how I can lose my license, but we will fly as low as I'm allowed.

I say bring the gopro to document Vitamin J's response if we find it (awesome user name, by the way)!
Jun 10, 2011, 06:26 PM
Suspended Account
Excellent guys, this topic is giving me a warm fuzzy feeling all over, go find that plane, FPV pilots unite! <crowd cheering!>


Jun 10, 2011, 06:32 PM
FPV = Fun Powered Vehicle
LokeyFPV's Avatar
Originally Posted by Vitamin_J
Thanks for the offers to help look for the plane, guys, but I've already covered all the ground that it's possible to on foot.
Your definitely gonna need some boots on the ground either way IMO. Let me know if I can be of assistance.
Worst case scenario is I wait a few weeks
Looks like Kathy Sabine is forecasting rain.
Originally Posted by jasmine2501
Well yeah... have your buddies on the ground already when you fly over. Call them on a cell phone and talk them in.
That's exactly what I was thinking. There should be cell coverage in the area. Or use 2way radios as IBCrazy said.

Last edited by LokeyFPV; Jun 10, 2011 at 06:38 PM.
Jun 11, 2011, 12:56 AM
Suspended Account
Search attempt was successful! At least we think so. Jeff and I both think we spotted my Floater or at least it was something that had the distinctive wings!

Here's some footage. My footage of the actual search turned out bad because of too much zoom but we went for a joyride after:

FPV Crash - Cessna Search and Rescue Mission (2 min 9 sec)

FPV Search and Rescue - Cessna landing (0 min 31 sec)
Jun 11, 2011, 01:37 AM
Registered User

Search and Rescue (well maybe just search)

So Jimmy met Damon and I at the airport.
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(search and rescue plane)

After a quick preflight and a long taxi (we had to take off on 11L due to wind) we were in the air.

10 minutes later we over tabletop mountain making our first run. We flew by and saw nothing.
We then made a pass going the other way coming over the mountain
(almost the same path that the FPV plane took, without the corkscrew at the end) and still nothing.
With our hopes starting to get down, we went around for another pass.
We had completely passed the area and I looked back and ... what's that ...
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Description: What's that?

lets do another pass.
looking ... looking ... there
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Lets do a head on pass just to make sure we know we got it in a picture
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That has got to be it (in the shape of a plane and somewhere hard to spot from the ground.
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Happy FPVer
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and Happy flight crew

But that was not the end of the day. On the way back to the airport, the ATIS said the airport would be closed starting at 8:00PM.
When we landed, we saw a bunch of cool old planes and some type of party going on.
We went over to investigate and saw a Mig 15, a T33, and a bunch of other old cool aircraft. We also saw a jet powered sailplane with fireworks attached all over it, a Beach 18 with lights mounted all over it (and I mean all over it), and there was either a su-26 or su-29 with lights on it.
We asked and someone told us there was going to be a private night airshow for Pilatus owners (well I hope to own one someday, so count us in).
So Damon and I ate at the airport grill and watched our first ever night airshow. Making an awesome ending to a great day (except for the going to work part).

Jun 11, 2011, 01:59 AM
FPV = Fun Powered Vehicle
LokeyFPV's Avatar
Good work guys.
That looks like it should be it. VitaminJ how far off your initial search area was it? Is it accessible? If you can take a picture of it in its crashed position. Good luck in the recovery mission.

J and enthalpy you are some stand up guys! Way to go pilots.

Jun 11, 2011, 02:32 AM
out of focus
is that an inverted V antenna on the tail of the cesna?

Good spotting guys and I hope you get to retreive it asap!
Jun 11, 2011, 03:56 AM
Suspended Account
Heroic effort guys, congrats! Now go get that plane!


Jun 11, 2011, 10:48 AM
Out of the way, Peck!
Originally Posted by VaZ
I really hope you find your plane. I have seem some post of people who lost their plane, and I wonder, in the region where you usually fly, do you have GSM coverage?
Because if so, you could put one of these GPS trackers on your airplane.

I have it on my skywalker, vtx on a wingtip, this gps tracker on the other. +5gr on the vtx side and the wing is perfectly balanced. If I loose the plane, I just need to make a call to GPS tracker. It then rejects my call and sends me an sms with the actual coordinates. Already lost it, and found it in minutes with that tracker.

Searched for something similar on the internet, found it here for $60-ish...

Personally i would be afraid to put a GPS-SMS device on my plane for an emergency often do i see you guys flying in places where cell coverage is sporadic or non-existent? Wouldn't a simple, long-lasting radio beacon be better? Granted, it doesn't give the exact GPS coordinates, only "thataway", but it doesn't rely on civilization to work.

This one operates in the 70cm Ham band (440mhz)...

Since i don't own a scanner or a 440mhz radio, i'm going to build this Tx that will "beep" in the 2-meter ham band (144mhz). I've got radios for that, and a Pringles can slid over my antenna will make it directional. $20 in parts?

It has always astounded me how people on the 4WD forums i visit (I own a Toyota 4x4 repair shop) complain about thier heavily-modified truck ($$$) getting stolen, but they didn't bother to install a $50 alarm system. Or people on here worried about the $1000 of electronics that is in thier crashed/ lost RC plane (no offense intended). I am anxious to build and fly my first FPV plane, but i am waiting on more/ better parts to arrive first. My budget is tight, it's taken me a year to buy $870 in parts. I need that radio beacon. I cannot afford to fly without it.

Hope these links help.
Jun 11, 2011, 12:02 PM
Powered by 1.21 Jiggwatts!
Originally Posted by Garbach
is that an inverted V antenna on the tail of the cesna?
Those are the VOR antennas, used for radio navigation. They are set in the horizontal plane to avoid tracking reflections off mountains.
Jun 11, 2011, 12:19 PM
Rocket Programmer
jasmine2501's Avatar
Originally Posted by enthalpy
Those are the VOR antennas, used for radio navigation. They are set in the horizontal plane to avoid tracking reflections off mountains.
Does anybody still know how to use those?

For airplane recovery here's what I will do - because yes, cell coverage can't be depended on.

A beeping radio tracker can be built pretty easily from the following kit:

Then you need a radio to track it with - these can be cheap or expensive, and you need to practice using it because it's kind of an art to locate the beacon. You can build your own:

So then it's really simple - just make a bomb timer from an old-style kitchen timer guts, and set it to "blow" after maybe 20 minutes or whatever is longer than your longest flight. If you haven't recovered the plane after that amount of time, the timer goes off, activating the beacon. It will beep for days or weeks depending on the battery you use.
Jun 11, 2011, 12:38 PM
Out of the way, Peck!
I hope you are trying to be humorous, jasmine2501.

Man this makes me feel like an old guy, never thought i'd be advising anyone to comply with the law.

From Wikipedia
Unlicensed broadcasts on the FM broadcast band (88 to 108 MHz) are limited to a field strength of 250 ÁV/m at a distance of 3 meters from the antenna. This is equivalent to 0.01 microwatts.[2] Emissions must be kept within the 88.0 to 108.0 MHz band under Part 15 rules. Any unlicensed 88 to 108 MHz broadcasting with a signal strength greater is punishable by law and confiscation of all broadcast equipment. It is impossible to get a broadcast license for very low-power broadcasting, and nearly impossible to get one for any higher wattage.

The suggested FM transmitter has a range of a half-mile. My suggested transmitter has a probable range of 3+ miles, more with higher-gain directional antennas. Granted, it's legal use requires a Tech-class or better amateur radio license, which alot of FPV'ers seem to have.

I'm not trying to start an internet war here in someone's thread, but really dude, a bomb-timer? Ya gotta watch what you say on the internet these days.

At least use a 555 timer circuit... Much lighter.
Jun 11, 2011, 12:47 PM
Rocket Programmer
jasmine2501's Avatar
Heck no I like mechanical stuff... kitchen timers are time-tested reliable devices

Those trackers are used for rockets, and I didn't know there was a legal issue. The guy sells the kits, so I kind of assumed they were legal. So, post your alternative... I'd love to know what it is.

If the CIA wants to come to my house because of this, fine.
Jun 11, 2011, 01:21 PM
Out of the way, Peck!
(Dispatching CIA wetwork team to jasmine2501's house, now to keep him distracted until they arrive...)

I already posted my alternative. 144mhz 2-meter foxhunt transmitter. Just leave it on the whole time you fly. There's a portion of the 2-meter band that is unofficially? reserved for telemetry and CW transmissions, so you shouldn't bother anyone.

Thanks for the link to that guy's website, he seems to have alot of cool projects.

Notice he only sells kits, and offers the plans for free. On that page is his disclaimer, YOU must comply with Part 15 of the FCC rules. If he sold the completed transmitter it would probably be illegal. He is not breaking the law if you are the one who builds and operates the transmitter.

You could build and use it anyway, in a vacant part of the band, at such a low power it probably wouldn't cause any harm. But the best range he says you might get under ideal conditions (yeah right) is 1 mile.

My link to the 2-meter DIY transmitter says it puts out 40mw. My (ancient) Icom IC-2A handheld 2-meter radio on low power puts out 12mw, and a fellow ham with a directional antenna can clearly copy me from 9 miles away in another city. Line-of-sight, no hills between us, mostly just river and woods. Since our FPV planes may drift far from where we lose video or control before actually hitting the ground i'd like all the radio beacon range i can get.

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