Disaster! I’ve lost the GoPro Hero HD camera and I can’t find it!
It was during the first FPV flight with the FunJet GoPro edition. I was out flying at a field near the lake Vättern. It was late in the afternoon, the wind had died down and it was a perfect evening to fly FPV.
With the 6*4 prop screaming at 22000 RPM, I threw her up into the sky. Even with the GoPro camera mounted it still flies pretty good. After flying a couple of passes visually I threw on the goggles. The video link was nice and crisp. After a couple of minutes of putting the video link to the test, I felt completely comfortable with the setup except for one thing, the pan was reversed. I didn’t want to land to correct it, nor did I want to try and correct it in the air, so I let it be for now. The GoPro has such a wide angle and I don’t often use the pan on the FunJet when flying fast. Little did I know that this would cost me the GoPro camera…
The tree I hit and the “beach” the plane crashed on. The picture is taken the morning after the crash.
I was so comfortable flying that I soon was flying a couple of decimeters above the ground at 100km/h. This was really exiting, especially when flying inverted. I’ve flown FPV at this field before in this video. Just like in the video I flew in between the trees out over the water. This evening the water was dead calm, it looked like a perfect mirror. I could even see the plane reflected when looking down. ’This is going to be an awesome video’ – I thought to myself. Flying along the edge of the lake, looking to the right, I saw the sun low in the sky and reflected in the water. I pulled the elevator and made a stall turn and flew the same way back. It was time to get back and land. I was flying pretty near the waterline and started to make a turn, but since I was so close to the ground I didn’t feel comfortable not looking ”into the turn”, so I pulled the stick to the left and the camera panned to the right! That’s right, it was inverted. I had forgotten. I threw the stick to the right and had just enough time to see a tree branch before the video went black.
It’s quite bizarre to know you’ve crashed but still hearing the sound of a flying airplane for a second before the sound of the crash reaches your ears.
I was pretty sure that the airplane had cashed into the water so I threw of the goggles and ran down to the water as fast as my legs could carry me. To my great surprise the FunJet lay on tiny piece of ”beach”, the only for hundreds of meters. ’Ooo that’s lucky’ – I thought. It didn’t even looked that smashed up. Picking it up I noticed that the camera was missing. Looking around my feet I expected to find it right away. I mean, it is pretty easy to spot. But I couldn’t see it. Strange… It couldn’t have gone far? After searching for 10 minutes without any luck, I decided to put the FunJet and FPV gear back into the car.
When I returned, I searched around the tree I knew it had hit. After an hour of not finding it the wife called me and wondered where I was. I told her what had happened, 10 minutes later she turned up to help me. ’This shouldn’t be too hard’ she said. 2 hours later we still hadn’t found it and the light was fading so we couldn’t keep on searching. We had looked everywhere. I had even climbed the tree to be sure that it wasn’t stuck up there and while I was up there I scanned the water without spotting anything. The water was perfectly still and shallow for about 50 meters, so I could see every pebble at the bottom, but no camera…
I knew that it was going to rain during that night but there was nothing I could do about it. We simply could’t find it. We had to give up.
I returned the next morning armed with gloves and a burning desire to find it. I was going to pull up every last strand of the tall grass in the area to make sure that I hadn’t missed anything. 10 minutes after I arrived it started to rain. 5 minutes later it was pouring down. I searched for 1,5 hours before giving up. Drenched to the skin I went home. A couple hours later the sun started to shine and I decided to have another go. I called up my brother and asked for help. We spent 2 hours searching every last inch of land where it possible could have landed but, nothing… Aching all over I finally gave up. We weren’t going to find it. I knew the camera was going to be beyond repair but I wanted the memory card back. It was a Sandisk Ultra III 16GB card and I had hoped that some of the video was going to be usable.
It sucks that I only got one good video from the GoPro before it disappeared. Now all my hobby savings will have to go into buying a new GoPro instead of a discus launch glider which I was saving up to… Sometime, life is a bitch.
Not that much damage