This is the first installment of the series “Hard Landings & Fly-aways”
Not long ago someone reminded me that I should write about the soul-crushing experience of losing or crashing a drone. Like anyone who has been flying them for several years, I too have a rich history in this area. Nevertheless, I thanked them for the reminder, but I tabled the writing for another day given everything else on my plate.
Ironically, not long after that correspondence and contemplating how long it had been since I had an “incident,” I experienced another.
In that “hard landing,” I was reminded of all the emotions that flood one’s soul when such events unfold. The surprise, the confusion, the helplessness, the sense of loss, and ultimately the feeling of failure—whether it was operator error or not.
Obviously these emotions/feelings are more profound when it comes to larger or more expensive aircraft. Yet, even when it’s a $30 aircraft, losing it or damaging it beyond repair pretty much consumes your thoughts the remainder of the day (and some of the next day). And there you are, walking back home with another orphaned controller. Needless to say, I’m sure there are several of us out there with an embarrassing collection of orphaned controllers.
For me, YouTube is typically the first therapy I seek out following a drone loss. Just type “drone crash” into the search window and behold the cornucopia of idiots that are in the same camp. You think you feel bad after destroying a $70 drone, go to YouTube and watch two guys drop two grand into the drink along the coast of Iceland—talk about “walking home with an orphaned controller.”
In light of any given drone loss, hope eventually shows up not far behind all of those initial post-crash bad feelings—well, that’s assuming that following a disaster you haven’t become of the mind, “That’s it, I quit… I’m never doing this again!”
Upon entering this realm of hope, it materializes in the form of looking for a replacement on Amazon, Banggood, Gear Best, or wherever else you acquire these small unmanned aircraft. Before you know it, that hope quickly becomes excitement as you consider not only replacing the aircraft you lost, but replacing it with a better aircraft since they are rapidly evolving like a strain of mutant organisms. And soon after, the new-found excitement transforms into an almost intoxicating energy which ultimately leads to another loss.
Such is… the drone pilot’s circle of life.
Next: actual accounts of my drone disasters.