You are enjoying flying your amazing drone, and then the unexpected happens, it gets stuck in a tree. It’s a frustrating ordeal and most likely leaves you staring up the tree wondering what to do. You start wondering why you did not settle for a drone with obstacle detection and collision avoidance technology. But don’t worry, you have several options. Here is how to get a drone out of a tree.
1. Flying Off
One of the options is to attempt to fly the drone off the tree. You need to be very cautious with this option as a simple mistake can result in your flying machine getting damaged or getting more entangled. However, it is a perfect shot if the situation fits the following characteristics:
- A clear path of flight which you can confirm through seeing it on top or through FPV streaming
- The drone still has enough charge (battery level)
With some navigation skill, you can safely bring your treasured drone back to you by flying it off the tree. Carefully plan the path of flight before you attempt this method; for instance, how high you need to lift it and the direction of the horizontal movement. But if you do have any doubts about its position or the state of the propellers, then you must proceed to try the other ways.
2. Shaking the Tree
In case flying off is not possible or is unsuccessful, you can try shaking the tree to dislodge your drone. It is an often forgotten yet simple option that can help you get your plane down within a short time. This option is applicable when the tree is small enough to move when you shake it. You can ask for the help of a friend to help you get the desired amount of movement that dislodges the drone.
However tall the tree is, this method will get your drone down as long as it can move when you shake. You need to take caution to avoid personal injury and damaging the drone. Ensure you shake from the opposite side of where the drone is stuck to prevent injury. You can put soft materials like pillows around the tree to reduce the impact when it falls, which prevents damage.
3. Climbing the Tree
The surest way to get your drone down safely is by climbing the tree. You will get your drone out in situations that the above two options cannot work. That is if the tree is climbable and you can climb. You can use this drone retrieval method if the situation fits these characteristics:
- The tree is strong enough to support your weight otherwise just shake it
- Enough branches are present for your grip as you climb
- It is safe to climb
- You have a clear view of the location of the drone and the path to take to get to it
If these criteria are not met, then it is probably better to try another option. Always remember that your safety is paramount. If the drone is lodged too high or there are too many branches to allow climbing, don’t climb.
A ladder can help you get to your drone without having to struggle with climbing. You can get your ladder in case you own one and are close to your house. Don’t worry if you have no ladder; the local equipment store has your back as they can rent you a ladder. Using a ladder is a safer way than climbing the tree.
It is perfect for you if the height at which the drone is stuck is within reach with the available ladder, and you can also see the drone. If it is stuck deep in the foliage, using a ladder may not be of much help.
Like climbing, safety is critical. Have someone to hold the ladder for you to keep it steady. The person can help you avoid slips and falls that may be dangerous if from a height.
You can combine the use of a ladder with climbing. The ladder can get you high enough to get a good grip on the branches and access your drone.
5. A Long Pole
Another excellent solution when it comes to drone retrieval is the use of a long pole. It allows you to remove the drone from the entanglement without having to climb or use a ladder. Remember to poke the drone gently to avoid damaging it.
The poles you can use include:
- Fiberglass pole
- Professional pole
- Big Bamboo
- Pool Cues
A fiberglass pole, for example, can help you safely retrieve your drone by hooking into propeller guards. Professional poles available at hardware stores or home centers can be as go as high as 24 feet, which is perfect if your drone is stuck anywhere within the range. Ask for telescoping poles when you go to buy them.
You can combine the use of long poles with a ladder, and you will easily reach whatever height your drone is stuck.
6. Fishing Line
Using a fishing line is also a great alternative when the drone is stuck on a branch at some distance from the ground. You will need a strong fishing line, for instance, the Kevlar-coated fishing line which you can buy and weight, for example, a baseball.
Follow the following procedure to get down your drone:
- Tightly tie the fishing line around the baseball at one end
- Walk while you unwind and lay down the fishing line in a straight line from the tree to a distance that you approximate to be more than twice the distance of the drone from the ground
- Throw the baseball over the branch where the drone is stuck and let it come down on the other side
- Hold the two ends of the fishing line in your hands and shake the branch until the drone falls
- You can place soft materials where you expect it to fall or try to catch it when it falls
And just like that, you will have your drone with you in no time. However, if you have to shake for longer repeatedly, ensure you shift the part of the fishing line over the tree as much as possible to avoid cutting.
You can take the guesswork out of your drone retrieval using lifts like the bucket truck and hydraulic lifts. They will get you right within arms reach of your drone, and you can easily and safely take it down with you.
A buck truck, which is one of the aerial work platforms, is used to elevate personnel to heights safely and thus is perfect for your drone retrieval needs. You can rent it either on an hourly basis or for the day. Negotiate for an hourly rate as you will just need it for at most 30 minutes.
A hydraulic lift works in the same way and can also help you get to incredible heights that are impossible to climb on your own. The rates for renting a hydraulic lift are lower than that of a bucket truck. It is, however, less efficient as compared to the bucket truck.
Before you go ahead and hire these lifts, be sure that the cost of your drone is way higher than what you will spend to retrieve it.
8. Knock it Off
A particularly unpopular option is to knock the drone off the tree. Most people do not recommend it. You only need to resort to it when the other options are not viable. Extreme caution needs to be taken to prevent damaging the drone.
Use soft objects, for instance, dart gun pellets or inflatable ball. The objects need to be firm enough to dislodge the drone while at the same time, being soft enough not to damage it. You can also use soft materials on the ground where it will land to reduce the impact and consequent damage. Never use water from a hose pipe to dislodge it unless it is waterproof.
Observe the highest standards of safety by ensuring you stay out of the way of the falling drone and also warn any other person nearby. If the tree is within a public place, knocking it the drone off will not be safe as you may injure other people.
9. Tree Service
When you run out of options, you can call the tree service, and they will get your drone down in no time. It, however, depends on their availability within your locality. They will get down your drawn in a way that is safe for both you and your drone.
10. Fire Department
The final option which only needs to be put in practice when all the above options have failed is to call the fire department. You will need to understand that the drone being stuck in a tree is not an emergency, and the fire department may have more pressing issues to address. That is why when they turn you down or keep you waiting for a long time; you have to accept the situation.
Be as clear as possible about your situation when you make the call. Lying may land you in jail. Also, let the fire department know that you can wait in case they will take longer to come.
How to Get a Drone out of a Tree Conclusion
Your drone getting stuck in the tree may leave you feeling helpless. Luckily, you have a variety of options when it comes to getting it back down. Flying it off, shaking the tree or climbing are the simplest and fastest options.
A ladder, long pole, fish line, and lift are the other options that may require some spending but will be worth it as they are effective and safer. You can try to knock it off the tree too although you need to be careful not to damage it. The final options when nothing else works are to call the tree service or the fire department.
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