By Mitchell Byars, Camera Staff Writer
No drone left behind.
It’s been three months since Chad Little’s remote quadcopter went haywire in the friendly summer skies over Louisville open space and zipped off to parts unknown.
But with the leaves falling off the trees, and armed with a fresh Craigslist posting and a Google map of the possible crash radius, Little is once again renewing his search for the downed drone in hopes it can still take to the air.
“I would love to find it,” Little said Friday. “I still have the remote control for it and everything.”
Little only had the quadcopter — a Blade 350QX — for a few days when he took it out for a flight on Aug. 8 above open space near the Louisville Reservoir. But then, all of a sudden, the drone started malfunctioning.
“I had a direct line of sight to where it started just acting up,” Little said. “It has GPS and WiFi, and it is supposed to ‘return home’ when you pull this lever. But instead of coming back, it just took off flying bizarrely.”
Little went searching for the quadcopter, but was never able to find it.
“It was kind of bizarre,” Little said. “I don’t know if someone stole it, if it is up in a tree or on someone’s roof.”
The drone itself cost about $500, and with the equipment Little put on it — including a GoPro camera — Little is out about $1,000.
“For it to just fly away on my third flight, it it was kind of discouraging,” he said.
The company that makes the quadcopter, Horizon Hobbies, sent Little a new model because other people had reported similar issues with the model Little had.
Little enjoys flying the new model, but he said nothing compares to the drone he lost.
“I’m just not as happy with (the new one),” Little said. “I think it’s a downgrade.”
So while the change in seasons and the recent freeze may have discouraged some people in Boulder County, it actually perked up Little’s hopes of finding the drone in a tree.
“Once the leaves fell, I was hoping someone would find it,” Little said.
Little has put up a new Craigslist post and hopes to hear some good news soon. He even created a Google Maps layout of where he thinks the drone could have made its emergency landing.
Little said he actually hopes to someday use drones to start a business shooting photos with a bird’s-eye view.
“My dream all along was to do aerial photography with it,” Little said. “With the rise of these UAVs, quadcopters, drones, whatever you want to call them, more and more people are using them. They are becoming more affordable, and application for use of these things is limitless.”