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RC for Search and Rescue

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Dave Hess07/09/2018 13:09:57
303 forum posts
18 photos

I just watched this video on you tube and noticed the guy lying in the sea at 7:35.

I was thinking how useful these would be for search and rescue when somebody is lost up a mountain, in the sea or anywhere similar. I guess it would be around £1000 to £1500 to get what he's got, maybe a less if they were factory made. that's a lot cheaper than sending up a full size helicopter at £8600 per hour or a lifeboat at £1000 an hour. Can you imagine a team of around 10 volunteers chucking their Discos out of their bedroom windows and flying off in formation about 100 meters apart to do a grid search of the area where the guy/s in trouble are. That would save an awful lot of messing about and wasted time for the lifeboat/helicopter sailing/flying up and down looking for them.

It might not be so effective in a storm though.

Maybe when the new regulations come, we can get special sanction to use such devices to help the police or rescue services. That would be good, getting a call while you're watching the TV to send your Disco on a special mission, and get say £50 for your trouble.

Did David Cameron have that in mind when he made his "Big Society" speech?

Ron Gray07/09/2018 13:19:59
1549 forum posts
367 photos

The police and rescue services already use drones equipped with I/R cameras! The CAA drone pilot course I went on a year or so back had 2 police officers and a fire services bod on it.

Dave Hess07/09/2018 13:42:03
303 forum posts
18 photos
Posted by Ron Gray on 07/09/2018 13:19:59:

The police and rescue services already use drones equipped with I/R cameras! The CAA drone pilot course I went on a year or so back had 2 police officers and a fire services bod on it.

Yes, I saw one demonstrated way back in 2006 at the 2006 Robocup in Bremen. They hadn't quite perfected the technology then because the guy told me that it would occasionally lose its GPS fix and suddenly jump 50 meters sideways into a building. I know that the ones that the fire and police services use are really expensive. I was thinking more about the Lifeboat and mountain rescue services, which are basically charities and rely on volunteers.

Shaun Walsh07/09/2018 13:58:46
205 forum posts
13 photos

Buxton Mountain Rescue are training for CAA accreditation to use drones.

brokenenglish07/09/2018 14:11:29
468 forum posts
29 photos

It can be used for less vital searches.

Last Spring, I lost a 30" wingspan foamie in a field of tall green corn. I searched for several hours, over a couple of sessions (i.e. I went back the next day) and I was unable to find it.

Finally, I attached a camera, pointing vertically downwards, onto the side of the fuselage of a bigger model, and flew a systematic search (a "creeping line ahead", for those familiar with such activities) over the entire "possible area".

When I got the plane/camera home, I viewed the video on my PC. This showed the lost plane immediately, and I was able to return to the field and recover it without problem.

Piers Bowlan07/09/2018 14:43:25
1905 forum posts
50 photos

RNLI are using drones for SAR already. Great for search, maybe one day they will be able to use them for the rescue part too. In the video he was flying 7.1 miles away using the 4G network, so not exactly LOS but impressive none the less. Unlikely to post this sort of thing in the UK but if he did the CAA would be after him.

Dave Hess07/09/2018 16:24:07
303 forum posts
18 photos

He goes a lot further in his other videos. I guess the only limit is the battery capacity. He's in Hawaii. Maybe they don't have a CAA. I would hazard a guess that there are guys using these in the UK. How would the CAA be able to track them down? I can't see them showing up on radar.

Someone got chucked out of our club for long-distance FPV flying seen by other club members, We have a strict height limit of 400ft because of a nearby airfield.

Piers Bowlan07/09/2018 18:09:45
1905 forum posts
50 photos

I know that he is in Hawaii Dave which is why I said that he would be unlikely to post that sort of thing in the UK. If anyone did, the CAA don't need radar, they can track them down from their uTube post if they want to.

Bucksboy07/09/2018 19:08:37
559 forum posts
106 photos

I fly off the shelf DJI Phantoms and Inspires at over 4 km distance but not in the UK. We use them as they’re relatively cheap and they work well virtually every time. I use them in the search role, going places it’s too dangerous to go in person. I’m sure they’re use will continue to grow but it’s not as much fun as proper model flying.

J D 807/09/2018 20:42:58
1317 forum posts
78 photos

I coverd an awfull lot difficult terrain on foot searching for missing persons,boats and even UFO's during 28 years as a Coastguard rescue officer. Would have been great to have such an asset. For known serious incidents we would have had RAF/CG helo assistance but there are only a limited number. I know that Coastguard and Mountain rescue are looking at this.

Andy G.08/09/2018 08:23:09
413 forum posts
215 photos

I turned up at one of my local coastal slope sites earlier this year to find the police and our local charity based search and rescue group there with very expensive looking quad. They were looking for missing young woman whose car had been found nearby. They had apparently been searching the cliffs and inaccessible foreshore for several days. I politely approached their preflight briefing and asked if my flying there would be inappropriate or would hinder their work. They were very obliging and we quickly arranged respective flying areas which worked well, in fact one of their base camp guys came and stood with and we chatted about their search work and model flying. Obviously his main task whilst standing near me was to monitor radio comms from the search team in case they had an unexpected need to manoeuvre their quad back into my agreed flight zone. All in all a very successful, if impromptu, airspace sharing agreement.

The young woman they were searching for? Sadly her body was washed ashore some 25 miles along the coast a few days later.

J D 808/09/2018 09:27:34
1317 forum posts
78 photos


Peter Miller08/09/2018 12:41:09
10316 forum posts
1231 photos
10 articles

We had an elderly gentleman who went missing in the salt marshes. The police used a drone and founf him the next day trapped in a sort of didtch. He was saved and made a full frecovery.  This was in East Anglia

I believe that they use them for search and rescue a lot in Australia

I must say that I could not watch all 40 odd minutes of his video!!

Edited By Peter Miller on 08/09/2018 12:42:51

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