back to article Hapless scouser scours streets for lost Crimble drone

If your heart sinks every time you see a badly photocopied picture of a missing cat, we’ve got some good news. They’re about to be replaced by far better quality pics of missing drones. Reader provided snap - lost drone. Photo by Brian Gannon Photo by Brian Gannon Reg reader Brian Gannon spotted this (rather well produced …


  1. heyrick Silver badge

    If it is a list drone...

    ...might I suggest looking up, in the branches of the nearby trees?

    1. WonkoTheSane
      Black Helicopters

      Re: If it is a list drone...

      Actually, he might have more luck checking the windows of local pawn shops.

  2. Sureo

    There should be a "come back home, all is forgiven" button on the remote.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

      For the drone or the husband?

      1. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

        Re: Anonymous Custard

        Q: "For the drone or the husband?"

        A: yes.

    2. Haku

      My GPS capable multirotors have a function called RTL (Return To Launch), triggered by loss of signal from the controller, or by manually selecting it on the controller.

      If I don't sit and wait for the craft to lock on to enough satellites to properly triangulate its position before taking off then that RTL function is useless because it doesn't know where it launched from.

      Triggering RTL without a good enough satellite lock can cause it to 'go back to China', which is only funny when it happens to someone else.


      There IS a button on the Phantoms which when pressed makes the drone fly back to the location it was launched from. This chap probably crashed it as this button makes the drone quite hard to 'lose'.

  3. wyatt

    Had a few of these around South Birmingham as well. Such a shame..

    Almost as funny as the guy who turned up at the park, stayed for about 5 minutes then went home with a few bits in his hands.

    1. Haku

      That happened to me today :(

      Caused by a faulty PosHold mode which after a while it would stop responding to the throttle and just go down.

      I'd forgotten PosHold did this on this craft so it landed heavily on the side of a hill. Thankfully the only damage was a broken leg and I didn't have the spare ones with me so had to trundle back home with a bunch of batteries to discharge.

      Ho hum, next time I'll remember to bring the spare landing legs :)

  4. DropBear Silver badge

    I don't really see how geo-fencing would help with anything unless you literally want to restrict the thing to your back yard. Once you go past your own literal fence, heck knows where it might fall - knowing it should be withing a mile or even half a mile will not be of any help, except regarding how far out you should go posting your posters...

    1. Dabooka Silver badge

      Well it could be linked to the remote?

      You know, so the geofencing had the remote in the centre as it were, limiting how far off it can wonder. Surely that's easy to do?

      1. Doctor_Wibble

        Re: Well it could be linked to the remote?

        How about using my latest invention, 'adjustable radius drone range enforcement apparatus', the resemblance to old rope is a trick of the light, I assure you.

        Obviously you can't use wire, because that would just be silly, even if it did mean you could do away with all that unnatural newfangled radio nonsense.

    2. JeffyPoooh Silver badge

      Perhaps "geo-fencing" isn't quite the correct term...

      How about "Upon Loss of Signal, Return to Launch Location".

      Only downside might be a new requirement to allow time at power on for GPS Cold Start.

      There must be a half-dozen different GPS based solutions, most of which would be relatively trivial to implement.

      1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

        Re: Perhaps "geo-fencing" isn't quite the correct term...


        How about "Upon Loss of Signal, Return to Launch Location".


        Most have that feature. Also "return to home when battery gets low" The operator does, however need to switch on the required feature(s) in order for them to work ...


        Re: Perhaps "geo-fencing" isn't quite the correct term...

        The phantom drones have exactly that. It fixes it's GPS position upon takeoff, and will return to that point if it loses signal with the controller, gets low on battery or is requested to do so by the operator.

        It's brilliant and gives you peace of mind when flying.

        1. phil 27

          Re: Perhaps "geo-fencing" isn't quite the correct term...

          I have similar though not on a DJ1, and its good. Although not so good the only time I forgot and powered the drone up still in the office then walked out into the garden with it. Lost sync, flew to home. Into side of stone house at about 30km/h. The rebuild took quite a long time...

        2. Irving Lypshytz

          Re: Perhaps "geo-fencing" isn't quite the correct term...

          It is very important to correctly set the vertical component lest the drone bangs into the trees between it and place of launch.

          This happened to my Brother at a golf course ... it headed back to him OK but it didn't climb to a safe height (above the trees) first.

          Parts were bought ...

      3. 2Fat2Bald

        Re: Perhaps "geo-fencing" isn't quite the correct term...

        Some of them have an option to limit how far from takeoff point they can go - but obviously this only works when the drone has a GPS lock on takeoff, and retains it in flight.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reminds me of a few years ago, had dropped the kids off at their mothers on Xmas night and was driving back home.

    Saw some adults standing at the side of the road, but they were all clustered round each other and weren't stepping out, then out the corner of my eye i see something shoot out from under a parked car - thought it was a small cat and hit the brakes, though not quick enough.


    Turned out the Dad of the group was pissing about with his kids new remote controlled car and had tried to send it out on the road.

    Apparently I was the dickhead.

    1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

      Did you get them to exchange insurance details following the vehicle that pulled out in front of you?

      I hope you get them done for driving without due care and attention!

    2. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: CRUNCH

      I used to do something similar but less dickheaded (I hope) with a nice R/C M1G4 I had years ago.

      It was a pretty little scale model, about 1/12th scale or so and just over a foot long, with working flip up headlights, directional indicators and brake lights. I would wait on out quiet suburban road until a car slowly drove past on the way to the T junction two houses away, then I would drive out behind the car with the headlights on.

      As the car in front slowed down and the driver checked his mirror the BMW in the rearview would at first seem OK, if far away. Then the perspective would sort itself out and the real car driver would slow to a premature stop while he checked his mirror again and his eyesight.

      At which point I would impatiently flash the headlights, turn around and drive the other way.

      I stopped doing this when it dawned on me that it was remotely possible for someone to be so fascinated as to drift out into the (not very busy) junction while trying to make their eyeballs work properly, but I took care not to do this too close to the stop line and had no accidents or squashed model cars happen.

      It is my fond hope I gave the drivers in question a good giggle and a story worth a pint.

  6. Credas Silver badge

    Generous reward

    I'll offer a generous reward for the sender of a pic of the damned thing burning in a pool of petrol. Seasonal chestnuts optional.

    Meanwhile a Specsavers voucher for the tool who didn't understand the meaning of line of sight at all times.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Generous reward

      If you have every watched any drone video and thought 'that's cool', you're a hypocrite. You need to take the DM in your hand and burn that.

    2. Cynic_999 Silver badge

      Re: Generous reward


      Meanwhile a Specsavers voucher for the tool who didn't understand the meaning of line of sight at all times.


      It's easy to lose a drone that is well within line of sight. You can see the thing clearly, but become unsure of which way the thing is pointing. So you move the stick to bring it back, and it promptly disappears into the distance.

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: Generous reward

        "but become unsure of which way the thing is pointing"

        I'll vouch for that. I fly a little drone (farmland so no annoying others) and once it gets to any sort of height useful for using the camera, it can be extremely hard to tell which way the thing is pointing, even with coloured lights. Of course practice is difficult because the batteries only last for 5-6 minutes of decent flight. So I can completely sympathise with somebody who pulled on the stick to avoid a tree and realised they just embedded their craft into the tree instead...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Generous reward

          I have a blade 350qx which has a "trainer" mode.

          it doesnt matter which direction its pointing, if i push the stick left, the quadcopter goes to the left, push the stick away from me, the quad does the same.

          makes flying it SO much easier. Of course, it has a RTB (return to base) switch. Whats happened here is a case of "instructions? Pah, dont need them" followed by "Oh shit its going the wrong way" and then finally "well dad, thanks for losing my present".

          I mean FFS, put your telephone number on it, LEARN to fly one and RTFM.

          *i upgraded mine to FW3.00 last year, took it out and promptly flew it into my window!

          They are NOT as easy to fly as people seem to think.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Generous reward

      "Meanwhile a Specsavers voucher for the tool who didn't understand the meaning of line of sight at all times."

      The tool would need more than that since it was almost certainly a built-up area with people around, so was probably breaking every rule in the book, didn't know, didn't care and didn't spend more than a second wondering if this was a good idea or not.

  7. charlieboywoof

    Old I know

    "if your having the wheels, I'll have the radio"

    Boom boom

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not quite what the BBC promised

    Swarms of drones everywhere, no planes able to land, much blood letting.


    In the UK the drone should never be more than 500m away and always in visual sight of the operator, not to mention being more than 150m from built up areas, 50m from building and people etc. Obviously once they go outside the rules and guidance, don't read the operators manual, make any risk assessments, nor allow the GPS to capture enough satellites for a good fix then the area to cover does indeed grow, but who would do that?

    The "Phantom of the operator"?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not quite what the BBC promised

      Give it a rest on the rules, rules, I know better than you bullshit. Most people are just trying to take a decent aerial shot. When did everyone suddenly become the doorman of drones.

  9. Potemkine Silver badge

    So it was a drone...

    ... the noisy thing I shot flying over my garden? My bad. ^^

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "In which case, we can expect an awful lot more of this sort of thing as [semi-] autonomous tech decides to up sticks if you regularly let its batteries run too low, or feed it lower grade flash cards"

    Which would only make it like the missing cats who move home to where the level of service is up to standard. We had a cat when the kids were little who did not like the noise and moved into a house around the corner.

  11. tup


    I know the area, and for full disclosure he should have added "and the West Coast - Liverpool main line". Wonder if a Pendolino would have registered squashing a drone.

  12. hatti

    I reckon the duracell bunny's nicked it

  13. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge


    A flyer seems a very appropriate medium for conveying the message in this case

    1. Anonymous IV

      Re: Flyer

      ... which is probably why the author cleverly included the word in the first place, for you to spot!

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: Flyer

        Now, now; Wil Wheaton rules in effect this close to Christmas.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    legal operation?

    given that the operator has to be in direct visual contact with the drone and not > 500m and the drone cannot be operated close to buildings, etc etc I'm not sure why this got lost - was it on its way, only guided via onboard camera, to the local HMP hotel? :/

    1. Dabooka Silver badge

      Re: legal operation?

      Well that would suggest a payload that would warrant attention, something I assume the operator wouldn't wish to advertise.

      So no, in all probability.

    2. Vic

      Re: legal operation?

      given that the operator has to be in direct visual contact with the drone and not > 500m and the drone cannot be operated close to buildings, etc etc I'm not sure why this got lost

      I lost a helicopter some months back - I managed to get it into a bit of wind, and I couldn't make headway against it. I could see the aircraft, I was in control of it - but it wasn't coming back to me. Eventually, it dropped into a field of rapeseed and was never seen again...


  15. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    “some Dad [is] in the dog house after losing his kid's Christmas present.”

    It could be the kid in the dog house after losing his own present.

  16. PickledAardvark

    Find My Drone

    I can never understand how it was possible to design a drone, test a drone and lose a drone without asking how do I find it? Do the designers just make a new one after they have lost the last model?

    Didn't James Bond have a hypothetical tracking device in Goldfinger (the book) fifty years ago?

    1. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: Find My Drone

      All drones should be packed with impact-sensitive black powder charges so that their unplanned landing point can be determined from the column of black smoke.

    2. Triggerfish

      Re: Find My Drone

      I can never understand how it was possible to design a drone, test a drone and lose a drone without asking how do I find it? Do the designers just make a new one after they have lost the last model?

      It's the new planned obsolescence.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Deluded Commentators

    FFS. All you commentators are so fcuking perfect, obey every fcuking rule out there. Give it a break, its a drone to take aerial pictures, its 9/10 harmless.

    If you all want to be wrapped up in virtual shackles/cotton wool, you're going about it the right way. One day you might decide to do something that's forward thinking and be blocked at every step. Most people using drones aren't trying to down a Jumbo Jet. If you think they are, you're deluded.

    1. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: Deluded Commentators

      Let's see if you feel the same fcuking way after someone else's drone has hit you in the fcuking face while you are minding your own fcuking business taking a fcuking walk outside your fcuking house, or you come out of your fcuking house to go to fcuking work and find a fcuking dent in your fcuking car's fcuking door courtesy of some fcuker's drone.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Deluded Commentators

        But a car hitting you in the street, you accept that do you? Talk about overeactions, no I don't believe you've ever been hit in the face by a drone. You need to head back to the Daily Mail ASAP.

        1. Stevie Silver badge

          Re: Deluded Commentators

          If that was aimed at me, no I don't accept that. Neither does my insurance company. Nor the local police.

          Someone is certainly overreacting here. New drone for Xmas, by any chance?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Deluded Commentators

            Overeaction? Steve, you're the one talking about been hit in fcuking face by a 1kg drone, when you clearly never have. I call that the overreaction. I isn't funny because legitimate use of drones is becoming a pain in the neck by stupid over reactions like this.

            There is 2 tonne of metal often been driven down your street at twice the speed limit, at all times of day/night. Maybe take issue with that first before jumping on the drone bandwagon, because I can tell you the latter (2 tonne car) hitting you in the face hurts at lot more.

            If you want a Nanny fcuking state, you're going the right way about it.

            What annoys me most is its people like you that are the first to comment how good an aerial shot is, as it motion tracks alongside a vehicle, to focus on the key actor in a film, all done by drones.

            1. Triggerfish

              Re: Deluded Commentators

              To be fair, the car is constrained on where it can go, and the drivers are supposed to be properly trained.

              However generally speaking I don't have anything against drones, not had many encounters though apart from the small indoor ones where it was us flying them, sod to handle I can totally understand people losing them, accidentally hitting people and things, the death rate of new drones must be high.


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