back to article Runaway Latvian drone found meditating in tree after shutting down nation's skies

The runaway experimental drone that closed Latvia's skies to international flights after it went missing has been found lodged in a tree. At the beginning of this month, Latvia's airspace was all but closed to long-distance flights after the 26kg craft, made by local firm SIA UAVFactory, disappeared on a test flight. Now the …

  1. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

    There was no word as to whether a Playmobil figure was at the drone's controls.

    Is this - GASP! - the return of Playmobil to El Reg?

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: There was no word as to whether a Playmobil figure was at the drone's controls.

      One can only hope for the Playmobil to return. That and perhaps the flight of LOHAN.

      Yes, I"m sitting in the Wishful Thinking Department.

    2. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: There was no word as to whether a Playmobil figure was at the drone's controls.

      Lester looks down...and smiles, knowingly

  2. detritus

    Looks like someone inadvertantly found another way for drones to cause infrastructure chaos. Just wait 'til Extinction Rebellion hears about this!

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      Like the whole Gatwick debacle wasn't enough proof of that already?

  3. Alister Silver badge

    It's obviously searching for its prey.

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      The dreaded Dronus fugitus expepditus.

      ( No, I have never studied latin)

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
        Headmaster

        It's obviously searching for its prey tree.

        Once again the well known magnetic attraction between aerial drones and large wooden objects...

    2. Steve K Silver badge

      Or

      Or pining for the fjords?

  4. harmjschoonhoven

    Meditate upon the essential condition of being and have a loose wire somewhere are not mutually exclusive.

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      But a loose screw is more common ;)

    2. Muscleguy Silver badge

      I am reminded of Douglas Adams' Electric Monk from the Dirk Gently books.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      essential condition of being

      unbearable lightness of being, more like...

  5. Steve K Silver badge
    Coat

    Great

    Looks like it was the Latvian Special Branch that found it

    1. PM.

      Re: Great

      .. or was it Latvian Special Division ?

      1. Hull
        Stop

        Re: Great

        Nah, that brought it down.

        Icon for exception interrupt.

    2. JimboSmith Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Great

      Surprised they didn't twig where it might be earlier.

      Mine's the grey wool one that's seen better days.

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Great

        They got to the root cause of it in the end...

      2. DJV Silver badge

        @JimboSmith

        They spent too much time barking up the wrong one.

    3. David 132 Silver badge

      Re: Great

      Oh, yew!

      1. OssianScotland Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Great

        Yew should all be ash-amed of these treemendously bad puns. Time to apply the birch?

        1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Great

          Oakay!

          1. Insert sadsack pun here

            Re: Great

            Leaf it out mate.

            1. Ken Shabby Bronze badge

              Re: Great

              Who wood believe it?

  6. The commentard formerly known as Mister_C

    Of course it was in a tree

    Lester will be looking down and smiling.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Boy, I would hate to be that company's sales director.

    1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
      Holmes

      A couple of starting points:

      Aerial arborialist.

      Unmanned tree detector.

  8. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
    Coat

    They were lucky...

    At least got it back. If there was a certain bald youth in the vicinity (usually with a football or kite) I'm sure it would have been consumed whole.

    Mines the one with the peanuts in the pockets.

  9. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    It's spring, right?

    Obviously nesting season.

  10. martinusher Silver badge

    Its the fate of all lost model aircraft

    The current edition of the AMA (American aeromodellers) journal has two items about lost planes. One is a picture of a competition sailplane that disappeared a couple of years ago that was found recently. It disappeared because after crash landing it was picked up by a teenager who took it home and hid it in the crawl space under their house. This explains one common way that planes disappear -- its difficult to lose a bright yellow 4 meter wingspan plane, you need someone to move it The other piece was an article on using a quadcopter and mapping software to find a lost plane.

    This goes to show just out of touch the official world is from real life. That drone is a model. Models get lost. There are all sorts of ways to locate models that are used by amateurs, up to and including GPS tracing and position reporting by cellphone. None involve the closing of a naitonal airspace.

  11. herman Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Bear Lookout

    Even the bears were looking for the UAV: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/high-climbing-bear-caught-on-video-in-northern-ontario-1.5578422

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    fully fuelled before its test flight and had a potential endurance of three days

    sorry for being stupid, does it mean that a drone these days can stay in the air for three days non-stop?

    1. nematoad Silver badge

      Re: fully fuelled before its test flight and had a potential endurance of three days

      "... does it mean that a drone these days can stay in the air for three days non-stop?"

      Well apparently this one can. I think the clue is in the fact that it was "refuelled" and not "recharged". Though of course if fitted with photovoltaic cells a drone could stay up for even longer.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: fully fuelled before its test flight and had a potential endurance of three days

        > Well apparently this one can.

        Apparently this one cannot. although its designers might have hoped otherwise.

    2. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: fully fuelled before its test flight and had a potential endurance of three days

      It's a fixed-wing aircraft, so needs very little thrust to maintain altitude.

      Some designs have theoretical endurance in the months, when not interrupted by arboreal intersections.

    3. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: fully fuelled before its test flight and had a potential endurance of three days

      yes, fixed wing UAVs can stay up for multiple days.

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