It flew away. It was windy and wet, but I decided to give it a go anyway. It flew off in Stabilize mode, and I tried to steer it high enough in order to switch to Loiter. If Loiter worked, I told myself, I’d bring it back down and take it off in Auto. If the plane struggled in Loiter, I’d try another day. I took off upwind and it gained altitude quickly. I tried to bring it away from the forest behind me into the field (we were on the edge) but the wind was unrelenting. I managed to do some left and right turns, in addition to swoops downward and back up — but that just stopped the backward drift. I tried to keep it in the air as much as possible but it kept drifting until it was out of sight. I panicked.
I tried applying up Elevator in the hope that I could see it at above the trees but to no avail. I flicked it into Loiter mode — at least the plane could fly itself until I found a clearing. I ran to a clearing about 100m away, but by the time I got there, the plane was nowhere to be found. I went over the nearby areas searching for it, but it was gone.
- Always have a camera on the plane — or telemetry feeding back the GPS coordinates.
- Don’t fly in windy, rainy conditions unless you’re a 747 jet.
- Paint the plane a nice visible color, like red or bright orange
- Add some sort of buzzer on the plane so you can track it down when it does eventually crash.