How to Find a Lost Drone

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How to Find a Lost Drone


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As drone owners, losing a drone can be one of the most terrible things that you might possibly experience. Perhaps, this scenario can happen to anyone. 

According to Trackimo, a GPS tracking company, about 30% of drone pilots have lost a drone and were not able to retrieve it again. 

Drones can get lost for various reasons, whether due to strong winds, system malfunctions, out-of-range flight, connection error, to name a few. Fortunately, there are still ways to find it.

If you are interested to know more about it, keep reading as we provide you ideas and tips on how to find a lost drone. 

Reasons to Lose a Drone:

Before we get into the “real thing”, let’s first talk about some common reasons why drones get lost and some possible ways on finding and preventing them: 

1. Connection Loss

This is probably the most popular reason why drones get lost. 

When this happens, It is best to think and track down the direction you were flying before losing connection. Check for the visible structures and possible crash sites around the area where your drone could have hit. 

Luckily, A newer drone model usually comes with an app, you may also check this to know its last known GPS marker.

2. Run out of Battery life

It is important to always keep an eye on your battery level and ensure they are always fully charged before flying to avoid this situation from happening.

The good thing is, most drones nowadays have a return to home function, by just clicking a button, it will simply return home before the power runs out. 

3. Flying in poor weather conditions 

Avoid flying with strong wind and rain as this can cause damage to your drone while on air, resulting in losing your drone. 

5 Tips on How to Find a Lost Drone

Here are some ideas you can do:

1. Do not turn your controller off.

It is important to keep your controller on as it will continue to search for the signal. This can be a great tool to help you track down where your drone was last seen, move towards that direction, and check if you can reconnect to your drone. 

A tip to boost the signal of the controller is to place it inside a metal pot, this will act as a satellite and help boost its signal range. 

Another is to check the telemetry information in the controller. This will indicate if the drone is coming back. The distance numbers of telemetry should start decreasing. 

2. Press the Return to Home button on the controller. 

The first indicator when a drone is going out of range is that you start losing the video feed, when this happens, press the return to home button immediately. 

Just follow the previous step mentioned, keep your controller on, and head towards the last seen direction so that you can get closer to it and get back the control. 

3. Use another drone to look for it 

Using a second drone is a great idea to search for your lost drone. Perhaps, you don’t need to buy another one, you may rent or simply borrow if you know someone who owns one.

Using a second drone provides you a bird’s eye view of the area where the drone without a tracker crashed. Searching at nightfall would be even better, with its blinking lights, you should be able to spot the drone that crashed easily. 

4. Put up posters 

Maximize your searching capability by posting some signs in your local area which includes drone photos and descriptions, your contact details such as your phone number and email address, Offer a reward for its safe return. 

5. Check The Flight Logs 

Another useful feature that most latest drone manufacturers such as DJI drones have, is the flight logs. 

Here are the steps to check for the flight logs:

  1. Go to the DJI App
  2. Go to “Me” found in the bottom right-hand corner
  3. Select “Flight Logs”
  4. Click “Flight List” this will show you all your flight records.

It will show you a map of where you were flying your drone, and helps you determine the location where it was when lost. 

Here’s How You’ll Never Lose Your Drone Again


1. Purchase GPS trackers

One of the best ways to avoid losing your drone is to invest in a GPS tracker. This provides you with accurate positioning details which give you a higher chance of finding your lost drone.

Here are some of the best GPS trackers: 

1. Trackimo 3G Travel Tracker Device with Light Detector for Shipment, Cargo, Luggage, Suitcase 

This Trackimo 3G Tracker Device features 4 tracking modules – GPS, A-GPS, GSM, and WiFi. What’s unique about this is that they use proprietary Patented technology plus 3G coverage. 

It also works unlimited distance, so you’ll be able to find your lost drone no matter where it is. 

Its battery life can last up to 5 days and can reach up to 30 days if batt save mode is on. 

  • Water-resistant
  • Long battery life
  • With SOS panic button
  • Price is kinda high

2. AORANINC TK102 Mini Spy Real-Time Vehicle GPS Tracker GSM GPRS GPS System Security Global Tracking Device for Car 

This AORANINC TK102 is a great choice if you are looking for an affordable budget that can work with unlimited distance. 

A unique feature this drone tracker has is its built-in microphone, you can use it as a “silent listener”. Its battery life can last up to 72 hours. 

  • With built-in microphone
  • Compact size
  • Affordable price 
  • Short battery span 

3. Tracki 2021 Model Mini Real-time GPS Tracker. Full USA & Worldwide Coverage. for Vehicles, Car, Kids, Elderly, Child, Dogs & Motorcycles. Magnetic Small Portable Tracking Device.

This Tracki small GPS tracker offers unlimited distance and works not just in the United States but all countries worldwide. 

The battery is good for 2-3 days if you are tracking every 1-5 minutes. If real-time tracking is not needed, the battery can last up to 30- 75 days tracks 1-3 times/day. It works in GPS, A-GSM, and GSM modes outdoors, with Wi-Fi indoors, and there’s also the Bluetooth option.

  • Small and lightweight
  • With a variety of useful alerts 
  • Affordable price
  • With monthly Fee

2. Invest in Insurance 

Purchasing gadget insurance ensures that your gadget is replaced if anything worse happens. Accidental loss or damage should be included as part of your policy. 

3. Fly in Open Areas 

This is to have a better visual or sight of your drone when flying. Flying in open areas can also avoid it to snuggle on trees or hard-to-reach areas. 

The Bottomline


Losing a drone can be a nightmare.

Always remember to take precautionary measures before flying your drone. Keep away from avoidable situations that may cause you to lose a drone such as flying with Low battery and flying in poor conditions. 

Though we have provided some tips and ideas on how to find a drone without a tracker, it is still best to invest in a GPS tracker especially for drones that don’t have built-in GPS technology, this can help you find your drone quickly and easily and prevent losing the drone completely. 

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