How not to lose your drone or plane?

by VinchiLV | January 23, 2016 | (8) Posted in Tips

Many of you have lost your quads and rc planes in large areas. And usually the lost quad is visible just from few meters. Of course, there are lost model alarm buzzers and bright LEDs. But crashing from big height can damage the LiPO battery or the wires to the battery. So I decided that camouflage is not for quadcopters and you should go as bright as possible and use a reflective tape. Big advantage is that the reflective tape works also lying many months in wet dirt. Any electrical device cannot do this.

There are different types of reflective tapes. Some of them reflect better, some not so well. I have found out that the tapes with hexagonal pattern reflect better. Test a few types before sticking them on your quadcopter frame.


The best way to search is by using a powerful LED head torch. Because of the small angle to your eyes the reflection will be very bright. Even a small piece of the reflective tape is visible from more than 500m (546 yards). It could be also possible to search with another FPV quad that has LED spotlight.


With the reflective tape and LED head torch the quadcopter is brighter in the air than with any LEDs mounted to your quad. So you can fly it at night just having the head torch.


A business idea – who knows, maybe one day there will be reflective sticker tape kits for any type of quadcopter frame :)



Fearless FPV on January 28, 2016
Great idea! Very nice tip.
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TangoLima on February 2, 2016
Great article. I agree. Bright reflective tape can certainly help put one's eyes on the prize. It would also be great if they had a non-emergency band radio signal alarm, something like an ELT, but one that does NOT send in the army such as a real plane crash would.

But expanding on that. I look to the day when transceivers are altitude encoding Mode C complaint and everyone gets along flying together in the big ol blue sky without restrictions beyond common sense.

Having lights, bright paint schemes/tape and/or sirens is a step in the right direction.
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How not to lose your drone or plane?