That time we crashed our drone…!

As new bloggers, we are quickly learning how to prepare for a last minute day trip: Pack the camera, the drone, the snacks… Don’t forget the kids, a blankie and a diaper or two!

Our awesome neighbors were going on a hike and they invited us to join them. 4 adults and 6 children on the go. That’s our kind of Sunday afternoon! We just didn’t know that the day wouldn’t turned out as planned..

Our destination: Lindeman Lake, BC, Canada

We drove 45 minutes to get to the parking lot and there we were, ready to start our hike! If you ever want a really nice hike for families, Lindeman Lake in the Chilliwack Fraser Valley is definitely the one! As you go up, you will follow this beautiful creek for almost half the hike, you will cross a cute (and for kids, a “little scary”) bridge over the creek, and you will end on the shore of a turquoise lake. A real beauty! The hike is approximately an hour up and an hour down (with 6 children from 3 to 13!) And they were good. I don’t think we would have made it that much faster without them.

So anyway, 20 minutes into our hike, we stopped by that bridge to take a few pictures. First strike of the day. We didn’t bring the right battery.. We brought the dead one and left the full one on the charger… at home, of course! Oook.. So no pictures today I guess.. The pictures you see on this page were taken with our phone.

Then we made it to the top! Strike 2. We almost lost a few kids in the excitement! Two of them were a little ahead (like 30 seconds ahead) and when we got to the top, they weren’t there!? They took a mini side trail by mistake to see the lake and when they went back on the right trail, we had passed them. One of them freaked out for a big minute when he couldn’t see us but then we found them. Ouf! Lesson learned: From now on, kids stay closer!

And last but not least, strike 3. We are finally by the lake and so we decide to take the drone out. It’s one of those nice sunny day in the beginning of summer so the place is filled with people. With confidence, we fly the drone right over the lake. In the very middle since it’s a small lake. Once it’s up there, we turn it around to fly it towards us and shoot a nice “over the water” shot but… wait… it’s shifting to the left?! Is there too much wind? No time to think, push it back to the right. It’s going even more to the left!!? Oh no! It’s gonna crash in that tree! Noooo! Don’t fall in the lake!! And it fell in the lake..

Panic! Some people a little further are yelling at us “It fell around here! It’s in the lake!” My husband just ran! Oh he ran! I tried to follow him with the oldest kid of the group but without much luck. We were all ready to jump in this icy water to get our drone back! Because if you didn’t know, the warranty doesn’t cover a “lost drone”. You need to ship it back broken to be able to run the warranty. So we really didn’t want to loose it. We were so lucky, it had fallen just a few feet away from the shore. We could see a little red light so we knew it was there (thanks to that light!). But it was still 5 or 6 feet deep so somebody had to jump!

My husband was about to go when a guy who had seen the crash told him “Hey, don’t worry about it. I’ll go get it. I just went in the water so I’m still a little wet.” “You sure?!” “Yeah, yeah. No worries!” So he jumped! And he brought us back our brand new and completely soaked drone. Awesome! We are still very grateful John!

So what happened? It took us some reflection on our way back home to figure things out. But here’s what happened:

First of all, we didn’t realized that there was no GPS signal at Lindeman Lake. Which made the drone unstable. Then it went left when we told him to go right because the drone was coming towards us. So its’ left was our right. You know what I mean? Rookie mistakes.. we know.

We’re not very proud of all this but the day was such a mess that we had to laugh about it. And we are honest people so we won’t pretend everything is always rainbows and butterflies when traveling. Sometimes, we screw up and this hike was a total fail!

The drone ended being broken. Some sensors were malfunctioning after the incident so we had to run the warranty to get it fixed. They shipped us a new one but it took a while. Many months if I remember correctly! My husband was getting frustrated in the end because we needed it for our next trip and the company kept asking for more logs and information about the trash.. Things that we had already sent more than once but never to the “same department”.

Anyway… I’m writing about this because if you have a drone and you paid for the warranty, yes you will get it fixed if you ever break it (don’t loose it though!) but don’t go thinking that it will be a piece of cake.
I guess getting a new drone for free is not that easy.