Flyaway Ends Up in Brambles
A colleague and I were out flying our fixed wing test-bed aircraft today and we had a fly-away. Not sure why….but we saw the aircraft out about three quarters of a mile from us, and evidently we did not have control of it…it spiraled downwards and we saw it disappear into a tangle of brambles, long grass, underbrush, and trees.
We eyeballed the scene when we got close to it and the underbrush, brambles and shoulder high grass formed a significant barrier. There was no way that we were going to find the aircraft just by beating the bushes. It was real machete-jungle style growth.
Fortunately, we had a fully charged Marco Polo transponder tag on the aircraft and had powered it on as part of our pre-flight checks. The receiver picked up the tag’s signal at 31% from about half-a-mile away. We would have searched for *hours* trying to find it. The aircraft was not visible until we were within ten feet of it.
So, Marco Polo saved our time and our testbed aircraft! And yes, now each of our test-bed and production aircraft have Marco Polo transponder tags.