Drone res­cue tall or­der for Patrick

Stu­dent’s gad­get stranded in tree­top

Stirling Observer - - FRONT PAGE - Robert Fairnie

A Stir­ling stu­dent has been re­united with his prized drone thanks to the ac­tions of a tree sur­geon.

Julien Hugo-Webb (24) was left dev­as­tated af­ter he flew his £500 DJI Phan­tom 3 ma­chine into a tree while try­ing to get a pan­ning shot in Bridge of Al­lan last month.

De­spite nu­mer­ous cre­ative at­tempts, which in­volved build­ing his own PVC can­non and fir­ing dow­els into the tree, he was un­able to re­trieve the gad­get, which was lodged on a branch 100ft up.

When Patrick Roe, a tree sur­geon who lives in Stir­ling, read about the sorry sit­u­a­tion on­line Julien’s quickly changed.

The 26-year-old con­tacted stu­dent Julien, who is from Bos­ton, USA, and of­fered to lend a hand.

Af­ter meet­ing up on Fri­day at the scene of the dis­as­ter, Patrick took mat­ters into his own hands and climbed the tree, re­triev­ing the drone in around 30 min­utes.

While Julien could not hide his de­light at the re­turn of his trea­sured drone, he could not be­lieve his luck when he found out it was still work­ing.

The masters stu­dent, who re­ceived the hi-tech ma­chine as a Christ­mas gift, told the Ob­server: “You could prob­a­bly hear my scream when it switched on.

“It’s amaz­ing that it was able to with­stand the Scot­tish weather, the rain and snow, for five weeks – a tes­ta­ment to the tech­nol­ogy.

“I didn’t even try to use it for two days. I kept it in a bag of rice and then on Mon­day gave it a go.

“Straight away my friends and I went out­side with it and flew it around the univer­sity.

“We’re now plan­ning to take it up Dumyat and to the Wal­lace Monument to get some re­ally cool shots.”

Julien, who is spend­ing a year at the Univer­sity of Stir­ling study­ing aqua­cul­ture, said he will be eter­nally grate­ful to Patrick

He added: “He saw my ad’ and ar­ranged to meet up with us, which was great. I was ab­so­lutely ec­static when he man­aged to get it down.

“He didn’t have to do that at all. He’s a great guy and I’m glad I met him.

“He’s try­ing to set up a drone re­cov­ery ser­vice and I think he could be very suc­cess­ful.”

To thank Patrick for his ef­forts Julien took him to the Stir­ling stu­dent union and bought him a beer.

The tree sur­geon, who lives in the city cen­tre, says a drone re­cov­ery ser­vice is some­thing he’s keen to of­fer.

Re­call­ing last Fri­day’s suc­cess, he said: “I agreed to go along and have a look at the drone and while I read that it was 100ft up I was shocked to see just how high up it was.

“I was quite tired as I was work­ing all week and light was quickly fad­ing so I just thought I’d go for it and climb the tree.

“I think it was a black po­plar tree and those are no­to­ri­ously dif­fi­cult to climb.

“As I was at the top, a limb I was stand­ing on snapped un­ex­pect­edly but it was fine as I didn’t lose my foot­ing.

“It took around half-an-hour and I was back down with the drone.”

He added: “Julien texted me to let me know the drone is work­ing again, which is great to hear.

“He’s a good guy and we went out for a drink af­ter­wards.

“Drone re­cov­ery is some­thing I’d quite like to of­fer. I’m al­ways look­ing at ways to ex­pand.”

Any­one ex­pe­ri­enc­ing sim­i­lar dronere­lated trou­bles can con­tact Patrick on p.roe.droneres­cue@gmail.com.

As I was at the top a limb I was stand­ing on snapped

Claim of droneJulien gets his gad­get back from Patrick

To the res­cue Patrick in ac­tion

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