Drone rescue tall order for Patrick
Student’s gadget stranded in treetop
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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