Drone Helps Bring Happy Ending for Missing Wisconsin Man


A drone owner has carried out a successful search-and-rescue mission for a man who had been missing in Wisconsin for three days.

NBC 15 reports that David Lesh, who uses his unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to record snowboarding and ski footage in Colorado, happened to be visiting Fitchburg, where an elderly man with dementia was lost.

After a search team comprising policemen, helicopters, dogs and many other volunteers was not able to find him, Lesh operated his UAV over a bean field, which covered 200 acres of land.

In only 20 minutes, the report says, the camera-equipped aircraft found the man, who was in good health and was reunited with his family.

The full NBC 15 report can be found here.

Following a court ruling, Texas EquuSearch, a volunteer organization that searches for missing persons, recently planned to continue using UAVs after having received a warning from the Federal Aviation Administration to stop doing so.

UPDATE, July 25: The operator has told BBC News that it was not actually the UAV that found the man. The search team spotted him from a car after they had operated the vehicle over 75% of the land. Lesh claims that the UAV would, in fact, have found him shortly and that the aircraft was vital in searching the large area.

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