My birthday gift…..The Drone
With total abandon, I rushed outside drone in hand. My Mother said something about “staying in the field, and away from the house”, but my mind simply didn’t register the urgency of her statement. Out to the field I ran, “this is far enough, I thought”. Not bothering to read the multiple page instruction document that came with my birthday present, I set the drone down in the grass and firmly grasped the remote. Looked simple enough, a pair of joysticks for flight controls and a slider for the throttle, got it. The four motors buzzed to life the moment I hit the red start button. My heart pounding, pulse racing, I urged the joysticks into action and up it went, whoa, faster than I expected. But ok I have it, just like a flight simulator. At first it was a bit shaky but after a short while I was flying. The camera with its small color screen was giving me the view I had longed for. I needed to go higher, above the trees. I nudged the joystick a bit further and higher it went. I was on this! Now for the real test, I banked the craft toward the house, I was high enough not to interfere with the building I rationalized. I wanted to see what my brothers had seen while sitting on the shingled roofing, feet hanging over the gutters looking out over the yard and the field beyond. The braces on my wobbly legs prevented me from safely climbing a ladder, so I was earthbound, until today.
It was a thing of beauty, the drone flew just as easily as advertised and I was in control. Closer and closer to the house it flew, until I was directly above our roof. The small color screen showed me that I was too high to get the total desired effect of sitting on the roof. I throttled back and the drone started to descend. As the drone edged closer to the roof, I decided that if I got too close and was discovered, I could always explain to my parents that I was indeed doing them a service. After all, I could inspect the roofing and even the gutters to see if they needed cleaning or repair, saving them the trouble and expense of hiring an inspector. Ok, close enough, wait, something was wrong, the drone wasn’t responding it was steadily descending. In a panic I tried everything, pushed every button, It was going down, and it was going to hit the roof hard, my first flight was going to be my last, and there was nothing I could do to stop it. By the time I reached the yard my Mother was already outside looking up at the roof. She had heard the crash from inside the house and came out to find the drone now firmly lodged between the roofing and the gutter that I wanted to save them the expense of inspecting.
The roofing and gutter contracted arrived the next morning and after removing the damaged gutter, and replacing the roofing tiles that the drone had damaged as it plummeted to its demise, much to my surprise he turned and handed me the undamaged drone. “I have the same one,” he said. “Never saw one come down like that, you did charge it first like in the instructions said right?” I had nothing to say.