I have lost a kite, but I have never lost an RC transmitter (around neck). This was taken during one of the first short-lived launches.
The winds have been light this week as the peak colors have been waning and my KAP pack has been poised by the door. I finally had to ignore the “4 mph” reports at WeatherUnderground and WeatherSpark and just go. I went to the hay field south of the Salisbury village where the south wind might push the kite toward the village center. There were some gusty spells that lifted the KAP rig just high enough so that I had to frantically reel it in when calm returned. Attaching and detaching the Picavet in a hurry requires more practice than I have had, and I surpassed my own record for making nasty tangles that included Picavet line, kite line, and alfalfa. At one point I didn’t have time to take off the Picavet as I wildly pulled the line in hand-over-hand, laying it across the field. After untangling (not my favorite thing), I called it a day, disassembled the Fled, and headed back across the field to the pack. When I got there the wind had picked up, so I assembled the Fled, threw it into the air, and had the rig attached when I noticed that I had left the RC transmitter out in the field — out in the huge field of alfalfa and grass that is at places a foot taller than the transmitter (the thing around my neck in the photo above).
I headed back, towing the kite plus rig which was now
All photography is better at sunset. It was a rare evening with a rising wind and warm glow.
flying happily for the first time, and wandered around trying to figure out where in this huge field I had tangled and untangled and hurriedly set down the transmitter, and there was no clue. After 30 minutes of crisscrossing and hoping I would not step on the transmitter, the wind was strong and I was tired of dragging the kite around, so I pulled it in, disassembled it, and continued looking. The light was fading, and so was I, but rain was forecast and this field was going to be harvested soon so this was my only chance to retrieve the $100 transmitter. I was a little bummed that the wind was now steady, the late afternoon light perfect, the fall colors in their faded glory all around me, and I had not captured anything but a self portrait. I was no longer worried that I would step on the transmitter because that would be better than having it incorporated into a hay bale next week.
This is the big hay field that tried to take my little transmitter.
It took an hour and a half to find it nestled in the grass. When I got back to the pack the wind was strong and the setting sun was about to emerge below a cloud bank so I assembled the Fled for the third time (three hours after the first), cranked the ISO up to 200 and the shutter speed down to 1/640, launched everything, and had a 20 minute flight taking 150 photos. It’s not my best work, but I got some exercise, some practice, and a life lesson. I really only wanted two of those.
The wind shifted and was coming from the southeast, so I snuck into the meadow to get the camera closer to the village.
Part of a panorama stitched from 10 photos.