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Finding Alex Valentine's Messerschmitt Bf-109



By Bill Cafarelli

I received a call from Glen Hochstetter, who asked me if I could help Find and Retrieve Alex Valentineís Messerschmitt Bf-109, crashed in the woods. 

The reason Glen called was recently, I helped Bob Motta, after several days of being unable to find it, I spotted his Yellow By-Wing Waco using my Phantom Drone:

We were lucky I guess. Bob chopped his way into the bush and got it back, he fixed it up and it flew again.

So, I met Glen the next morning at the field at 6 AM, and we began searching for Alexís Messerschmitt with my drone. But we just couldnít see it after several hours of searching using a grid pattern, so we called it a day and returned home.

That evening the 109 was getting the best of me, so I pulled up the areal video (at 4K, 4096 ◊ 2160 resolution) and began going through it, at times, frame by frame. The 109 was a medium gray-bluish and was hard to spot, but as luck would have it, there it was, with barely a tail and fuselage visible.

Here is the Droneís position relative to the field, adjacent to the scrub brush and trees, a long shot directly over the Bf-109. As you can see, it was deep in the woods:









Hereís looking down at the Bf-109, yes itís hard to see:

Hereís a close-up :

This is where I held the Drone to guide Glen cutting his way some 50 feet into the thick prickly brambles. Again itís hard to see.
Some 45 minutes later here he comes with the rescued ME-109:

And Glen checking to disconnect the battery and examine for damage, very little actually, the pilot survived. (Note the battery powered clippers, and Glenís thorn invaded coveralls):

The Drone returns to my feet, job completed successfully:
Well thatís the story and Iím sticking to it.
Happy Flying,
Bill Cafarelli

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    This Page Last Updated: July 31, 2020