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Just wondering:

How close is the technology getting to realistically get set up with a couple of RC planes with programmable (with lat/long coordinates) that will transmit video back to the ground?

I'm a non-technical adult in charge of a Civil Air Patrol group with a nice critical mass of cadets that will be around for 4-5 more years, and we're thinking about getting them into RC planes. So I'm brainstorming and I'm wondering how outside the realm of possibilities it would be (in a couple of years) to be able to help on ground searches with a plane equipped for such a mission.

I'm assuming that each plane equipped to have us get up in the air and then set it off to fly to certain waypoints and transmit video back would be prohibitively expensive now. I'm guessing that they'd be about $1,500 a piece, and with training/certifying involving a few non-simulator crashes, we'd have to wait for the price to drop.

I'm curious to hear anyone's thoughts.


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It is being done now by Gene Robinson of RCAPA. They have been doing SAR operations for several years now with good success. Just a few FAA glitches to overcome at this time, but the technology is there now.


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