Grand Rapids Fire Department drone crashes after malfunction, lost near river

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  • Published: 07/10/2019 12:00 AM

Grand Rapids firefighters have had no success finding a drone that recently crash-landed near the Grand River because of an apparent malfunction. The drone is worth about $2,000 and has a camera and thermal-imaging capabilities. Grand Rapids Fire Assistant Chief Brad Brown said the drone -- one of four owned by the department -- was being operated Friday, July 5 in a training exercise at the small Grand River island near Wealthy Street. Brown said the operator received a “motor error” message on the controller and then the drone lost contact with the pilot. Firefighters searched on the island and in the area for an extended period on Friday, then twice again in subsequent days. They used another drone to look for the lost unit, but without success. Firefighters do not believe the drone went into the water because the last image on the camera was of foliage.


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