During spring of '98 Keith Horry loaned me an "Eagle Explorer" GPS. His challenge to me was that I got to keep the machine for 6 months but had to find out how to use it for retrieving lost model airplanes then teach him how to do it. I had never used GPS and found this unit difficult to learn but the results were impressive and I felt it could be of benefit given the right unit at the right price.

A year later, in February '99, I purchased my own unit, a "Garmin" GPS12 for £130. Although there were two cheaper units by "Magellan" available from my local Maplin store, having read through all three instruction manuals (courtesy of the sales assistant) I decided that GPS12 had the best features for me. Having implicitly followed the instruction manual and learned how to use it as a navigational aid, I have to say that these little jiggers are absolutely the bees’ knees.

In 8 years of ownership, it has helped me retrieve countless “lost” models and not just my own. In the early days I helped several friends and colleagues in “The Crazy Rubber Band” to locate their lost models too. The word spread and many of them purchased their own systems. Like me, they swear by them for tracking down their long distance fly-aways’. For further testimony, talk to some other “crazies” like Ted Challis, Bill Cox and John Knight. Between them they have made some spectacular retrieves.

Let me add that this is the process I use, it may not be the slickest and it may be easier with a modern unit, but this system works. Read or download the process in PDF format from here.

Finding Lost Model Airplanes using Garmin GPS12

aka - GPS and "The Crazy Rubber Band"

Garmin GPS12 and Garmin Etrax

My "Garmin GPS12" is eight years old and has helped me find many potentially lost model airplanes.

The accompanying article tells how to study its features and learn how to use it for model airplane retrieval.

This is a "Garmin Etrax", a modern unit said to have some easy to use features.

I dont have one so I cannot comment on its performance but am willing to be so advised and record a working process here.

Which ever system is chosen, remember, learn about the unit then apply the prin-ciples described here.

Ramon Alban


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