How to Find a Lost Drone Without a Tracker

You can possibly find your lost drone without a tracker by attempting to use the “Return to Home” feature of the drone. In some instances, the feature will allow the drone to begin making its way back to the “home” location if you are within range of the drone. You can also try to check your flight log to obtain the coordinates of the flight pattern.

Hello, fellow drone enthusiasts! My name is Lavelle and I am a drone pilot and a long-time drone enthusiast. Over the past decade or so, I’ve flown my drones both professionally and recreationally.

In this article, I will provide some helpful tips for finding a lost drone when a tracker is not available. I will also discuss some steps you can take when you can’t locate your drone at all.

Key Takeaways

  • Consider using another drone to inspect the location of your drone.
  • Taking advantage of the power of your local community can be a great way to try and locate your drone.
  • Use social media and old-school methods to try and locate your drone.

5 Tips on How to Find a Lost Drone Without a Tracker

Here are 5 tips I’ve found that may help you locate your drone when a tracker is not available.

1. Check the Drone’s Last Coordinates Using the Remote

The first thing you want to do is to ensure that your remote controller is not turned off. Doing so will allow the remote to keep searching for the drone. In some instances, the remote controller may regain enough signal strength to allow you to reconnect with the drone and fly it back to your location.

2. Check the Last Drone Location Using the Installed App

The next course of action is to use an app to check the last location of the drone. Applications like the DJI Find My Drone app or the Find My Drone App by CommunisTech. These are a couple of the well-known applications for locating a missing drone.

3. Use the “Return to Home” Function

You may also try to use the “Return to Home” feature of your drone. Many drones have this feature installed on them and if you have a good enough signal, the drone may reconnect with the controller and attempt to find its way back to the home location. You may also try using a signal booster to enhance the connection between the controller and the drone.

4. Look for Lights and Sound

Scan your flight area and look for blinking or flashing lights and listen for buzzing sounds, which the drone may make if the motor is still running or if it’s hovering in place somewhere. 

5. Use Another Drone to Investigate the Area

If possible, use another drone to fly over the area. Another drone’s camera may be able to see your drone, and you can use it to fly over a wider area in a shorter time frame, to hopefully locate your drone.

What to Do If You Can’t Find Your Drone

In the case where you can’t find your drone, here are a few things you can immediately do to help in your search.

1. File a Lost Drone Police Report

Contact your local law enforcement agency and give them as much information as possible about your drone. File a lost drone report with them and provide any details about the flight path, last seen location, and specific details about your drone.

2. Contact the Local Community 

You may also reach out to your local community to report your drone as lost. If you have pictures of your drone, put them on a flyer and leave your contact information. Local residents or your homeowner’s association may have information about your drone.

3. Post About the Lost Drone on Social Media and Place Posters Around the Area

Use the power of social media. Make a post about your drone and give as much detail as possible. Someone may see your post and reach out to you with information. You can also put posters out in your community with pertinent information about your drone.

4. Report the Lost Drone to the FAA

Lastly, report your lost drone to the Federal Aviation Administration. In some cases, someone may find the drone and report it to the FAA. If not, notifying the FAA of the lost drone will also allow them to know that the drone is no longer under your use.


Here are a few answers to some of the frequently asked questions about what to do if you lose your drone.

What Happens If You Lose Your Drone?

If you lose your drone, you may be able to file a claim if you’ve purchased insurance on it. Otherwise, it is an unfortunate situation and you may have to consider purchasing another drone. You may get lucky and someone may find it and reach out to you about it.

How Do I Find My Lost DJI?

You may be able to find your lost DJI drone by scanning the area where you last flew the drone. You may also report it as lost to the authorities and perhaps post about it on social media.

Can I Track My Stolen Drone?

If your drone has a GPS tracking feature or some other tracking device on it, then you may be able to track your stolen drone.

Final Thoughts

Losing a drone is a challenging situation. Do your best to track the craft or to search the area where it was last seen. Use social media and your local community to try and find your drone. Report it as being lost or stolen to the local authorities. If you’ve purchased insurance on the drone, file a claim for it being lost or stolen. 

Have you ever experienced losing a drone? Did you manage to return it back? Share your experience in the comments below.

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