We all have heard of a drone going wild and crashing into something or even someone. It is very common. Like with anything, accidents will happen. However, with the increased popularity of drones, we will continue to see an increase in these incidents. The comic strip below from XKCD.com adds a little light humor to the fact that there is an increased presence of drones in our skies…and an increase in accidents.
Today’s post will highlight a handful of incidents that have been in the news recently from around the U.S.
Earlier this year, The Seattle Times reported a drone flying into the Space Needle as pyrotechnicians were setting up for the 2017 New Year’s Eve fireworks display. The crash happened mid-afternoon and officials were able to get the video from the drone camera which showed the drone flying up and around the space needle prior to it striking the roof. Fortunately, no one was hurt.
Next, we travel to the check out the Golden State Bicycle Race Series in Rancho Cordova, California. A drone flying over the racers suddenly hits a tree and crashes into the wheel of one of the cyclists. As you will see in the video, the cyclist was able to continue for a short distance before the drone locks up the wheel causing the bike to flip, catapulting the biker over the handlebars, landing face first on the pavement. This was videoed by another biker who eventually posted it on YouTube. The biker only suffered minor scrapes and no serious injuries. You can read the article on MarketWatch.
Finally, we take you out to the ballgame. Fans were enjoying a San Diego Padres vs. Arizona Diamondbacks MLB game at Petco Park in San Diego when a rogue drone is seen hovering over the ball field. The drone then glides into a group of fans in the upper deck. You’ll see a fan playing with the drone towards the end of the video. Again, Thankfully, no one was hurt. For more info on the incident, check out the Sports Illustrated article. The video below is courtesy of Fox Sports Arizona.
As you can imagine, with this uptick in drone accidents we most certainly will see an uptick in legal cases following them. We won’t go into that detail in this post, but Arthur Holland Michel and Dan Gettinger of The Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College have published Drone Incidents: A Survey of Legal Cases to address this topic. Midwest Drone Fest is proud to have Dan Gettinger as a featured speaker at our conference in September. Check out the announcement here.
Will you be there with us at the 2017 Midwest Drone Fest? Purchase your ticket at Eventbrite.