The folks over at PC Magazine have put together a list of their top 11 drone crashes (which they call disasters…jeez guys calm down!). There list has some of our favorites including the guy who flew into the Seattle Space Needle and the video shown below of a guy who made the maxim effort to save his drone from a watery death after a battery failure!
A lot of these are crashes are the result of pilot error or stupidity, but some do show legitimate dangers when drones fail and crash because of battery failures or naturally caused reasons like birds and weather.
If you want to see more crashes check out the video below. Our favorites are at minute mark 2:28 when a bird takes out a drone, minute mark 4:51 when a pumpkin fired out of a cannon hits a drone and the scary moment at minute mark 10:06 when a terrible pilot crashes a drone through a window unto someone’s desk!
Remember to be smart and safe when you fly!
Last Friday, a Seattle drone pilot was found guilty of reckless endangerment by the Seattle Municipal Court and sentenced to 30 days in jail. The pilot, who owns an aerial photography business, crashed a drone into the city’s Pride Parade in 2015. During the crash 2 people were injured and one woman was left unconscious.
The Verge reported that two drone experts Arthur Holland Michael, co-director of the Center for the Study of the Drone and Tom McMahon, vice president of Advocacy and Public Affairs at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International do not believe that there is any precedent of a drone pilot receiving jail time for a drone related incident. Although drone pilots have been arrested and fined.
While the FAA has administrative regulations regarding the operations of drones, many municipalities are moving to create local regulations that will give local authorities more ability to act against those that use drones ‘illegally’. The City of San Diego is currently considering such local laws and this week the State of South Dakota is considering a new law that would make certain drone operations illegal (like flying over prisons).
While local laws might seem sensible, they run the risk of creating patchwork regulations throughout America—something the FAA is actually against.
In the “State and Local Regulation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Fact Sheet” written by the Federal Aviation Administration Office of the Chief Counsel in December of 2015 it states: “Substantial air safety issues are raised when state or local governments attempt to regulate the operation or flight of aircraft. If one or two municipalities enacted ordinances regulating UAS in the navigable airspace and a significant number of municipalities followed suit, fractionalized control of the navigable airspace could result. In turn, this ‘patchwork quilt’ of differing restrictions could severely limit the flexibility of FAA in controlling the airspace and flight patterns, and ensuring safety and an efficient air traffic flow. A navigable airspace free from inconsistent state and local restrictions is essential to the maintenance of a safe and sound air transportation system.”
The NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) revealed Friday that powerful wind gusts and turbulence was the cause of the crash of Facebook’s Aquila drone this summer.
According to the report, the wind gusts and associated turbulence during landing confused the Aquila’s autopilot system causing it to point its nose downward. The drone picked up too much speed and its right wing broke off.
The social media company’s drone has a wingspan as big as a Boeing 737 and is designed to fly for prolonged periods at high altitude so it can beam down high-speed internet access to populations below.
Facebook said it is updating its Aqulia drone with spoilers (essentially a form of air brakes) to make sure the drone does not gain too much speed on landing descents.