Drone delivering asparagus to Dutch restaurant crashes and bursts into flames

April 14, 2015 From International Business Times

A publicity stunt that involved using a consumer quadcopter drone to deliver vegetables to a restaurant in the Netherlands has literally crashed and burned.

The De Zwann Michelin-starred restaurant in Etten-Leur, North Brabant in the Netherlands always puts on an exciting publicity stunt to mark the beginning of the asparagus season.

In previous years, owner Ronald Peijenburg has used everything from a Formula 1 racing car to a hot air balloon and a helicopter to deliver the very first asparagus of the season, and this year he wanted to try flying a unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

Initially the journey from the asparagus farm started well, with the drone taking off carrying a metal can consisting of several asparagus stalks. In the interest of safety, the pilot followed in the back of a small pick-up truck, so the drone was always in line-of-sight, with the stunt being filmed by a local TV channel.

The drone landed safely during the journey to get its battery changed before taking off again, however, on the second take off, the drone crashed onto a thankfully quiet country road, and both the drone and the asparagus it was carrying went up in flames.

"Yeah, that wasn't funny. You think you have a cool idea – with a drone – how original can you be? Picking up asparagus with a drone," Peijenburg told Netherlands regional broadcaster Omroep Brabant after the drone crashed.

"This is very, very sad because it was an amateur pilot, the owner of the drone, who organised this especially for me and brings his own toys. So this wasn't supposed to happen of course."

Nevertheless, the first asparagus of the season was still delivered by more traditional methods to the restaurant and is now on the menu.

People in various fields have been trying out many different use cases for drones – some that work, and some not so much. In July 2014, a drone operator lent his UAV to the hunt for a missing elderly man in Wisconsin and was able to find him within 20 minutes after an unsuccessful three-day police hunt.

Meanwhile in February, a restaurant chain in Singapore announced that it will be using drones to ease the load on its waiters by getting the UAVs to deliver food and drink from the kitchen and bar to the seating areas.

However, a stunt in December where TGI Friday wanted to have drones carrying sprigs of mistletoe hovering over customers at its restaurants in New York failed spectacularly, with thedrone crashing into a woman's face and cutting open her nose.

Back in Amsterdam, an event organiser has announced AIR 2015, the first ever live entertainment show featuring UAVs, that will take place later this year, working together with the Royal Netherlands Air Force. 

Views: 1663

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on April 15, 2015 at 4:33am

FOD?  I thought that didn't happen anymore?  Was this an original S800?

Comment by John Arne Birkeland on April 15, 2015 at 4:59am

Orange FC and carbon tube arms, so most likely a DJI S900 frame with Naza V2 controller.

Comment by Darrell Burkey on April 15, 2015 at 5:11am

That's quite an odd crash given all they did was change the battery for a second flight. I really feel for the owner but it does make for an excellent example to all those who keep claiming it's safe to be near multirotors. 

Comment by Daniel Allen on April 15, 2015 at 5:30am

It looks like they used those 10c Multistar batteries.... maybe they were pushing over 10c lifting asparagus.

Comment by John Stuart on April 15, 2015 at 6:12am

Agree with Daniel, that is a low C battery, overload it and you're looking for trouble

Comment by Tobias Witting on April 15, 2015 at 6:48am

looks like a classical flip of death to me. See the rotation speed the thing tips over with?

Comment by Emery c. Chandler on April 15, 2015 at 9:29am

all these people keep saaying "lets use drones" and all they use is quadcopters or hex's, I think part of the problem is people in general are using the wrong airframe to do some of the jobs.

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on April 15, 2015 at 12:25pm

Yeah, and the 10C Multistars are really only good to 5C at most.  Anything over 2C continuous starts to tax them.  But I don't think that was the issue.  If it was a power failure, it would just fall.  Maybe tilt.  But not like that.  That looks like the flight controller intentionally committing suicide.

Comment by Sylvain.M on April 15, 2015 at 1:08pm

Hi all the community!

It was in South of France, Nice in May 2014 on the beach.

No injuries...

Article in French.



Comment by Glenn M on April 15, 2015 at 3:08pm

That's not an s900, it doesn't have inclined arms. Looks more like a T960. I don't know why everyone's hating on the 6s multistar batteries so much. I've had good reliability from them. At hover my pixhawk s900 draws about 45A, which from a 16k battery is 2.8C. The batteries barely get warm.


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