The drone flew in from the east side of the stadium as No. 26 Flavia Pennetta defeated Monica Niculescu, 6-1, 6-4. Pennetta said later that she heard it flying around. At first, she thought it might be a bomb.

"A little bit scary, I have to say," Pennetta told ESPN. "With everything going on in the world ... I thought, 'OK, it's over.' That's how things happen."

The USTA later issued a press release saying no one was injured and that the New York City Police Department is investigating the incident. The drone broke into pieces when it crashed. The police and security went right over to it, then gave the all-clear to continue playing. 

"If there had been spectators, it would have hit them and done a lot of damage," Pennetta said. 

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  • Stop putting warning labels on everything and let nature take its course. Before you know it there will be less dumb asses in the world. If you are not smart enough to know that you could kill yourself or someone else with a drone or anything dangerous. You need to be removed, you are defective.

  • Regarding registration, Darrell, I have a friend who is the president of the Oregon Pilots Association (non-drones) and she says there is a big push on the State level for registering drones.

  • Think she was some what over reacting thinking it a bomb but who ever was flying it should be shot. This is getting worst and worst. ******* dicks ruining our growing industry!

  • Developer

    Cars have a very long history. If they never existed and you started from scratch with today's technology I think they would be designed very different from what we already know with regard to safety/limiters etc.

  • Harry, in nearly all other cases, I agree.  Nothing annoys me more than people who don't take responsibility for their actions, and force me to suffer the consequences for no reason.  And up until recently, that's how I felt about idiotic drone users. Don't get me wrong, I still think they need to be held responsible.  HOWEVER....

    The sales and use vastly exceeds what law enforcement can wrap their head around or begin to keep up with. Simply relying on personal responsibility in this case is not going to cut it. There are too many idiots, and the negative press they generate harms everyone else.  Sensible restrictions enabled by default will go a long way to help cut down on the idiocy. It won't eliminate it. It isn't the end all solution. And it doesn't absolve people of responsibility.

  • The only thing necessary is personal responisibility.  The buffoon got busted and so should the next one.  3DR didn't do it and it isn't their problem to enforce anything but their own product guarantees.  Should car manufacturers be responsible for preventing reckless driving?  It happens everyday that some idiot crashes a car and kills somebody.  The last thing I want is google driving my car.

  • 100KM

    Flying drones at night is perfectly safe.   Restricting drone flights to daytime only is for what reason?

    Even my old Parrot ARDrone has LED running lights that are quite visible at night.    Limiting flight range to within the LOS of the operator, below 400 ft and outside of 5 mile no fly zones around airports are the only restrictions necessary.

  • T3

    Since most people will be flying with their phone on the transmitter to view the live video (come on, who is flying it LOS to frame their shots anyway?), it should be pretty easy for the companion computer to quickly download no-fly zone information from some database to know whether or not it should be able to arm and fly. The APM code should be able to work with no-fly zone information, which is sounds like might go into 3.4, but downloading and transferring all that information should fall on the computer.

  • Developer

    I guess the question is if the job of handling no-fly zones should fall to the APM or the Solo companion computer?

  • @Randy - Thanks for that feedback. I agree that this is a touchy subject with strong opinions. But I believe it can no longer be ignored by 3DR. Drone manufacturers can either disown responsibility for the growing safety problems or accept some responsibility and start to take appropriate actions.

    Some thoughts...

    Not too long ago, 3DR was a seller of only drone components. As a result, drone users needed to gain technical know-how in order to build and to fly their drones. This led to a highly educated community of responsible drone flyers, for the most part. 

    But now that 3DR is selling ready to fly (RTF) drones, a completely uneducated person can buy one, take it out of the box, and start flying. As we all know, DJI has been in the business of selling RTF drones from the very start. This is exactly why DJI drones are notorious and infamous as the drones most responsible for illegal and dangerous flights. Now, with 3DR selling RFT products, it risks joining DJI as another infamous drone manufacturer. This event at the US Open is likely just one of many future incidents involving 3DR products. I very much doubt that 3DR wants to join DJI in this kind reputation.

    IMO, 3DR needs to consider making flight restrictions a default shipment feature of their RFT drones. Educated/sophisticated 3DR owners will be able to learn how to change the default safety settings, while drone newbies and dangerous 'idiot' pilots will be inhibited from endangering the public, air safety, and from generating more bad publicity for consumer drones and 3DR. 

    IMO, the best and simplest approach is to implement features that restrict drones to follow AMA and FAA guidelines. As a starting point, this means the following flight envelope restrictions would be enabled by default:

    - flight range limited to line of sight distance from the launch point

    - flight altitude limited to 400 feet AGL from the launch point

    - flights only possible during daylight hours

    - flights only possible beyond a 5 mile range from all major airports (just a starting point for no-fly-zones)

    I think you will agree that implementing these default safety features would not be technically difficult for an advanced 3DR product like the Solo. It seems they could even be implemented in the short term. Future default safety enhancements (including more elaborate stay-out-zones) could expand on this list. But this would be a good start that is achievable relatively quickly. 

    IMO, the alternative to this proactive approach will be new government regulations. Regulations that will likely require these features by default -- possibly with the addition of anti-tampering requirements to dissuade users from altering these defaults. 

    As far as making these kinds of important design decisions, the ball is still in the court of drone manufacturers. 3DR, and other manufacturers, must decide what to do, before the regulators decide for them. DJI is making these decisions now in a way that some consider responsible. DJI is likely doing this to save themselves, as well and the consumer drone market, from the negative consequences of inaction. 

    So the questions remain. What is 3DR going to do? Is 3DR management even talking about these things in a serious way? Will 3DR lead the way to a safer consumer drone industry by shipping products that reduce the dangerous things 'idiot pilots' can do? Or will they stand-by as more drone safety incidents spoil its reputation and hurt the overall future of the consumer drone market?

    As we all know, the government is not ignoring the growing drone safety issues and will eventually act. 3DR still has a window of opportunity to act first. As an industry leader, it must act wisely. The clock is ticking. 

    This community, as well as the public, really deserves to hear authoritative answers on this matter from 3DR. With each passing day, this matter become more urgent. It cannot be ignored. What is 3DR considering doing? 

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