"Train driver flummoxed after drone hits Sydney Harbour Bridge"

The train stopped after the driver spotted the drone lying on the tracks.

Drone's-eye view: The train stopped after the driver spotted the drone lying on the tracks.

This guy was lucky to get his quadcopter back. Key sentence: "Mr Prescott, who was in Sydney as part of the support crew for US singer Rihanna's Australia tour, says he was testing new equipment on his drone when he lost control of it. He says he never intended for it to fly into the bridge."

From the Sydney Morning Herald

Extraordinary video has emerged of a quadrocopter crashing into the Sydney Harbour Bridge last month.

The drone was launched by British man Edward Prescott. When the vehicle collided with a bridge girder and landed on the train line, it sparked an investigation by police and air safety authorities.

An edited version of the video uploaded to YouTube by Mr Prescott shows that the drone's camera was rolling the entire time it flew through and then into the Harbour Bridge, landed on a railway line, was picked up by Sydney Trains crew, placed in the train and taken back to their office.

The reaction and comments of the rail staff are all recorded.

On-screen text says the flying machine went out of control because the camera mounting failed, but the drone tried to return to its starting point using GPS.

After it crashes on to the rail line on the western side of the bridge a train is seen pulling up.

Two rail workers are captured by the drone's camera.

Two rail workers are captured by the drone's camera.

The driver picks up the quadrocopter and reports on his radio: "It's an odd looking plane, it's got a red light flashing, I don't know whether it's a bomb or not."

Pulling up at a train station, he then hands it to a bemused Sydney Trains worker on the platform.

"That's a first... a model aeroplane that crashed on the bridge," he tells her.

"It was in the road of the train so I jumped down and grabbed it."

After a brief stay on a platform office desk, the drone is given to another Sydney Trains worker who takes it to another office.

"It's got one camera lens. And it's flashing, like it's red now," the worker says, peering straight into the camera's lens.

He's then seen taking photos of the drone while his curious colleagues look on.

Mr Prescott, who was in Sydney as part of the support crew for US singer Rihanna's Australia tour, says he was testing new equipment on his drone when he lost control of it. He says he never intended for it to fly into the bridge.

Thinking his drone was lost to the harbour, it was not until he read about a "mystery drone" in the news that he realised what had happened.

"Imagine my surprise when the results of the internet search came back with a plethora of media sites from around the world carrying a story about a 'mystery drone', counter-terrorism investigation and a police hunt for the owner.

"Needless to say I contacted the aviation authorities and Sydney police immediately," he says.

A spokesman for NSW Police said the matter was investigated and deemed not suspicious.

He said that the police team managing the International Fleet Review, which started the next day and which included counter terrorism officers, were notified but that it was handled by police transport command.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority completed a review of the incident but has yet to decide what action, if any, to take.

At the video's end, Mr Prescott writes in the credits:

"Special thanks to a level-headed NSW Police for returning my property.

"Peculiar how things turn out..."



Views: 1716


Moderator
Comment by Gary Mortimer on November 26, 2013 at 1:27am

That was the key sentence, I don't think he should be being cocky about it.

I have also been thinking a little bit about it. He can't have been monitoring the flight progress very well as I think my immediate action would have been stabilize then RTL. Instead he is watching his machine fly away and doing nothing on the sticks to correct it. Or he just does not know its happened.

So I think the lesson is that if you are flying in any sort if GPS mode and it all looks weird then first stabilize or its equivalent and see if that sorts it out. A quick trial back in the GPS mode to RTL making sure the platform is on team. If not into the stabilize mode and fly home in time for tea and medals.

DJI stop folks flying in Tiananmen Square I wonder why they don't do similar for other spots.

I think this presenter is a bit of a plonker you would just fly in a manual mode....

Comment by Euan Ramsay on November 26, 2013 at 4:53am
Test flights:
1. LOS on manual
2. LOS alt hold
3. LOS loiter
4. LOS RTL
5. LOS AUTO
6. FPV test - rural setting
7. FPV non LOS - rural setting
8. Advanced AUTO flights - rural setting
9. LOS manual GPS telemetry test - urban
10. GPS mode - urban

...did he skip straight to step 10?
Comment by Not Sure on November 26, 2013 at 2:13pm

fly your drone in another country they said.....see the world through a camera they said....wait a minute, this is sounding familiar...

Comment by Gary McCray on November 26, 2013 at 4:55pm

GPS based RTL inside steel girder bridge, what can possibly go wrong?

Comment by Mike T on November 26, 2013 at 4:56pm

brilliant...

thanks mate for giving CASA more fuel for regulations.

Comment by Alex on November 26, 2013 at 7:15pm

"GPS based RTL inside steel girder bridge, what can possibly go wrong?" 

from the footage he started a fair way (500m+) away from the bridge... looks like he was taking off in front of the waterfront restaurant to me. DJI still have the northern/southern hemisphere issue?

(in no way making excuses btw.. the guys an idiot)

Comment by mP1 on November 27, 2013 at 4:00am

I have lived in Sydney all my life and i have never heard or read the word "

flummoxed "...

what does it mean ?

Comment by Mike T on November 27, 2013 at 4:49am
Comment by BluSky1 on December 1, 2013 at 5:04pm

DJI naza can fly anywhere in Attitude mode. I have firmware V4.0 i have no intention in ever upgrading it again. I only did this firmware so i could get the IOSD to work. SO future firmwares with more no fly zones can just be ignored.

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