World Championship skier almost hit by crashing drone

Super scary. Those big drones should not be operated around people, even in a professional sports context.

More details here

Views: 6238

Comment by Tony K on December 23, 2015 at 8:06am

@Bojan Verce 

So much speculation..We know nothing. Even commercial jets crash..all the time..It doesnt mean we blame the pilot right away. You are probably correct but we cant say any of that with so little info. 

Comment by John Moore on December 23, 2015 at 9:26am

They way it came down; hard and on its side, makes me think it was a power failure of some kind.

Comment by Eladio L. García de la Morena on December 23, 2015 at 9:28am
Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on December 23, 2015 at 9:42am

John Moore, agreed.  This was a significant crash.  Maybe hit an overhead wire.  System blackout.  If it was simply that the battery drained, the failsafes must have been misconfigured and/or the flight code must not have done the sensible thing we do where stabilization is prioritized over thrust.

It's been a long time since I've seen a crash like that.  So, for it to happen to a very professional operator, is significant.

It is too bad to see this knee-jerk reaction from the FIS, however.  Let's figure out what happened, learn from it, and put rules in place to prevent it happening again.  Perhaps it's simply the case that a critical eye should be turned to operators who claim to be professionals merely because of how much they spent on the equipment, instead of having a full understanding of these systems.

These guys already violated one of their safety rules, apparently they had corridors to use that were not directly over the run, but just ignored them.

Comment by RPM on December 23, 2015 at 10:27am

Another 'ruined it for everyone' situation.

Doesn't matter if he is the best drone pilot in the world he should not of left the corridor (or allowed the system to) and flown directly over people.

Comment by earthpatrol on December 24, 2015 at 5:10am

@Gary_McCray +1  Hopefully there will be some review of the log files as well as the process and procedures leading up to this event.


Developer
Comment by John Arne Birkeland on December 24, 2015 at 6:35am

In the end, it pretty much always boils down to the human factor.

Sure, there are literally thousand of things that can (and will) go wrong and drones will continue to drop from the sky many, many years to come.

But all this is almost pointless. If the pilot had kept to the assigned safety flight corridor and not deviated to get a better shot, this would have been a non issue. The drone would have dropped somewhere relatively safe and the world would never even have know about it.

Comment by simonl on December 24, 2015 at 7:12am

Could it be that the "safety corridor" wasn'yt actually safe enough? I mean, if the drone was in hover it stands to reason that it would fall within a certain radius. But if it was in forward flight maybe there wasn'yt enough account taken of any undesired deviation from its expected path.

I don't believe we know (yet) that the pilot deviated from the corridor, do we?

Comment by Darrel Klassen on December 24, 2015 at 7:30am

I don't know what it is with quads and alike but they seem to out of the blue just fall out of the sky... and with regularity.

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on December 24, 2015 at 7:49am

John, Marco and Roberto have been speaking with the pilot.  It was a DJI Wookong-M (you know where this is going...)

Apparently the copter started flying off, and did not respond to radio controls.  He elected to employ the independent flight termination system that is mandated under Italian regulations, which is why it crashed so heavily.  So he very well might have been within the safety corridor before the flyaway started, but then a couple seconds of flyaway while the pilot realized he had no control, then making the decision to terminate flight, might be what brought it over the racing line.  Then the momentum from the flyaway would carry it further even after the motors stopped.

I've been very much against "flight termination systems", and this is a perfect example of why.  This is not safety!  It's flying, and you drop it.  The whole idea is predicated on the idea that you're flying in a safe area, and it suddenly starts flying away, and you drop it before it leaves the safety zone.  But what about when the safety zone is only 200 feet wide?

How about instead of mandating these auto-crash system, they instead look at DJI's systems and, to quote The Donald, "figure out what the hell is going on over there!"

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