This Sunday, a drone crash landed in the audience during a Major League baseball game. Arizona Diamondbacks and San Diego Padres played a game at Petco, when someone decided to fly a drone above the stadium. The aircraft hovered above the venue, and eventually ended up in the audience. It smashed against an empty seat, nearly hurting one of the spectators.
While some of the rules regarding drone flight around the world might seem a little extreme, some make absolute sense. One such law in many countries is that of flying over groups of people. Especially groups of people who aren’t directly involved with the flight.
You might remember one drone pilot who disobeyed this rule a little while ago, and was convicted last month. Charged with reckless endangerment, Paul M. Skinner did manage to escape the maximum allowed penalty. But he’s still been ordered to pay a $500 fine and spend 30 days in jail.
While some people are training eagles to take down drones, and others are using nets, it seems there are much simpler ways to take down a drone. Daniel Eggert took no more than a roll of toilet paper and some strings to do it. And the funniest part is that he didn’t even do it on purpose.
Daniel and his friend had a random discussion how much weight they can carry with their DJI Mavic Pro drone. Such discussions usually end in trying it out, and so was this time. They ended up buying a string and some toilet paper to hang under the drone as some kind of a flag. Promising, isn’t it?
Researchers at Virginia Tech test are hoping to enable drones to fly over people in the future. Therefore, they are testing the consequences of collision between a drone and a human. Okay, not a real human, but a crash test dummy. They are working on developing methods to evaluate the risk a small drone poses to anyone on the ground. And thanks to this research, the application of drones may be extended in the future. And they may be allowed to fly over people, too.
38 year old Paul M. Skinner had been accused of engaging in a conduct that created a “substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury to another person”, and was charged. It comes from an incident in June 2015 when a woman was knocked unconscious when struck by Skinner’s drone during a Pride parade in downtown Seattle.
Seattle Times reports that Seattle Municipal Court agreed on Friday, and found him guilty of reckless endangerment. The six jury members reached a unanimous decision over the four day trial presided by Judge Willie Gregory.
New Year, new beginnings. But for a drone owner from Seattle, the beginning of 2017 probably wasn’t what he was hoping for. On New Year’s Eve, his drone was circling around the Seattle’s iconic Space Needle, when it crashed onto the platform. The case was reported to the police, and it seems they identified the drone owner. The police are still working on the case,and the City of Seattle could file charges. In this case, the owner may pay a fine and even end up in jail.