We love the innovation in coverage that we’ve seen from quadcopter/drone shooters over the past year, but it’s time to inject a little common sense into the mix before we see the first inevitable fiery crash. The problem comes not from your little Phantom crashing into a boat, after which you might need to pay for a sail repair – no, the big issue is something that any drone operator should realize is a REALLY BIG DEAL: Other aircraft. So here’s our Public Safety Announcement: DO NOT DLY YOUR DRONE ANYWHERE NEAR HELICOPTERS OR SMALL PLANES. If a bird can take down a jet and a sparrow fart can take down a helicopter, what do you think your quadcopter can do? It can kill, and if it does, you will end up either in jail or bankruptcy court when they sue you for tens of millions for wrongful death. Plus, you’ll have fucking killed someone! Don’t believe us? Here’s a note from a well-known videographer.
Want to know the sketchiest thing that’s ever happened to me when shooting from a helicopter? It happened yesterday, just off Fort Adams, while I was shooting the Alvimedica and Abu Dhabi teams as they set out from Newport for Europe.
While we were flying along chasing boats, the pilot suddenly yelled “FUCKING DRONE!” and threw in a huge turn and began climbing hard. Suddenly, looking out the open door, I’m staring at a toy that could eviscerate our tail rotor and kill us all. It passes 50 feet below us in the opposite direction; so close that I can easily see that it is a Phantom 2 with a GoPro Hero aboard.
-Near-Miss in Newport
July 11th, 2014