Drones and Safety

We’ve talked about domestic drones here in the past and how they could impact many aspects our lives, and I thought I’d post a video here that’s going viral on Youtube at the moment that illustrates the potential for these UAVs to (in this case accidentally) to cause danger to the public.

The story behind this video is currently front page news at NBCnews.com and tells how a couple in a pre-wedding photo shoot were interrupted by an out of control drone smacking into the groom’s head. The operator of the craft explains what happens:

Ok so here’s the story. This was shot using a DJI phantom and a gopro camera. This was two days before the wedding at their bridal shoot. This happened towards the beginning. I had done one successful fly by and i brought it around for another pass to make sure it was smooth. I underestimated the lift time and it hit the groom on the side of the face. He had a cut on his cheek and and the side of his head. I felt horrible. Luckily the bride and groom were able to laugh about it after and we continued the shoot. At the request of the bride and groom I put the video online. All though it sucks that this happened. I have decided to own up to what I did, instead of try to hide it from the world.

It’s another illustration of how new technology is bringing up legal and regulatory issues that current laws can’t fully address. As hobbyist and commercial UAV activity grows, the likelihood of accidents of this kind occurring more frequently will grow, and safety issues will no doubt be discussed in the public arena and addressed by lawmakers.