Photographers’ Alert: Drone Dangers

This video, from 00:02 to 00:43 sec, presents Drone Strikes Wedding, Hits Groom in Face #N3.

  • A wedding was crashed by a drone when the photographer operating the airborne camera lost control of the device. The device then went crashing into the groom’s face.
  • A photographer, who goes by the user name WeddingMan123 on YouTube, was using a type of flying drone camera called a quadcopter to get photos of a happy couple in a field before their wedding.
  • The photographer then lost control of the device, which then made a beeline for the groom.

Since a drone’s flight is controlled either autonomously by onboard computers or by the remote control of a pilot on the ground or in another vehicle drone, a drone has other names, including unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), and unpiloted aerial vehicle.

Certain drones are specifically designed for civil and commercial applications which does not include military applications. They can be used for various purposes, including:

  • sports photography and cinematography,
  • acrobatic aerial footage in filmmaking,
  • commercial aerial surveillance such as aerial surveying of crops, border patrol missions, and crowd monitoring,
  • search and rescue operations,
  • inspecting power lines and pipelines,
  • counting wildlife,
  • delivering medical supplies to remote or otherwise inaccessible regions,
  • forest fire detection,
  • detection of illegal hunting,
  • land surveying,
  • fire and large-accident investigation,
  • landslide measurement, and
  • illegal landfill detection.

Democrat and Chronicle reported 10 non-military/non-government drone accidents occurred within the USA, from September 2013 to November 15, 2014. Some of these accidents caused injuries to people.

  • A video production company was using a small UAV in a shooting video of a bull run event; “it crashed into the stands at a motorsports park in Petersburb, Virginia, slightly injuring five people.” (9/24/2013)
  • “A small UAV shooting hobbyist video of Manhattan crashed on a sidewalk near Grand Central Station. The private operator was later charged with reckless endangerment.” (9/30/2013)
  • “A small UAV crashed outside Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville, S.C. Operators were using it to try to smuggle cell phones, tobacco products and marijuana into the prison.” (4/21/2014)
  • “A small quadcopter crash-landed on the 30th floor balcony of the tallest building in St. Louis, Missouri. The floor of the downtown building is occupied by a law firm.” (5/5/2014)
  • “A small UAV shooting video crash-lands atop AT&T Stadium, the Arlington, TX home of the Dallas Cowboys. The team said they would return the device to the operator, who revealed the incident in a YouTube video posted June 10.” (6/10/2014)
  • “A small quadcopter shooting video of Fourth of July fireworks in Key West, FL crashes into crowd on a pier, cutting a man on his arm and leg.” (7/4/2014)
  • “A small UAV crashed into Yellowstone Lake in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. (Date given is approximate.)” (7/19/2014)
  • “A small UAV crashed into Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.” (8/2/2014)
  • “Quadcopter plummets to earth after being attacked by a hawk while flying over a park in Cambridge, MA.” (10/8/2014)
  • “A small UAV fell and struck a pedestrian in a parking lot near Bryant-Denny Stadium during a University of Alabama football game in Tuscaloosa, AL.” (11/15/2014)

Now, Democrat and Chronicle can add to their interactive “Domestic drone accidents” list/map the following ‘mistletoe drone’ accident that happened on Friday, 5 December 2014:

  • CBC Radio reported that a New York restaurant allowed drones to hover over lucky couples to dangle a piece of mistletoe above their heads.
  • Due to the drone operator’s error in maneuvering, a drone approached Brooklyn photographer Georgine Benvenuto and “It hit me in the face, then it got caught in my hair, kept spinning — and that’s how it injured my face. It took a while for me to get it off ….Benvenuto was left with cuts on her nose and chin.”

Keep a safe distance from drones! We need an app or a drone detector to warn us of nearby and approaching UAVs.