The Wall Street Journal's Metropolis blog is reporting that a 19-year-old man was killed today when the remote-controlled helicopter he was flying struck him in the head. A quoted official says the helicopter "scalped" his head, which is horrifying, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to this guide, the tips of remote-controlled helicopter blades spin at 250 mph, making them very dangerous indeed. Deaths from remote-controlled helicopter are rare, but not unheard-of; a Swiss man died earlier this year from a similar accident.
Wow tradic as this is I wish the MEDIA would quit calling these things toys. In fact I wish that everyone would stop calling these things toys. It sets a misconception about the hobby. We as people associate these so called toys with the typical kiosk helicopters and they are not.
I have seen many kids, some as young as four flying these MACHINES, yes there was safety precautions taken (i.e. buddyboxing). I have also seen adults fly these things with the same safety measures. Any rc vehicle that is larger than your palm can cause injury or death.
If you know anyone who flies you need to encourage them to have a spotter and most do. I also encourage all young and new pilots to use a simulator. Simulators are a great way to learn how to operate these models and build the skills need to control one. I also encourage those who have not done so check out IRCHA and the AMA to gain further knowledge of the hobby.
My condolences to the family my prayer are with you.
Just as drones start to be used for gift and pizza delivery, highway traffic monitoring, and emergency services, a drone scalps a person. In a park.
I was thinking someone could just put explosives on a drone (maybe with some amateur rocketry), and use the drone in the same ways the US Military does: drone bombings. PopSci themselves suggested someone could just attach explosives onto the drone itself and kamikaze it, using it as a crude missile.
But, why bother when you can slice a few people's heads off with the rotors?
Don't be using DRONE in this context. What you are calling a drone is a multi rotor model with FPV equipment.
I think this sums up what I want to say:
My heart and prayers goes out to the family and all that suffered!
They are toys like a chainsaw is a toy.
"We Entertain When It Rains"
A friend of mine is a director, not name dropping, and he's not a big movie director but he does make some very cool music videos for big names. These "drones", or as they call them "quad rotors", are very useful and are becoming the norm for use.
The industry is already mounting them with special stabilization rigs and various servos for tilting the camera as it flies, etc. However, due to the weight of some of these cameras they have to use copters that have more than 4 rotors. Some even have ten. These things are very powerful! They can shoot up in the air 100 feet! That is a lot of lift and those rotors are cranked! If one of these touched your neck it would easily slice it right open. I have seen them cut small branches off of trees. I have always been baffled why the rotors weren't encased in some sort of cylinder (which in fact vectors the lift) that would make it safer. In fact, some of the toy versions of these, like the AR-Drone, do come with these closed rotors. Not the big ones though.
As for the drone part, the industry is also working feverishly to give these "Drones" the ability to be guided by GPS (already available), and computer, to follow preset paths that are created inside the software modelers that they use. This is pretty cool, fast moving, tech and these guys are replacing some very expensive camera shots. Shots like "boom" shots or "flyovers", that would have required a helicopter or an airplane to do, previously, are now done with these rotors. I can imagine that the liability of this sort of tragedy, happening on a set, to an actor/actress, is very real. This poor kids death is horrible but hopefully will launch a safety movement of these machines.
Condolences to his family and friends. Tragic and horrible. May his death not be in vein.
On an interesting side note... when someone is scalped, as has been fairly common in certain factory jobs, the surgeons that put a scalp back on are called "Micro-surgeons". They deal with the tedious task of putting the very tiny blood vessels, that are all throughout your scalp, back together. They are some of the highest paid surgeons in the world making more than $1000/hr.
"Do not try and bend the spoon. That is impossible. Only try and realize the truth - there is no spoon."
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