During the World Cup slalom skiing championship on Wednesday, ski champion [Marcel Hirscher] was nearly hit by an out-of-control camera drone, that crashed just behind him while filming during a run. Watch the (scary) video embedded after the break.
According to this article in Heise.de (Google Translate link), the pilot was accredited and allowed to fly the quad, but only over a corridor where no spectators were present. After the first couple of runs, apparently the pilot went off course and quite obviously lost control of the copter.
The World Cup immediately banned camera drones. According to the men’s race director for the international ski federation, drones are “a bad thing for safety.” Skiier [Hirscher] said that he “didn’t know what it was, although he felt something.” At the time he thought that it was probably some snow or a pole that fell over. He therefore “stayed focused and concentrated”. From the size of the drone, though, we’re pretty sure that he would have noticed it if it had dropped just a half-second sooner.
What do you think? Are large, camera-carrying drones too dangerous to fly when there are people underneath? Is registering them enough, or do we need stronger prohibitions? Or was this just a freak accident, and we’re seeing an over-reaction to new technology?
Thanks [Kai] for the tip!