Some nugget in Seattle jailed for crashing their drone. Maybe a bit harsh calling him a nugget but he’s been jailed for 30 days. Read the linked article or….
….TL;DR: Flew over public parade, crashed into building, (unsurprisingly) fell out of sky, knocked someone out, chap charged & jail, no $200 for passing Go….
Surprised to see he was a commercial operator, albeit in ‘Murca, but still surprised to see this.
Potatoes, potatos, there’s undoubtedly some legal requirement differences for commercial operators but if this outcome happened in the UK I’d half expect to see a spell in clink as well as the end result.
The self-assessment in the title is referencing the fact that prior to any mission, any mission, risk assessments are conducted to help identify and then highlight, reduce or mitigate reasonable risks that may be encountered. Not once, but twice these are conducted and flying close to buildings over an uncontrolled group of the public (it was a major parade ffs!) should have been identified as a risk that was unacceptable in its current form and appropriate measures put in place to address it.
As fun as they are, you’re still hoiking a few kilos of metal, plastic and potential energy high into the air so you have to give thought to what happens if it suddenly becomes gravity’s next victim. If people are under your control, they’ve had the risks explained to them and will be aware of what’s going on overhead, uninformed members of the public enjoying themselves at a public event, probably less so.
Moral of the story is if someone is flying for you and is not doing and cannot produce completed risk assessments on demand then frankly boot their backsides off premises as swiftly as your shoes will allow. You and your chosen operator are opening yourself up to a world of hurt, literal and metaphorical if you’re not formally identifying and then addressing the risks inherent to each mission.
Here’s a video of someone in that same city ploughing their £2000 DJI Inspire into the famous needle. Ouch. Probably very close to what actually happened at the parade (minus the concussion)
and as a bonus, here’s some penguins from It’s A Knockout way back the day
*TL;DR – Too Long; Didn’t Read – cutting a long story short for the internet generation’s attention span.