Police Drone Crashes into Police

Gizmodo – by Sam Biddle

The Montgomery County (Texas) Sheriff’s Office had a big day planned. After becoming the first department in the country with its own aerial drone ($300,000!), they were ready for a nice photo op. And then the drone crashed into a SWAT team.  

The Examiner reports a painfully contrived police action-athon:

As the sheriff’s SWAT team suited up with lots of firepower and their armored vehicle known as the “Bearcat,” a prototype drone from Vanguard Defense Industries took off for pictures of all the police action. It was basically a photo opportunity, according to those in attendance.

“Lots of firepower” and a “Bearcat” sure sounds like a good photo op. OK, time to launch the $300,000 drone. Here we go. Launch the drone:

“[The] prototype drone was flying about 18-feet off the ground when it lost contact with the controller’s console on the ground. It’s designed to go into an auto shutdown mode…but when it was coming down the drone crashed into the SWAT team’s armored vehicle.”

Not only did the drone fail, and not only did it crash, it literally crashed into the police. It’s no wonder we’re not able to find a video of this spectacular publicity failure. Luckily, the SWAT boys were safe in their Bearcat.

This would be a fine one-off blooper story if it weren’t for some upsetting implications. This isexactly why we have reason to raise multiple eyebrows at Congress, which wants to allow hundreds of similar drones to fly over US airspace. These drones are still a relatively young technology, relatively unproven, and relatively crash-prone. The odds of being hit by one are low, of course, but should a Texas-style UAV plummet ever happen in, say, a dense urban area, nobody would be laughing. Not all of us are driving around in Bearcats. [Examiner]

http://gizmodo.com/5890507/police-drone-crashes-into-police

7 thoughts on “Police Drone Crashes into Police

  1. Well, I got my chuckle for the day! Just love it when they get something thrown back in their own face. And how many other $300,000 drones will fall out of the sky when target practice begins? The only bad thing is it comes out of our pockets.

    1. Cathleen-The drone operator could have been “texting”, too. I’m wondering when they’ll ban cell phones and alcohol, as they seem to be “assault weapons” that are killing nearly 6,000 kids a year-and in my math, that’s WAY MORE than the 26 alleged victims at Sandy Hook. But I guess that wouldn’t figure into their AGENDA to get the guns, now would it??!!

  2. Look on the bright side. If they are that delicate, they can be easily “harvested” from the sky by civilians with creative methods.

    A fishing line with a weight shot from a spud-gun or towed from another RC aircraft might wind-up into their rotors. A CO2 fire extinguisher with a projecting nozzle might flame-out their turbines. A strong, brief RF signal might jam their control signals. Heck, a huge volleyball-net suspended at the right altitude from two hydrogen-filled weather balloons would simply catch the thing!

    In order to be profitably sold to the government they are all made from COTS components, and can be reverse-engineered and re-purposed to useful civilian requirements for their new owners.

    Simply make the necessary improvements that the police (who must be _below_ a certain intelligence to qualify) are too dumb to make, and use the machines to watch _them_!

  3. How old is this article? I remember reading something almost identical to this about 6 – 8 months ago, Sounds awfully familiar. Then when I clicked on the Examiner reports link, it came up 404 not found.

    1. Yup, I think I posted it. LOL
      However, considering Montgomery Co. TX, maybe this is a second one.

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