Police Drone Crashes Into Police

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 ($US300,000!), 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 armoured vehicle known as the "Bearcat," a prototype drone from Vanguard defence 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 $US300,000 drone. Here we go. Launch the drone:

"[The] prototype drone was flying about 18 feet (5m) 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 armoured 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 is exactly 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]



    I don't know, CTU pulled it off until an EMP wiped out their servers...

    This comment has been deemed inappropriate and has been deleted.

    @$300,000 a unit they can afford to crash 5-6 of these to every Bell-206 they crash. These can also stay aloft longer, quicker to refuel and get back into the air, and much cheaper to run. Have more or sensors and have a much bigger flight envelope. Why on earth any local government would buy a normal helicopter when they can cover 5 times the area for the same cost or less. Also you don't have to have a qualified pilot to fly one. Any typical 15 yearold will do.

      Yeah, clearly any idiot can fly one.


        Excellent reply!
        Plus, you can't rescue anyone with one of these flying lawn mowers.

          Most police helicopters dont have a winch attachment on them anyway. they have dedicated rescue helicopters for that.

    sounds like Police Academy XD

      Except that the city could buy 2 or 3 new Bell's for the cost of the multi million dollar lawsuit the family of a victim will get when they sue.

    Looks like it was some sensationalist misreporting... If you can believe Vanguard industries the drone was being brought down in an emergency landing by the operator after noticing vibration. Minor damage to the swat vehicle. rotor damage to the drone.

      Good find, that was a more interesting read.

    Lets sell guns in our supermarkets to anyone who wants one! But fuck those drones, one could accidentally fall and kill someone.
    America, land of the herps and home of the derps.

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