These early days of August have not been kind for people’s perception on drones.
It seems this week is a showcase of one shameful drone incident to another. From planes nearly crashing, to drones hanging around airports and disrupting all flights in the area. The common denominator here is that some irresponsible drone owners are making everyone else look bad in the media.
With these drones flying beyond their 400 feet sky limitations, they endanger countless lives. Airplanes loaded with people can come crashing down in an instant. All it takes is one well-placed drone to hit an engine and everything goes down.
Another instance that drones cause trouble? Interfering with responders at an incident. Whether it is the police, the fire department, or even search and rescue. Without an open – clear – sky to introduce flying support units like helicopters, these operations often run into trouble.
Grassy Ridge Fire Incident:
An incident this week in East Idaho shed more light into an apparently growing drone problem. A fire broke out in the Grassy Ridge area which led to a massive firefighting effort. The fire spread to over a hundred-thousand acres of land, taking property damages along with it.
In the midst of all the chaos, a drone came into the picture.
While the response teams tried to isolate the fires and minimize damages, their own team almost suffered their own losses. A civilian drone flew into the area where the fire responders were. Most likely there to snoop and take footage of the fire, the owner of the said drone failed to take into account one thing. A drone in an area provides risk to air units moving in. This led to aircrafts owned by the fire department to stay grounded until the drone leaves the area.
That, in itself, is a crime on its own. But the drone and its owner almost created a bigger hole for themselves. The flying machine nearly collided with a fire department owned helicopter. The helicopter provided both reconnaissance for the land units, as well as delivering supplies. With the near-miss, they had no choice but to ground all their aircrafts until the situation got resolved.
This created a longer response time against the fire, causing it to spread even more. Damages, near-injuries, and a fire that went out of control. All because one drone owner could not help but be curious about the natural disaster in front of them.