Drone Risks

You can find risk catalogs with various classification methods for air and ground risks on the websites of ICAO, EASA, JARUS or the FAA. We think that examples speak clearer than complicated tables.

Drone incidents – these have actually happened

  • A drone caused an electricity blackout in Deyang, southwest Sichuan after crashing into power lines. It took more than six hours to restore the power supply.
  • The world’s busiest airport for international travel, Dubai International Airport, closed its airspace for 69 minutes due to unauthorized UAS activity, causing 22 flights to be diverted.
  • China’s air force shot down a drone over a Beijing suburb after it delayed flights and triggered a security alert for flying in restricted airspace.
  • Reports of drone sightings from pilots, citizens and law enforcement have increased five-fold over the past year according to the FAA. This equates to more than three incidents a day where drones flew too close to passenger airliners and other manned planes.
  • Self-igniting fuel leaking from a crashed drone has caused a disastrous wildfire in the US.

Drone incidents – let’s make sure these never happen

  • A truck driver startled by a low-flying drone lost control over his vehicle and crashed into the nearby Italian restaurant.
  • The repair of the Airbus jet engine damaged by the drone strike was estimated to cost more than one million dollars, not including compensation for lost revenues.
  • Interference caused by malfunctioning drone radio equipment led to a safety alert and an emergency shutdown of the local airport.
  • The drone used in the terrorist attack was stolen from the company by one of the attackers.
  • A drone crash in the schoolyard caused by an intoxicated company pilot caused community protests.
  • Unprofessionally stored LiPo batteries for drones caused an out-of-control warehouse fire.
  • An autopilot misconfiguration led to an unintended airspace violation which triggered the emergency landing of a Lufthansa jet.
  • An overloaded agricultural drone crashed into the nearby river and caused a massive fish die-off.
  • Teenage hackers took control of the airborne drone and accidentally crashed it into the public swimming pool.
  • The young actress injured by the drone’s rotor blades required 20 stitches in her face.