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Most of drone accidents happen because of a technical problem

Posted September 6, 2016

It is hard not to notice how in the last few years small unmanned aircrafts, better known as drones, took over the world. They became affordable and very easy to fly, which led many people to buying them. However, many new problems surfaced too, such as privacy issues, security and so on. Now a new research from the RMIT University revealed that majority of drone accidents are caused by technical problems.

Even light hobbyist drones can cause serious damage is there is a connectivity problem. Image credit: Alan Levine via Wikimedia, CC BY 2.0

Even light hobbyist drones can cause serious damage is there is a connectivity problem. Image credit: Alan Levine via Wikimedia, CC BY 2.0

Flying drones is an incredibly versatile activity. It can be a hobby, as people like taking pictures and videos with the help of them, but they also are very handy in large farm fields, scientific expeditions, and rescue mission and so on. However, the hobbyist drone enthusiasts seem to cause majority of the problems, as they lack experience and knowledge about safety of drones. Usually, we tend to attribute accidents to a human error, but a new research showed that as much as 64% of incidents, involving drones in 2006-2016, were caused by technical problems, which means that higher requirements should be established to Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems.

Many of accidents cause no injury or serious financial damage, but some can be very dangerous. For example, there have been cases when drone enthusiasts wanted to take videos of planes taking off and actually got in a way of the procedure. In these cases, it is drone pilot’s fault, but in many others – it is a technical issue. Usually it is broken communications links between the pilot and his drone, which is why now scientist are calling for stricter regulations of communications systems.

Scientists say that stronger communication systems are already proven way to reduce the amount of accidents. Dr Graham Wild, one of the authors of the study, said: “Large transport category aircraft, such as those from a Boeing or Airbus, are required to have triple redundant systems for their communications. But drones don’t and some of the improvements that have reduced the risks in those aircraft could also be used to improve the safety of drones”. Big part of the problem is that lighter drones do not even need airworthiness certificate in Australia, which means that some regulations are yet to be written.

People think of many new uses for drones. Soon they will be delivering packages, pizza or even autonomously looking for lost people. That is why it is important to improve their safety as soon as possible.


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