Drone crash into crowd at Bull Run in VA

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Scott Strimple, Aug 25, 2013.

  1. Dave King Well-Known Member

    OH great that's all we need. Bull run at a drag strip?
  2. I'm really curious myself. My partners and I were scheduled to fly our Cinestar 8 for this event. At the 11th hour on Friday afternoon, we got shunned by the promoter as they wanted to go with someone else from out of town.

    Thank Goodness we didn't go down as I don't want to be associated with these guys!

    Here are two photos from the event......

    Attached Files:

  3. Howard Dapp Active Member

    Out of all the drone crash at event videos I've seen this is the only one where I can see someone was actually hit and injured by the copter. You can see the crowd gathered around the injured person. Richard, can you find out from the promoter which company it was?
  4. The media person who contacted us was: Jamie Berman <jberman@schneiderpr.com>

    Here's the last email she sent to us. When we first spoke with her on Friday AM, we ask who this other company was and she wouldn't tell us. All she said was, the promoter (Rob <rob@thegreatbullrun.com>) ask us not to attend. Even through we've spoken with Rob for 3 weeks planning this out on details and safety etc.... We sent one last email to Jamie asking it we can just come since it was the first in the country.... Here's her response.

    Thanks for sending this through. Unfortunately, we are not going to be able to accommodate the second camera at tomorrow’s event. I can assure you the video quality is excellent, and The Great Bull Run would be happy to provide the uncut footage to you for use in your promotional videos.

    Thank you,
    Jamie
  5. Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

    Is this the actual copter that crashed in the video? And the guys? That's really disturbing on many levels. Flying that low over that many people is inexcusable, precisely for that reason. There's no margin for error! It looks like it was quite hot there, too. Wow.
  6. Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

    ...and I'm laughing to myself thinking about all the "safety preparations" for a Bull Run. Apparently there were a few injuries from the bulls, too. People amaze me...
  7. Dave King Well-Known Member

    I don't believe its Dave Parish Photography, as I went on that companies web site and they have like 15,000 pictures on it and those are the only pictures of copter shots are aerial shots. It looks like he took pictures from the tower at the track. The picture of that copter looks like a bowl of spaghetti so much so that the main lipos are on the outside of the main hub.
  8. Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

    It looks like Dave Parish is the guy they hired to shoot stills at the event, and he shot stills of the copter guys. Here's the whole Flickr set: http://www.flickr.com/photos/daveparrish/sets/72157635213626165/

    That rig of theirs looks pretty old. And it's remarkable how many times you see a flip like that, and it turns out the copter's running DJI stuff (that telltale GPS antenna).

  9. From my quarterback keyboard, it looks like pilot tried to recover the bird by hard sticking the opposite direction just before impact. I feel for the operator and of course the spectators who were hit. The guy probably had a real mess in his trousers.

    Who is liable? Without proper insurance the operator could be in trouble but perhaps the promoter who hired them are to blame?

    It is easy to criticize the operator for flying "too low" or "over a large crowd" but I have seen a lot of successful large crowd shots and nobody every criticizes those. Seem we only get critical when something bad happens. The temptation to book a deal and recover some money for these large investments is huge; even when I gut feeling is telling us otherwise. A system failure can happen to anyone no matter how careful we fly or how diligent we are about maintaining our UAV.

    I agonized for a month wether to shoot the Obliteride (huge bike race for cancer research) opening party here in Seattle at Gasworks park. Gasworks is located just north of downtown and on flight path approach for sea plane terminal. Probably had 3,000 people attending and they wanted aerial video. I canceled a few weeks before hand due to large media presence/exposure and out of fear of crashing into the large crowd or ditching into the lake which surrounded them.

    Morgan
  10. Paul conto Member

    What a *BLEEPING* idiot! You have the entire drag strip to fly over but decide to fly over the crowd. What a moron, people like that are what's going to ruin this part of the industry.
    I filmed the Virginia beach polar plunge this past February, and booked again next year, and where did I park my bird to film. Over the water! I would rather ditch my bird in the Atlantic then risk hitting someone.
  11. correct, Dave Parish Photography was just a 3rd party vendor taking photos. And the until in the still photos is the unit that crashed. The weather yesterday was a cool 85 degrees low humidity (unusual for VA this time of year).

    My assistant was down there taking ground photos, scouting them out when she saw the crash. She said they were flying pretty low over the crowd getting "crowd shots" when it happened. I'll see her tomorrow and she has more photos hopefully we can share.

    One thing to add, there was 8 races throughout the day with 500 people per race. Each race was about 45 minutes apart from the next. This happened after the 2nd race. She stayed until the 5th race and never saw the fly it again. BUT they did have a 2nd 4 bladed copter with a GoPro on it. Apparantly they continued to fly that around....

    What burns me up; I told the promoter we would NOT fly over the spectator crowd and we would fly higher over the actual running using a standard lens vs wide angle. I told him safety with our #1 concern and w/o seeing the layout of the track, if we didn't have a good LZ spot to operate from way from the crowd and not close enough to keep our eye on the ball, we would NOT fly.

    I guess you pay for what you get.......
  12. Christopher Vo New Member

    It's a Droidworx SkyJib-8 frame, 15x5 wooden props, DJI Wookong, T-Motor motors, Carrying Canon EOS60D payload.
  13. Here are two additional photos taken immediate after the crash of them fixing it.

    Friends tell me they never saw the 8 bladed fly again after the crash.

    Attached Files:

  14. Howard Dapp Active Member

    any word on the injured?
  15. None....
    Only WTVR is reporting the crash.
  16. Jeff Sheffield New Member

    I don't understand how anyone could take the financial risk that this operator did. I'm guessing there will be a lawsuit if there was a serious injury, and the event coordinators may be liable as well.
    The operator could be in for a long expensive ride, which could financially ruin him. Maybe this will make people think before flying these things in unsafe conditions. So far, I have refused to shoot commercially, and around people, I use a balloon system instead. I can stay up all day with a helium charge and it's extremely safe to fly around people.
  17. Dave King Well-Known Member

    The batteries look so unsecure the way they have them mounted. If you also look they aren't using lock nuts on the props.
  18. Paul conto Member

    If i wasnt on deployment i wouldve been there shooting myself, really makes things hard now becasue Virginia is where i do my flying and now I'm going to have this to worry about when i get back. I've heard there was a total of 3 "teams" filming, wondering if maybe there was some confliction going on if multiple birds were in the air at the same time?
  19. Jeff Sheffield New Member

    The Washington Post reported 3 to 4 people with minor injuries from the crash, but I don't think we've heard the last of it.

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