Broadcast TV UAV nearly hits skier on live TV

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Steve Maller, Dec 23, 2015.

  1. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    In case you haven’t heard about this, it’s quite a thing right now. It's not clear what kind of rig this was, but regardless, I think it should be of interest to folks here on the FF forum.

    http://www.cbc.ca/sports/olympics/winter/alpineskiing/marcel-hirscher-hit-drone-1.3377150

    I've watched all the videos I've found (from 3 different angles) several times and here's what I can tell...
    • The copter was clearly falling sideways when it hit the snow
    • It was a large-ish 4-boom (probably X8) machine
    • It had retracts which appeared to be retracted, implying to me that the copter was not in landing profile
    • The speed and angle at which it hit the snow would indicate a catastrophic loss of power
    • The news reports said the copter was being operated by the broadcast crew
    As others have said, I doubt the operator is going to tell all. But maybe more information will come forward.
     
  2. Pablo Barrera

    Pablo Barrera Member

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    Hello Steve
    I agree with you here on a couple of things. The manner in which the coaxial x frame Octo hit the slope suggests a power loss. Definitely not from remote control as the frame of the copter impacted 90 degrees down with the landing gear retracted. The camera that was being used from what I can tell wasn't anything special. When the copter hits the ground and the gimbal is ejected from the rest of the copters body and it seems to be cam corder sized. From the angle which the footage was taken I cannot see any functioning lighting equipment which should be easy to see in the lighting that was present at the time of the crash. Unfortunately the amount of time that the drone enters the shot and hits the ground coupled with the speed at which it was traveling and the frame rate that this was shot at makes it difficult to determine flight controller, motors etc.
    interested to hear the pilot side of the story. At least no one was hurt.
     
  3. Charlie Cushing

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    The Alpine Ski World Cup UAV crash may have been due to interference and the operator intentionally "lawn darting" the UAV.
    "During the slalom race of the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup in Madonna di Campiglio/Italy in the evening of 22 December 2015, an unmanned drone DFC-COPTER XR1 carrying a broadcast camera crashed into the snow during the second run of Austrian ski racer Marcel Hirscher.

    The drone had been used to provide aerial shots of the slalom race, and was part of the host broadcast operation of Infront Sports & Media. The drone and the drone pilot have been provided by a third party service to Infront Sports & Media.
    The initial technical report indicates a malfunction of the drone. According to the drone operating company, the most likely reason is a strong and unforeseen interference on the operating frequency, leading to limited operability. Detecting this, the pilot followed the official security procedure, purposely flying the drone as close as possible to the ground before releasing it. The aim was to destroy the drone, in order to prevent it from losing control.

    We very much regret that this happened and especially that it was in close proximity to an athlete, in this case Marcel Hirscher. We are extremely relieved that no one was hurt and apologise once again to Marcel Hirscher, as well as to the FIS, the Austrian and Italian Ski Federations and the Local Organising Committee.

    Infront has decided to mandate an external independent expert with a formal investigation of the matter.
    For the time being, FIS and Infront have decided to refrain from using drones for broadcast purposes until a fully secured operation can be ensured."

    http://www.infrontsports.com/news/2...-world-cup,-slalom-race,-on-22-december-2015/
     
  4. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    EDIT: You beat me to the punch, Charlie! :)

    The International Skiing Federation (FIS, for Federation Internationale du Ski), has now banned all "drones" from World Cup Skiing events. Presumably that ban extends to FIS skiing events in the USA.

    "The company responsible for the drone, sports marketing agency Infront, said its initial technical report 'indicates a malfunction of the drone.'"​

    Ohhh....really.....they are not supposed to do that?

    The sUAV operator, Infront has posted a statement that identifies the "drone" as a "DFC-COPTER XR1 carrying a broadcast camera." See http://www.infrontsports.com/news/2015/12/updated-statement-–-regarding-fis-alpine-ski-world-cup,-slalom-race,-on-22-december-2015/

    I'm not finding any Google results that seem relevant for the DFC-COPTER XR1. (The letters DFC have secondary meaning to Brits, Canadians, Americans, and I suspect other air forces: Distinguished Flying Cross -- not exactly what the DFC-COPTER XR1 will be remembered for.)

    Andy.
     
    Shaun Stanton likes this.
  5. Pablo Barrera

    Pablo Barrera Member

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    anybody know if the operating company was locally hired or American? in the statements released by in front sports marketing agency they are saying that "According to the drone operating company, the most likely reason is a strong and unforeseen interference on the operating frequency, leading to limited operability"
    which i find ridiculous because that couldn't have been the 1st 2nd or 3rd flight that the pilot had made for this event. interference doesn't just pop up out of nowhere. there must have been test flights done earlier in the day. something would have notified the pilot in command earlier on in the day that there is a problem with signal. That is standard procedure for anyone who calls them self a professional taking on a high risk job like this one. So, who was piloting this job for In Front sports marketing?
     
  6. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    There is also the larger question of what would the Flight/Nav Controller do on loss of C2 link (aka Command and Control link)?
    I find it hard to believe that it would not have some kind of return to home or even autoland.

    Then there is the small matter of: The copter was plummeting down, canted over 90 degrees. I did a frame-by-frame analysis of the video downloaded from a couple of different sources and in both of them the booms are vertical and showing no signs of further movement in the tilt or roll axis. Here's an one such frame and you can see from the retracted landing gear that the motion blur seems entirely vertical. My money's on failure of the flight electrical system causing it to drop out of the sky.

    Andy

    sUAV Crash near skier 2015-12-22.png
     
  7. Pablo Barrera

    Pablo Barrera Member

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    Andy,
    My thoughts exactly...the behaviour for the copter does not support that of loss of signal. Any kind of auto pilot system would not allow for vertical speed at such an angle. Also, there seems to be no ground speed. its as if it free fell straight out of the sky. before the copter hits the slope you can see the shadow of it just behind the skier. there is not horizontal movement. The copter comes straight down on its nose. If the copter was front/nose heavy and lost power in stable flight it would cause the nose to keel over as it is shown in your picture above. Someone on the ground must have cell phone footage of this thing flying around before it crashed. That will give us a better idea of what actually happened.
     
  8. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Yeah, I've not seen any other footage -- and the DRC-COPTER XR1 appears to be as real as a unicorn.

    Andy.
     
  9. Pablo Barrera

    Pablo Barrera Member

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    found an picture of the copter before it crashed.
    here is your mystery drc-copter XR1
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Does that GPS antenna suggest a Naza flight controller?

    Andy.
     
  11. Bo Tornvig

    Bo Tornvig Member

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    According to Kopterworx it should be a Italian crew..
    Here is another shot. 12321612_530381177131474_1209807820434744201_n.jpg
     
  12. Pablo Barrera

    Pablo Barrera Member

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    The only flight controller that I can think of that looks like this one are the ones manufactured by zero uav. Could be a ysx6 zero uav flight controller. Not very popular here in the states.
     
  13. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    Green velcro straps? There's your problem. I would never use green velcro. Notoriously prone to spontaneous ejection of LiPos. Look it up. Sheesh. :rolleyes:
     
  14. Pa7ric

    Pa7ric New Member

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  15. Pa7ric

    Pa7ric New Member

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    I think this could be a ZERO UAV X4 Controller on it. Hobbyking does also sell this Controller?
     
  16. Pa7ric

    Pa7ric New Member

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    I see a cloverleave antenna also... Could this be an forbidden analog 5,8 GHz video tx ???
     
  17. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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  18. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    Clearly looks like there's a 5.8 FPV and a Connex on the gimbal. Probably trying to do live broadcast. One can only imagine what that live feed looked like. :eek:
     
  19. Bo Tornvig

    Bo Tornvig Member

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    And another one
    a0c7d0ddc15136929edbeadedf0be843__gepa_full_1665_gepa_22121541081_jpg_1360069_1164.jpg
     
  20. Stefan Hunziker

    Stefan Hunziker New Member

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    here is a link to the company that makes and operates the "dfc copters" http://www.dfc.space
    my limited italian reading abilities tell me that there are either wookong- or a2- controllers on these copters - as we all know, there are sometimes differences between the advertising and reality - it is possible that in the actual case, they had mounted a zero tav or hobby king controller....
     

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