Broadcast TV UAV nearly hits skier on live TV

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

  1. Shaun Stanton

    Shaun Stanton Active Member

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    My thought is that it was some sort of power loss. It looked like it fell straight down with little to no lateral speed. A possibilty is that he launched with cold batteries, or one of the batteries straight up failed altogether. I don't buy his interference explanation one bit, there was nothing controlled about this. Whatever the reason, he was not flying in a manner consistent with safe flying practices.

    A few years ago someone posted on here a CS8 that abruptly lost power doing a shoot filming ice climbers, if I recall. His bird fell in the same manner. I think determined the batteries being exposed to the cold was causal.
     
  2. Shaun Stanton

    Shaun Stanton Active Member

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    The google translated site Dynamic Flight Chamber on their website.
     
  3. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    I find it a bit disquieting to read the operating company's statement that: "The company responsible for the drone, sports marketing agency Infront, said its initial investigation "indicates a malfunction of the drone." "The most likely reason is a strong and unforeseen interference on the operating frequency, leading to limited operability," Infront said in a statement. "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." (Emphasis added).

    That seems rather curious wording for a copter that rolls booms-vertical and crashes to the ground. "Limited operability" seems more likely "No control whatsoever." In the frame-by-frame analysis, it appears that the LEDs on the landing gear are not illuminated before it hits the ground. However, all I've been able to find is the standard TV footage of the incident (where the copter crashes behind and to the left of the skier). Has anyone see video from another angle?

    I wonder what kind of flight log file that copter keeps that could be analyzed?

    Andy
     
  4. Shaun Stanton

    Shaun Stanton Active Member

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    I find it a bit dishonest. It sucks because they make statements like that screw us all over. They will plant the seed that this is how the thing will behave when it loses link.

    I was noticing that as well. I was looking for them also. I would have assumed that they would have been picked up by the ENG camera sensor.

    If it was a DJI FC WKM or A2 it would as long as he had I-OSD connected. Although, its no where near as robust as the MK's. It delivers the data in graph form only. It records the main battery voltage, so a sag would be noticeable. Of course the question is if the file would be corrupted when the battery goes completely dead. It stops recording when the motors shutoff after landing.

    I am not sure about Zero UAV though.
     
  5. Ozkan Erden

    Ozkan Erden Distributor

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    That looks like definetely a power loss. If that's a DJI based system, I wouldn't take the radio interference statement (DJI FCs overrides the reciever's failsafe settings with it's own failsafe alghorithms). For MK based copters (clearly it's not a MK based copter), if you don't adjust the failsafe properly, it can cut the power earlier than expected (or it can fly away if you don't adjust the reciever's fail safe setting properly).

    I can't recognise the FC used on that copter. But if that's a Zero UAV based copter, I can't comment how it reacts on radio loss.

    The only thing that makes me reliefed is, there are no injuries.

    On some forums, some users were asking why boradcast company decided to use a drone instead of a cable cam. I think that's about the budget; a cable cam system which would work on a steep angle is much much more expensive than a drone. So this is broadcast company's decision. And then, another questions come to mind:

    * Isn't there any regulation in Italy?
    * Was there a special permission?
    * Why flying over the course? (Would it be more dangerous if the drone was not over the course? Maybe it would fly over the people. Maybe pilot prevented injuries unconciously by flying over the course, instead of people).
     
  6. Shaun Stanton

    Shaun Stanton Active Member

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    I remember that with MK. If you did not have Vario Alt set if I recall, it went to whatever the throttle setting from 0 to 255. If I remember the default was 80 which basically means it drops from the sky. I learned that lesson almost, luckily at 10 feet above the ground :eek:

    On the Wookong I believe you do have to set the mode switch to go into failsafe in the RX/TX binding process so when the receiver loses link it switches your mode switch Failsafe. If you didn't do this in the binding process I believe the system would not go into failsafe and if you did not bind the controller with the throttle above 10% gas it could have an issue. I remember the WKM manual being very explicit on setting the Throttle above 10% position and make sure the mode switch went into failsafe in the radio binding process. If they did have a lost ink with WKM they may have not set their parameters correctly. They also failed to set the RC receiver to drop the gear on lost link not that it mattered. Its one of those things they encourage you to test on the ground while connected to WKM assistant or the WKM app.

    EDIT: The current manual for WKM which is User Guide 1.14 is not very explicit anymore on setting up the failsafe. Kind of ambiguous. However, in the fine notes they direct the user to follow all of the notes in the WKM user assistance software. Here it does direct that the Failsafe is set up correctly and verify it by turning the transmitter off. Allthough in the guide it gives you the impression that if anyone of the 7 channels loses a signal with the MC it is supposed to go into FS. I am not sure if that implies that the signal for just that channel is lost with the radio, which does not make sense or if the physical wire gets dislodged. I set my switch to go into failsafe and throttle to be above 10% just to be on the safe side.

    In theory if this was the case and his radio was bound with the throttle stick at idle and the mode switch is in Atti. It could shut the motors off if intelligent throttle was not set. It kills the motors and I believe you would have 5 seconds to push the power back up without having to use the stick combination to restart.

    However, like Andy noted it did appear that the LED lights were not on, so that would indicate the batteries.

    Either way they were flying in a non ideal situation. Flying over an area where there is not a reasonable escape option is negligent and unsafe piloting.

    The compass dome diameter looks too small to be Zero UAV or even the A2. It almost looks like a painted WKM or NAZA V2 dome. I have seen some paint the domes, so they can have the cool factor, because that's more important than anything else on the bird.
     
  7. Shaun Stanton

    Shaun Stanton Active Member

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    It looks like they do have some rules. A little looser than the US in some respects. If the Remote Piloted Aicraft System (RPAS) weighs less than 25Kg and flown under strict parameters similar to our 333 Blanket COA, they only require self certification that the Drone is safe and that you will abide the rules below you can fly.

    • You may not fly your drone over 230 feet
    • You may not fly your drone further than 490 feet horizontally or out of visual line of sight
    • You may not carry dangerous goods on your drone
    • You may not fly your drone over populated areas, gatherings, beaches, national parks, urban areas, infrastructures, railways, highways and industrial plants
    • You must stay at least 8km away from aerodromes
    • You must only fly your drone during daylight
    • Your drone must weigh under 25kg
    • You must keep your drone 50m away from persons/property not under control of the drone operator
    • You must carry third party insurance ($870,000)
    If you have to go outside any of these parameters, you must have attended a RPAS training course that has ENAC (Italy's FAA) recognition. You need to get special permission, similar to our FAA special COA.
    So there it is. Good question if he had special permission to fly at night, over a large gathering and inside 50 meters of non-participating people. I am guessing the 50M requirement means laterally, not directly over someone at 150 feet.
     
  8. Holger Göhr

    Holger Göhr New Member

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    Here is some more info:

    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.

    .




    Could be true to a point. I have seen and experienced signal problems myself.
    You practice and do everything over and over again before the show and all is good, suddenly you have 4000 people with phones in their pockets, all the TV camera and transmission links are going and your signal goes down south..

    Another thing I wondered about is the low temperature with vastly reduced flight times as the LiPos can't keep up or icing on the leading edge of propellers. Might sound strange, but I know as a fact that it can happen to multirotos and they become nearly uncontrollable...
     
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  9. Shaun Stanton

    Shaun Stanton Active Member

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    I suppose whatever the reason was. At the end of the day it goes to one thing. Pilot judgement and determining if the aircraft is in a safe position to drop out of the sky and will hit somewhere where it does not put people in danger. For whatever reason this aircraft was not in a safe position, as it was a second away from killing that skier.

    These are the decisions, that we the experts at doing this are being entrusted to make. It is our job and our responsibility to make sure we are making the right ones. In some cases the right decision is to be professional enough to walk away from a gig and educate the client on why it is not a good idea.

    I have had to convince the client on why he should not just hire me or anyone else when I explain the risks of what they are asking. I usually preface it with there is a 95% chance that nothing will go wrong. But then I mention there is a 5% chance that my system may have an anomaly such as a in flight battery failure. In that 5% chance, if it were to occur the copter will not be in a safe position and has potential of harming or killing someone. I explain these are the same no matter what system is out there or who they hire. In fact I tell them if whoever they try to hire does not explain the risks involved, then that is key not to hire them.

    Its funny, no one wants to turn down money. But I have been thanked by clients that just didn't know any better but were greatful that I did not put them in a possible bad position. As a unlikely result, I had one client who referred me to someone else because they trusted that we were not a bunch of hacks that were willing to make a quick buck at someone else expense.
     
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  10. Nacho Diaz

    Nacho Diaz New Member

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    I have seen the pictures of the drone posted earlier and for me it seems a ZeroUAV Y6-X6 controller. In the picture from below I see a led similar as the one used in this kind of controllers and also similar as DJI's. But the GPS antenna seems to be an Y6-X6. In the landing gear I think it can be read something like www.elivideo.tv
     
  11. Shaun Stanton

    Shaun Stanton Active Member

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    When I blew up the picture, it looks like you can sort of make out the light grey WKM MC. Looking at the diameter and thickness of the compass dome, it looks like a painted WKM dome.
     
  12. Laurence Hamilton-Baillie

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  13. Shaun Stanton

    Shaun Stanton Active Member

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    I think the hired vendor was an Italian company, based on the primary media contractor and anecetodotely the fact that the sub contractor is using a system from Italy that is not well known in the international ether.
     

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