Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Why drones are stupid.

Because they crash on stuff.

An unmanned Pennsylvania Army National Guard drone crashed near Lickdale Elementary School Thursday afternoon.
The aerial vehicle, controlled by a remote operator, was part of a training exercise at Fort Indiantown Gap, said Maj. Ed Shenk, public affairs officer for the Pennsylvania National Guard.
The craft experienced "a hard landing" and was run over by a civilian vehicle on Fisher Avenue in front of the school and the Comfort Inn, according to the Pennsylvania National Guard. No one was injured. The craft was destroyed.
National Guardsmen picked up pieces of the craft from the embankment and front lawn of the school at 40 Fisher Ave.
The accident happened about 3:15 p.m., he said.
The vehicle, known as the RQ-7 Shadow, weighs 375 pounds, is approximately 11 feet long and has a wing span of 14 feet, Shenk said.

RQ-7 Shadow with random army dude.
That's bigger than a deer, and its not made of meat. So you can imagine the mess its going to make if it bullseyes a car at highway speed. Or if it crashed in front of the school at 3:15pm on a school day. That could have been international news right there.

Or even if it just augered in to your roof some morning. KaBANG, you've got $20,000 worth of repairs, and that assumes the friggin' thing didn't go on fire. Its an -airplane-, it has gasoline on board.

Drones are for war zones, not civilian use. If the cops get these things, quite apart from the privacy and police state issues, you're going to be seeing 'em crashing all over the place every week.

Why? Because cops are unionized public employees and therefore inherently lazy, aircraft maintenance is shockingly expensive, and even assuming a superhuman dedication to duty, pilots are not infallible.

They're doughnut-wranglers sitting in an armchair looking at a TV screen playing Flight Simulator. How's that going to work out?

The Phantom

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