Pilotless error: 400 drones have crashed since 2001

The Washington Post has put together a rather sobering report that finds that 400 military drones have crashed since 2001:

Commercial drone flights are set to become a widespread reality in the United States, starting next year, under a 2012 law passed by Congress. Drone flights by law enforcement agencies and the military, which already occur on a limited basis, are projected to surge.

The documents obtained by The Post detail scores of previously unreported crashes involving remotely controlled aircraft, challenging the federal government’s assurances that drones will be able to fly safely over populated areas and in the same airspace as passenger planes.

Military drones have slammed into homes, farms, runways, highways, waterways and, in one case, an Air Force C-130 Hercules transport plane in midair. No one has died in a drone accident, but the documents show that many catastrophes have been narrowly averted, often by a few feet, or a few seconds, or pure luck….

That’s kind of ominous, when you think about Jeff Bezos and all those other people who want to fill the skies with them on the home front….

1 thought on “Pilotless error: 400 drones have crashed since 2001

  1. Norm Ivey

    I first heard of drones back in the 70s when Daddy was working for the US Army Communications Command in Fort Huachuca, Arizona. He told us about them and how they were constantly losing them in the Santa Rita mountains. He implied that more of them crashed than returned.

    I’ve been under the impression that commercial flights (at least at the beginning) are going to be those smallish, multi-helicopter blade type of drone. I think the time when UPS is flying containers full of packages across the country is still a long ways off. This isn’t an advance in technology that seems ominous to me–quite the opposite, really.

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