Police Drone
Crashes into Police

The Montgomery County (Texas) Sheriff’s Office had a big day planned. After
becoming the first department in the country with its own aerial drone
($300,000!), they were ready for a nice photo op. And then the drone crashed
into a SWAT team.
Examiner reports
a painfully contrived police action-athon:
As the sheriff’s SWAT team suited up with lots of firepower and their
armored vehicle known as the “Bearcat,” a prototype drone from
Vanguard Defense Industries took off for pictures of all the police action. It
was basically a photo opportunity, according to those in attendance.
“Lots of firepower” and a “Bearcat” sure sounds like a
good photo op. OK, time to launch the $300,000 drone. Here we go. Launch the
“[The] prototype drone was flying about 18-feet off the ground when it
lost contact with the controller’s console on the ground. It’s designed to go
into an auto shutdown mode…but when it was coming down the drone crashed into
the SWAT team’s armored vehicle.”
Not only did the drone fail, and not only did it crash, it literally
crashed into the police. It’s no wonder we’re not able to find a video of
this spectacular publicity failure. Luckily, the SWAT boys were safe in their
This would be a fine one-off blooper story if it weren’t for some upsetting
implications. This is exactly why we have reason to raise multiple eyebrows
at Congress, which wants to allow hundreds of similar drones to fly over US
airspace. These drones are still a relatively young technology, relatively
unproven, and relatively crash-prone. The odds of being hit by one are low, of
course, but should a Texas-style UAV plummet ever happen in, say, a dense urban
area, nobody would be laughing. Not all of us are driving around in Bearcats. [Examiner]