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Drone crashes, bursts into flames at bicycle racing event in Gunma

17 Comments

A drone fell near the starting point of a road bicycle racing event and burst into flames in Maebashi, Gunma Prefecture, on Sunday.

According to police, race organizers had hired a company, Air Media Service, to use a drone to film the 20.8-km race that was to begin at around 7:30 a.m. Sunday, Fuji TV reported. The president of Air Media Service said the drone's electronic system was damaged due to the rain and they were unable to control it.

When the drone fell to the ground at around 7:15 a.m., there were about 470 participants nearby who were waiting for the race to start. A fire truck which was on standby at the scene extinguished the fire right away and no one was injured.

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17 Comments
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Is this a violation of the new law? Or is it okay since the operator is commercial? Must never discount the leeway given to Japan Inc.

But what fools to fly in the rain! If it actually did burst into flames (and I have serious doubts about that characterization) they must have shorted the battery.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Lucky no one was hurt. Drones are becoming a serious menace.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Just doing a little humming here...

Another drone bites the dust

Another drone bites the dust

Where is Freddie Mercury when you need him?!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Awesome! Where's the video? Can see this on youtube?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Ban them.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

burst into flames? what the? I thought drones were electric.......

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The president of Air Media Service said the drone’s electronic system was damaged due to the rain and they were unable to control it.

Tut-tut. Someone evidently didn't read the handbook.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

There are some gasoline, and hybrid powered drones. But that "Burst into flames" line gave me a chuckle. "Burst into flames? What, you mean like a bic lighter"? The article makes it sound like a tanker truck exploded and burned. A firetruck was on standby, and the crew extinguished the fire right away...by peeing on it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Two news reports of drone accidents in two weeks and this anti-social industry is just getting started. As others have stated above: ban them!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Must be using those cheap Chinese Lithium Ion batteries or overloading the batteries without the safety circuit. I have a few RC planes but none of them ever crash and burst into flame. Crash sometimes, but I fly it in a rural area, so no one around.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Battery overload possibly. There seems to be an effort being made to have drones banned for the public.

Don't ban them, introduce a license requirement; these tools equipped with cameras are an excellent alternative to helicopters for budget conscious video artists.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

There are gas-powered drones/quadcopters. They are used for longer flight times and distances and heavier loads. It's likely that Air Media was using one. The rain caused the electrics to short, the drone crashes spilling fuel, the fuel ignites, and there's a fire.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ban them. Fly them in the same areas that RC fans fly their stuff. These things are more of an annoyance than anything else. I don't care if you want to get super selfie from above. Your a dick if you fly these things anywhere close to others.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Wakarimasen Lithium batteries can because of impact damage short and that causes heat high enough to ignite the plastic casing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So we are supposed to hate drones now? Gee. Did anybody watch the recent flood coverage? I don't know what everyone else saw, but I saw about five copters jockeying in and crowding an SDF helo as it was rescuing people. All were taking pictures of basically the same thing, but boy oh boy, we gotta have those news copters to get the real story. If they had all been drones, they could have gotten in closer, providing better coverage, AND they would not have crowded SDF efforts.

I think drones are great. In disaster situations they can cover a lot of ground safely and cheaply. They can support rescue, repair, communications, and even ferry in medical or emergency supplies.

The story describes a drone hired to cover a specific event. It crashed and burned. I guess if it were a helicopter, we would be looking at serious loss of life and hazard to many people. Or probably the expense of a helicopter would have been too much for this bike race.

Maybe we should give up progress for comfort and safety. Let the rest of the world move on and leave us in our own little backwater. Who wants to watch a bike race anyway? Clearly it is just not worth the peril.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Another nail in the coffin of drones in public spaces

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I guess if the Li -ion batteries in a 777 dreamliner can catch fire so could those in a drone.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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