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article imageSwiss drone crashes near children, leading to drone suspension

By Tim Sandle     Aug 3, 2019 in Technology
Concern has been expressed over drone safety as a drone fell out of the sky and crashed a few yards away from a group of children in Switzerland. This has led to the suspension of the entire drone delivery network for the operating company involved.
According to Swiss news agency Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, a 10 kilogram (22 pounds) drone, which can hold a cargo of up to 2 kilograms, crashed just fifty yards away from a group of children. The drone was in flight around Zurich and the incident happened in May 2019, although details have only now been released. Although no one was injured, the incident raises concerns about drone safety.
The drone had been equipped with a safety feature should control be lost, where an emergency parachute is designed to be released. However, this did not work as the post-crash analysis reveals. As the parachute was set to be released, the connecting cord was cut during the emergency landing process, leading to what is described as an "uncontrolled crash."
This was the second drone crash in Switzerland during 2019. Earlier, a drone operated by the U.S. startup Matternet, working with Swiss Post, experienced a problem with its Global Positioning System system which caused the craft to make an emergency landing.
The crash occurs at a time when regulations affecting drones are being eased to enable an increase in commercial drone operations, The Verge reports. Several regulators have reduced the complexity relating to flight licences to pave the way for drone deliveries. This includes Google’s Wing being granted regulatory approval to make deliveries in the U.S. and Australia. Further, in the U.S. there are discussions taking place that could pave the way for drones to fly over occupied areas and to permit drones to fly at night.
Despite the progress with drones, the Swiss incidences and the lowering of regulations, has led some commentators to express fears that the freeing up of airspace to drones is happening at a pace that is running ahead of getting the safety features right.
More about Drones, drone safety, Children, Vehicles
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