Drone falls out of the sky and injures athlete

A triathlete suffered head injuries after an unmanned aerial vehicle fell out of the sky, with the pilot claiming the drone had been hacked.

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A quadrocopter drone built by Parallax. Seth Rosenblatt/CNET
As if you don't have enough on your plate when running, swimming and cycling thirty-odd miles in the Australian sun, now you have to worry about drones falling on your head too.

Triathlete Raija Ogden was competing in the Endure Batavia Triathlon in Geraldton, Western Australia yesterday when she was injured by an unmanned aerial vehicle falling out of the sky.

The unfortunate triathlete suffered minor head injuries requiring three stitches when the drone fell some 10m from above the course.

The drone was operated by a local video company filming the race. In a dramatic twist, the drone's pilot Warren Abrams claims it had been "channel hopped", or hacked, possibly by someone nearby with a mobile phone taking control away from the operator.

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Australia's aviation watchdog the Civil Aviation Safety Authority is investigating the incident. In Australia, drones in commercial use must stay 30m away from people. Meanwhile in the US, a judge recently ruled that drones in American skies are perfectly legal, throwing out the Federal Aviation Authority's first and so far only fine for drone use.

Amazon, Google and Facebook are reportedly looking to drones for various uses including delivering goods and extending Internet access, not to mention the CUPID drone equipped with an 80,000-volt stun gun.

 

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