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Culture

Drone shot out of sky by flying pumpkin

A pumpkin rocketing through the air lands smack in the middle of a drone trying to film its flight.

This is the last thing the drone saw before impact.

Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

You may have heard of a phenomena
called pumpkin-chuckin' that's part science experiment, part competition. It involves people figuring out the best way to fling a pumpkin through the air and have it go the longest distance possible.

Reddit user privatejohngarrett got a lesson in the sheer raw power of a pumpkin-chuckin' machine when one of the devices took out his drone during a visit to a pumpkin farm. The YouTube video of the tragedy is titled "Stupidest Drone Crash Ever (w/pumpkin) - I'm a moron."

The DJI Phantom 2 drone hovered in exactly the wrong place when a pumpkin zipped toward it at around 200 mph (322 kph), landing splat in the middle of the flying gadget. A compressed-air cannon was responsible for tossing the drone-deadly fruit.

The video, published Sunday, starts off peaceably enough. There's a lovely, sun-soaked view of fields and trees turning into autumn colors. There's a puff of smoke and the sound of the cannon firing in the distance. The pumpkin arrives rapidly, mushing against the drone, which falls into a dramatic death spiral.

Privatejohngarret reported on Reddit that the drone was easy to find after the Halloween-themed disaster, but that the attached GoPro had to be hunted down. It took four hours to find the wayward camera, and it suffered about $500 worth of damage, including a broken propeller motor and landing gear and a missing transmitter.

This wasn't entirely an issue with poor drone-planning decisions. The pumpkin veered off its expected course, so it was more of a freak fruit accident.

There is a lesson here. Take it from a sad drone owner: "Pumpkins and drones do not mix."