Innovation

Crash-Landing Drone Stops Play At US Open

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Tennis-loving unauthorised drone plummets into stands during match in New York last night

A mystery drone halted play at the US Open tennis tournament last night after crashing into the stands during a match.

The second-round women’s singles tie between Flavia Pennetta and Monica Niculescu had to be stopped briefly after the unmanned device (pictured below), which had been hovering over the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, New York, crash-landed.

Video footage of the incident (shown below) shows the drone buzzing around the court before descending rapidly with a loud bang.

Investigation

usopendroneA spokesman for the US Tennis Association told ESPN that no one has authorisation to operate drones over the court, and that the New York Police Department “is conducting an ongoing investigation”

Last night’s incident follows a similar occurrence at the Wimbledon tennis tournament back in June, when Merton Police were called out following reports of a drone being flown over the All-England Lawn Tennis Club, the home of the world-famous tournament, from a nearby golf course.

The crash is the latest in a series of incidents that have raised questions over the legality and safety of drones, which have been mooted as a potential source for deliveries, surveillance and even travel in recent months.

Most recently, pop heart-throb Enrqiue Inglesias suffered injuries to his hand after trying to grab a drone which was being used to capture images of the crowd in order to get a personal view of his fans.

Recent research by the University of Birmingham highlighted the privacy, safety and indeed security risks of drones over the next 20 years, especially as the aircraft could be possibly used by terror groups to attack public events.

Currently, drones can only be used in the UK within sight of the operator and with permission of the Civil Aviation Authority.

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