Drones don’t just exist for pretty videos and convenient delivery. They also exist to be a hazard to athletes, with a crash in an Australian triathlon injuring one competitor and leading to accusations of hacking.
According to a report on the ABC, at around 9am on Sunday a camera drone that was filming the Endure Batavia Triathlon in Western Australia crashed into the ground. An athlete claims she was struck by the drone as it fell, but other reports say it crashed near her, and she fell after becoming “startled”.
The image above, from Browning Media, shows both the athlete – Raija Ogden, bleeding from a head wound – and the drone in question.
The operator of the drone, New Era Photography and Film’s Warren Abrams, says that somebody intentionally “channel hopped” the drone, which interrupted the pilot’s signal and caused the drone to drop the ground.
Whether it really was hacked or not, and whether the athlete was really hit by the drone or not, one thing not up for debate is that Abrams’ company lacked the certification to be commercially covering the race in the first place. Making this all one giant, robotic mess.