Tech Now + Beyond

The most epic drone fails that show us idiots should never be allowed one

Just this week, UPS started testing the use of drones to deliver medical emergency supplies in areas where in-person deliveries would either be impossible or too time consuming. This is yet another forte for the use of drones in commercial logistics services, similar to Amazon’s attempts.

In 2013, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos went on ’60 Minutes’ and announced that the company would incorporate drones into their logistic processes. On the company’s website, the retail giant is marketing its Amazon Prime Air service as a future delivery system that would offer 30-minutes or less delivery. Moreover, in July 2016, the company tested package delivery via drones in the UK, according to The Guardian.

Other industries have integrated drones into their operations.

Media outlets use the flying devices to capture a bird’s eye view of events at lower costs then traditional means. Drones were used to capture and document the protests in Egypt during 2013. Oil and gas firms use drones, as a safer alternative to monitor operations in their upstream developments. They’re also used to acquire seismic data at lower costs and decreased risk.

Tech World listed the top 16 commercial uses of drones. It includes industries as farming, law enforcement, and retail. Yet drones aren’t always put to good use. There are a lot of idiots out there holding a drone remote control.

Case in point.

People use drones to invade the privacy of celebrities. According to The Huffington Post, Mike Rowe shot down a drone that was hovering over his house in San Francisco: “The former ‘Dirty Jobs’ host was sleeping nude in his bedroom when the sound of what he thought was a gigantic bumble bee woke him up.”

Be on the lookout for a TMZ drone near you!

Digital trends reported that a drunken government intelligence agent thought it was a good idea to fly  a drone over the White House at 3 a.m. He lost control of the device and it came crashing down on the White House grounds, causing a lockdown of the entire complex.

It goes without saying that we shouldn’t fly drones over government buildings or airports.


Another person tried to smuggle 6 pounds of crystal meth from Tijuana. The drone collapsed under the weight of its cargo.

Read the user manual before overloading your drone with an illegal shipment.

In December 2014, a woman dining at TGI Friday’s lost a piece of her nose when the restaurant’s “mobile mistletoe drone” clipped her in the face, CNBC reported.

A similar incident happened to a bride and groom on their wedding day, when a photographer used a drone to catch the couple embracing, and he lost control of the device.

Drones, when used by professionals, can capture breathtaking aerial footage and provide value adding services in various fields. If anything, they can keep people entertained for hours. But they are moving vehicles with sharp rotating propellers which are called blades and are controlled by a motor that is powered by electricity.

Using a smidgen of common sense, one can infer that the improper use of drones is dangerous. Yet common sense is the least common of all senses.  So, don’t be an idiot when using your drone, be responsible.

It is important to familiarize yourself with local rules and regulations about using drones in your area. Furthermore, read up on safety guidelines for the use of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS). There is a plethora of resources online. You can refer to Know Before You Fly website, as well as the Federal Aviation Administration for US regulations.

Most importantly, be mindful of other people’s safety and privacy. Don’t be the jerk using high-tech gadgets to peep on your neighbors.

By Amira Badawey

Amira S. Badawey was born in Charlotte, NC and grew up in Egypt, where she lives to this day. She has a BSc. Management Science, majoring in Management of Information Systems, and an MBA in Marketing. Amira lives to learn through collaborations and bouncing ideas around with other creative people.