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Monday, 07 April 2014 12:18

Camera drone hacked, drones athlete

Written by Nick Farrell



Ready for triathlon, not ready for drone strike

A drone used to capture film of a triathlon was hacked and crash landed on a competitor. According to investigators the hack was most likely done via mobile phone.

The camera drone was filming the Endure Batavia Triathlon when it suddenly lost control and crashed from a height of about 10 metres, hitting the competitor Raiji Ogden. She suffered head injuries and was treated by paramedics before being taken to hospital in a stable condition.

The camera equipped drone operator, Warren Abrams, is in trouble. His company was not certified use drones for the event and will most likely be fined. CASA has stated that there are strict rules regarding the operation of an unmanned aircraft, which includes the requirement of flying at a minimum of 30 meters away from people.

Abrams had admitted that he had earlier in the day experienced a similar occurrence that caused the drone to crash but thought it was a one off. Abrams said the hack was a deliberate act and it would be difficult to determine who was responsible as something as common as a mobile phone could be used to perform a channel hop.

In a statement, Geraldton Triathlon Club president Simon Teakle said a full investigation would be conducted into how the accident occurred and the circumstances surrounding it.

Nick Farrell

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