Drone hits person at Albuquerque festival

Commercial Drone

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A drone flight over an Albuquerque festival quickly turned dangerous.

The Albuquerque Fire Department said an amateur flyer had a drone in the air at Heights Summerfest, above a crowd, when it came tumbling down and hit someone.

Drone pilot William Gilpin said it’s situations like this that can ruin it for everyone.

AFD told KRQE News 13 the crash happened yesterday when a drone clipped someone in the crowd. They said the person was treated by paramedics but was not seriously hurt. Neither the Albuquerque Police Department nor AFD could tell KRQE News 13 who was flying the drone or why it crashed.

An APD spokesperson says no charges were pressed and no report was taken.

Gilpin says the incident at Summerfest is just one more irresponsible drone usage that could keep him from flying.

“I believe it’s definitely affecting me you know with the application that the FAA wants to do,” said Gilpin.

“Do not fly over crowds, do not fly over people, do not fly over 400 feet, do not fly within five miles of an airport,” said Gilpin. “Those are just common rules that we all know as an amateur.”

As drones become more prevalent, there have been some high profile crashes. Just recently a drone hurt singer Enrique Iglesias at his concert.

Gilpin says he’s all for amateur flyers taking up the hobby.

“Go out to the park, go to a field, we have plenty of desert around here, go out and shoot the desert,” said Gilpin.

He said he just wants everyone to fly responsibly.

“It’s very important because it can be fun, but let’s make it safe too,” said Gilpin.


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