Leading Nelson drone company Sherlock Vision and the Nelson Speedway Association were shocked by the shooting of a drone at the speedway’s popular family-friendly event on October 31.
“We were concerned when the live feed from our drone suddenly stopped towards the end of the fireworks display at the end of the speedway event on October 31,” says Sherlock Vision co-owner Geoff Sherlock. “Fortunately we use high-quality equipment and have very skilled operators and the drone continued flying albeit without instrumentation, and we were able to manually land it away from spectators.”
“We couldn’t believe that the drone had continued flying once we had landed it and found out it how badly it had been damaged by being shot. The outcome could have been so much worse if the drone had landed amongst the crowd or if the shot fired had hit someone.”
Nelson Speedway Association President, Wayne Martin says that he was shocked to hear that someone had been shooting at the drone during the speedway’s most popular family event of the year.
“People’s safety is our top priority – that’s why we hire Sherlock Vision because we know that they have a really good health and safety procedure in place and make sure that their activities are cleared by al the appropriate agencies. We’re very grateful that no-one was hurt as a result of someone’s absolute stupidity and recklessness.”
Sherlock Vision’s use of the drone had been cleared by the Nelson control tower prior to the speedway event and was operating in a no-fly zone above the speedway. The drone had filmed footage of the racing and fireworks display before being hit by a shot that police believe was fired from the road outside the speedway. The incident occurred at 9:26 pm.
“Firing a gun at a drone at an event where more than 4,000 people are present is incredibly dangerous,” says Geoff. “We are relieved that no-one was hurt, but it is a worrying trend that some members of the public treat drones as targets. We are really concerned that people could be hurt if this kind of incident were to happen again.”
Nelson Police are currently investigating the incident.