The stunt is simple enough. Kavanagh steps up to the tee, while the drone records footage of her lining up her shot. The next thing you know, she hits the ball with a perfect swing, and we see the ball flying toward the drone for a direct hit. The ball clips the landing gear, causing the drone to plummet to the ground and, alas, never fly again.
Why the criticism of this video showing the skills of Australia’s top-ranked child golfer? Many have concluded that the Yuneec Typhoon H hexacopter remained operational after impact, and that there was no apparent reason for the drone to plummet to the ground.
Looking closely at the video, it is apparent that the drone’s blades are still spinning after it was hit by the golf ball. If the blades are operational, why did the helicopter fall? Other critics point out that the aircraft hovered slightly after impact and then flew off to the side, a motion that may be consistent with an operator responding to the impact and then intentionally grounding the drone. Lastly, some question whether the grainy video was recorded by the 4K-capable camera on the drone. Wouldn’t a $1,900 drone be capable of recording higher-quality footage?
Whether you believe it was staged or a legitimate takedown, the video has remained popular, accruing more than a half million views. Kavanagh is using the video to push her crowdfunding GoFundMe campaign that is raising funds to support her fledgling career.
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