7 drone crashes that will make you fly your bird more carefully

For drone pilots, there can be few things worse than watching helplessly as your bird smacks into a wall, tangles in a tree, or simply falls out of the sky. But sometimes it happens.

Quadcopters like the recently released Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom offer a whopping 10 sensors on all six sides of the machine, giving even the clumsiest of pilots the best chance of avoiding a calamitous mid-air crash. But sensors can sometimes get it wrong, resulting in the kind of wallet-wincing flight error that no one ever wants to experience.

While obstacle-avoidance sensors are now a must-have feature of any drone, the best way to keep your machine safe is to fly with your brain switched to the “common sense” position. As a reminder of just how wrong things can go, we’ve pulled together some crazy clips of spectacular drone crashes — ones that’ll make you think twice about pulling your favorite daredevil move …

An aerial fender-bender

Here’s a gentle one to ease us into the potentially costly world of accidental drone crashes. The pilot describes himself as a beginner, and you’ll see why. Like most drone flights, it starts off well and there appears to be nothing to worry about as the quadcopter flies gently over land. But then, as it glides past the pilot and heads toward his car, you know there’s only going to be one outcome. And it’s not pretty.

Always wear a helmet

You’ll soon get tired of filming aerial shots of your home, so where to go next? This pilot had the idea to head to his local skate park to shoot some boarding buddies doing some tricks. The dramatic drone footage demonstrates some deft handling by the pilot and comfortably matches the boarder in terms of skill. Until the drone smashes into his head, that is.

The flight of parking lot Icarus

Racing drones usually come with very little obstacle avoidance tech, so pilots really needs to know what they’re doing when they turn the speed dial all the way up to 11. This guy headed to a deserted parking lot to push his ‘copter to the limit, and he certainly seems to have the measure of his mean machine as it ducks and dives about the place … if only that darn lamppost hadn’t gotten in the way.

How to anger your landlord

This one’s a real beauty. Seen from the viewpoint of the pilot rather than the drone, the video shows the pilot carefully maneuvering the Mavic Pro out of an apartment window. After flying it around outside, the plan, presumably, was to carefully guide the quadcopter back into the apartment for a safe landing. But, demonstrating that we can’t always rely on a drone’s sensors to save it from a smash, the DJI drone has other ideas. We just hope there wasn’t anyone on the sidewalk down below.

Close encounters of the avian kind

There’s really nothing you can do when your drone is way up in the sky and you spot an eagle or hawk heading toward it. There’s no time to get your machine back on terra firma if the bird of prey is intent on taking it down. When this happens, it’s a case of crossing your fingers and hoping the inevitable drone crash doesn’t result in your machine breaking into bits when it slams into the ground. Although it probably will.

Watch out for that tree!

Drone’s are bringing so many new possibilities to a huge number of industries, with movie-making one such beneficiary. Indeed, indie filmmakers, especially, were quick to realize the amazing benefits of a camera-equipped drone, with dramatic aerial shots adding an extra layer of professionalism to their work at very little cost. A popular drone shot used by filmmakers comes from tilting the camera directly down to the ground while flying forward. That’s precisely the kind of shot this drone operator was hoping for, and the clip looks extremely professional until the moment where it looks extremely amateurish.

Sleeping with the fishes

Here’s some more fun with a high-speed racing drone, except that this time, instead of a parking lot, we’re hurtling over rocks and water. The stunts are dramatic, and the pilot has to respond quickly to the changing terrain. You’d think that whizzing over the flat surface of the sea would be the easy part, but the pilot comes in just a little too steep and low before the video suddenly turns into a serene exploration of the sea bed.

‘Til drone do you part

Wedding photographers traditionally keep their camera firmly in their hands, and as far as this particular photographer is concerned, it really should’ve stayed that way. Just a few seconds into the video and the drone comes down to Earth with a bump, an early indication of the awful drone smash that’s about to occur. No, we don’t know if the groom still has all his own teeth.

Emerging Tech

Hikers missing on Mount Fuji could soon find a drone buzzing above their heads

Hikers who go missing while climbing Japan's highest mountain could soon find a drone buzzing above their head. A new system using the flying machines has been set up on Mount Fuji for future search-and-rescue missions.
Emerging Tech

DJI Mavic 2 Pro vs Mavic 2 Zoom: What’s the real difference?

DJI's Mavic 2 series drones are ready to fly -- but which one is right for you? The Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom are nearly identical save for their cameras. Here's what you need to know about these powerful new UAVs.

See the National Forests like never before in these awe-inspiring drone videos

What's the difference between a National Park and a National Forest? Drones. With no ban on drones in National Forests -- at least, not yet -- filmmakers have a way to capture the immensity of these locations with stunning results.
Emerging Tech

This fully autonomous $400 drone folds like a book, follows you like a paparrazzo

Having a drone that could follow you everywhere while taking high-quality images without crashing has been a flight of fantasy. With ZeroZero's Hover 2, not only can you have a fully autonomous 4K selfie drone, you can have it for $400.
Emerging Tech

This startup will sequence your entire genome for free — but there’s a catch

Want to get your DNA sequenced but don’t want to shell out the hundred bucks or so to do so? A new startup called Nebula Genomics offers you the opportunity to have it done for free.
Emerging Tech

Here’s all the best tech gear and gadgetry that survived Shark Tank

The television show "Shark Tank" has churned out quite a few strange, interesting, and downright awesome products -- so we rounded up some of the best ones for your perusal. Enjoy!
Emerging Tech

Microsoft’s friendly new A.I wants to figure out what you want — before you ask

Move over Siri and Alexa! Microsoft wants to build a new type of virtual assistant that wants to be your friend. Already making waves in Asia, could this be the future of A.I. BFFs?
Emerging Tech

Students who designed transforming smart home will compete in Solar Decathalon

Modular smart homes are all the rage, and now some students from Virginia Tech are putting their money on their FutureHAUS, a modular, solar-powered, transforming smart home they're taking to the Solar Decathlon in Dubai.
Emerging Tech

Hotter than the sun: Chinese fusion reactor claims breakthrough

China’s “artificial sun” has reached a temperature of 180 million ºF with a heating power of 10 megawatts -- six times hotter than the center of the sun. The achievement could mark progress towards fusion as a clean energy source.
Emerging Tech

Hope it doesn’t melt! Rocket to ISS carries vital supplies — including ice cream

A rocket has launched over Virginia's eastern shore, carrying supplies to the International Space Station (ISS). Inside the spacecraft are supplies for the ISS itself and the crew onboard, such as scientific equipment and food.
Emerging Tech

‘Super-Earth’ discovered orbiting nearby star

Astronomers have discovered a large planet circling a sun nearby to Earth called Barnard's Star. The potential new planet is thought to be cold and icy and has a size of around 3.2 times the Earth.
Emerging Tech

OSIRIS-REx spacecraft successfully tests its asteroid-sampling arm

The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, launched in September 2016, is closing in on its target of the Bennu asteroid. The craft has now unfurled its robotic arm, called the Touch-and-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism (TAGSAM), and tested it successfully.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: A.I. selfie drones, ‘invisible’ wireless chargers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…