Skip to main content

Watch a pro skier almost get wiped out by a falling drone

TV drone crashes during ski race - Marcel Hirscher at Madonna di Campiglio
So drones do fall from the sky occasionally, and the bigger ones can make a real mess when they hit the deck. Judging by the video, the one that crashed to the ground during a slalom event at the Alpine Skiing World Cup in Italy on Tuesday almost made a mess of world champion skier Marcel Hirscher, too.

It was a very lucky escape for the Austrian competitor– a split second slower and he would’ve felt the full force of a hefty-looking multi-rotor copter on his head, taking him out of the race and most likely into the nearest ambulance.

The details of the incident remain unclear, though the camera-equipped flying machine is thought to have belonged to the broadcast crew rather than a hobbyist in the crowd.

The drone comes down so hard and fast that it’s hard to tell the specific model, though it could be DJI’s Spreading Wings S900, a hexacopter that can handle a take-off weight of up to 18.3 pounds (8.3 kg).

drone smash
The end of the drone, and nearly of Marcel Hirscher, too. Eurosport

After the race, Hirscher said, “This is horrible, this can never happen again. There can be a serious injury.” It’s not clear if he was aware of the incident at the time or only learned of it once he’d completed his run.

Keen to offer the most dramatic viewpoints, an increasing number of sports channels are looking into using drone technology for broadcasts, though this week’s mishap will likely cause some to review their procedures, while possibly encouraging regulators to scrutinize existing rules.

International Ski Federation racing director Markus Waldner said drones would no longer be allowed at ski events in Italy, adding that they’re already banned at big events in neighboring Austria and Switzerland.

He said it had been agreed at the Italian event that the broadcaster could fly its drone in a corridor between the raceway and the crowd, but clearly something went horribly wrong on Tuesday.

“What happened is a total mess and there will be consequences,” Waldenr said. “Drones won’t be used in the future.”

As for Hirscher, he finished second in the slalom contest, pretty impressive considering he was having to dodge not only poles but an out-of-control drone, too.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
Watch this incredible drone fly-through of Man City’s Etihad Stadium
watch this incredible fpv drone video of man citys stadium city

Soccer giant Manchester City this week secured the English Premier League title, beating archrival Manchester United into second place.

As part of the celebrations, the club has offered its fans -- as well as anyone with an interest in drone photography -- a stunning fly-through of its modern, 55,000-seat Etihad Stadium.

Read more
Watch this dramatic drone footage of a tornado before disaster strikes
watch this drone footage of a tornado before disaster hits video

Experienced storm chaser Brian Emfinger had a close shave with a raging tornado a couple of days ago, but his drone wasn’t so lucky.

Eager to capture some dramatic footage of the extreme weather event, Emfinger sent his DJI Mavic 2 Pro right toward the action while being sure to keep a (fairly) safe distance himself.

Read more
Insane new anti-drone system zaps UAVs out of the sky with targeted microwaves
Leonidas prototype by Epirus

In July 2019, multiple drones were reportedly used to swarm Navy destroyers off the coast of California. The mysterious drones, around six in total, appeared over the course of several nights, flashing lights and performing “brazen maneuvers” close to the warships. They flew at speeds of 16 knots, and stayed aloft for upward of 90 minutes, longer than commercially available drones.

It’s not known where they originated from. News of the incident was only made public in March 2021, following a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from The Drive, which rested in the disclosure of deck logs from the ships involved in the incident.

Read more