United Kingdom

Blundering cop destroys £64,000 drone by pressing the wrong buttons on its remote control panel

A blundering police officer wrecked a £64,000 drone by pressing the wrong buttons on its remote control panel, causing it to drop out of the sky.

The officer, who has not been named, launched the top-of-the-range craft to use its thermal imaging camera in a night-time search for a missing person.

But a warning icon which he did not recognise appeared on the tablet computer he was using to fly the quadcopter.

The officer had launched the Aeryon SkyRanger R60 drone to use its thermal cameras to search for a missing person when it plummeted to the ground

The 33-year-old officer tried to remove the warning symbol by repeatedly pressing it, not realising he was shutting down the drone’s four electric motors. 

The operator, who had only six hours’ experience flying drones, watched in horror as the craft plunged 70ft into a large pond at Maidenbower near Crawley, West Sussex.

The mishap prompted a report by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch. 

Investigators revealed that the Aeryon SkyRanger R60 drone was ‘destroyed’ in the incident just before 2am on June 17 last year. 

The gadget was one of four all-weather drones bought jointly by Sussex and Surrey Police in 2016 with a £250,000 grant from the Home Office.

A Sussex Police spokesman said: ‘Surrey Police and Sussex Police are committed to the safe conduct of all our drone operations.

‘The pilot concerned was removed from flying following the incident while refresher training and reassessment was arranged.’

Football news:

Willian: I really wanted to stay at Chelsea. Leaving for Arsenal is a difficult decision, there is a serious rivalry between the clubs
Kane will not leave Tottenham this summer. Clubs do not have the money for such large deals
Antonio Conte: The fans of our rivals said that Conte should be kicked out of Inter. It would help them
Real Madrid is ready to listen to proposals for Varane if contract negotiations do not start by the summer
Antonio Cassano: Juve bought Ronaldo to win the Champions League, but the results got worse. They took Serie A without him
Manchester United could buy Pau Torres from Villarreal. Kunde from Sevilla is too expensive
Lautaro Martinez: I negotiated with Barca, but that's in the past. I will sign a new contract with Inter