4 years ago138 views
A Pamplona-style bull run at Virginia Motorsport Park in Dinwiddie County, Virginia, on Saturday, August 24, turned bad when an aerial drone capturing images of the event fell from the sky and crashed into a group of spectators, injuring five people. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incident.
A radio controlled rotor-propelled aircraft, roughly 4.5 feet in diameter, was hovering above the main spectators' stand during the event. The craft suddenly dipped and flew into the crowd and struck a group of about a dozen people, with one man appearing to take most of the impact.
Cell phone video of the craft losing control was captured by another spectator. Experts in the field of model aviation who reviewed the video said it appears the craft lost contact with the controller's radio transmitter before the crash.
Early reports suggesting the craft was under the control of Richmond area television station WTVR-Channel 6 have been denied. The station reported they had contacted the craft's owner but had not received a response.
"We are investigating to see if the person flying the unmanned aircraft violated any FAA regulations, particularly the part that says 'No person may operate an aircraft in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another,'" the FAA said in a statement.
The event, the first of it's kind in the United States, was promoted as a daylong festival which included musical performances, games and a tomato fight. Yet, it has attracted opposition from animal rights activists who saw the marquee "Great Bull Run" event endanger both people and the bulls.
Organizers hailed the event as a success. Similar events are scheduled to be held in ten US regions.
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