Drones: A Silent Aerial Threat Is On the Horizon

SpaceX, the brainchild of wunderkind Elon Musk, has grown by leaps and bounds with an explosive upward trajectory. Founded in 2002, the Space Exploration Technologies Corporation is a private industry aerospace company that is developing low cost rockets that will allow for cheaper for forms of space exploration with the ultimate goal of Martian colonization.

In September 2014, SpaceX launched the CRS-4 rocket via a NASA contract from Cape Canaveral, just over 100 miles away from West Palm Beach. In November 2015, debris from the rocket was found across the globe, resting on the sandy shores of the Isles of Scilly.

Danger arises from crafts falling before exiting the Earth’s atmosphere. Once a craft has been successfully launched into space, it has a very small chance of causing injury to the human population should it explode or descend unexpectedly. Once an errant satellite is reabsorbed by Earth’s atmosphere, it is largely annihilated, causing it to fragment into benign particles. It’s estimated that a piece of space debris lands on our planet every day.

While objects crashing into homes from spacecraft, airliners, and comets are relatively rare statistical anomalies, drone crashes are becoming increasingly frequent. A man was recently arrested and charged with reckless endangerment after crashing his personal drone into the 40th floor of the Empire State Building in an attempt to take pictures with the small craft. This past January, a personal drone crashed into a busy San Francisco farmers’ market.

Military drones used for surveillance and industrial drone crashes are also on the rise. On the heels of a report stating that the U.S. military experienced a record number of drone crashes due to electrical failures in 2015, another U.S. Air Force drone crashed into southern Turkey early this month. On the private industry front, a solar powered, wifi-emitting drone built by Titan Aerospace for Google crashed during a test flight in New Mexico last May.

Falling celestial objects aren’t the most common causes of personal accidents and injuries, but as the use of personal drones and private industry jet-fueled liners becomes more frequent, the propensity for hazardous side effects to civilians will become increasingly abundant. If you’ve experienced personal injury due to the reckless piloting of a personal aircraft, contact our attorneys at Morgan & Morgan. We’re able to offer a free consultation regarding your rights related to injuries you may have experienced regarding negligence in personal aircraft operation. Reach out to our attorneys today to see how we can help your case take off.