Warning to Flyers: Be Careful Out There

Warning to Flyers: Be Careful Out There

Today I was disturbed by reading the story of an awful fatality of an RC hobbyist in Brooklyn and I was reminded how a day of fun can end abruptly with a tragic accident. No one wants that to happen.

Remote-Controlled Model Helicopter Fatally Strikes Its Operator

A 19-year-old man was killed when a model helicopter that he was piloting in Calvert Vaux Park struck him in the head, the authorities said.

RC flight gives some of the pleasures of flying without the accompanying dangers, I had supposed. Yet there are real dangers, as there are doing most things. Promotions selling drones or quadcopters often promise that anyone can fly. Not everyone takes safety as seriously as we should. This story is a reminder of the possible danger to ourselves, to others and to property from operating unsafely or unexpectedly losing control. Be careful, makers.

Today, I also came across this 1917 poster on a wall in our office and I made the connection.


Carl Malamud of public.resource.org, who shares the Make office in Sebastopol, had found this WWI-era poster archived at the Smithsonian.

8 thoughts on “Warning to Flyers: Be Careful Out There

  1. Rahere says:

    In a way, it’s the fruit of the triumph of optimism over experience. If there’s one thing Makers know, it’s Murphy Rules, if anything can go wrong it will. So when we add in that what goes up must come down, the recent set of videos of quadcopters suddenly failing begins to suggest this could be as dangerous as cycling – and it’s generally considered wise to wear a helmet for that!

  2. Kirt Thomas says:

    FEAR UNCERTAINTY DEATH!!! This is happened twice now in the last 40 years so Make should definitely do an article on the dangers of RC helicopters. Get your clicks. Feed unsubscribed.

    1. Trav says:

      Yeah, well it only happened once to this guy.

      It was just a friendly reminder to be careful not a “DO not try this at home” warning. It was worth my click.

  3. ka1axy says:

    The event was a reminder that Mother Nature (and her friend, Captain Physics) deal in an uncaring and harsh way with those who violate their rules.

    However, I’d rather live in a world where we can take these chances and those who are educated and respectful of the risks can enjoy the experience. Nobody wants a bubble wrap world.

    Be careful, understand what you’re doing, and expect the unexpected, because it will happen faster than you can deal with it. If it does, and you are lucky enough to survive, help others to understand how fast bad things can happen, and that the only defense is “Proper Prior Planning”.

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DALE DOUGHERTY is the leading advocate of the Maker Movement. He founded Make: Magazine 2005, which first used the term “makers” to describe people who enjoyed “hands-on” work and play. He started Maker Faire in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2006, and this event has spread to nearly 200 locations in 40 countries, with over 1.5M attendees annually. He is President of Make:Community, which produces Make: and Maker Faire.

In 2011 Dougherty was honored at the White House as a “Champion of Change” through an initiative that honors Americans who are “doing extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world.” At the 2014 White House Maker Faire he was introduced by President Obama as an American innovator making significant contributions to the fields of education and business. He believes that the Maker Movement has the potential to transform the educational experience of students and introduce them to the practice of innovation through play and tinkering.

Dougherty is the author of “Free to Make: How the Maker Movement Is Changing our Jobs, Schools and Minds” with Adriane Conrad. He is co-author of "Maker City: A Practical Guide for Reinventing American Cities" with Peter Hirshberg and Marcia Kadanoff.

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