It’s a frightening moment to watch and a sober reminder of the danger of drones.
On Tuesday evening at an Alpine Ski World Cup event in Italy, a large drone carrying a TV camera crashed into the snow a fraction of a second after Austrian skier Marcel Hirscher had passed the point of impact.
Had it fallen on the skier or directly in front of him, he would almost certainly have sustained major injuries.
The drone was identified by the FIS, skiing’s governing world body, as being operated by Infront Sports & Media, a Swiss company that was providing TV coverage of the event for the world’s broadcasters. The drone was doing aerial coverage of the competition and came from an outside company that hired a human operator.
A technical investigation has been launched and the drone company says its initial suspicion is that interference on the radio frequency being used to control the drone caused problems.
The FIS has banned the use of drones for TV broadcast purposes at its events until it can ensure safe operation.
Martyn Williams produces technology news and product reviews in text and video for PC World, Macworld, and TechHive from his home outside Washington D.C.. He previously worked for IDG News Service as a correspondent in San Francisco and Tokyo and has reported on technology news from across Asia and Europe.