Drone is taking off from man hands. Young man releasing aerial copter to fly with small digital camera. The market for drones is expanding. During the 2017 Christmas season, U.S. shoppers bought nearly 1.6 million drones, up 31% from Christmas 2016.  Drones are complicated electronic devices and their safety is highly debated. Yorkdispatch.com tells us that during Christmas 2017 “social-media platforms were filled with tales of drones that crashed into trees, windows, and people or were lost minutes after takeoff into rivers, lakes or the wild blue yonder.”

Many countries have instituted a maximum flight altitude of 400 feet for the remotely piloted aircraft systems. Russia has no maximum flight altitude for drones.  DroneDJ.com reported that on March 9, 2018, Russian drone pilot Денис Корякин sent his drone to an altitude of 33,691 feet, which was well into the cruising altitude of commercial airliners and passenger jets.

NYDataBases.com lists domestic drone accidents.

The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (also known as UAVs or drones) has been growing dramatically, but the practice has not been without risks. Several dozen drone crashes have been reported within the United States. The database below contains information on all of the known incidents. 2017 drone accidents in the U.S. include:

A small UAV smashed through the display window of a Kate Spade boutique in Manhattan’s Soho neighborhood. The business was closed and no one was hurt.

A very large UAV crashed east of Mt. Whitney in Inyo County, California. It was based at Beale Air Force Base. The crash started a small wildfire.

A small UAV struck a power line in Mountain View, CA, knocking out power to 1,600 customers for several hours.

Drones expert witnesses are experienced with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), which can be controlled remotely, or they have the ability to fly autonomously with the use of software and GPS. Drones are used for search and rescue, surveillance, traffic and weather monitoring, as well as by photographers, and hobbyists. As personal drones become increasingly popular, lawsuits can arise over FAA compliance and registration, privacy, drone injuries, drone journalism, etc. Drones expert witnesses are experienced with these FAA regulations, in addition to local and state rules. Mechanical engineer drone experts can report and testify on product defects, mechanical issues, manufacturing, and drone operation. At ForensisGroup, choose from drone experts in regulations, engineering, aviation, accident investigation, and design patents.