Hey Los Angeles! Your team just won the Stanley Cup for the Second time in three years! What are you going to do next?!
Ruin someone’s night of course!
After the LA Kings became Stanley Cup champions on Friday, someone decided to fly a drone above the crowd as they exited the Staples Center. The video was quickly picked up by several news outlets and permeated throughout the internet in a matter of minutes.
As with most stories posted online in the heat of the moment, there were several egregious mistakes which need to be mentioned.
Here is the video again in case you missed it:
The first mistake is the biggest one.
When this story first hit the web, a lot of headlines read “LA Kings fans knock down LAPD drone.” I know it is a lot to ask, but a little fact checking would have revealed that the drones owned by the LAPD are DraganFlyer X6s. The drone at the Staples Center was a DJI Phantom, the most prevalent , high-end, hobbyist drone.
There are a myriad of differences between these two drones that would be obvious to someone with no previous knowledge of drones. It is literally a matter of black and white: the Draganflyer is black, the DJI is white.
Oh, and the LAPD has been very open about the fact that they don’t even have the drones in their possession yet, as they are still deciding if there is a real need for them.
Additionally,the DJI Phantom is known for having a reliably strong range. Out of the box, it can reach 1000 ft from its operator. So why in seven hells did the pilot decide he had to be 10 feet above the crowd? Take it up another 10 and you are out of the range of anything the crowd can throw at you.
Or, just outfit the UAV with a Kings banner or a “We got the Cup!” sign to at least show the crowd you are on their side.
For all we know, the operator could have been working for the Kings -he could have been trying to capture some undeniably awesome footage to cap off the “2014 Stanley Cup Champions” DVD that is sure to be on shelves by the end of the week.
Finally, and this really should go without saying, pulling a drone with four whirring propellers into a crowd of people is dangerous. Plain and simple. Those propellers can do serious damage. There are plenty of pictures online to illustrate this claim but we won’t put them here because they aren’t exactly family friendly.
Listen LA, we get it. It has been a few (emotionally exhausting) years since we had a Stanley Cup win here in Boston, but we remember the feeling. Your blood is up, the euphoria is setting in, city pride is at an all time high and the beer consumption is liberal.
But next time lets try and be considerate.
Think about it this way: If the drone hadn’t been brought down, chances are you would all still be liking and tweeting about an awesome aerial video a Kings fan shot after the big win.
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com