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March 07, 2012
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Drone crashes into SWAT vehicle during police test in Texas

Aircraft veered to the right and overshot its landing area

By PoliceOne Staff

MONTOGOMERY COUNTY, Texas — A drone crashed into a Bearcat armored SWAT vehicle during a police test flight near Houston.

The Vanguard prototype drone was flying nearly 20 feet above ground when it began to have problems, The Houston Examiner reported.  It's designed to shut down automatically, but hit the SWAT vehicle as it descended, Vanguard CEO Michael Buscher said.

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The problem was mentioned in a 2008 government report about drones that cited possible safety concerns.

"The concern is that you could lose control of that aircraft and it could crash into something on the ground or, in fact, it could crash into another air vehicle," Gerald Dillingham, Director of Civil Aviation for GAO said in the study.

According to Buscher, the aircraft veered to the right and overshot its landing area when the auto shutdown procedure kicked in. The damage was not severe.

Montgomery County Sheriff Tommy Gage could not be reached for comment.



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