FAA Releases Findings on Drones Hitting Humans

This research started in September 2015. The second phase of it, set to begin in June 2017, will examine the risks of drone collisions with aircraft.

The Federal Aviation Administration recently released a report about the extent of injuries that can occur when a drone hits someone on the ground. Although the agency cautioned it can't completely answer how serious the injuries can be, it said studies by a consortium of leading universities get us closer to understanding the risks of allowing drones to fly over people.

The consortium that conducted the research includes the University of Alabama-Huntsville; Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; Mississippi State University; and the University of Kansas through the Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence (ASSURE). ASSURE represents 23 leading research institutions and 100 leading industry and government partners.

This research started in September 2015. The second phase of it, set to begin in June 2017, will examine the risks of drone collisions with aircraft.

The research team reviewed techniques used to assess blunt force trauma, penetration injuries, and lacerations – the most significant threats to people on the ground – and classified collision severity by identifying hazardous drone features such as unprotected rotors. They alos reviewed more than 300 publications from the automotive industry and consumer battery market, as well as toy standards and the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International database, as well as conducting crash tests, dynamic modeling, and analyses. When the studies were done, personnel from NASA, the Department of Defense, FAA chief scientists, and other subject matter experts conducted a peer review of the findings.

Three dominant injury types were found to be applicable to small drones:

  • Blunt force trauma, the most significant contributor to fatalities
  • Lacerations – suggesting blade guards are required for flight over people
  • Penetration injuries

Their research also showed multi-rotor drones fall more slowly than the same mass of metal due to higher drag on the drone, and that lithium batteries used to power many small drones need a unique standard to ensure safety.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • The Top 5 Safety and Technology Trends to Watch in 2019

    Get the latest on trends you can expect to hear more about in 2019, including continued growth of mobile safety applications, wearable technology, and smart PPE; autonomous vehicles; pending OSHA recordkeeping rulemaking; and increased adoption of international safety standard, ISO 45001.

  • Get the Ultimate Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    OSHA’s Form 300A posting deadline is February 1! Are you prepared? To help answer your key recordkeeping questions, IndustrySafe put together this guide with critical compliance information.

  • Safety Training 101

    When it comes to safety training, no matter the industry, there are always questions regarding requirements and certifications. We’ve put together a guide on key safety training topics, requirements for certifications, and answers to common training questions.

  • Conduct EHS Inspections and Audits

    Record and manage your organization’s inspection data with IndustrySafe’s Inspections module. IndustrySafe’s pre-built forms and checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Industry Safe

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - January 2019

    January 2019

    Featuring:

    • PREVENTING ERRORS
      Production vs. Safety 
    • EMERGENCY SHOWERS & EYEWASH
      Meeting the Requirements for Emergency Equipment
    • CONSTRUCTION SAFETY
      The State of Contractor Safety
    • FOOT PROTECTION
      The Three Keys to Effective Chemical Management
    View This Issue