You've probably seen this video floating around the internet. It's a drone flying into a helicopter tail rotor causing a serious accident.
Thankfully it's not real. This clip is an ad for a long running BBC series about a hospital emergency department and the writers needed something new and topical for their big anniversary.
But the situation it depicts could really happen. What's to stop a ten year old from flying his new Phantom near a helicopter pad downtown? There is a nice park across the street from the Children's Hospital in Halifax.
At first I was frustrated when I saw this video, especially when I started reading the comments on Facebook. Some people thought it was real. Others realized it was fake but still used it as rationale for banning drones. I had to wonder if anyone thought that was an actual solution.
But the more I thought about it the more I realized this video is a perfect barometer of public understanding about drones. The public doesn't understand the commercial potential for drones. They see them as toys; a nuisance and a danger. They don't see the level of knowledge required of UAV operators. They don't imagine the potential benefits we've yet to discover because we've only just started.
Be concerned that people don't understand drones but don't be upset with their ignorance. We've got a long way to go before drones are an accepted part of life.