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Accident in the Seaway

A routine flight operation from the deck of the Lady Slipper today successfully captured all images and footage that was designated as both primary and secondary targets. During the return to the Lady Slipper, the drone's flight controls for forward and backward movement became intermittent. All of the other flight controls continued to function normally. The helmsman of the Lady Slipper turned the boat around to decrease the distance that the drone pilot had to maneuver the drone sideways toward the boat. Once behind the boat an attempt could be made to land it on the table in the cockpit.

Three attempts were made. During the first two attempts the boat and the drone were not in sync with the direction and speed. Both attempts were successfully aborted. The third attempt looked good but the drone needed to go a little faster to make it into the moving boat. The pilot pushed the joystick forward and it didn't respond as the drone fell further behind. He tried again, the drone responded to the joystick movement, and it quickly caught up with the boat. The pilot was able to hover the drone outside the cockpit but was unable to get the drone into the cockpit before hitting a vertical bar.

I am saddened to report that the drone was lost in the St Lawrence Seaway. All crew were reported to be safely onboard the Lady Slipper.


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