I-Team Report: Drone dangers - WNEM TV 5

I-Team Report: Drone dangers

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TUSCOLA COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

Drones are all the buzz, but when placed in the wrong hands they can lead to some big problems.

For example, a drone dropped drugs and cell phones to prisoners at the Richard A. Handlon Facility in Ionia.

“The next step that we are worried about is the introduction of weapons of some kind,” said Chris Gautz, with the Michigan Department of Corrections.

A camera in the sky can aid in an escape, but how can you stop that?

“It's pretty scary to think about someone pulling out their rifle and shooting up into the sky, possibly missing,” said Professor Ella Atkins, a drone expert.

More people are using drones without thinking about the fact that even just flying for fun might cost a life.

"I can't believe I lost him, it's still really a shock,” Sharon Funderburg said.

Funderburg remembers the man she loved, Mike Millerov of Grand Blanc.

"He gave me so much strength. He gave my son so much strength and taught us so much. Words can't describe,” Funderburg said.

Millerov was driving along M-81 in Tuscola County with his son. The rain caused him to lose control of his vehicle, slamming into a pickup truck.

Millerov was hurt badly and a medical helicopter was called in to transport him to the hospital.

However, a drone got in the way.

"I just wonder what that guy's motive was, filming an accident,” Funderburg said.

The drone made it too dangerous for the helicopter to land, costing them precious time.

"Every second counts. I wasn't prepared to be pulled out in the hallway and told Mike had passed away. It keeps replaying in my head,” Funderburg said.

Atkins said if the drone pilot had some training, they would've known not to fly near an emergency scene. That area is also near an airport.

"We don't think anything about this notion of having skill and where we should be flying and where we shouldn't. So, this is a challenge for everybody,” Atkins said.

It isn't illegal to fly in the location, but the operator should've been in contact on a radio frequency.

“That would've allowed communication immediately,” Atkins said.

The Federal Aviation Agency has guidelines that are meant to be followed when flying. >>Read more here<<

So, study up. You might even save a life. 

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