Bald eagle shoots down Michigan government drone

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A bald eagle has shot down a government drone in Michigan, state officials said Thursday.

The bird of prey attacked the Phantom 4 Pro Advanced quadcopter drone about 162 feet in the sky on July 21, “tearing off a propeller and sending the plane to the bottom of Lake Michigan,” according to the Department of the Environment. State of the Great Lakes, and Energy.

“The attack could have been a territorial feud with the electronic enemy, or just a hungry eagle,” the department said.

Environmental quality analyst and drone pilot Hunter King was mapping the erosion of the shores of Lake Michigan with the device, which was flying at 22 mph, when it started to get out of control and took off. spotted an eagle taking flight, he said.

A couple of nearby bird watchers said they saw the eagle strike something and appear to fly away unharmed, department officials said.

A search for the drone a few days later failed. The aircraft was 150 feet offshore in about 4 feet of Lake Michigan water, the department said.

State drone coordinator Authur Ostaszewski used a kayak and snorkeling gear in his unsuccessful search, state officials said.

The $ 950 drone is obsolete and will be replaced by a newer model, the department said.

Bird strikes are not unusual for drones. The Federal Aviation Administration has studied the issue extensively, including analyzing impacts using simulated birds.

Tech publication 3D Insider last year released a guide for hobbyist drone operators on how to avoid bird strikes.

The Department of the Environment, Great Lakes and Energy said an idea it is exploring is to use coatings for devices that would make them look less like seagulls.



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