In Germany during the weekend of 18 and 19 April 2020, a drone pilot was electrocuted while trying to use an aluminium rod to disconnect his drone from a high-voltage cable. The drone had accidentally become entangled in the cable while searching for hidden game. The man survived the incident thanks to the prompt action of the emergency services.
The drone pilot in question, a local gamekeeper, was using his drone to track hidden fawn from the air. During the flight, the man hit a high-voltage cable with his Yuneec Typhoon H aircraft. The drone then got stuck in the cable.
Using a long aluminium rod, the man then tried to bring the drone back down. He received a strong electric shock, which immediately led to cardiac arrest. The emergency services immediately started resuscitation. By the time a trauma helicopter arrived, the man had even regained consciousness.
According to the police, the drone pilot is lucky to be alive. Meanwhile, the man with minor injuries is in hospital for observation.
The incident underlines the importance of keeping a drone in visual line of sight (VLOS) during flight. It also does no harm to reconnoitre the surroundings prior to a drone flight. Some drone apps even offer the possibility to see where there are power lines in your immediate vicinity.