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Oops! Official drone accidentally destroyed at New Zealand parliament

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A government limo accidentally ran over and crushed a stationary drone parked next to New Zealand’s parliament yesterday.

New Zealand media reports that the drone was filming external footage of parliament for Parliament TV (the Kiwi equivalent of C-SPAN). The footage was intended to be a collection of generic external shots. Politicians were made aware of the filming and there were signs posted around parliament grounds.

The drone was owned by a local operator working on behalf of parliament and was momentarily parked on the forecourt (see picture below) between filming. The car – a BMW 7 Series – was owned by the Department of Internal Affairs and unintentionally rolled over the drone crushing it. No word on the drone model but few consumer models would stand any chance against the weight of a car.

The forecourt of New Zealand’s parliament where a drone was destroyed yesterday.

The two parties will now reach a private settlement and hopefully, the car driver will take better care in future.

In recent weeks, New Zealand has had a number of high-profile drone incidents that have drawn calls for stricter drone laws. Last week in tourist mecca Queenstown, a drone passed in front of a passenger plane.

NewsTalk ZB quoted Airways air traffic services general manager Tim Boyle who said recently there were a “worrying number of drones operating illegally in airspace near airports throughout New Zealand”.

In the same article, the head of New Zealand’s Civil Aviation Authority warned Kiwis:

“If you receive a drone this Christmas, you become a pilot and you have responsibilities.”

“Before you bolt out the door to fly your drone this Christmas, please make sure you’re aware of the rules and stick to them to ensure you don’t put people or property at risk.”

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