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Bald eagle attacks $950 government drone, sending it to bottom of Lake Michigan

A drone mapping shoreline erosion in Michigan’s Higher Peninsula was despatched spiraling into the water after a bald eagle ripped off one in all its propellers.

ESCANABA, Mich. — A bald eagle launched an aerial assault on a drone operated by the Michigan Division of Surroundings, Nice Lakes, and Power — generally known as EGLE — ripping off a propeller and sending the plane into Lake Michigan.

The assault occurred July 21, when the drone was mapping shoreline erosion close to Escanaba in Michigan’s Higher Peninsula to doc and assist communities address excessive water ranges, the division stated in a press release.

Environmental high quality analyst and drone pilot Hunter King stated he had accomplished about seven minutes of the mapping flight when satellite tv for pc reception turned spotty.

King pressed a button to return the $950 drone to him and was viewing his video display when the drone started to twirl.

“It was like a extremely dangerous curler coaster journey,” stated King, who regarded up and noticed the eagle flying away, apparently unharmed by its confrontation with expertise.

Two birdwatchers who had been close by noticed the fowl assault one thing however instructed officers they didn’t understand it was a drone.

The drone despatched 27 warning notifications within the 3.5 seconds that it took to spiral to the water, together with one noting {that a} propeller was lacking. A search of the shoreline failed to search out the drone. Knowledge later revealed that it landed in four ft of water about 150 ft offshore.

EGLE’s drone staff is contemplating what it may do to cut back the potential for a repeat assault, together with probably utilizing “skins” or different designs on the plane to make them look much less like seagulls, the company stated.

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