Bald Eagle Takes Out Environmental Drone Over Lake MI
A drone being used for environmental research in the U.P. didn't last when a bald eagle decided to attack it.
Fox 17 reports the epic bald eagle/state-owned drone fight happened near Escanaba back on July 21st. The drone operator, Hunter King, is an Environmental Quality Analyst who works for the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, and was flying the drone along the shore of Lake Michigan trying to map lakeshore erosion due to the high water levels of the lake.
He didn't get too much work accomplished though as about seven minutes into the flight, Hunter told the drone to go back to its take-off spot, and that's when the video feed he was watching went crazy. According to Fox 17, the drone started rapidly spinning, and then the video went dark. Hunter said he didn't see the drone but did see an eagle hanging out, and later a bird-watching couple told him they saw the eagle attack the drone while in flight. Fox 17 says the couple actually saw eagle actually take off one of the four propellers on the drone.
Staff from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy or EGLE (fitting, right?) says the drone went down around 150 feet from shore in 4 foot of water, but they never did find the destroyed technology, which Fox 17 says was going about 20 miles per hour when it hit the water.
So EGLE says it learned its lesson, because as they look to replace the drone, they told Fox 17, next time they'll make it look less like a seagull, which is something bald eagles love to eat, and why they believe their drone was so brutally attacked.
Also, a good lesson to take in for anyone who flies drones as a hobby, because the drone was only about 160 feet in the air, which could easily just be a hobby flight. Eagles may want to eat your drone.