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Cautionary tale - dogs and drones
1626 5 2016-6-17
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wbsimey
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United States
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The following is a cautionary story supporting DJI's warning about flying around animals.
  
Last week our research team was in Baja using the Phantom 3 Pro to survey the extent of seagrass beds along Baja's coast. We had a weeks’ worth of successful surveys in very remote beach sites. Then we were at a place called Cuatro Casas along a seaside cliff. We were up early in the morning preparing for a survey. We were in front of an empty hostel with a few other scattered buildings. We were the only people around. I took off from the cliff and began to photograph a transect along the coast when suddenly, about five dogs came running up to the cliffs and were barking wildly at the Phantom. At first my only concern was that the dogs might leap off the cliff chasing the Phantom. But soon it occurred to me that I had to land somewhere. We had practiced grabbing the drone from the air and felt comfortable doing that, so that's what we did. But the dogs were barking and jumping at the drone as we tried to catch it. As soon as one of our assistants grabbed the drone, one of the dogs attacked him and shredded his leg. It was bad; blood was gushing from his calf and pooling on the ground around his feet. We were at least 40 minutes from any paved road and another hour from any town. My biggest fear was that the dog cut an artery. Anyway, we bandaged him as best we could with our first aid kit (never forget to pack a first aid kit for field work) and put him in the back of our truck with his leg elevated and headed across the desert in pursuit of a hospital. It took nearly two hours to find a hospital that could receive him. In the end, no artery was severed (he was on an aspirin treatment, which thins blood and can result in lots of bleeding) and he came back to camp and continued his work.
            
           Side note, Mexico has socialized medicine. The nurse immediately took him into an exam room, cleaned and sutured his wounds, gave him pain killers and antibiotics and sent us on our way. They didn’t ask for any paper work, ask our names, make us wait in lines, and didn’t charge us a nickel. Why is socialized medicine bad? Why can’t the U.S. have this?

Bottom line, make absolutely sure there are no loose dogs around before you fly. These dogs were otherwise friendly.
2016-6-17
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Goldchucker
First Officer
Flight distance : 509 ft
United States
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Some dogs DO NOT like certain noises.  I don't know if it hurts their ears or they are just afraid of the unknown.  They probably associated your friend with the noise and attacked him.  

Thank you for posting this and I hope your friend recovers from the attack.  A good lesson learned.
2016-6-17
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johnsr
Captain
Flight distance : 1579022 ft
France
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Thanks for the interesting post. My wife, a French nurse, just wanted to be sure that your assistant is followed up for anti-rabies treatment (we also have socialized medicine here). Dogs are often rather curious or excited, and I always warn owners who stop to watch, to take care when I'm landing or catching my craft (but I never thought about getting bitten myself). I've often wondered if it is not the "bee swarm" sound that excites them.
2016-6-18
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Kneepuck
Captain
Flight distance : 275105 ft
United States
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I have found that a single dog usually will not be to weird about the Phantom.  But,  when they are in even a small pack,  the dog world becomes a pack mentality and most things are potential prey.  Or enemy.
2016-6-18
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pi-inthesky
First Officer
Flight distance : 13058 ft
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Did you have VPS on.The sonar signal is highly alarming to farm stock could be dogs are alarmed by it and go into attack mode rather than just taking flight.
2016-6-18
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Airspace Explor
lvl.4
United States
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Tsch!    .
2016-6-18
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