When happens when drones go down?
A Swiss drone delivery service has been put on ice following two airborne failures. The Swiss Post/Matternet initiative, which had been dispatching lab samples between hospitals, saw one drone crash into Lake Zurich, while another suffered a parachute failure and plummeted to earth near a kindergarten.
Swiss Post has now established a board to advise on risk and safety management for all aspects of drone flight operations. It will comprise independent experts, manufacturers, Swiss Post and its customers.
The company says it expects Matternet to ensure that safety mechanisms such as the parachute are in working order, and it has asked the firm to ensure that:
• Parachute ropes are reinforced with metal braiding
• The parachute is attached to the drone with two ropes rather than one
• The whistle to alert people when the drone is making an emergency landing be made louder.
Swiss Post says it will continue to use drone technology as it believes such craft can “make an important contribution to efficient healthcare”.