The International Ski Federation will ban drones from World Cup races after one almost ran into Austrian skier Marcel Hirscher in Madonna di Campiglio, Italy during a slalom run. Men’s race director Markus Waldner said that they would ban drones as long as he is the one responsible for the games, and that he was extremely angry because Marcel could have been badly hurt by the drone.

The drone had a television camera on it and crashed on the ski slope seconds behind Hirscher, 26, who didn’t know what had happened.

Hirscher completed his run and at the time thought it must have been a course worker or a gate behind him. Course workers smooth out the snow after a skier passes. Hirscher was still able to finish second in the skiing event, and the winner was Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen.

ISF will ban drones after near collision

Waldner says that although they had agreed to allow drones, they weren’t supposed to fly right over the race course.

Drone operators were supposed to keep the drones at least 50 feet away from a racer. Apparently, one of the operators didn’t follow the rules, otherwise the drone wouldn’t have crashed where it did.

In the past, drones have been used at the ski races, as the new technology was meant to give viewers an enhanced experience because regular cameras can’t get so close. Legal restrictions in Italy for using drones at such events wasn’t as tight as in some countries. For example, in Austria and in Switzerland drones aren’t allowed to be flown over crowds.

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Drone owners examining crash, cause to be determined

Owners of the crashed drone, the sports marketing agency InFront, say they are examining the remains of the drone and trying to determine the reason it crashed and why it was so close to the skier. They added they were glad the skier wasn’t injured and that they take the crash and the circumstances leading to it very seriously. The company will provide more data after it is available as to the cause of the crash.

The IFA has chosen to ban drones from all future skiing events due to the incident, because if the camera drone had hit one of the skiers it could have caused serious injury.

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