Remote-Controlled Helicopter Fatally Strikes its Operator

Remote-Controlled Helicopter Fatally Strikes its Operator

"A 19-year-old man was killed on Thursday when a remote-controlled model helicopter that he was piloting in a Brooklyn park struck him in the head, the authorities said. The man, Roman Pirozek Jr. of Woodhaven, Queens, had been operating the large model — measuring several feet end to end — when it hit him and the top of his head was sliced off, the police said." Image Via AP [Full Story at NYT]

With quadcopters and helicopters being very popular for aerial video, and then watching one strike a groom recently, this is terrifying. Be careful out there.

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Very sad and all, but if he was the pilot and had any sense he would have been able to get out of the way.

How do we know he wasn't showing off by flying an inversion over his head? All you're doing by sharing this is making it harder for the rest of us to use the technology in our work where we use good judgement and exercise caution. Thanks a lot.

Jaron Schneider's picture

I didn't use the word decapitation. I quoted NYT, who also didn't use it.

My bad Jaron. The link that led me here used a different headline.

Jaron Schneider's picture

All good :)

Yeah nice comment Jim. You're right, the young man clearly deserved to die as he was probably showing off doing a loop-dee-loop with his remote controlled helicopter. At least he was someone with no sense - as only someone with sense would get out of the way of something about to chop his head off.
One less person to give 'the rest of you' a bad name though ay. Maybe put your good judgement to use when opening your mouth or bashing your keyboard.

It's a little bit harsh to say he deserved to die... don't you think?

I mean, everyone including myself did some stupid thing in life that could result in disaster, probably death. So don't be judgmental.

How did he not hit the deck when it was coming at him?!

Henry Young's picture

I hope we all don't pass judgment or make assumptions of what small bit of information the news has. How many times has their been another side to the story right? What we can take away is that these quadcopters have the ability to inflict injera to the point of death.

Brian Reese's picture

Wasn't a quad... it was a rather large Heli. Capable of WAY more damage than even the biggest quad. A 700 class heli is pretty big at almost 5 long and easily a 4 foot main rotor diameter.

So does a pencil and a spoon.

The real take away is that it's NOT an easy toy to play with and caution is needed.

Holy moly.

Unfortunate accident it seems. According to the story he was an accomplished pilot who did aerobatics or stunt flying. Not knowing the facts, it would appear he either lost control or orientation with the aircraft. It is a reminder to all, particularly the novice flyers, that these are pieces of equipment that require full attention and safe practice to operate.

I have not flown one of my RC copters in years, but still have them. They are not "toys". Even .30 sized nitro burners can weigh over 7 pounds, fly at over 50 mph in level flight, and have main rotor tip speeds exceeding 130 mph. If you get hit by one, you will know it.

For those who want to fly RC helicopters or drones for photography uses, please take the time to become a qualified pilot first.

Was this a single prop? If so this is not a common craft used in photography or videography. Mostly multi rotor craft are used. Though they can be dangerious if precautions are not taken.

I am having a hard time seeing how this is photography related. People wreck cars and also take photos out of them are we covering car crashes as well?

I agree. While I can see how it has been tied into the 'Quad copter hits Groom' story, it's relevance gets a little murky when you look at the facts. Quad copters make great stable arial camera platforms for photographers with some basic knowledge in RC. The heli in this article however...? It would never find it's way into the hands of your average FStoppers reader for the uses implied.

Mike Yamin's picture

Ugh that's terrible... one of those stories that I'd like to un-read.

Just seen the video he did on youtube moments before the accident. He was a gifted pilot and on the video he did some cool stuff. I did cringe at one point when he landed the helicopter on the table in front of him and also halting the rotors manually. It looked like a horrific accident and serves as a reminder that life is short. For the mean people on here, there is no need for it, Have some self discipline about what you type. The family are still grieving and his friends having witnessed this tragedy are going through this rough patch. Opinions are like arseholes everyone has got one, just some of us have the moral strength to keep them to themselves.