A Swiss Man Was Killed By His Remote-Controlled Helicopter

Illustration for article titled A Swiss Man Was Killed By His Remote-Controlled Helicopter

A 41-year-old man flying a Gaui X7 model helicopter in Lucerne, Switzerland suffered head and arm injuries and died after he was presumably struck by the helicopter. The model weighs 5 pounds, is about 4 feet 5 inches long, and has a rotor diameter of about 5 feet 4 inches.

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Though incidents are rare, remote control helicopters have caused other deaths. A remote control aircraft instructor was struck and killed in Texas in 2003 and other fatal accidents have occurred in Korea and Brazil. The rotor blades on model helicopters can spin at speeds of 257 miles per hour. Gaui helicopters can cost more than $1,000 and various X7 models are currently selling for around $900, so there probably aren't tons of these just lying around people's houses, but even expensive toys require real safety measures. [The Local]

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DISCUSSION

As a mechanical engineer, I cringed when I read "rotor blades on model helicopters can spin at speeds of 257 miles per hour." Angular velocity such as RPM might work better here.