Drone crash at US Open

Published: September 5, 2015

Drone crash at US Open, Officials at the US Open are looking at whether more can be done to protect the tennis tournament’s venue after an unmanned drone crashed into one of the main stadiums.

The remote-controlled aircraft flew over the court before it slammed into empty seats during a women’s singles match on Thursday night.

No one was injured, but the clash between 26th seed Flavia Pennetta of Italy and Romanian Monica Niculescu was paused briefly while police and fire officials looked at the device.

Pennetta thought the drone might have been a bomb when she heard it fly over the 10,000-seat Louis Armstrong Stadium, admitting the incident was “a little bit scary”, but she went on to win 6-1 6-4.

Following the scare, US Tennis Association spokesman Chris Widmaier said of possible extra security measures: “Obviously, it’s something we are looking at.”

Flavia Pennetta thought the drone might have been a bomb

High school science teacher Daniel Verley, who was allegedly flying the drone from a park outside the tennis venue, was arrested on charges including reckless endangerment.

He was later released and ordered to appear in court on 16 September.

The US Open bans people from using drones at the venue and Mr Widmaier said they had not had problems before with the devices.

But security officials have been concerned as they try to protect the National Tennis Center from such hazards.

The 46-acre complex includes three stadiums and numerous other courts in the city’s Flushing Meadows Corona Park near LaGuardia Airport.

The New York Police Department said security at the US Open was already tight before the drone incident, while Mr Widmeier said “everyone remains highly vigilant”.

It is illegal to fly the aircraft near Major League Baseball, NFL and NCAA Division I college football games and major car races.


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