Expert doubts sabotage to blame for drone crashes - RTHK
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Expert doubts sabotage to blame for drone crashes

2018-10-29 HKT 13:35
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  • Drones were used to light up the sky during the Wine and Dine Festival in Central. Photo: Courtesy of the Tourism Board
    Drones were used to light up the sky during the Wine and Dine Festival in Central. Photo: Courtesy of the Tourism Board
Rex Ngan speaks to RTHK's Candice Wong
A drone expert says jammed GPS signals that led to dozens of drones plunging into the sea at the Wine and Dine Festival at the weekend might not have been the result of a deliberate act of sabotage, as first feared.

The police have been called in to investigate what caused the drones to malfunction during a light show on Saturday forcing event organisers to abandon the performance, as well as the one planned for Sunday.

But Rex Ngan, from the Hong Kong Professional Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Association, told RTHK's Candice Wong that even interference from mobile phone networks could be to blame and he doubted anyone had ruined the show deliberately.

"GPS signals [being] jammed by other people or other devices is normal in Hong Kong," Ngan said.

"The mobile phone signals are very strong and you can have 4G everywhere. [During] the rush hour, for example 6 to 7pm, it will jam the GPS signal if the GPS signal is not good at that time."

Lights from 100 drones were being used to display various images in the sky above the Central Harbourfront where the festival was taking place.

No problems were reported during the performances on Thursday and Friday nights. But just seconds into the display on Saturday night, the drones went haywire and around 40 crashed into the harbour.