In this image taken from video, a camera drone crashes into the snow narrowly missing Austria's Marcel Hirscher during an alpine ski, men's World Cup slalom, in Madonna Di Campiglio, Italy, Dec. 22, 2015. (Infront Sport via CP)
According to Waldner, FIS had agreed on the use of the drone at Tuesday's slalom but the pilot wasn't allowed to fly the camera directly over the race course. "He did not follow our instructions," the race director said. "He had to fly outside of the race track and follow the racer from a 15-meter (50-foot) distance. Then there would have been a margin and nothing could have happened." Drones have been used many times before at ski races. The ski federation said the new technology was aimed at enhancing the experience for TV viewers as it provides moving pictures from an overhead angle which regular cameras can't shoot. FIS said legal restrictions in Italy for the use of drones at events are not as tight as in many other countries, such as Austria and Switzerland, where flying over a crowd has been banned.
"I am very relieved that nothing happened."
The company responsible for the camera drone, sports marketing agency Infront, said it was still examining the crash. "We are extremely relieved that apparently none was hurt," Infront said in a statement. "At the same time, this incident is being taken very seriously and the circumstances leading to it are currently being examined. An update will be provided as soon as secured information is available." The Switzerland-based agency has been the long-term TV rights holder of the FIS Alpine skiing World Cup.
"This incident is being taken very seriously and the circumstances leading to it are currently being examined."