1st Nevada drone crashes seconds into FAA test flight - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

1st Nevada drone crashes seconds into FAA test flight

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'Magpie' lays in the dirt after an unsuccessful test flight near Boulder City, NV, on Dec. 19, 2014. (Jason Valle/FOX5) 'Magpie' lays in the dirt after an unsuccessful test flight near Boulder City, NV, on Dec. 19, 2014. (Jason Valle/FOX5)
BOULDER CITY, NV (FOX5) -

The first drone authorized to be flown in Nevada crashed just seconds into its test flight near Boulder City on Friday morning.

The unmanned aerial vehicle named “Magpie,” is the first such device to receive Federal Aviation Administration certification to fly in Nevada.

“Magpie is a tough little bird that's sort of native to Colorado,” said Joe Burns, CEO of Sensurion Aerospace, the company that manufactured the drone. “We loved the idea, the concept, that this is also a tough little bird.”

The electric, radio-controlled aircraft can fly for about two hours, and has several uses, including patrolling power lines, pipelines and farm fields. It also can carry sensors and a camera to be used for security monitoring.

After about a half-hour of speeches from officials, including Gov. Brian Sandoval, it was time for the drone's test flight. A worker grabbed “Magpie” with two hands, the propeller was started and then the worker tossed the drone into the air. It crashed about three seconds later.

“So, what we've had today was an electrical controller issue,” Burns said talking to the media after the test. “So, the aircraft is flyable, but at this point in time, we would rather go back and review our systems as per proper procedure.”

Despite Friday's failure, Burns said “Magpie” has successfully flown about 30 times before today's test, including once Friday morning.

No matter the outcome of the test, Sandoval said UAV testing has a lot of potential in the Silver State.

“It's in its infancy,” Sandoval said of the industry. “As it grows, Nevada is going to be the place where everybody comes, because they are going to see the leaders in the industry are coming here.”

The FAA said “Magpie” has helped the agency develop the protocol that will be used to certify drones in the future.

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