A camera-carrying drone crashed into the ground Tuesday just behind speeding Austrian skier Marcel Hirscher as he competed in a World Cup slalom event.
Hirscher, who finished second, didn’t seem to notice during the race, which took place in Madonna Di Campiglio, Italy. He said afterward, according to ESPN, “This is horrible. This can never happen again. This can be a serious injury.”
Later he tweeted a photo of a screenshot showing the close call with the caption, “Heavy air traffic in Italy.”
This isn’t the first time this year a drone has interrupted a sporting event.
In September, a student flew a drone over the University of Kentucky’s packed football stadium and crashed it into the stands. No one was injured. Just a few days before that, a New York City teacher was arrested for flying a drone into a stadium during a tennis match at the U.S. Open.
While those incidents were ultimately harmless, drone usage is becoming increasingly problematic. Last year a drone incident sparked a riot at a soccer game between Serbia and Albania. In that instance, a drone carrying an Albanian nationalist banner landed on the field, fanning ethnic and nationalist tensions and provoking a fight between both the players and people in the stands.
And incidents are not limited to sporting events. As NPR reported earlier this month, a new study showed there were more than 300 incidents of “close encounters” between drones and manned aircraft in U.S. airspace in less than two years.
The Federal Aviation Administration has grappled with how to regulate drones. It has a series of rules based on whether the drone is for governmental, civil or recreational use.
Under the governmental use umbrella, law enforcement agencies are allowed to employ drones. This year, North Dakota became the first state to legalize armed drone use by police. As NPR reported at the time, the drones can be equipped with tear gas, rubber bullets, beanbags, pepper spray and Tasers. Meanwhile, police in Tokyo launched a drone designed to capture other drones.