$100K of drones fall from the sky in Perth display

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Thousands of onlookers at Perth's City of Light Festival on Sunday watched on as a 'mass malfunction' during the city's light show caused more than 50 drones to fall from the sky into the Swan River.

The light show initially featured 500 drones flying in formation while 'drawing' colourful festive scenes in the sky. 

However not long after the show began, drones began to fall from the sky, with videos of the event filmed by onlookers showing the drones constantly dropping as the sky lit up.

One person could be heard saying, “see ya”, as they filmed the devices falling.

Speaking to 9News, Drone Sky Show managing director Joshua Van Ross said one in every 10 drones in the 500-strong light show malfunctioned, with a review under way to work out what had happened. 

“We’re looking into GPS interference to see what has gone wrong,” he said.

It is estimated each drone is worth about $2,000, meaning a cool $100,000 worth of drones malfunctioned on the night. 

“I did cry a little bit last night, I am trying not to think about it ... but it was an expensive show for us,” Van Ross said.

9News reported on Monday that divers were attempting to retrieve the drones.  

City of Perth Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas said the incident was the first of its kind, and the company behind the show, not ratepayers, would foot the bill for the broken drones.

“Of course I accept that the drone show on Sunday night fell short of expectation, and that was, as I understand, because of technical issues ... things can go wrong with technology of this kind,” Zempilas said. 

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority has also been informed of the incident.

Cover image: Getty

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