Caught on camera: Rogue drone smashes through window, hits man in head

It was just another Thursday afternoon for David Perel, when a rogue drone interrupted him while he was working in his office in Cape Town, South Africa.

Suddenly, he heard a loud noise and felt a sharp impact on the right side of his head, behind his ear.

“I got the fright of my life, initially. For the first ten seconds I thought a bomb had gone off. The noise! It was so intense,” Perel told Global News.


“When I looked up there was a drone sitting on my desk.”

A group of men two buildings away from Perel’s were using their drone to film from their rooftop, when high winds caught the device. They lost control of it and it smashed through Perel’s office window.

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“What are the odds?” said Perel.

Perel, who races for Ferrari in Europe, said he was lucky that the 10 mm thick glass had a tinted film on the inside of it, which caught most of the glass shards. Otherwise, he thinks it could have been more serious.

“I’m doing a pretty big race next weekend in Italy and if I missed that it would have been soul destroying. So there is an element of seriousness to it, but if you just think of the odds it’s quite funny,” he said.

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The video of the incident caught the attention of a government agency and online skeptics.

“I got a lot of comments saying that it’s fake, which I can assure you it is not fake,” he said.

Perel said the South Africa’s Civil Aviation Authority is currently investigating. Global News reached out to the agency but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Even though Perel has experienced a big crash on the race course, he said his close call with the drone was scarier.

“It’s a very different kind of adrenaline,” said Perel. “When I race I’m not scared. In this situation…it wasn’t fun. I wouldn’t want to go through it again.”

“I’ve been in contact with the pilot today. It was the first time I met him. [He’s] super apologetic and a very nice guy,” he said. “These guys had no intention of injuring anyone. They just lost control of their drone.”