Glen MacPherson, the U.S. Air Force chief of human factor studies, said that UAS accidents stem from the arcane and exhausting pilot-machine interface. “Fatigue has been expensive,” he said. “Predator crews who are ‘tele-operating’ in Iraq are at least as fatigued as those actually deployed in country.”
Should a UAS pilot become disoriented, Vertigo Inc. may have a solution. Vertigo has built a recovery system for UAVs weighing 20 to 1,600 pounds: a round parachute or steerable parafoil that deploys whenever the vehicle assumes an unusual attitude or encounters high G forces.