You shouldn't lose your head over a toy helicopter

Teen Helicopter Enthusiast Slices Own Head With Toy Chopper, Dies

The headline on the main news page is Teen slices off own head with toy helicopter.

‘Yo, dudes! Watch this!

Pretty tragic. It makes me wonder about kids today. Sure, we all did stupid things when we were teens. But I wonder if he might have been practicing for an ‘extreme video’.


That’s really sad. I imagine that he probably never thought of the possibility that a toy helicopter could actually kill him. I probably wouldn’t expect that the blades would be strong enough and sharp enough to slice someone’s head.

Model helicopter rotor blades are not really ‘sharp’. They have an airfoil shape. But someone commented that the rotor span was something like four feet. That’s a lot of energy being swung around. It’s hard for me to imagine how he would have had the top of his head ‘sliced off’; but I can certainly see his scalp being removed, a concussion, or a fractured skull.

Since when is getting scalped or having the “top of your head cut off” equivalent to having your “head sliced off”? It’s a pretty blatant attempt to imply something that didn’t actually happen. :stuck_out_tongue:

A link farther down says Teen decapitated by own toy helicopter.

Pretty blatant sensationalism.

That’s also not a ‘toy helicopter’ that’s a ‘model helicopter’ or whatever you want to call it when (RC Helicopter) it goes beyond then $15-$100 ones you buy at Toys 'R Us and turn into the $500-$3000 ones you buy at the hobby shop. The ‘toy helicopter’ that you fly around in your bedroom isn’t going to chop anything. The one in the picture probably runs on gas.

It’s funny that you said we all did stupid things when we were kids. I was listening to a podcast the other day when one of the people mentioned how kids these days are so protected. He went on to say we all did ‘dangerous’ things when we were younger and kids these days practically need helmets just to go to the bathroom.

Somewhere in the article I read about this it said that this was only the 2nd death that could be attributed to a hobby-level RC helicopter.

I am also skeptical that an RC helicopter even with a 4-foot rotor length could “slice off” the top of the skull :dubious:.

According to the video he was extremely experienced and skilled at flying the models. I don’t think what happened was the equivalent of “hey y’all watch this”, but a malfunction of the helicopter.

Or Skynet is practicing.

Any way you slice it, this is a tragic loss of a young life. He was fortunate his parents weren’t costantly hovering over him, not allowing him to face risks head on.

I take it this is tongue in cheek – he was 19 years old, not a kid.

Hmm, remind me what sound helicopter blades make again?

Yeah, his helicopter was anything but a toy. It probably produced several horsepower. It’s a flying lawnmower. If he was as experienced as the reports say, I doubt he was under any illusions about the damage the blades could do to a person. He may have been under illusions about his exact degree of skill and reliability of the hardware, though.

(Bolding mine)

I believe you may have been whooshed.

Pitchmeister, i believe the point has been made.

shijinn, I believe you are correct. Serves me right for only skimming responses after the target of my cheap shot…

Forget the stupid puns. If the story is true and such helicopters are that dangerous, people should not be flying them in public parks. What if a bystander was injured instead of the operator?

I was playing with an RC helicopter several years ago when I crashed it into my leg. It was a small, low-performance model:

-battery powered
-rotor diameter of maybe 2 feet
-balsa rotor blades
-I chopped the power just before the blade hit my leg

All of that meant there wasn’t much momentum in the blade at impact. It hurt, but it didn’t break the skin; the leading edge of the blade crushed just a little bit, effectively blunting it and spreading the impact.

The victim in the news was an avid stunter. One article showed a video of his in which he was flying a gas-powered model. Add in the aerobatic performance, and that means his model probably was:

-high RPM
-larger rotor, maybe 3 feet or more
-carbon-fiber blades

That represents a lot more momentum, and a stronger, thinner, sharper leading edge on the blade.

Even if it didn’t take his head completely off, whatever it did do was enough to kill him (“instantly,” according to the article); that’s a pretty dangerous toy.

Well, considering Sudden’s post, I don’t think we are quite on the edge of this becoming a nationwide epidemic of RC helicopter beheadings. We don’t have to think of the children just yet.

Still, it’s a gruesome story and not one I’m really interested in contemplating. But I’m trying to determine if the phrase “sliced off the top of his head” implies that it cut into his skull. Perhaps it just cut his scalp?