This one’s been rusting in our queue since September, but the link is still good, and the poor guy is still dead. When we say “almost anything can kill a human being, and the only thing that keeps us alive is good fortune and the common decency of 99.repeating9% of humanity” we do indeed mean it.

This young fellow died instantly seconds after some kind of “pilot error” with his favorite plaything, a radio-controlled helicopter. NBC News:

A 19-year-old man playing with a remote control helicopter in Brooklyn, N.Y., lost control of it, sliced off the top of his own head and died Thursday afternoon, law enforcement officials said.

The helicopter enthusiast, identified by officials as Roman Pirozek Jr., and his father were in Calvert Vaux Park at Shore Parkway and Bay 44th Street in Gravesend.

Pirozek also sheared off part of his shoulder, officials said.

Traumatic amputations are survivable, given prompt treatment and evacuation, but not cranial ones.

There’s something particularly sad about his mishap occurring in front of his father, who apparently shared his hobby.

Many people fear guns because they can take human life if misused (and sometimes, in the case of lawful homicides, even if used properly). But almost anything can take a human life. As we type these words, the temperature outside is 18ºF, headed for 12ºF, with winds of 17 knots gusting to 25 (that’s about 20-30 mph). An hour’s exposure to that weather will kill an unprepared, unprotected human being, and there are people out there driving in day clothes and street shoes, without anyone knowing when they will be back, and without any emergency stuff in their car, and only a vague idea of what their gas gage reads. A breakdown, or fuel exhaustion, late at night on a rural road has every potential to kill you dead as a gun, and it’s far more probable an occurrence (although a death from exposure or hypothermia is not as bad as it sounds… once you get past the shivers and your core temp starts really dropping you just fall asleep, never to wake).

Here is a thought about guns. About 3.5 million guns are manufactured every year, and about 10 billion rounds of fixed small arms ammunition. The anti-gunners say 30,000 “gun deaths” occur annually (a figure they get to by lumping murders, justifiable homicides by police, ditto by citizens, and suicides — which alone are two thirds of “gun deaths” — into a single number). So less than 1% of one year’s production of guns is used in a “gun death”, and about 3 ten-thousandths of a percent of one year’s civilian ammo production is used in a “gun death.” Change the denominator to homicides, and even using CDC’s padded number, the percentages drop to 0.31% and a vanishingly small 0.00011% — eleven hundred-thousandths of a percent. We’ll elaborate on this in a post in the days ahead.

But we suspect the number’s pretty close to the number of radio controlled aircraft involved in a fatal accident. RTZ, as the numerate kids say.

This entry was posted in When Guns Are Outlawed… on by Hognose.

About Hognose

Former Special Forces 11B2S, later 18B, weapons man. (Also served in intelligence and operations jobs in SF).

4 thoughts on “When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have toys


Just when we thought we knew all the ways helicopters can kill you…

Bill T

You didn’t say whether or not it was a “BLACK” helicopter. (Never miss a chance to entertain a conspiracy.)

It has been said that a helicopter begins trying to kill people even before it leaves the assembly plant and it cares not who it kills, friend and foe alike. OTOH There is nothing that sounds as good as a Huie Slick coming to get you after the SHTF.

I know I’m rambling but the world ain’t a safe place for a human being. If I make it one more month I’ll be SEVENTY. It never ceases to amaze me that I have made it this far relatively unscathed.

Hognose Post author

I have to say, Bill and Aesop, that most of my nightmares come with the sound of rotors. As did some of the worst scares of my not-near-70-YET-God-willing life.

Any aircraft can kill you. Hell, a fall from a stepladder can kill you, and you can go fast enough on a bicycle or snow skis to kill yourself graveyard dead. BUt helicopters (including their pilots, who are part of the control loop in the way f/w pilots aren’t) are really complex systems.Complex systems produce what Perrow calls “normal accidents.”


As somebody who’s been in the radio-control game for a few years (I fly fixed-wing, though), let me tell you that these “playthings”… well, aren’t— no more than a gun is, anyways. They’re terrifically powerful machines that you need to respect and operate safely. Anyone who’s seen a good-sized R/C heli do what this kid was doing with it will know what I mean- these are big machines that hold a ton of energy in their rotors,and they get absolutely flung around the sky. And as helicopters, they’re really only one major parts malfunction away from going haywire, which makes ’em both terrifying and exciting to watch.

Here’s a video for reference:

The deceased young man was a hell of a pilot, that’s for sure.

I’m so sorry for his family…