Amazon employee unleashes drone havoc on Space Needle

Up in the sky. It's a bird. It's a plane. It's a...drone? An Amazon employee flies a drone to the Space Needle and allegedly crashes it into a window.

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A drone, not unlike this one, caused a bit of a ruckus in Seattle this week. Fred Simon/Parrot

Look, we get it. Drones are fun. But you should probably be careful when flying around the skies of a major city, as one Amazon employee is finding out this week the hard way.

An unnamed Amazon employee visiting Seattle from out of town had recently purchased a quad-copter drone for personal use and wanted to test it out, according to a Seattle police report. So, on Tuesday, he apparently launched the drone from his hotel room and navigated it to the Space Needle to snap some pictures.

He even took some video of the city and Space Needle from 500-600 feet above the ground. The video has since been taken down from YouTube, but Buzzfeed managed to capture a few Vines of the footage taken from the drone.

The employee was likely having a good time with his drone, until Seattle PD showed up at his hotel. Witnesses at the Space Needle alleged that the drone flew into a window on the observation deck, said the police report, and Space Needle security called the police.

The drone was safely back at the hotel room by the time police arrived, said the report, and the Amazon employee showed officers the footage his drone captured. After finding no indication of a crash in the video, despite the eyewitness accounts, police let him go with a soft warning to not fly his drone around Seattle anymore.

Commercial drone use is heavily restricted in the US, while the Federal Aviation Administration works on guidelines related to civilian drone operation, like safety, communications, navigation, air traffic control, and privacy. Flying drones for recreational purposes is allowed, though some FAA regulations and local laws do apply, according to Time.

If this is any indication of what happens when a single drone is flying around the sky, imagine what's going to happen if Amazon is successful on its mission to unleash UPS-replacing drones to deliver packages directly to your house.

(Via Time, CBS Seattle)

 

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