The $1,300 Drone That Crashed into Seattle’s Great Ferris Wheel

You can now add Seattle’s Great Wheel to the growing list of places that drones have crashed, smacked, and bashed into.

According to Engadget, citing a report by Seattle’s KIRO TV, an unknown person was flying a drone close to the gigantic Ferris wheel when it collided with the easily avoidable, massive metal structure and crashed to the ground.

KIRO TV reports that there was no damage to the attraction, which, again, is a building-sized revolving wheel decked out spotlights. Unfortunately, a plastic table below the Great Wheel wasn’t so lucky, as it suffered irreparable damage.

Police are holding the drone, which appears to be a $1,300 DJI Phantom 3, and searching for information about the pilot.

The proliferation of consumer drones has provided us with impressive visuals of locations that were previously only visible from helicopters or planes. But they have also lead to a growing number of crashes and have raised questions about privacy expectations.

Earlier this summer, a drone piloted by a New York City teacher crashed into the stands at the U.S. Open. In a similar incident, a student at the University of Kentucky crashed his drone into the school’s football stadium. Both pilots were charged with endangerment, according to The New York Times.

In March, a drone fell from the sky over Manhattan’s Upper West Side, narrowly missing a delivery bike rider. Police have also had issues with drones flying too closely to their helicopters, and prisons have seen outsiders use drones to fly contraband over the walls to inmates.

Oh, and then there was the enthusiast who attached a handgun to his drone.

In the wake of all these incidents, the government has established a task force to create a national registry for drone owners to help reduce incidents, and locate pilots involved in any accidents.

In the meantime, try to keep your drones away from heavily populated areas where they could potentially cause issues. And Ferris wheels: Try to avoid the Ferris wheels.

via: Engadget, KIRO TV, The New York Times

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