'Drone' really is such a stupid term for what was reported to be a hobbyist quadcopter with a small camera attached. None-the-less, earlier today, visitors to the Seattle Space Needle said such a craft was hovering up around the observation deck when it supposedly impacted the iconic structure. It then flew back to its "base of operations" on the fifth floor of nearby hotel.
Police were called and subsequently investigated the incident that has been dubbed by local media as a 'drone strike,' going as far as knocking on the door of the hotel room that people said the 'drone' disappeared into. Apparently the unmanned aircraft mastermind was cooperative with the authorities and showed them his toy-like chopper, as well as the video shot from it of people waving at the diminutive aircraft high up on the Space Needle's observation deck. No impact was seen in the video, and even if there was one it would probably not have even scuffed the massive structure's exterior paint.
The perpetrator in question was ironically an Amazon employee visiting Seattle from out of town.
People are going to have to get over the 'drone' craze and just realize that they are a part of our life now and largely harmless on a hobbyist level. Yes, your visual privacy in your well hedged and high-fenced backyard is no longer guaranteed, nor are the skills of the operators who control these little surveillance copters. The military and high-value targets on the other hand face different challenges when it comes to small remote controlled aircraft.
Considering all the risks we face on a daily basis, I would not worry much about camera equipped flying toys. Now throngs of them carrying tiny packages with the Amazon logo branded on them, that is another story, but I can assure you that such a reality is still well off into our prospective future...
Source via Komo News. Gif via youtube, quadcopter photo via wikicommons
Tyler Rogoway is a defense journalist and photographer who maintains the website Foxtrot Alpha for Jalopnik.com You can reach Tyler with story ideas or direct comments regarding this or any other defense topic via the email address Tyler@Jalopnik.com