Exclusive: Police search for drone owner

October 4, 2013 2:04:10 PM PDT
NYPD Detectives showed up Thursday morning at a building on East 38th street where on Monday, a man launched a small drone helicopter from one of the apartment terraces.

"What did police want, what were they asking?" Eyewitness News investigative reporter Jim Hoffer asked.

"They asked if someone lived here," a doorman said.

Detectives are trying to find the man seen in the video launching the radio controlled aircraft on a three-minute flight hundreds of feet above the heads of New Yorkers before it crashed landed nearly striking a businessman. Residents say they don't think he lives there.

"Do you know who this is?" Hoffer asked.

"I'm not familiar with who that is. I have no idea," a resident said.

The NYPD says they are still investigating but no one has been charged.

Meanwhile, the FAA says the unmanned aircraft was operating in prohibited airspace and that they will likely look further into it.

"There is no regulation concerning the operation of civilian drones," said Brendan Schulman, an attorney.

Attorney Brendan Schulman says the FAA's oversight of model aircraft amounts to a 30-year-old advisory that urges "voluntary compliance" of safety rules.

He's currently representing Raphael Pirker whose drone videos have gained worldwide attention and the ire of the FAA which hit him with a $10,000 fine, the first ever, for "careless or reckless operation of a drone." "Is the FAA behind the technology here?" Hoffer asked.

"They really are. They undertook in 2010 to issue regulations that would govern small aircraft systems or small drones such as the one in your report, and they've been way behind in issuing such regulations or even proposing them," Schulman said.


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