The pilot of the Phantom that crashed on a Manhattan street earlier this month has been arrested, ABC reports:

David Zablidowsky of Brooklyn has been charged with "Reckless Endangerment" for allegedly losing control of a helicopter drone at "an unreasonable height creating a substantial risk of serious physical injury". 

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Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on October 18, 2013 at 12:03pm

Oh my!

Comment by Tissy on October 18, 2013 at 12:10pm

That could potentially open the flood gates as it is an offence that is quite common and can fit a number of scenarios from flying UAVs to setting off fire works indoors.

The offence wording can be quite subjective as Reckless endangerment means a person commits the crime of reckless endangerment if the person recklessly engages in conduct which creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury to another person. “Reckless” conduct is conduct that exhibits a culpable disregard of foreseeable consequences to others from the act or omission involved. The accused need not intentionally cause a resulting harm or know that his conduct is substantially certain to cause that result. The ultimate question is whether, under all the circumstances, the accused’s conduct was of that heedless nature that made it actually or imminently dangerous to the rights or safety of others.

Of course this is something the Police can deal with without the intervention of the CAA or FAA for example.

Interesting times !!

Comment by Neuro on October 18, 2013 at 12:18pm
Phantoms are probably the furthest from a drone it's an r/c multi rotor copter.....there is nothing autonomous about it other than rtl .... I wish the media would get something right....
Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on October 18, 2013 at 12:25pm

If this sticks, it's going to change everything in the US.

Comment by Paul Feely on October 18, 2013 at 12:50pm
I don't know the whole story but flying off your apartment balcony at height and crashing into a skyscraper repeatedly above a busy Manhattan street in a craft you clearly can't control sounds fairly reckless.
Comment by Harry on October 18, 2013 at 1:26pm

Regulations or no regulations,  doesn't change stupid.  And then there is the guy filming in Baltimore who thinks he's safe to fly over people because he has battery monitoring and GPS.  Ag use seems to be the only low risk application.  If you crash in a bean field nobody gets hurt.

Comment by Drone Tinker on October 18, 2013 at 1:29pm

Meanwhile, someone could toss a brick out a window and do something really nasty to a bystander below and never be caught. Heck, someone could do that all day.

Phantoms are basically an over-glorified AR Drone toy. Maybe the media and other people who report on toys like this should understand that most RTF drone platforms are near dummy proof and mostly that type of person buys them. Anyone who really wanted a high quality drone to take on a risky mission like this wouldn't use a phantom or similar. They would know their machine inside and out and be fully aware of the do's and don'ts.

Sure, reckless non the less, but I would really hate to use the word endangerment. And what the heck is this "unreasonable altitude"? Was he too low or too high? Based on FAA guidelines if this were to be taken into consideration, aircraft and similar are to fly no lower than 500 feet over city areas if I'm not mistaken.

And for a model aircraft, stay below 400 feet if within 3 miles of an airport. Which was what here?

Comment by Muhammad Al-Rawi on October 18, 2013 at 2:16pm

The way the people in the video sensationalize it makes me sick. 


Moderator
Comment by Ruwan on October 18, 2013 at 2:38pm
Comment by Greg Dronsky on October 18, 2013 at 2:54pm

With thousands of Phantoms sold, it's uplifting we only seen few incidents like this....

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