People keep crashing drones into Seattle’s Space Needle by Mike Murphy

On Dec. 31, a drone pilot thought it would be nice to film Seattle’s most iconic structure, the Space Needle. The video started off well—beautiful, sweeping shots, taken during a stereotypically grey Seattle day—but then the drone takes a sudden turn, careening into its target at full tilt.

A group of people were working on the Space Needle at the time, but thankfully no one was hurt. CNN reported that the Seattle Police Department and the US Federal Aviation Administration are looking into the incident. While Seattle doesn’t have any specific statutes limiting drone use, police are reportedly considering charging the pilot with reckless endangerment, which can carry a yearlong prison sentence or a $5,000 fine.

What’s most crazy about the incident, as Gizmodo pointed out, is that this is actually the third time someone has crashed a drone into Seattle’s flagship attraction. “It looks like the drone tractor beam we installed on the Space Needle is working,” Space Needle CEO Ron Sevart joked in a statement to CNN.

Roughly 1 million people visit the Space Needle each year, making it the most popular tourist destination in the Pacific Northwest. That might explain why so many people want to fly drones around it… though not why said drones keep crashing. Best guess? Human error. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have received drones as presents, but don’t have any clue how to fly them.

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