We've spoken a lot about Quadcopters and other kinds of unmanned aerial vehicles, but probably not as much as we should on the actual dangers involved in flying them. For those who are licensed and take this sort of thing very seriously, these kinds of stories give filmmakers and other professionals a bad name. It should go without saying that these are very dangerous, especially when you're flying them in ways not suggested by the FAA guidelines. Monday a quadcopter landed mere feet from a man after it crashed a number of times against a building. The police have not done anything as of yet, but the memory card was retrieved, and we have the following video below.
[Update] Apparently there was a longer version of the video, here it is courtesy of ABC Channel 7 in New York:
It looks to be a DJI Phantom being flown (possibly with some sort of video transmission option added), and while it may not be heavy enough to kill someone, that doesn't mean doing what was done in the video is harmless. Guerilla filmmaking is one thing, but it's important to use them safely. Each city or town may have its own regulations on flying them, but the FAA regulations warn against using them above 400 feet and near populated areas. Most of the videos we've shown are flown by professionals with permission or in less populated areas.
The best thing to do is to hire professionals if you really need an aerial shot and you're in a certain area or height which may be questionable. These are much cheaper than renting a helicopter, but the results at times can be just as spectacular.
Or, alternatively, you could just strap your camera to an eagle and get some great shots:
Professionals out there, what do you think about the story? What is your game plan about shooting in populated areas?
[via The Verge]