Drone Operator Accidentally Crashes His Drone Into The Space Needle

Newly released video by the city of Seattle shows the moment when an unwitting pilot sent a drone crashing into the Space Needle just before the city's New Year’s festivities, causing no damage to the landmark building but tragically destroying the drone in the process.

“It looks like the drone tractor beam we installed on the Space Needle is working,” Space Needle CEO and President Ron Sevart quipped to KIRO 7, noting that multiple drones have been retrieved on and around the Space Needle property.

Despite Sevart’s lighthearted tone, the incident was taken seriously by Seattle police, who scooped up the demolished drone and reported the accident to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The latest episode has spurred the FAA, in partnership with the Drone Advisory Committee, to implement rules that will facilitate the widespread presence of drones in American airspace. Prospective recreational drone pilots must simply register with the FAA and promise not to fly their craft near sensitive areas like airports or stadiums.

However, those who plan to use drones for commercial purposes will be required to obtain licenses, the first of which were granted in August of last year. Aspiring licensees are subject to pilots’ tests that are similar to the exam necessary to earn a driver’s license.