By Sabina Mollot
A resident of Waterside Plaza got the shock of her life when a drone came crashing through her window at Waterside on Saturday evening. The woman, who’s 66, was nearby but unharmed when the drone landed. However, the window of her 27th floor apartment at 20 Waterside Plaza was shattered.
Police are investigating the matter, since flying drones in New York City is illegal except in certain parks.
Peter Davis, general manager of Waterside Plaza, noted that doing so is especially dangerous near the East River property because it’s adjacent to spots where seaplanes and helicopters land. Waterside is also home to 4,000 people.
“We’re very lucky that no one was hurt,” he said. “It was a reckless and irresponsible act to fly a drone in an urban area, not to mention illegal. It’s not fun and games.”
Police have identified the drone as a Karma model. Drone manufacturer Go Pro describes this type of drone as “compact” with a length of 12 inches, 16.2 inches in width and 4.6 inches in height with a maximum speed of 35 miles per hour.
The company recalled this model last fall, as it had a tendency to lose power and fall from the sky, according to published reports.
An NYPD spokesperson said the crash is being looked at as criminal mischief and there could possibly be a charge of reckless endangerment.
The Federal Aviation Administration is also investigating the matter and a spokesperson, Jim Peters, said it isn’t clear yet if the drone has been registered with the agency, which is required by law.
Specifically, federal law requires that all aircrafts, including drones, that are flown outdoors, must be registered and marked with a registration number. If an owner fails to do so, along with risking criminal penalties, he or she could face civil penalties from the FAA of up to $27,500.
Criminal penalties include fines of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment for up to three years.
“The FAA is unable to confirm that the unmanned aircraft or drone that crashed into an apartment building on the East Side of Manhattan on Sunday was registered with the agency until the agency has an opportunity to examine it,” Peters said.