Recording Shows, NYC Drone Incident Was Not Risky To The Helicopter

drone-nypd-heli

Yesterday we shared a story about a couple of drones flying at an NYPD helicopter and putting it at severe risk. Well guess what, A recording from LaGuardia airport Air Traffic Control tells a different story all together.

Yesterday’s story was about two individuals, Remy Castro and Wilkins Mendoza, who were flying their quadcopters  over George Washington Bridge in New York while a police helicopter was patrolling the area. Yesterday, the story was about how the helicopter had to take evasive action to avoid a hit. Remy and Wilkins were arrested.

Today, Motherboard shares that a recording of the air traffic control from LaGuardia airport was posted by the website liveatc.net. Hear below.

This recording suggests a different story by which the police helicopter  was not at risk until it willingly approached the quadcopters.

Not only that, it seems that the police were not even sure if the quadcopters were indeed violating the law. On the recording we hear the police say: “You know, we have the guys who were operating them. We really don’t know exactly what we have, maybe a reckless Not sure what exactly we got” which is later answered with “Seems to me, if they were at 1,000 feet, they’d have to be operating that thing recklessly, regardless of whether or not it was a toy.”

While the only eye evidence of the incident is from the cops, and they claim that the helicopter was indeed in risk, nothing on that night’s recording supports that.

The New York Daily news talked with one of the pilots and his brother and they say that:

We have video proof that we are not following him, he’s following us. He’s endangering our lives and himself by following us

I am not sure that we can untangle this Rashomon here on the blog. What we would like to see is NYPD or the FAA issuing clear cut instructions (similar to the ones we covered with the UK and Canada) to make it clear what is allowed and what is forbidden.

[via Motherboard. Thanks for the heads up, Shachar | illustration based on photo by (cc) Kristine Paulus]

  • jaysna

    So in reality, just some cops stirring up shit to have something to do. Rich.

  • mzungu

    Max altitudes allow by law for an remote control aircraft is 400 ft. If it is at 1000 ft, it is breaking the law. They are intruding into FAA controlled space, in a busy air traffic place like NYC, no less.

    It’s like getting ticketed for driving 120 mph on a empty highway, that judge is not going to care if you claim you pose no danger, or the cop came created more danger by coming near ya.

    • Love

      It is not law, it is FAA regulation. So far the FAA have not won a lawsuit against anyone breaking these regulations.

      • mzungu

        Regulations are subordinate and different than laws, true… but both laws and regulations are
        enforceable.

        There is no law that says the speed limit in front of your house should be 25 mph, it is the regulation set forth by the city that it should be 25mph, and the court and the police will prosecute accordingly for speeding over 25.

    • disqus_KaGdwj0Fv8

      That didt seem to be the issue here, the issue was a police helicopter acting in an unsafe manner and then laying the blame on a civilian for possibly breaking a regulation. I can understand wanting to fine them if they did fly that high but the reckless endangerment seems to be soley the fault of the officers.

      • mzungu

        Rules says that manned aircraft have the right-of-way over that of an RC plane, RC operater should be actively avoid the approaching aircraft. The pilot transcript says that the RC was buzzing around the helicopter, that is a no-no.

        Your argument is equivalent to arguing in front of a judge that u r perfectly capable of driving down that neighborhood street at 100mph and breaking the law safely, and it is the police that created the danger chasing u down at those speed. Care to guess how the judge or the rest of public sees your chain of logic?

      • jBoy

        I don’t see that the police helicopter was acting in an unsafe manner. It went to investigate something.

        If the RC community does not want get hit with a lot of draconian rules and regulations then the community needs to police itself. The community needs to ensure that RCs are flown in a safe manner with respect for the shared airspace and people’s privacy. The first time a helicopter or plane collides with a RC there will be hell to pay. And it won’t matter who was “right” or “wrong”.

  • https://www.facebook.com/shachar.weis.9 Shachar Weis

    So we have police that are targeting individuals with no clear reason, and no clear laws to enforce. Can’t say I’m surprised. And meanwhile the FAA is running in circles like a headless chicken, and can’t seem to make up their minds about anything related to drones (blah, hate that word).

  • Love

    So we have police that are targeting individuals with no clear reason, and no clear laws to enforce. Can’t say I’m surprised. And meanwhile the FAA is running in circles like a headless chicken, and can’t seem to make up their minds about anything related to drones (blah, hate that word).

  • JasonKoebler

    Hey, thanks for posting this, but would you mind tossing us a link back? Also, if you don’t mind, could you change “Vice” to “Motherboard” in the post? Thanks!

    http://motherboard.vice.com/read/police-recording-confirms-nypd-flew-at-a-drone-never-feared-crash

    • http://www.diyphotography.net/ udi tirosh

      of course, done.
      Not sure how I missed that while proofing. apologies and fixed.

      • JasonKoebler

        Thanks! No worries at all

  • Jason Artiga

    NYPD LIARS , like they usually do

  • catlett

    Yea … that’s what I said yesterday when you condemned them before hearing the whole story. So the headline of THIS story should have been ”
    BLOGGER JUMPS THE GUN, CONDEMNS THE WRONG PEOPLE IN THE MOST IMMATURE MANNER POSSIBLE”

  • Greg Easton

    So tired of the improper use of the word ‘drone’.