clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Man who crashed drone into White House was reportedly drunk

New, 21 comments

Obama calls for more regulations after admitting there are basically none

The man who crashed a DJI Phantom drone into the White House grounds on Monday morning has now told Secret Service investigators that he had been drinking prior the accident. According to a report in The New York Times, the man also claims the drone belonged a friend, that he was piloting it and lost control, and that he went to bed worried about exactly where it had come back to earth.

President Obama and his family weren't in the White House at the time, but in an interview with CNN, Obama said that he has urged the FAA and other federal agencies to examine how domestic drones are being managed. He wants regulators to find ways to ensure drones "aren't dangerous and that they're not violating people's privacy."

"We don't really have any kind of regulatory structure at all for it."

He also noted that drones could provide tremendous value with new applications around farming and land conservation. But most strikingly, Obama acknowledged the mismatch between the system currently in place and the rapid spread of drone technology. "The drone that landed in the White House you buy in Radio Shack," he told CNN's Fareed Zakaria. "But we don't really have any kind of regulatory structure at all for it."

The FAA prohibits flying while under the influence of drugs and alcohol and says that flying over Washington, DC is also banned, but there is no test or licensing required to purchase or operate a unit like the DJI Phantom. But never fear. To help the legions of new pilots entering the skies, the agency put together this helpful video, just in time for the holiday rush.