The Other Side of the Story Behind the Near Collision in N.Y.

Posted by Betsy Lillian on July 09, 2014 No Comments
Categories : UAV Safety

The two men who were arrested for allegedly almost crashing their unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) into a New York Police Department (NYPD) helicopter over the George Washington Bridge are now telling their side of the story – and it's far different from that of the police report.

According to an article on the New York Post, the men were arrested for flying their small UAVs at an altitude of 2,000 feet near the bridge and then circling near an NYPD Aviation Unit helicopter.

The NYPD reportedly had to change direction in order to avoid hitting the vehicles and followed them for 20 minutes until the UAVs landed near Fort Tryon Park.

The New York Daily News posted a YouTube video containing interviews with the suspects, as well as witnesses. One of the men, Remy Castro, says he was flying his UAV as high as a six-story building for 10 or 15 minutes.

“The next thing we know, we see NYPD helicopters following the drone,” he says. When the men tried to steer away, he says, the police helicopter was getting “lower and lower” around the fourth or fifth story of a building.

He claims there is phone-video evidence that it was the police helicopter following the UAV – not the other way around. They decided to land, Castro says, when they realized they were being followed and could not get away.

“He’s endangering our lives and himself by following us on top of our heads,” as well as “wasting taxpayers’ money” over following “a little drone,” Castro’s brother comments in the video.

A witness adds that the initial report contains “misleading information,” including the location of the flight. He says the two were never flying near the George Washington Bridge, the vehicle never landed near Fort Tryon Park and the flight was never at 2,000 feet but, rather, at 300.

Also notable is that the men discuss operating only one UAV, while the report claims there were two.

The YouTube video can be found here.

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