FAA Investigating Drone Incident at Seattle’s Space Needle

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2014-07_9e8d533ab8.jpgiStock Editorial/Thinkstock (SEATTLE) -- The Federal Aviation Administration told ABC News on Friday that it is looking into reports that a drone recently hovered above the observation deck of Seattle’s famous Space Needle. While curious tourists waved, the mysterious flying object gave security quite a scare. Authorities said a man launched the drone out of his hotel room window on Tuesday.

“There was no malcontent or malice,” said Drew Fowler of the Seattle Police Department. “He wasn’t trying to do anything wrong. He was just trying to capture some interesting footage.”

While recreational drone usage is legal in Washington state, the incident was the latest raising questions about whether it’s safe to fly drones above crowded cities. Last year, a drone buzzed over the busy streets of New York, flying past iconic landmarks like the Chrysler building and then crash-landed, nearly hitting pedestrians during the height of rush hour. And there have been close calls with planes. A drone last year came within 200 feet of a jumbo jet.

Drones have been exploding in popularity but the rules for how and where they can be used have not caught up. The FAA said it is working on new safety guidelines but it could take two years for them to take effect.

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