Friday, December 3, 2010

Oh, Wow: Video From the RC Plane that Buzzed New York City

"How an RC airplane buzzed the Statue of Liberty, with no arrests"
Ben Kuchera, Opposable Thumbs, ars technica (December 3, 2010)

"The video is absolutely stunning: a remote-controlled plane flies over and around the Brooklyn Bridge, buzzes the Statue of Liberty, and explores New York from a point of view even 'real' airplanes rarely see. While the police were curious about what was happening, no arrests were made, and the creators of the video praise the police and the TSA for their professionalism.

"This is the story of how one group of enthusiasts made flying a plane around New York City fun again...."

That phrase, " arrests were made, and the creators of the video praise the police and the TSA for their professionalism...." may require a little explanation.

Two airliners flew into New York City's World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Folks living and working in Manhattan have been a tad more aware of unusual air traffic since then. A little SNAFU in 2009, involving Air Force One and F-16 fighters, probably hasn't helped calm their nerves. (Another War-on-Terror Blog (April 27, 2009))

Here's the YouTube video embedded in the ars technica post:

"New York City"

nastycop420, YouTube (November 30, 2010)
video, 3:02

"Team Black Sheep flying in New York, over the Brooklyn and Verazano Bridge, around Downtown Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. Enjoy!

"How to build your own / FPV system information, camera and transmitter details, etc:

"Music: Sackcloth Fashion - Under Man (Instrumental)

More, from ars technica:

"...While you may think this sort of flying would catch the attention of the authorities and lead to terrorism scares, the response from the police was measured and sensible. 'The reaction was very professional. They asked me what I was doing and I told them I'd land and explain it to them. After that we got talking and I showed them how it all works, what I'm doing and so on.'..."
(Ben Kuchera, Opposable Thumbs, ars technica)

The Lemming thinks that the low-key response was due in part to the radio controlled airplane not looking like a (real) threat. The aircraft isn't shown in the video, but its rapid maneuvering suggests a fairly small, lightweight design.

Also - this happened in New York City, not at an airport terminal where people are trying to get on an airliner. There seems to be something about air terminals that brings out the nutcase in people. (Another War-on-Terror Blog (December 1, 2010, November 16, 2010, March 27, 2008, September 1, 2007))

That video? It's not the best editing job ever done - but the views are spectacular, and the Lemming liked the background music.


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