A Texas tourist crashed a drone into New York’s 7 World Trade Center while filming a video for Instagram, sparking a response from the NYPD’s Counter Terrorism Bureau and the FBI, but being sued violation of the city code.
Adam Ismail, 22, told followers it “didn’t occur to me” that he was near the World Trade Center when he launched his $1,200 gadget, admitting he was “obviously ignorant of what he was doing” until the police arrived later.
Ismail lost control of his DJA Air 2s drone and became trapped between the windows and the metal facade of the 42-storey building – the first to be rebuilt after the 9/11 terror attacks.
Posting on Instagram, he said his first thought was ‘c**p, and I’m going to be able to get that drone back?’
Adam Ismail, 22, said via Instagram today that it ‘didn’t occur to him that’ [he] was near the World Trade Center,” and he was “blatantly ignorant of what he was doing” until a police force arrived at the scene Monday.
The Sept. 11 attacks only entered the Texan’s mind, he said, when he saw a group of three or four members of the NYPD waiting outside the building.
Ismail entered the 7th World Trade Center building after the 3 p.m. crash to speak to the front desk staff.
“I’m like, ‘Hey man, I just crashed a drone into your building, this is a little embarrassing to tell anyone now, but it kind of is what it is.’
“Is there any way you, I or anyone else can maneuver through the building and get that for me to make a claim for my drones warranty?”
The building manager and chief engineer were summoned, and the three stared up at the stuck drone before telling Ismail they “don’t think [he would be] to get [his] drone back.’
The September 11 attacks only came to the Texan’s mind, he said, when he saw a group of three or four members of the NYPD waiting outside the building.
“They interview me, ask me a few questions: where am I from, what am I doing, why am I in New York and the right sequence of events that happened and everything,” he recalls.
“I’ve been asked more of the same questions than I can count on two hands so that they can confirm that I’m not bidding my story and that I’m here to do what I said I did.”
Ismail said: ‘Everyone was a good sport. I didn’t make it difficult for the police, and they didn’t make it difficult for me. They just had to check that I did what I said I did.’
The 42-story 7 World Trade Center was the first to be rebuilt after the 9/11 terror attacks
The DJA Air 2s drone is similar to this one and is worth about $1,200
How violating drone restrictions in New York City could result in a criminal record
- It is illegal for any hobbyist to fly a drone (or any aircraft anywhere within the boundaries of New York City, according to Administrative Code Section 10-126(c)
- Violations of this code will carry charges and a criminal record
- In addition, New York City Park Rule 1-05(r)(2) prohibits any drone flight over city parks — violators face fines of up to $1,000 or up to 90 days in jail
- Flying a drone in an area where people are or could be gathering could result in a charge of reckless danger, as some drones are heavy enough to cause injury if they drift off course
- In 2014, two men were charged with first-degree reckless danger, a felony, for flying drones too close to an NYPD helicopter
Source: The Law Firm of Andrew M. Stengel, New York Penal Law
When he started filming after a day of shooting around the city, Ismail said he was inspired to shoot aerials for a personal travel video at a fountain near the Oculus and the World Trade Center.
After the crash, he sat on that fountain for six hours, being questioned by the police.
“I realized a little too late that the drone was a little too far back in its circle — the circle was just a little too big to clear all the buildings,” he told more than 3,000 followers on his Instagram.
“I realized a second before it collapsed sideways against that building, which happened to be 7 World Trade Center building.”
He boasted that the incident was a “great story from New York,” but said a $1,200 fine and the loss of the drone meant it came with a hefty price tag.
He also said the DJA drone’s operating system, which typically prohibits pilots from flying their drones in restricted areas, did not notify him that the area was off limits.
Most of New York City is restricted for drone flights due to the congestion of high-rise buildings in the city, according to the NYPD.
But the Port Authority police have only subpoenaed Ismail for violating the city code that prohibits personal drone use, a spokesperson for the agency told the United States. New York Daily News.