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Missing Drone Found on Washington D.C. Rooftop

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Monday, September 24, 2012 at 4:48 PM

Turns out that Ben’s victory in yesterday’s Lawfare Drone Smackdown is not the only big drone news of the day. Adam Eidinger—who you’ll recall, lost his drone over the skies of Adams Morgan in Washington, D.C., and who was subsequently warned by the FAA that flying drones in D.C. is illegal—has recovered his missing quadcopter.

The drone had gone down because of a short circuit in one of the propellers, says Eidinger. He didn’t lose contact with it after all. Because there were high winds blowing on the day Eidinger lost it, he was using a lot of power to keep it in control—and it must have just overheated, frying the power source. Kind of like what happened to your last hairdryer.

The drone was found by an air conditioning repairman on the roof of the Camden Roosevelt Apartments, on the corner of 16th and W Streets, NW. How did the repairman trace the drone back to Eidinger? Not through any of the media coverage, the Twitter buzz (which even reached Tunisian eyes). Not by hearing about it on the local evening news, or even by seeing Eidinger’s original flyers—just through some good, old-fashioned investigating.

The repairman took out the memory card, watched the video of the drone’s last flight before it crashed, as well as previous videos recorded on the memory card, and figured out where the drone had launched from. He then sauntered over to Eidinger’s office, knocked on his door, and walked away with a $250 reward. Everybody wins.

Eidinger calls drone footage “a beautiful art form that should not be stifled.” He will have a spectacular video of the crash tomorrow on Eidinger Vision, his YouTube channel. But for now, has been tweeting some of the pictures from his recovered drone.

UPDATE: Here is the drone’s crash video, complete with Eidinger’s added political statement:

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Filed under: Domestic Drones, Technology