Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Chihuahua puppy finds mystery quadcopter

A WOMAN found a £1,200 remote-controlled flying video camera in her front garden.

A WOMAN found a £1,200 remote-controlled flying video camera in her front garden.

Susan Hickman, of The Close, Henley, called police after making the discovery when she got up last Friday morning.

The machine, a DJI Phantom III Professional, is known as a drone or quadcopter as it is similar to a helicopter but has four sets of blades.

It has a camera on its underside which records high-definition digital video and is sometimes used by estate agents to make aerial films of properties they are selling.

The device weighs 1.2kg and can reach an altitude of 6,000m while travelling at speeds of up to 35mph. It can be controlled from up to 2km (1.24miles) away in good weather and the operator can ?see? through the camera?s eye by transmitting the live image to a laptop.

Operators must have the Civil Aviation Authority?s permission to fly a drone commercially and be certified medically fit. They must follow strict rules on staying clear of people and private properties.

Mrs Hickman, 59, spotted the device after her eight-month-old Chihuahua puppy Harvey saw it and started barking.

She said: ?I went to bed at about 9pm the night before and did see a flash outside the window but I didn?t think anything of it. I let Harvey out at 8.30am the next day and he began barking furiously so I went out to see what was the matter. Not being technology-minded, I didn?t have a clue what this thing was ? I couldn?t even hazard a guess.

?I went around asking my neighbours if they knew anything and one chap who knows a bit about these things explained that it was a drone.

?It was a relief just to know what it was ? I had been a bit concerned at first because it was buzzing slightly.

?I?m puzzled as to how it could have got here because it?s not just a little toy. It?s not the kind of thing anyone in this street would own ? we?re all elderly or retired.? Police took the device away and anyone wanting to claim it should enquire at Henley police station in Greys Road or call 101, Thames Valley Police?s non-emergency number.

The CAA has expressed concern that many operators are flouting the rules on flying drones.

Last summer a plane was almost hit by one as it landed at Heathrow Airport and a man was arrested for flying a drone over a packed football match at Manchester City?s Etihad Stadium.

The authority says even a small drone could hurt somebody if it landed on them.

Earlier this month, singer Enrique Inglesias? fingers were sliced open by a drone?s blades during a concert in Mexico. He needed reconstructive surgery after suffering several broken bones.

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