Drone Near White House Causes Lockdown

The drone never crossed the north fence line of the White House. The Secret Service detained and questioned the man flying the drone.

The White House was briefly placed on lockdown, according to multiple reports, this afternoon after a man allegedly tried to fly a drone near the building, authorities said.

The drone never crossed the north fence line of the White House, officials added. The Secret Service detained and is questioning an individual in connection with a drone flying in Lafayette Park, according to a senior official.

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President Barack Obama is not currently in the White House and is at Camp David. Additional details of the incident were not immediately available Thursday afternoon.

It’s the second drone incident at the White House in 2015. On January 26, 2015, a drunken, off-duty government employee crashed a DJI Phantom drone into the White House grounds. According to Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary, an officer saw the drone flying at a very low altitude before it crashed in a tree just after 3 a.m.

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The small drone evaded White House radar that is calibrated to warn of much bigger threats, like an airplane or a missile.

Police, fire and other emergency vehicles swarmed around the White House while the device was examined. The White House and the entire perimeter was on lockdown until around 5 a.m., when pass holders who work in the complex were allowed inside.

President Barack Obama and the first lady were both in India, while their daughters, Sasha and Malia, stayed in Washington with their grandmother, Marian Robinson.

SEE ALSO: How Safe Are Google’s Self-Driving Cars?

Know the Rules Before You Fly

So you just bought your first drone. And it’s all charged and ready to go. I know you’re excited, but it might be a good idea to get up to speed on drone regulation before you start flying.

The Federal Aviation Administration recently launched its “Know Before You Fly” campaign to help new drone users understand where you can and can’t fly your new toy. The video, which you can watch below, goes over some of the basics you need to know.

About the Author

Steve Crowe · Steve Crowe is managing editor of Robotics Trends. Steve has been writing about technology since 2008. He lives in Belchertown, MA with his wife and daughter.
Contact Steve Crowe: scrowe@ehpub.com  ·  View More by Steve Crowe.


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