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Originally published July 25, 2014 at 3:34 PM | Page modified July 26, 2014 at 1:56 AM

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Amazon worker piloted drone around Space Needle

An Amazon.com employee from out of town was the operator of a drone that buzzed the Seattle Space Needle this week, police said.


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SEATTLE —

An Amazon.com employee from out of town was the operator of a drone that buzzed the Seattle Space Needle this week, police said.

Witnesses told police they saw the craft fly back into a fifth-floor room of a nearby hotel. Police contacted the man and he admitted operating the drone equipped with a camera Tuesday. He told authorities he wanted to try out the craft he recently purchased at a hobby shop.

Police had received reports that the drone had crashed into the landmark of Seattle's 1962 World's Fair, but they saw no evidence of that.

The man showed officers video taken during the drone's flight, police said. It showed people waving from the Space Needle's observation deck but no indication that it had struck the tower.

The man agreed not to fly his drone in public while in town.

Amazon.com Inc. recently asked the Federal Aviation Administration for permission to use drones as part of plans to deliver packages to customers in 30 minutes or less.

The FAA allows hobbyists and model aircraft makers to fly drones, but commercial use is mostly banned. Amazon is asking for an exemption so it can test its drones in the U.S.



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