• Drone hits the Seattle Great Wheel

    By: Henry Rosoff

    Updated:

    SEATTLE - A drone careened off the Seattle Great Wheel into a plastic table on the patio of neighboring Fisherman’s Restaurant.

    Security manager Wayman Earls looked up just in time to see it happen.

    >> PHOTOS: Drone crashes and close calls in Seattle

    “Anything that comes from that height, with that kind of weight, is going to do some damage,” Earls said.

    Workers stopped the wheel immediately and assessed the situation.

    “The wheel has no damage,” said wheel worker Michael Fuqua. “We’ve gone through the cabins, looked for any type of broken glass, damage, we’re up and going.”

    The only thing broken was the plastic table on the restaurant patio. Fortunately, it’s already been closed for the winter. The drone punched a hole in the table and sent pieces of plastic flying.

    Great Wheel owners took a picture of the drone. It appears to be a DJI Phantom drone-- that costs a little less than $1,300.

    “The police have it, and we are looking for the owner,” Earls said.

    Last year, a drone hit the Space Needle, although it also did no damage. Last December, another drone took a picture of the Space Needle from 700 feet. FAA regulations say you can't fly a drone higher than 400 feet.

    Because of close calls, soon owners will be required to register their drones with the U.S. Department of Transportation.

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