So-called “quad drones” are growing in popularity and can be purchased for under $100, even those with cameras. Larger drones can cost up to $1,000. White House officials said the “quad copter” flown into the facility was about two feet across. It is being described as a DJI Phantom 1 which costs about $450.
Amazon sells many types of drones, as do other stores and outlets. Its Syma X5C 4 Channel 2.4GHz RC Explorers Quad Copter With Camera costs just $61.96. It can fly up to 50 yards, which means it could have been easily launched from any of the parks around the White House. Initial indications are that it crashed on the North Lawn, meaning it is likely to have been launched the seven-acre Lafayette Square.
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According to instructions from several quad-copter makers, flying the devices is easy and takes about 5 minutes to learn.
In Washington, D.C., flying drones, even toys, are illegal.Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.