Local 6 finds drone hovering over Central Florida
Lawmaker now looking into video voyeurism concerns
Local 6 has obtained nearly two hours of footage from a small, unmanned drone that was hovering over Central Florida -- watching and recording people.
It literally fell out of the sky, crashing into a tree, where a Local 6 employee found it and turned it over.
On the high-definition GoPro camera that was attached to the drone, you can see each flight starts innocently enough. But you can see the potential for bad behavior.
In one shot, the drone races toward an apartment window, getting within feet of the glass.
In another shot, the drone hovers over a female sunbather at a pool. She's completely unaware that it's there, and she never looks up.
But the scariest shot of all shows the drone wobbling high over I-4 as cars zoom by down below. The drivers have no idea that the drone was out of control at that point, and only seconds away from crashing.
There are also shots of the pilot. By carefully analyzing the footage, we discovered exactly where he lives -- an apartment in Altamonte Springs, right next to I-4.
His name is Guimy Alexis -- a student who built the drone, and many other.
"The only thing I want to do is essentially record a flight, put some music on it, and put it on YouTube," says Alexis. "There's nothing nefarious going on."
But Alexis also admits that there easily could be something nefarious going on if the controls get into the wrong hands.
"I worry that someone will do something stupid," says Alexis. "But if someone does do something stupid, they're the bad apple, the bad egg. They're the exception, they're not the vast majority of us. The vast majority of us just do this for fun."
But what happened to Jimmy and his drone was not part of the fun. The electronics on board interfered with each other, giving the drone a mind of its own, and sending it -- of all places -- over I-4.
"It's right above me, I'm just looking at it, and it just flies off, and I can't control it," says Alexis.
He also couldn't see it, which is illegal. Under regulations from the Federal Aviation Administration, you can only fly a radio-controlled aircraft if it's in your line of sight.
Jimmy is fully aware of the rules, and insists that this was just an accident. In fact, he swears that it's never happened before.
"I was worried when it did go next to the highway, and that was a fear," says Alexis. "I don't trust it anymore, I'll tell you that much."
"I would not be surprised at all if people are abusing this technology," says State Representative Dana Young, (R) Tampa. Young created Florida's video voyeurism law last year, which makes it illegal to secretly record someone for arousal, amusement, or abuse.
Rep. Young is afraid that could happen with drones that cost as little as $300.
"From watching your investigative report, now that I know about this technology, and now that I can see that the limits are almost nonexistent, it does make me want to go back and look at the law we passed last year, and see if there are ways to tweak it," says Rep. Young.
As of now, there's only one piece of legislation in Florida that deals with this technology. It regulates how police agencies, not regular people, can use drones.