Tourist crashes $1,200 drone into 7 World Trade Center sparking response from counter terror cops


A Texas tourist crashed a drone into New York’s 7 World Trade Center while filming a video for Instagram, and ended up being quizzed for six hours by NYPD’s Counter Terrorism cops before being let off with a summons for a city code violation. 

Adam Ismail, 22, told followers that it ‘didn’t cross my mind’ that he was near the World Trade Center when he launched his $1,200 gadget, and admitted he was ‘blatantly ignorant about what he did’ until cops arrived later. 

Ismail lost control of the his DJA Air 2s drone, and it got wedged between the windows and metal façade right above the front entrance to the 42-story building – which was the first to be rebuilt after the 9/11 terror attacks. 

Ismail shared the drone’s footage of the crash with DailyMail.com, showing a panning shot of the fountain at the Silverstein Family Park, outside the front of 7WTC.

Suddenly the camera shakes violently and the streamed feed cuts out as the drone crashes into the building.

Posting on Instagram, a grinning Ismail said that his first thought was ‘c**p, and I going to be able to get that drone back?’

But he later posted pictures online of NYPD counterterrorism cops at the scene, with the caption ‘This is not a joke’. 

A laughing Adam Ismail, 22, told followers that it ‘didn’t cross my mind’ that he was near the World Trade Center before he crashed his $1,200 drone

The Instagrammer posted pictures of NYPD counterterrorism officers at the scene

The Instagrammer posted pictures of NYPD counterterrorism officers at the scene

Ismail shared the drone's footage of the crash with DailyMail.com, showing a panning shot of the fountain at the Silverstein Family Park, outside the front of 7WTC

Ismail shared the drone’s footage of the crash with DailyMail.com, showing a panning shot of the fountain at the Silverstein Family Park, outside the front of 7WTC

After crashing the drone into 7 World Trade Center at around 3pm, Ismail went into the building to speak with front desk staff. 

He explained: ‘I’m like ‘hey man, I just crashed a drone into y’alls building, this is a little embarrassing to tell somebody right now but it kind of is what it is.’

‘Is there any way that you, me or somebody can maneuver around the building and get that for me to file a claim for my drones warranty?’

The building’s manager and chief engineer were summoned, and the three gazed up at the stuck drone before telling Ismail, he said, they ‘didn’t think [he would be] getting [his] drone back.’

The Texan said the September 11th attacks only crossed his mind once he saw a group of three or four members of the NYPD waiting for him outside the building.

‘They interview me, ask me a few questions: where am I from, what am I doing, why am I in New York and the just the series of events that took place and everything,’ he recalled.

‘I’ve been asked the same questions more than I can count on two hands so they can confirm I’m not BSing my story and I’m here to do what I said I was doing.’

Adam Ismail, 22, said via Instagram that he was 'blatantly ignorant about what he did' until a cadre of police reported to the scene

Adam Ismail, 22, said via Instagram that he was ‘blatantly ignorant about what he did’ until a cadre of police reported to the scene

The 42-story 7 world Trade Center was the first to be rebuilt after the 9/11 terror attacks

The 42-story 7 world Trade Center was the first to be rebuilt after the 9/11 terror attacks

The DJA Air 2s drone is similar to this and is worth around $1,200

The DJA Air 2s drone is similar to this and is worth around $1,200

How violating New York City drone restrictions could result in a criminal record 

  •  It is illegal for any hobbyist to fly a drone (or any aircraft) anywhere within New York City limits, per Administrative Code Section 10-126(c)
  • Violations of this code can carry misdemeanor charges and a criminal record
  • Additionally, New York City Park Rule 1-05(r)(2) outlaws any drone flight over parks within the city – violators can face fines of up to $1,000 or up to 90 days in prison 
  •  Flying a drone in an area where people are or could gather can result in charges for reckless endangerment, as some drones are heavy enough to cause injury should it fly off course
  •  In 2014, two men were charged with first-degree reckless endangerment, a felony, for flying drones too close to an NYPD helicopter

Source: The Law Firm of Andrew M. Stengel, New York Penal Law

Ismail said: ‘Everybody was a good sport. I didn’t give the cops a hard time, and they didn’t give me a hard time. They just had to check that I was doing what I said I was doing.’ 

When he began filming after a day of photography throughout the city, Ismail said he was inspired to capture aerial footage for a personal travel video by a fountain near the Oculus and World Trade Center. 

After the crash, he sat through police questioning on that fountain for six hours.

‘I realized a little too late that drone was a little bit too far back in its circle – the circle was just a little bit too big to clear all the buildings,’ he said to over 3,000 followers on his Instagram. 

‘I realized that a second before it crashed sideways into that building, which so happened to be 7 world trade center building.’ 

He bragged that the incident was a ‘great New York story’ – but said a fine and the loss of the $1,200 drone meant that it came with a high price tag.

He also said that the operating system of the DJA drone, which typically disallows pilots from flying their drones in restricted areas, did not notify him that the area was off-limits. 

The majority of New York City is restricted for drone flight, according to the NYPD, due to the city’s congestion of high rise structures. 

But Port Authority police only issued Ismail with a summons for violating the city code preventing personal drone use, an agency spokesman told the New York Daily News.    



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