Police looking for owner of abandoned drone

Sunday Times Newspapers

ALLEN PARK — Police recently found an abandoned drone in a resident’s yard and is making it known the owner can pick it up at the police station.

The drone, an unmanned aircraft weighing often less than 55 pounds, was not registered with the Federal Aviation Administration.

“That’s why they probably haven’t come forward,” Police Detective James Thorburn said.

In December, the FAA began requiring drones to be registered. It requires owners register the often remote-controlled aircrafts before the first flight.

According to the FAA, registration is mandatory in the United States, users have to be 13 years old or older to register online and the registration is good for three years.

Registration is $5 and can be done at www.faa.gov/uas/registration.

The registration is only for hobby and recreational-use drones. The FAA is developing a registration for business-use drones, that is expected sometime this spring.

Those flying an unregistered drone will be cited, police said. The penalty wasn’t immediately known.

Thorburn said it’s amazing how advanced drones have become, saying they are now programed not to crash into things in front of them, such as trees, and follow you where you walk.

“It’s really kind of amazing,” Thorburn said.

(Tereasa Nims can be reached at dstreporter@gmail.com.)