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Post-Christmas Crash: New Drone Operators Take To The Skies

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And now a safety reminder from the Federal Aviation Administration.

(SOUNDBITE OF FAA VIDEO)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: It's time to have fun with your new unmanned aircraft. But to protect other people and other aircraft in the sky, you need to learn to fly safely.

SIEGEL: The FAA put out that video warning a few days before Christmas anticipating that drones would be a popular gift this year.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It doesn't appear that many new drone owners saw it.

(SOUNDBITE OF YOUTUBE VIDEO)

CORNISH: A dog looks on in that YouTube video, posted under the name Carter Cole. In it, he crashes his new quadcopter toy into his house. A lot of drone crash videos have been posted since yesterday.

SIEGEL: It's something Kevin Martinez (ph) of Redding, California, knows about. The 22-year-old got a drone with an attached camera from his aunt yesterday. He took it for a few test spins inside his house and felt pretty good about his skills.

KEVIN MARTINEZ: So I decided to take it outside to get high up - more adventurous. And as I took it up to altitude, the wind took carry of it. And I tried to land it as best as possible. And it ended up landing on top of somebody's roof upside down.

CORNISH: So Kevin had to get creative. He climbed on his brother's shoulders and used a pool skimmer to get it off the neighbor's roof.

MARTINEZ: I guess you could call it the modern version of getting your Frisbee stuck on someone's roof.

CORNISH: But the FAA reminds us that unmanned aircraft come with a little more responsibility than a Frisbee.

(SOUNDBITE OF FAA VIDEO)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: Don't fly for payment or commercial purposes unless specifically authorized by the FAA. Don't be careless or reckless. You could be fined if you endanger people or other aircrafts. Do be safe and know before you fly.

SIEGEL: Reminders we may be hearing more and more. Reports say some 200,000 drones were sold each month in 2014. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.