A Napa resident used his drone to capture the fallout from the 6.9-magnitude earthquake that rattled the California town on Sunday, and posted scenes of the damage on YouTube.
Evan Kilkus says in an onscreen message that he posted the 7-minute video, which he culled from five hours of shooting with his DJI Phantom 2 Vision, in order to show the effect of the quake on the historic town, and to show how drones can be helpful in assessing damage. Here’s an aerial image from the clip (full video below):
Kilkus, who says that the video is for educational purposes and that he took care to avoid crowded areas, also thanked the EMS responders for their quick work in responding to the quake, which was the largest to hit the Bay Area in 25 years.
The Napa video is just the latest example of citizens using a new generation of lightweight drones for the public good. This year has also seen a drone owner locate a missing 82-year-old man, and to capture remarkable photos of an explosion in Harlem.
While not every drone owner is responsible — like the bozo who crashed his drone into a Yellowstone hot spring — so far the drones’ benefits appear to outweigh the dangers. For now, though, the FAA has been cracking down on their use, leading to legal challenges from everyone from media outlets to universities.