A couple days ago we took a DJI Phantom 2 and flew it straight up into the air over Charleston, SC to test its "range". The video, although interesting, was not fully thought out and we decided to pull the video.
Many of the commenters who disliked our "test" were quick to point out that we shouldn't be flying our chopper "in public areas." Personally I feel like this argument isn't legitimate as 95% of interesting drone footage comes from populated areas. Nobody is buying these things to film fly-overs of woods.
Of course the chopper could malfunction and fall out of the sky but I could make the same argument about flying real helicopters or planes over public places as well. Ours would cause far less damage if it malfunctioned. Here's a shot that a Phantom captured today in NYC in a massively populated area.
We've created a few videos with the Phantom and every single one of them had been in a public, populated place and nobody has been upset. It seemed like the only difference in this situation was how high we went. After doing a bit of research, I am estimating that the Phantom went about 1000 feet into the sky. If the Phantom fell from this height I'm sure it could cause some serious damage but I doubt it would cause more damage than if it fell from a more normal 200 feet.
One commenter made a fantastic point about the dangers of our Phantom and low flying aircrafts like the Medivac helicopter on the top of one of our hospitals downtown. This was a very good point and I could see how our little drone could be a huge problem for an aircraft like that. Most aircraft must stay above 500 feet and our helicopter did go into their airspace.
We love the DJI Phantom and we would never want to set a bad/dangerous example of how to use them. We also would never want to do anything that could limit the use of personal drones later on. We decided to delete the post and the video and in the near future we may attempt the same test again in a safer area with less potential air traffic.