Portland drone company says they were not peeping into apartment - KPTV - FOX 12

Portland drone company says they were not peeping into apartment

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

The drone a Seattle woman thought was peeping through her high-rise apartment window is owned by a Portland company based in the Pearl District.

That company is called Skyris Imaging, founded by Joe Vaughn.

"It's unfortunate. I feel awful." Vaughn said.

It was all for a client, building a business high rise, to give them an idea of what their view was going to be like on different floors in the building. Attached to the bottom of the drone is a high-resolution camera.

"On Sunday morning, we happened to position it exactly where our client said to in GPS," Vaughn said.

At around 7:45 a.m., the drone rose up in the Seattle sky.

"We raised it up to 120 feet," Vaughn said.

Lisa Pleiss's apartment is next to the property, and when she looked out her window, there it was.

"It was really scary and just felt really violating," Pleiss said.

Pleiss quickly grabbed her camera to take a picture of the drone - then reported it to police.

"It appeared that there were video cameras on it," she said. "So that's what kind of caused me alarm because I wasn't particularly dressed for a camera, by any means."

A few hours later, Vaughn saw his drone on the news. He had something to clear up with police and Pleiss. He tracked her down and called her.

Vaughn is using his drones for what he calls asset management, using special cameras to evaluate property and agriculture for his clients. He says the problem is that technology is moving faster than government.

"The FAA has not yet come up with rules and guidelines for pilots of this type of aircraft," he said.

Vaughn says he'll be sending Pleiss a print of the breathtaking photo his drone captured and hopes to get his drone back in the air soon.

"We didn't do anything wrong. We operate safely, and I stand by the way we operate our business," he said.

Right now, it is completely legal to fly a drone as a hobby. The FAA could change who can fly a drone depending on how they plan to use it.

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