Drone Over LBI? That Was No Drone, That Was The Solar Impulse Waiting For An Emergency Landing


Solar Impulse limping into the final leg of its long journey

Solar Impulse limping into the final leg of its long journey

It’s always fun to see what people were Googling for when they find Readings From The Northside. Tonight’s hot topic is the alleged drone flying over LBI.

But thanks to Reader “MoAndMark” who correctly identified it as a solar powered plane, we now know the truth, and it’s way cooler than the fiction. I immediately fired up the Google and sure enough, the strange tail markings match.

This was the Solar Impulse, on the very last leg of it’s historic journey. It was not supposed to land until Sunday, at 2 AM, but they discovered a tear in its wing and decided to land her tonight at JFK. But she had to wait for traffic to die down “somewhere over the Atlantic off New Jersey” according to news reports. Gad-zooks! They mean LBI.

Strange tail markings are a perfect match for Solar Impulse

Strange tail markings are a perfect match for Solar Impulse

So that was no drone flying over Long Beach Island this afternoon. That was a Solar Powered plane. It is hard to believe there was a person in that thing. Here’s hoping for a safe landing, and hoping the pilot relaxed while hovering over our little paradise.

Sure looks like a toy. But that’s a $115 million dollar craft.

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5 thoughts on “Drone Over LBI? That Was No Drone, That Was The Solar Impulse Waiting For An Emergency Landing

  1. baker1 says:

    the drone is new to me what does it look like

  2. tveerhagen says:

    Best sighting of the year. Ospreys and oystercatchers?

  3. C.Dot says:

    The picture you show is that of the Solar Impulse, but that is only half of the story.

    There was indeed another event that day…

    I was on the beach at 18th Street, Surf City, NJ Sunday, July 6th 2014 when for a good 15 minutes a drone – yes a drone – small white, about the size of a bread box with four upright propellers (like those on a helicopter) with a camera attached – buzzed the beach, flew over the life guards several times and caught the attention of the local beach badge patrol. This was not a small isolated event. The drone could be heard and clearly identified as it whizzed by many many times.

    Make no mistake about it. Several hundred people where on the beach and all were looking at it. A drone. It hovered as close as 20 feet above our heads at various times. Flew out over the swimmers in the ocean, up past the beach front houses, and then back again over all of us on the beach.

    Even while being on a public beach – I felt an invasion of privacy. Imagine someone you do not know coming up to you on a public beach and taking pictures of you and your family for an extended period of time and then just leaving in a rush – unidentified. The issue here is… the drone was flying with a camera attached, it would buzz by, then hover, and do this over and over. Within our rights or not – creepy.

    The beach badge patrol (young male in white t-shirt and sporting a dark blue backpack), walked over to a male (standing closer to 17th Street) in a blue shirt and dark shorts who appeared, from the distance I was located, to be holding the radio controls and flying the drone. The beach badge patrol kid seemed like he didn’t know what to make of it or say to the “pilot”. He looked at the controls, looked up at the drone, then back at the “pilot” and went on his merry way and continued checking badges.

    This type of event will happen more and more until… some one gets hurt, or some one with money gets really pissed. Bet on it.

    • exit63 says:

      I know your story is true, because lots of hits are coming to this blog today from people searching for “drone over surf city”

      I would not worry about the privacy so much, as one can be far more invasive with a decent camera like the one used on Readings From The Northside. I can take pictures of your nose hairs from a beach away and you;d never know it. That little quadcopter has to get right up over you, whizzing and buzzing….

      Safety is the big issue, and that quadcopter (it is not a drone) should not be flown over large groups of people at a distance. I know this as I have lost 3 of them in the ocean filming dolphin, to failure. You are correct, if someone pilots like that, over groups of anonymous people, it is a sure thing someone will get hurt.

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