Drones have made their way to the White House.
The Washington Post reported this morning that a small “quad copter” with four propellers flew at a low altitude and crashed on the White House grounds early Monday morning.
While authorities say the drone did not pose any threat to the first family — President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama are in India; their daughters are in Washington D.C. with their grandmother — the White House still went into immediate lockdown when the drone was spotted.
There’s no further information on a possible suspect or the drone itself.
It is illegal to fly anything in the 3-mile restricted airspace around the White House. As the Post notes, there have been three other instances in the past six months of people flying drones in that airspace. The White House has also had a recent string of security breaches.
Drones have become popular over the past few years, with analysts predicting the global market for drones to climb to at least $1 billion by 2018. The soaring market for consumer drones comes amid an uncertain regulatory environment for commercial drones in the U.S., as the Federal Aviation Administration considers draft rules that would severely limit the options for commercial drones in the country.
Update, 12:05 p.m. PT: The New York Times reports that it was a government employee who was flying his recreational drone around the White House and lost control of the device. According to a picture released by the Secret Service, it looks like the man was flying a DJI Phantom drone.