Watch a drone crash into Apple Park

Drone footage of Apple Park may have given us a glimpse of the vast, circular building through its construction, but one pilot recently discovered what it looks like to inadvertently crash into the Cupertino HQ. Video showing just what happens when your drone stops soaring gracefully over the top of the spaceship-like campus and instead goes plummeting down to crash-land on top of it has been shared over the weekend.

Ironically, we've been able to see it because of a second drone. Matthew Roberts has spent the past few years documenting Apple Park's development, filming multiple passes over the top of the huge campus as the building progressed. Another pilot contacted him over the weekend to ask for some help, after inadvertently losing his drone on top of the Apple Park roof.

"I was happy to oblige, so I took a Phantom 4 Pro out and began searching for it," Roberts says. After some searching, they discovered that the downed drone had landed on part of the facility's solar roof. Apple's goal is to eventually use that array of solar panels – capable of generating 17 megawatts at its peak – along with other renewable sources to completely power the complex.

Fascinatingly, while the onboard storage of the drone is obviously out of reach right now, we do at least have a lower-resolution copy of how the incident happened. Since DJI's drones store a local copy of the streamed video – being beamed back to the pilot to help them control where they're flying – there's at least some evidence of what happened.

Exactly why the drone malfunctioned is uncertain, mind. According to the pilot, there was no indication of any issues while they were operating it. The video merely shows the drone apparently flipping in mid-air as it heads down toward the Apple campus.

According to Roberts, the operator of the crashed drone has informed Apple of the accident. However it's unclear at this stage whether he's going to get the drone back, assuming Apple eventually retrieves it. Roberts says the downed UAV "appeared to be intact for the most part," despite the incident, but believes it's "unlikely" that it'll be returned to the owner.

Apple has not publicly commented on the drone crash, nor set out an official policy on where it stands regarding drones flying over Apple Park in general. Although drone flights over nearby San Jose International Airport are not permitted, there are no no-fly state laws that would prevent pilots from filming above the circular building. However, much like kicking your ball into a neighbors garden, there's no guarantee that if you lose your drone that Apple will give it back.