> We don't need new laws for this: we just need to enforce the existing ones.
> Quadcopters can't descend fast in a controlled way - the descent time from 3,000ft would typically be over 8 minutes.
> It's going to take at least a couple of minutes to get that high. At 900 meters altitude (3000 feet approx) ... ... Once at altitude and after allowing for 2 mins climb and 8 mins descent time you will have very little flying time in which to do much flying around.
Somewhat true, the Mavic Pro can ascend at a max rate of 5 m/s and descend at 3 m/s, this is limited in the firmware to help prevent VRS, it still gets a bit wobbly but the flight controller handles it well. So, with those figures in mind, it would take 3 minutes to reach 900m and 5 minutes to descend. It has a MAX flight time of 27 minutes, so once at altitude, it could fly for 10-15 minutes with ease, assuming there isn't too much wind.
> you'll be near the limits of most radio control systems even assuming you are stood relatively nearby almost directly beneath.
Not at all. The radio range on the Mavic is insane. I have experience with 2.4Ghz control link systems and UHF (493 Mhz) and the Mavic is somewhere in between.
> I have to wonder if this was a 'flyaway' and whether or not the pilot successfully recovered his drone afterwards.
That would be interesting to find out, but we never will.