In the News: Drone Destroyed by Hockey Fans; Drones Banned from Race Event

This is one of the feared incidents a drone may cause: crashing into a crowd, that is why the FAA is careful not to allow private drones be flown over crowded places.

But what recently happened also seemed to be a result of reckless conduct by hockey fans: Multiple videos have been posted online showing what uploaders described as hockey fans destroying a Los Angeles Police Department drone outside the Staples Center Friday night after the LA Kings won the NHL’s Stanley Cup. Read more:

Flying a drone over a crowd could expose the operator to criminal punishment, but knocking it out of the sky could also expose others to criminal penalties. Many commenters wrongly concluded that the drone must have been operated by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) as the department recently received two drones from the Seattle Police Department.  However, a simple search of the internet indicates that the only two drones acquired by the Seattle Police Department were Draganflyer X6 UAVs, a system with six props mounted to three arms on a black frame.  The drone in the video is clearly a white quadcopter, in fact the drone is white with stripes, meaning it is likely a DJI Phantom. Read more:

Thus, it makes good sense that the use of drones will not be allowed at the start of the Newport Bermuda Race this Friday out of a concern for safety, according to race organizers. With the possibility that spectators could fly drones to take pictures or shoot video when the boats gather at the mouth of Narragansett Bay, race organizers warned that the devices, which are officially known as unmanned aircraft systems, could pose a hazard to sailboats and manned helicopters. Read more:

Aeronautics Inspector James Warcup issued the statement this week in advance of several “highly attended open air summer events,” including the Newport Bermuda Race, which is scheduled for June 20th. “Any use of drones/UAS in the vicinity of any public open air event would violate Rhode Island’s Uniform Aeronautical Regulator Act (UAR) and Aeronautics Regulations, constituting a misdemeanor,” Warcup wrote. State and local police will be monitoring the skies to help enforce the laws, Warcup said.  Read more:

Clearly, the general public seems not as ready yet to handle or accept seeing drones hovering in the skies, and it should be well that anyone caught flying drones in restricted areas, or destroying a flying drone, be reasonably charged and penalized. Safety of the general public should be of utmost concern at all times; no misdemeanor involving the use of drones should be allowed to get away unpunished.

 

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