*** The original video contained a close flyover at long range of a large crowd at Soundest 2014. Since posting the original link here en edited version of it has been reposted just showing the fireworks. I hope this shows that there is some recognition that at the very minimum some of the flight was not well thought out and that in future the pilot will hopefully not make the same choices.I know we can't guarantee that people will not fly recklessly but at least this seems to be a case of us making our voices heard (at some level) and having some impact on the issue.*******

Here is a video on YouTube of a DJI Phantom flying through fireworks at Sunfest 2014 which I think is in Florida. It also shows flying above crowds. Personally I think its a stupid idea but the footage of the fireworks is very unique. Dare I say, impressive?

Even crazier is that the pilot put the video up under his name. I hope he is ready for the barrage of comments and possible legal ramifications.

Is this another case of one person doing something that will negatively impact us all or will it ultimately show that small UAV's can be used to do things that other aerial platforms can't?


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  • Since the original is taken down, here's a suitable replacement:

  • The video has been removed. However, I probably don't need to see it to know the answer.

  • And you, Alex, are helping that fool to gain more popularity, my two thumbs down for you.

  • Jail

  • because of this people
    more restrictions to come.

  • What a nutter. Almost as bad as flying over a crowd at a Maker Faire isn't it?

  • @Matthew

    I don't disagree with you, but that is not the line that is fed, ie the justification for many new laws is that we need to 'protect' people.

    The reality is that the laws are quite often created to give certain groups a business advantage.

    If I owned Lockheed Martin and I saw small startup companies spitting out thousands of products that were almost as good as mine for a tiny fraction of the cost, I'd be jacking up an army of lobbyists to go into war against that and trying to portray it as dangerous. Hell, if it meant buying one myself and filming it being flown into a child, I'd probably consider it to protect my business. Don't underestimate how far a corporate will go to protect its patch.
    Unfortunately for us, there are plenty of people like this out there willing to do that job for us and show exactly how dangerous it can be.

    The existing laws can be used to punish these people.

    I'm just saying that I think there is a danger in presuming that the new proposals have anything to do with public safety and just as much to do with the power of the lobbyists who see us as a threat to their business model.

    The real enemy in this fight is probably not the FAA, its the things going on behind closed doors that we have no visibility of.

    Don't assume the enemy in this one is playing fair and that a logical argument or a robust proof of safety will mean anything. Probably the only thing that can beat it at this point is to try and match the corporate lobbying power.

  • @Gary - I like your site. It's a great collection of useful information.

    On the topic of safety, what do you think about adding a prominent 'Flight Safety' link that leads to information about rules and safely? I didn't see one when clicking around the site. 

  • Gary,

    I think the site is great and that as an open source community we should be able to get behind it and help promote it without any affiliation to commercial or political groups or agendas.  One of the things I hate is that commercial groups representing those with substantial investment will understandably  not always promote things in the best interest of the enthusiast.

    I look around and see very effective and powerful social media and grass roots campaigns that have had fantastic impact throughout the world.  How do we harness that as a group to educate and promote the realities of RC flying and autonomous platforms (aerial and ground or water based)? After all, isn't the open source coding community supposed to be one of the greatest and fairest ways of developing new tech with the goal being the advancement of knowledge more than commercial or personal gain?   

    I am no expert and profess to know very little about things in general but I have found that being proactive and chasing the information and education has made me much more aware and hopefully aware of what I am doing.  I did have to go out and find the info as well as spend a bit o cash to get the correct info.  It was worth having one less quad or plane to play with though!!

    I just can't help but feel that we should be leading the discussion in the public sphere rather than reacting to it.  Waiting for people to crash and for laws to come in just isn't good enough really.  If we let that happen then we will deserve what we get.  I don't know what to do on my own but I am sure as a group we should be able to do something.  That way WHEN the inevitable happens we will be out in front of it rather than behind trying to justify our existence.

    I am glad that most people think that the video is dangerous and I am glad it managed to illicit some response.  Now if we can get some action rather than just condemnation or endlessly saying education is the key.   I think you site is great and I for one would love to help any way I can.  I know that there are a lot of smart people who use this site and could also bring a lot of useful ideas and action to the table.

    I would love to see this site return to be a source of DIY information for us and not have the focus on the current political dramas and many flame wars condemning those we know have acted stupidly and really should never have had the chance to be guided properly.  I know that there will always be those who act rashly or even with intent to do damage.  We can't stop that.  We need to protect ourselves from that by raising our profile and showing the public what it actually means to be part of the UAV community and how we try to safely approach both the sport and technicalities of advancing autonomous vehicles.

    Anyway, that's my two cents worth.

  • It does seem that it's past time for the hobby drone community to get more organized around safety. As you say, we need an effort to turn-around the growing problem of crazy hobby pilots causing safety issues. Education and communication clearly needs to be part of it. 

    It also seems that the founders of DIYDrones/3DRobotics should be interested in this kind of initiative. Some additional recognition and leadership from them about this issue is important. Fighting against the FAA is not the answer, IMO, since the problem is real and stems from the hobby itself (and not the FAA). So leadership is need from within the hobby to try to reduce the problem it is creating. 

    Recognition and support from these leaders, as well as other leaders, would benefit the community and the hobby's future, imo. The leaders are often given a communication platform and would be wise to use it to openly discuss safety issues and solutions. Ignoring the problem won't make it go away. 

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