FAA announces investigation into drone use over Denver 420 rally

From ABC News in Denver:

DENVER - The Federal Aviation Administration announced Tuesday that it is launching an official investigation around the drone that was seen flying over the 4/20 rally in Denver on Sunday.

"Anyone who wants to fly an aircraft -- manned or unmanned -- in U.S. airspace needs some level of authorization from the FAA," Allen Kenitzer from the FAA wrote in an email.

Authorization can be for either the private sector for purposes such as research or training, or for public use, which requires a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) for public aircraft.

But drones are sometimes considered model aircraft, which only have to follow FAA guidelines. Those guidelines say hobby aircraft-flyers must keep their aircrafts below 400 feet above ground level and away from airports and air traffic. Besides this, the guidelines specifically exclude the flying of model aircraft for business purposes.

The FAA website says that "routine operation" of Unmanned Aircraft Systems over densely-populated areas is not allowed.

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Moderator
Comment by Bill Piedra on April 23, 2014 at 3:54pm

The FAA seems to be working hard to alienate themselves from people who fly any kind of 'drone' for any reason.  What's likely to happen is a grassroots groundswell that will delay any new regulation from becoming law for a long time.  

The FAA has no power to create new laws, those still have to come from congress or state governments.   Congress can be influenced from the outside, and if there are a zillion 'FAA Haters' by the time the FAA comes up with a proposed set of regulations to be handed off to congress, there could be unintended consequences from the black lash.  


Moderator
Comment by Bill Piedra on April 23, 2014 at 3:54pm

In the meantime, following common sense guidelines seems to be the best idea.  

Comment by Toby Lankford on April 23, 2014 at 4:04pm

I agree one hundred percent Bill.  In the meantime if we can be good ambassadors for the hobby, we can negate the reputation that drones have from the military and intelligence operations.  That will be important as we look to the populace for sympathy to our cause.


MR60
Comment by Hugues on April 24, 2014 at 1:39am

Please join us and help us in the fight for our freedom and the right to use UAV for commercial purposes here :

http://uav-europe.eu/information/12-general/12-introduction-overview

Comment by John F Hendry on April 24, 2014 at 7:31am

Paul said: "Legal or not, if that thing was flown over peoples heads, it's an unsafe act. It is NOT a high integrity system"

Well said. Not sure what this was all about but it seems some people are so desperate for attention they will do anything stupid to get it using whatever tool needed. 

Comment by Billy Ellyson on April 24, 2014 at 9:52am

Without a doubt, people who do stunts like the 420 flyover are not helping public perception of drones/ UAVs. As a community of enthusiasts, we need to strongly reject such pilots else we face a severe backlash/setback if and when people get hurt.

Comment by Alpha 1 Legal Services on July 27, 2014 at 9:30am

Speaking as a PI company who are thinkijng of investing in a drone here in the UK. We have so many hops to jump though just like it is in the states i expect, but as long as we stick to the rules etc, there are no problems. 

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