Forbes Magazine has an update on the recently posted fireworks video, indicating that it may have been flown in violation of a Coast Guard established "safety zone."

"The video’s caption indicates that the flight took place in West Palm Beach, Florida.  If it was a large Fourth of July celebration, the Coast Guard likely established a safety zone....

"There’s no way to know when the video was taken, but most major fireworks demonstrations will have a Coast Guard established safety zone.  The punishment for violating a safety zone is a whopping $40,000 fine and for willful violations it is a Class D felony, punishable by at least 5, but no more than 10 years in prison!"

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  • Moderator

    You cannot obtain permission to fly an RPAS above crowds within controlled airspace in the USA. The organizer would not have the right to sanction the flight. 

  • Plus why always the assumption that these people are flying without permission to do so?

  • Any no fly zone is to protect flying vehicles and passengers from taking damage from the fireworks. The whole point of using a quad is that this type of footage can be taken with very low risk of damage or injury, it doesn't matter if it gets hit and falls in the water!

  • 100KM

    From a potential energy standpoint a small 1kg quadcopter, like the DJI phantom, flying over water is no more dangerous than a duck and considerably less dangerous than a pelican.   Flying lights provide excellent LOS observability at night and allow an operator to easily avoid other aircraft.

    While we are all aware of the many things that can go wrong during an RC flight it doesn't appear that this flight was unsafe.   This was a small light quadcopter with a full autopilot being flown at night, with lights over water.,  

    The quadcopter flight allowed some pretty impressive video of the fireworks to be taken without any significant risk.     

  • Moderator

    Here you go Mark

    SunFest’s Marketing Manager Melissa Sullivan had this to say about their drone

    “I’ll use it for my promotional video next year,” Sullivan said. “We’re growing in reach – last year we sold into 43 different states – so video is important for us to be able to give a taste of something they’ve never heard of. And video is so powerful. The drone is just using the latest technology.”

  • Does a CG safety zone include the air? Do we now have another goverment entity telling us what to do?
  • Now if the person would have set this up with the organizers had the permissions and known of any restriction it would be fine. If they would have said no you have to live with it. I guess too many people believe it is easier to ask for forgiveness after. Yes these guys will give the hobby a bad name with authorities and they are the ones making the rules not the fans on YouTube.

  • Gary, you're right! That quad should definitely not be in the air! To think what could have happened if a manned airplane was flying through the fireworks at the same time?

  • Moderator

    @Gary, do you have a pointer to the video?

  • Moderator

    Why are folks not picking up the official video in which the airport can be seen in the background... This guy of course is flying in the same airspace. It was not part of forth of July celebrations it was the SunFest. If there was a genuine no fly zone there might be meetings with no bisquits.

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