Irresponsible sUAS flying, as demonstrated in this news article, is going to give the sUAS hobby another black eye and help to keep the general public wondering why they should support the sUAS hobbyists in their efforts to obtain reasonable regulation from the FAA.


Authorities at Yellowstone National Park are investigating reports that a tourist crashed a drone into the Grand Prismatic Spring, the park's largest hot spring, on Saturday.

The tourist approached a park employee about getting the drone back after losing it in the almost 200-feet deep hot spring. The employee let the tourist go without initially reporting the incident to authorities.

"I don't think the person who they spoke with realized that drones couldn't be flown in the park or the implications of what they were being told," Amy Bartlett, spokesperson for Yellowstone National Park, told CNN.

Drones are banned in national parks. The National Park Service announced in June that it was prohibiting unmanned aircraft from all park service-controlled lands and waters, totaling about 84 million acres throughout the country.

Full story here: Drone crash

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  • @ tim green you are obviously ignorant of the delicate nature of geysers. let me inform you that many geysers have been completely block by human trash in the history of the park so this is far from nothing.

  • I love that the flyer actually thought he could get it back - and get help getting it back - out of a 200 foot deep chemical laden hot spring. Good luck with that. He should be charged as if he dumped a couple of pounds of garbage into the spring.
  • Hi Tom,

    I'm afraid that the very large majority of new "drone" / quadcopter operators have absolutely no idea what they should or shouldn't do.

    Even with our extremely large membership here on DIYDrones I would bet that nine out of ten new Phantom buyers have never even heard of our web site, let alone the controversy about these things.

    They go to a hobby shop or see it on Amazon and think that looks cool and I could even use it for taking pictures.

    These aren't even really aspiring RC pilots, they just want a cool camera accessory to play with.

    There are no instructions, and the people selling them don't want to say anything to discourage them.

    They are treated like harmless toys.

    What can possibly go wrong.

    Given what this operator had been told and experienced, he had no idea at all he was doing anything wrong or of the very real dangers these things actually present.

    I believe I may have actually coined the original use of the term "flying lawn mowers" when I first saw these 4 years ago, but apparently it's not that obvious to everybody.

    The fact is that a consumer mainstream has been opened up.

    It includes some relatively harmless copters like the Hubsan X4, UDI818A, Parrot and the Horizon and Blade microcopters, but it also includes the Phantoms and the Blade 350 which are certainly not harmless.

    And because they tend to be flown in close proximity to people they are also highly visible.

    This coupled with an already existing negative public, media and bureaucratic perception have produced a perception very much like that of motorcycles in the 1950's which actually resulted in the Hells Angels.

    We have a lot to overcome and the first thing we need to do is to figure out how to reach the naive people hopping on the Phantom bandwagon.

    I stress safety and responsible behavior really strongly on my Quadcopters Are Fun Web site, but these new people are even less likely to see that than they are DIYDrones.

    Best Regards,


  • Admin


    Unfortunately, I have to agree with you:-(

    I agree, spread the word near and far!!!


    TCIII ArduRover2 Developer

  • Admin

    This sUAS operator Link obviously does not belong to DIY Drones or does not care where he flies as once again here is another violation of flying in a National Park.

    He was flying over a group of people and had he either lost control of the multicopter or if it had had a malfunction, like the one in Yellowstone, then he could have possibly caused personal injury if the multicopter had come down in the tour group.

    I have seen up close what the whirring blades on a multicopter can do to an unsuspecting person on the ground. The blade hit on the individual was just above the eye and resulted in around eight stiches to close the wound.

    I wonder if this multicopter operator has any idea about public liability insurance when flying in the public domain and not in designated areas? A personal injury lawsuit could wipeout this operator's savings and future earnings making his life a financial disaster.

    This type of irresponsible flying is going to put further pressure on the FAA to reign in both responsible and irresponsible sUAS operators making life miserable for those of us who fly responsibly.


    TCIII ArduRover2 Developer

  • Risk of crash or crash is inherent in drone. It is becoming a problem in Japan.

  • Thanks to the aggressive marketing of several companies  - people besides the RC enthusiasts are attracted and they naturally screw it up - no way around that. The more units are sold the more you will see this. One way that works is overreacting and grounding them all.

  • <<same as someone flying a kite in Yellowstone>>

    Except that kites don't make noise.  

  • A simple addition after reading your post again.... My father used to always tell me, "there is nothing common about common-sense".

  • Agreed!

    We recently had a report published on 60 Minutes in Australia that raised concern about 'masses of drones and the potential terrorist implications'. This sort of one sided ignorance into the technology will breed public fear, coupled with the less than ideal scenarios we are seeing Phantoms used in, we see a very one sided story being told to the public.

    I completely understand the need for regulation (and in fact welcome it) however beleive you are 100% correct with the over use of the National Security card when it is something simple such as a toy flying around a large (HOT!) water filled hole in the earth (not to belittle the landmark however!) 

    Regarding which book to throw at them, how about something like I am Sam!! I agree this should be treated the same as someone flying a kite in Yellowstone, littering or vandelism, and fines issued accordingly but I fail to see how this particular event should constitute criminal charges, or the media coverage for that matter.

    Always interested in the thoughts of those such as yourself in and around the industry though.




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