Video Emerges of Drone Flying Dangerously Close to Frontier Flight
A video was posted to YouTube on Thursday exhibiting an exceptionally dangerous move by a drone pilot. The version uploaded to YouTube shows a drone quickly climbing in altitude mere seconds before a Frontier aircraft flies under it:
The YouTube video was posted by a concerned drone pilot after seeing the video originally uploaded to a Facebook group for drone enthusiasts. The original video was posted by an account named James Jayo Older, described on the corresponding Facebook profile as an "Entrepreneur / Drone Racer / Professional Fun Haver" living in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Aviation enthusiasts have determined that this recording was taken in Las Vegas, in the approach to Las Vegas' McCarran International Airport (LAS). It seems the video was shot from over Whitney Mesa Nature Preserve, which is approximately 3.5 miles from the threshold of LAS runways 25L and 25R.
The drone's actions violate numerous restrictions on unmanned flight. First, the FAA's Small Unmanned Aircraft Rule (Part 107) restricts unmanned planes from flying more than 400 feet above the ground or roof of a tall structure. The video shows that the drone is clearly much higher than 400 feet. Also, drone operations aren't allowed within the restricted airspace around an airport.
It also seems clear that the drone pilot was also in violation of the rule that requires unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to "remain close enough to the remote pilot in command and the person manipulating the flight controls of the small UAS [unmanned aerial system] for those people to be capable of seeing the aircraft with vision unaided by any device."
A spokesperson for the Federal Aviation Administration told GeekWire that "the FAA is aware of the incident and is investigating."
In a statement on its Facebook page, "Drone U" — a drone pilot training company — blasts the actions of the pilot and calls for legal action to be taken against him:
"Drone U and it’s [sic] members work tirelessly in making our skies safe for all users of the National Airspace System. This pilot's actions not only endangered the flying public, but has the potential to discredit an entire sUAS industry.
"It is the opinion of Drone U and it’s [sic] members that the pilot receive swift and just punishment for this example of irresponsible and reckless flight. There is no excuse for this type of criminal behavior."
H/T: ATW Online