The drones are great. But they are also flying machines that can do a lot of stupid and dangerous things. For example, hover over a major league game in a league filled with spectators. It happened at Fenway Park last night and the FAA do not happy.
The illegal theft occurred last night during a Red Sox and Blue Jays match at Fenway; the drone, a remarkably white DJI Phantom, would have appeared for the first time around 9:30 pm, to come and go during the next hour.
One of the many fans who shot a video Chris O'Brien, of the drone, told CBS Boston: "It's a kind of fast fall, then recovery and rotation. He was getting really low and close to the players. At one point, the situation had become very low and I was wondering if they were going to put the game on pause, but they never did it.
Places where flights are regularly banned, such as airports and large monuments such as stadiums, are often subject to no-fly rules in GPS drone systems – and this is the case of DJI. In a statement, however, the company stated that "anyone who flew over the stadium with this drone apparently went beyond our geofencing system and deliberately violated the FAA's current temporary flight restriction."
The FAA said it (and Boston PD) was investigating both local news and a tweet about why it was illegal.
It's three nautical miles, which is far enough, covering much of central Boston. You do not really take chances when there are tens of thousands of people gathered at the same place regularly like that. Drones open rather ugly security scenarios.
Of course, it was not a mile and a half from Fenway, which might have earned a pat on the fingers, but directly over the park, which, as the FAA notes, could result in hundreds of thousands of fines and a real prison sentence. It's not hard to imagine why: if this drone had lost power or caught a gust (or had been hit by a flying ball at that altitude), it could have hurt or killed someone in the crowd.
This is particularly worrisome when the FAA is working to establish new rules for use by both amateurs and professional drones. You should leave a comment if that is important to you, by the way.
Hoping they catch the idiot who did that. It just shows that you can not trust people who follow the rules, even if they are encoded in the company's operating system. This makes the mandatory registration of drones very useful.
(The Red Sox won, by the way, but the season starts badly.)