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Drone pilots face hefty fine if they fly near the Super Bowl

Drone pilots have been warned to keep their flying machines well away from SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, during Super Bowl 2022 or face a hefty fine of at least $30,000 and potential criminal prosecution. On top of that, drones spotted within the designated no-fly zone could be knocked out of the sky with “deadly force,” according to a flight advisory from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

A temporary flight restriction will be in effect from 2:30 p.m. through 8:30 p.m. PT during the big game on Sunday, February 13. The flight ban covers a 30-nautical-mile radius of the stadium and extends 18,000 feet skyward.

Drones are also banned for one nautical mile around the stadium and up to 3,000 feet in altitude on the same day from 10 a.m. until the aforementioned temporary flight restriction for the game takes effect.

The FAA tweeted a short video on Wednesday outlining the flight ban and pointing drone pilots to a webpage with more detailed information.

Drone Pilots: The @LACity area will be a #NoDroneZone during the @NFL @SuperBowl. Drones are prohibited within a 30-mile radius of @SoFiStadium on game day. Learn more at #SuperBowlLVI

— FAA Drone Zone (@FAADroneZone) February 2, 2022

Security will be tight for the highly anticipated clash between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Los Angeles Rams at the latter’s home stadium, and the last thing law enforcement wants to be doing is chasing down a thoughtless drone pilot eager to get some exciting aerial shots of the game or stadium.

The threat of “deadly force” against a drone that enters the no-fly zone suggests cops may turn their guns on the aircraft as a last resort, though a careful assessment of the situation would have to be made as airborne bullets and a falling drone might end up causing more harm than good.

Besides temporary flight bans for events like the Super Bowl, permanent bans also exist around facilities such as airports, government buildings, national landmarks, and some critical infrastructure.

For up-to-date information on where you can and can’t fly, the FAA recommends downloading the B4UFLY mobile app for iOS and Android.

The best advice for February 13 is to forget your drone and enjoy the game. Here’s how.

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
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