FAA now investigating drones filming fireworks, investigating Nashville incident

faa now investigating drones filming fireworks gopro
Lots of videos have been appearing online just lately showing spectacular footage of fireworks displays shot by drones equipped with high-definition cameras.

Up until recently, we’d never seen fireworks from this perspective, so it’s little surprise that many of these videos have gone viral, notching up millions of views on sites like YouTube.

The tide of publicity has, however, brought the videos to the attention of – you guessed it – the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), though only after two people sent emails complaining about a drone buzzing about at a Fourth of July fireworks display in Nashville, Tennessee.

The FAA has confirmed it’s looking into the use of the drone during the display, The Tennessean reported Monday, with the government agency likely concerned about crowd safety at such events, especially as drones flying close to fireworks face the risk of being hit and knocked out of the sky.

However, the drone’s operator at the Nashville event, entrepreneur Robert Hartline, told the news outlet that he believed there was little to worry about in terms of safety, saying, “Somebody was much more likely to have an accident on the way to the show that for the drone to fall out the sky and land on them.”

Drone law

The law appears to be playing catch-up when it comes to drone use, with the authorities attempting to interpret existing rules in an effort to regulate their use.

Some states are getting around to passing bills designed to restrict the flying of drones in certain locations, while last month the US National Park Service issued an order banning drones from all 59 of its parks in order to protect both visitors and wildlife.

As for Hartline, who used a Phantom 2 Vision+ to shoot his fireworks piece (embedded below), he seems unphased by the FAA’s interest, telling The Tennessean, “The technology is here and it’s going to take the FAA a while to process how it’s going to affect people.”

Indeed, the rules for drone use may remain unclear for some time to come, though the FAA did recently issue guidelines for flying such vehicles in an attempt to bring some order to a hobby apparently taking the world by storm. You can find out more about the agency’s advice here.

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