Skip to main content

Tourist crashes drone into popular Yellowstone hot spring

If you thought the National Park Service’s ban on quadcopters (unmanned aerial vehicles, drones, whatever you want to call them) back in June was a bit draconian, well, a drone crash on August 7, 2014 at Yellowstone National Park demonstrates exactly why the agency needed to implement the ban. Reuters reports that while taking photos of the Grand Prismatic Spring – Yellowstone’s largest – with a camera drone, a tourist crashed it into the spring. Worst, it’s possible the drone, which has now sank to the bottom, may have damaged the “prized geothermal feature.”

Related: Yosemite National Park says no to drones, Zion follows suit

Related Videos

“What we have to determine is whether the presence of this radio-controlled recreational aircraft poses a threat to that unique resource,” Al Nash, the park’s spokesman, told Reuters. The hot spring is the world’s third largest, and it’s a major Yellowstone attraction. Park officials are determining if they are able to retrieve the drone from the wide, 121-foot-deep spring. The presence of the drone could affect the bacteria and minerals that create the spring’s unique colors.

This crash follows an earlier incident at Yellowstone Lake and other violations at Grand Teton National Park, Reuters reports. This increase use of drones – and the public safety and park protection involved – led the agency to declare the ban. Despite the new rule, it seems not everyone got the memo, judging from this incident. But, with the potential damage caused to this important natural phenomenon, the park system could get stricter on the ban.

Related: Interactive “no fly” map shows where you can safely operate a camera drone

Editors' Recommendations

DJI’s 2022 drone contest offers record prize pool
A photo taken from a drone.

Leading drone maker DJI has teamed up with the SkyPixel online community for its eighth annual photo and video contest.

Whether you’re an experienced drone pilot or an absolute beginner still finding your way, the contest is the perfect opportunity to send your machine skyward in a test of your creative skills.

Read more
How $80 of photo processing software magically saved me thousands
photo editing topaz labs denoise ai phil camera

It's a good time to be a photographer, whether you're just starting out and really don't have any idea what you're doing, or if you're a seasoned pro looking to try something new.

The gear is better than ever, making even entry-level bodies better than what the previous generation started out with. Software options make cataloging and processing your photos faster and less destructive, so you can revisit things for years and give old pics new life.

Read more
Sony A7 III mirorless camera is $300 off for Black Friday
Sony Alpha a7 III Mirrorless front view.

There are a lot of great Best Buy Black Friday deals going on right now, and whether you're looking for TVs, laptops, or even headphones, there's a little something for everybody. Of course, many folks may not realize that Best Buy has some fantastic deals on high-end photography gear, such as this Sony Alpha a7 III mirrorless camera. While it usually goes for a whopping $2,200, Best Buy had brought it down to $1,900, and while that relatively doesn't seem like much, you could always spend the $300 savings on a new lens.

Why you should buy the Sony Alpha a7 III
The Sony Alpha a7 III is a camera with so much tech that it might as well be three different cameras. It has excellent dynamic range, low-light performance, and high-speed performance, and the full-frame sensors make the images look absolutely stunning. Interestingly, the a7 III manages to do an excellent job at both low and high ISOs, the latter of which can go as high as 51,200 non-boosted, which, granted, adds a lot of noise, but noise reduction helps with that. As for the video, well, sadly, it's not as impressive, at least in terms of advancements in image quality, and while it can do 8-bit 4K at 30 frames per second, it's no longer ahead of the pack in that regard, like the Panasonic Lumix GH5 is with its 400Mbps 10-bit codec and 60-fps 4K.

Read more