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Wed, Jul 09, 2014

UAV Pilot Gets Warning From FAA For 'High-Altitude' Flight

Aircraft Operating Near Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport

A UAV flight near Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport in May caused an automated warning to go out to pilots from the FAA about an unauthorized UAV operating near a navaid at the airport.

It also got the UAV operator a talking-to by the FAA.

The pilot is Michael Mayhew. He posted a video on YouTube in May that showed his aircraft ... a DJI Phantom 2 quadcopter ... flying "thousands of feet" off the ground near the airport, according to a report from the Associated Press. Mayhew had posted information with the flight that it had reached an altitude of over 3,600 feet. There were no other airplanes visible in the video posted by Mayhew.

But that didn't stop someone from reporting the flight the FAA, which contacted Mayhew by certified letter.

The story has a reasonably happy ending. After a phone conversation between Mayhew and a front-line manager, the agency said that Mayhew had "agreed to fly the unmanned aircraft below 400 feet, which is the maximum altitude for model aircraft flights, according to FAA guidance.”

(Image from YouTube video posted by Michael Mayhew)

FMI: www.faa.gov

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