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Tue, Feb 06, 2018

Update: Video Appears To Show Drone Close To Airliner At McCarran Airport

If Authentic, Drone Industry Condemns This And The Reckless Flight

A video recently surfaced that appears to have been captured in the approach corridor at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. In the video posted to YouTube, the drone would have been flying over the top of the airliner as it headed for a landing at KLAS. Television station KLAS reports that FAA spokesperson Ian Gregor said that the agency is "aware of the incident and is investigating."

The video shows a drone flying from a park in Las Vegas, then cuts to video of the airplane.

In response to the video, the Drone User Group Network (DUGN), a national 25,000 member community based drone organization, joined AMA, AUVSI and MultiGP in releasing statements condemning reckless flight of any kind, while at the same time pointing out that the video could have been manufactured using CGI.

“We are shocked by the irresponsibility depicted in the video," said President Steve Cohen after seeing the video. "DUGN condemns, in no uncertain terms, the reckless actions of the remote pilot. We hope that the FAA investigates this incident thoroughly, and works with the United States Department of Justice to hold this person to account if appropriate.”

Members of DUGN expressed frustration and dismay at the video. Many were concerned that those who fly within the law either as recreational or commercial remote pilots would be negatively affected by the actions of this operator. With discussions on Capitol Hill about revoking section 336 of Public Law 112-95 that governs recreational use of drones, reckless flights such as these provide additional justification to revocation. With federal security agencies already concerned, this type of activity invites even more draconian rules that would inhibit the growth of this booming economic sector.

“With so many positive drone uses such as for search and rescue, STEM education, agriculture, photography, inspection, and others, we hope that the public understands that this is not normal. We hope we do not get painted by the same brush. There are many remote pilots who are frustrated by and angry at the individual who flew with reckless indifference to the safety of others,” said Cohen, “It’s like street racers who get a thrill at racing 100 miles per hour through residential streets. It’s not right and not normal, and our communities are all condemning these actions.”

In releasing the statement, DUGN said that there is some question as to whether the video is a computer generated fake. The organization said it will edit is statement accordingly as facts become available.

(Image from YouTube video)

FMI: Video, droneusergroup.net

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