Like a modern-day Icarus, one Tennessee businessman is facing a fall after a flight — but he’s getting burned by the Federal Aviation Administration, not the sun.
Robert Hartline flew a drone into a fireworks show on the Fourth of July in Nashville, and now he could be in trouble with the FAA, WKRN-TV reported.
“I thought it was fun to showcase Nashville,” Hartline said. “And that’s what Nashville is all about. We put on a good show. I happened to get it on video.”
The FAA, which has worked slowly and messily to set up regulations for domestic drone usage, wouldn’t comment directly on the investigation of Hartline’s drone flight.
“The FAA is looking into multiple incidents in which unmanned aircraft flew into fireworks displays to determine if there was any violation of federal regulations or airspace restrictions,” the FAA told WKRN. “Flying model aircraft for hobby or recreational reasons does not require FAA approval, but hobbyists must operate according to criteria under the law. Certificates of Waiver or Authorization are available to public entities that want to fly a UAS in civil airspace. Commercial operations are authorized on a case-by-case basis.”
“UAS” stands for unmanned aerial system, the FAA’s term for drones.
In Hartline’s case, it seems to be unclear whether his was truly a hobbyist’s flight or whether it would count as a commercial venture, given the prominent advertising of a business venture, hytch.me.
Watch Hartline’s video here:
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