People keep coming up with new ways to use drones. We have already seen drones herd sheep, fight malaria, fly over volcanoes, deliver burrito’s and now they are being used to spread anti-media propaganda over NFL games, twice last weekend.
On Monday, a Northern California male drone pilot has been arrested on accusations that he was flying a drone over two NFL games last weekend. The arrest has raised concerns about security at professional sporting events, according to the police.
Illegal to fly drone over NFL game
Flying over crowds and near football games is prohibited by federal and local laws. the NY Posts reports, that Santa Clara police Lt. Dan Moreno said authorities are examining ways to prevent unmanned aircraft from flying over tens of thousands of people during sports events. Moreno declined to discuss any of the security measures the police is looking into to prevent drones from flying over crowds.
FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said that the Federal Aviation Administration is also looking into this.
The anti-media propaganda was released over two NFL games. First, the drone pilot released flyers over Levi’s Stadium as the San Francisco 49ers were playing against the Seattle Seahawks. The leaflets, criticizing television news media, were blown out of the stadium during the windy and rainy game and did not disrupt the game, Moreno said.
Surveillance cameras were used by detectives to track down the drone and its operator, who was seen driving away. Santa Clara detectives called their counterparts in Oakland, assuming the pilot would go there next. Later a drone was indeed spotted over the Raiders vs. the Denver Broncos game. The drone pilot was identified by his license plate. The police arrested the 55-year old drone operator, Tracy Micheal Mapes while he was leaving in his car. He was cited for misdemeanor charges and later released.