It’s happened again. Yet another person has flown a drone over an MLB game, violating airspace law and disrupting a nationally broadcast event. We really wish this would stop.
We’re not sure why, but this problem seems to be getting worse. First, there was an incident in Minneapolis at Target Stadium. About a week later, a 16-year-old popped his Mavic Pro up over Boston’s Fenway Park. In the Boston case, the police found the pilot. He wasn’t charged, but the FAA had plans to sit down for an extended chat. But geez, incidents like these really don’t help to elevate the perception of recreational drones in the public mind. Nor do regulators look lightly upon such incursions. In short, flights like these hurt the hobby, the profession, and the industry.
And now? It’s happened again.
If it feels like you’ve seen this before, you have. This time it was simply a different location with different teams. This one happened on the evening of September 2 at Yankee Stadium, during a game against the Tampa Bay Rays. In the first inning, a drone showed up.
The story was covered by the New York Post. But, like nearly every other story these days, we saw it first on Twitter via sports reporter Tom Hanslin:
The DJI Connection
In all three of these cases, the drones appear to be from DJI’s Mavic line. That shouldn’t be surprising, given that the company sells far more drones than any other firm on earth. However, just as these incidents irk us, they also trouble DJI, which doesn’t like to see its products associated with illegal acts.
After the second incident, we reached out to the company for comment. Here’s what Adam Lisberg, DJI’s corporate communications director for North America, had to say:
I don’t need to see it to note that DJI expects all drone pilots to fly safely and responsibly, including following all applicable laws and regulations. Please note that the last time someone flew a DJI drone over a game at Fenway, they were very quickly located and arrested. That should be a good warning to anyone thinking about doing the same thing.
Adam Lisberg, DJI
We could go into lecture mode here, but we know we’d be preaching to the converted. We also know you’d share our call to “FLY SAFE” and only in areas where you’re certain it’s legal or you have specific authorization. And let’s keep baseball stadiums — and other spots like it — drone-free zones. If you’re unsure about where you can and cannot fly, check out what we wrote on the topic earlier this year.