The Federal Aviation Administration is looking into an incident of a drone hovering above a plane approaching McCarran International Airport in Nevada after video emerged online.
The unidentified drone operator could face anything from a world of federal trouble to getting slapped with a simple fine.
Las Vegas Now reported that a person flying a drone unsafely could face fines of $1,437 per violation, but it’s even worse when you consider the possibility of federal charges.
Consequences could rise to the level of a $250,000 fine and/or three years behind bars.
Chad Budreau, director of government affairs for the Academy of Model Aeronautics, said that anyone who does what this drone operator did in not steering clear of the plane should be held accountable.
“All drone and model aircraft pilots must stay well clear of manned aircraft. We condemn the type of operation depicted in this video,” he said in a statement. “Anyone who violates aviation regulations or endangers public safety must be held accountable for their actions. We urge the FAA to take strong enforcement action against this drone pilot, and against any future violators.”
Drone organizations have echoed these thoughts, calling the drone operator “reckless” for potentially jeopardizing drone usage for everyone else and discrediting the industry.
“This pilot’s actions not only endangered the flying public but has the potential to discredit an entire sUAS (small unmanned aircraft systems) industry,” Drone U also said in a statement. “It is the opinion of Drone U and its members that the pilot receive swift and just punishment for this example of irresponsible and reckless flight. There is no excuse for this type of criminal behavior.”
Although it is an eye-catching video, people on social media also condemned the drone operator.
Others have said they believe the video is a fake.
Whatever the case, sources agree it was not a good idea.