According to the US National Park Service, a tourist crashed a camera-equipped drone into Grand Prismatic Spring, the park's largest geothermal hot spring. In May, the National Park Service banned drones from Yosemite National Park, and in June that ban expanded to include all national parks. The Prismatic Spring crash is not the first drone crash on a national park, and it's unlikely to be the last.
Earlier this week, the New York Police Department arrested two men under charges of reckless endangerment for flying a drone close to a police helicopter. Recordings from the helicopter's cockpit reveal that the NYPD pilots in fact never feared the drone, and instead actively pursued it with their police helicopter.
Very early in the morning on Monday, officers with the New York Police Department arrested two men for flying a drone near the George Washington Bridge. The officers were dispatched by an NYPD helicopter pilot, who claimed the drone came within 800 feet of his chopper. Nestled within this sparseness is everything frustrating about the state of drone regulation today.
Drones are exciting pieces of technology, yet most of their applications are quite dull. One of the most common: flying over large, empty spaces to make sure everything is okay. Today, the Federal Aviation Administration announced the first-ever authorization of a commercial drone flight over land, and, as you might expect, it's not the sexiest of missions. The oil and gas company BP will fly a small drone over pipelines in Alaska. The first flight took place on June 8th.