Flying Unmanned Aircraft in the Face of Authority

By Glenn Derene

The YouTube video “Golden Gate Bridge,” posted by nastycop420, begins with footage of the bridge at sundown. As an ethereal techno tune plays in the background, the camera sweeps in across the water of San Francisco Bay toward the iconic orange suspension bridge lit by the setting sun. It has that familiar feel of a helicopter tracking shot from countless movies.

Then things get vertiginous in a hurry. A few swift cuts later and the camera is banking hard over the bridge’s south tower, then flying strangely close as the view pulls in tight alongside the roadway. Suddenly it flies over one of the towers and executes a twisting dive toward the water, then recovers and straightens out. A few quick cuts again and the camera is cruising under the bridge, through the crossbeam tower supports. It’s then you realize—that’s no helicopter.

But the FAA isn’t happy with Team BlackSheep. For at least one incident, it has recommended a civil penalty of $10,000 for violation of 14 CFR 91.13 (a): “Careless or reckless operation of an aircraft.” It’s the first time the agency has cited a UAS operator for that violation. 

Read more: Flying (Drones) in the Face of Authority – Team BlackSheep FPV Flying Videos – Popular Mechanics
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