Federal law restricts pilots operating unmanned aerial vehicles for personal use from flying above certain altitudes and within specific distances to airports. But whoever launched a drone Friday night during the L.A. Kings victory celebration outside Staples Center appears at least on first blush not to have violated the law.
So far, no one has claimed ownership of the drone.
Amid the chants and fists raised in victory after the Kings won the Stanley Cup, a small quad-propeller drone hovered above the crowd, no more than 30 feet in the air.
When operated by a private person for a personal use, drones like the one that flew over Staples aren’t illegal, the Federal Aviation Administration said. Personal drones are treated like model airplanes and helicopters: Fly carefully out of commercial airspace and don’t hurt anybody.
But as the aircraft hovered over the throngs of fans last week, people took it upon themselves to let the drone know it wasn’t welcome. A mob mentality set in and soon after, revelers were throwing everything they could to knock the drone down — minus the kitchen sink.