A drone pilot has enraged the entire UAV community after sharing a video in which he flew his drone directly above a passenger jet flying out of Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport. The stunt was captured in a video by the camera drone, which shows it facing the jet before turning to fly in the same direction and quickly dropping altitude to get closer to the aircraft. The drone then chases after the plane but quickly falls behind.
The video was first shared privately on the Facebook group 1% FPV by someone posting under the name “James Jayo Older.” Some concerned members took a screen capture of the video and shared it outside of the Facebook group to bring attention to the dangerous stunt.
The FCC has since confirmed that it is investigating the flight, which has been heavily condemned by drone enthusiasts and the general public alike. Federal regulations prohibit drones from being operated above 400ft, near airports, and around aircraft—this pilot seems to have blatantly violated all three rules. Operating a UAV at such a close distance to an aircraft could put the entire flight at risk.
According to the FCC’s website, recreational drone pilots are required to alert air traffic control towers (when present) and airport operators ahead of time about flights happening within a 5 mile radius of an airport. “However,” the FCC notes, “recreational operations are not permitted in Class B airspace around most major airports without specific air traffic permission and coordination.”
The FCC has an online system where anyone can report a drone violation.