Drone Grounds Firefighting Aircraft | Flying Magazine

Drone Grounds Firefighting Aircraft

Cal Fire halts operations after UAV spotted near San Bernardino fires.

Lake Fire San Bernardino County

Lake Fire San Bernardino County

Photo courtesy of San Bernardino County Fire Department

There are increasing numbers of reports of recreational UAV operators wreaking havoc in the national airspace system, getting in the way of airliners and light aircraft alike. And TFR areas are apparently no deterrent for these operators. The most recent report of an offending drone comes from southern California, where a UAV was buzzing around a massive fire near Big Bear Lake, causing Cal Fire to halt aerial firefighting operations.

"Tonight a hobby drone grounded firefighting aircraft by flying over the Lake Fire in San Bernardino County," said a Cal Fire statement on Facebook. "When you fly…we CAN'T! Puts our pilots' and firefighters' lives at risk. Drones near wildfires are not safe."

The FAA is working on regulations for UAVs, an industry that currently represents the wild west of aviation, unless you are conducting commercial UAV operations.

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