FAA says drone flying too close to local airport

Created safety hazard Posted: May 04, 2015 1:59 PM Updated: May 04, 2015 10:34 PM MADISON (WKOW) ­­ Madison Police said a drone was reported flying too close to the Dane County Regional Airport on Saturday night. Police said they received a call from the airport’s communications tower that a drone could be spotted flying above a trailer park to the facility’s west. Police said officers responded to the trailer park but could not find the drone or the person flying it. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, all drones must be flown a minimum of five miles away from any airport. ”

Any object that could be ingested into an engine or collide with a smaller aircraft poses risk to people in the air and on the ground,” said an FAA spokesperson via email. Madison Police Lt. John Radovan said five miles from the Dane County Regional Airport is roughly the Capitol building. “If you think about it, that encompasses a lot of area on the city’s east side and north side,” he said. FAA rules also call for all drones to always be flown within 1/2 mile from their operators and less than 400 feet above ground. The FAA rules restrict drone flying to daylight hours and only for “hobby or recreation use” or for “model flying.” The full set of recommended guidelines for drone piloting can be viewed here. Madison photographer Michael Kienitz began incorporating drones into his work almost four years ago. He said they’re a great way to capture photo and video from new angles. “A helicopter can’t get that low.

A ladder cant get that high. So it’s just a beautiful vantage point to do so many things,” Kienitz said. But Kienitz said he reviewed the FAA’s safety recommendations immediately upon purchasing his first drone. He said he also practiced flying the drone at a park with lots of open space to get the hang of it. Kienitz, who also writes for the magazine “Drone 360,” said he thinks all drone pilots should place heavy emphasis on safety. He said he was “saddened” to hear of the drone reported near the airport. “It’s not really a toy,” Kienitz said. “It can take off part of a finger or an ear. That’s why you don’t want to fly these near people.” Kienitz also said he hopes sporadic acts of carelessness by drone pilots don’t ruin the hobby for all who enjoy it.

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