Drones are amazing devices, being able to fly a device throughout your garden and beyond, taking pictures that are breathtaking and near impossible for any one person to manage. The problems begin when users begin to do stupid things and end up endangering lives with the devices. Such as those who are now the focus of a hunt with a possible reward offering around $75,000 to the one who helps catch them.
Drones have caused a few problems in recent months, drone users have almost been responsible for 14 near misses with commercial planes between March 2014 and March 2015. With a jail sentence of 5 years for even endangering the planes, the CAA really want to drive home that it is unacceptable to use drones near airplanes. Across the pond in California, San Bernardino county to be precise, a reward of $75k has been offered to anyone who can help track down drone pilots who are flying their drones over the forest fires in the country recently.
The first incident involved a drone flying too close to a flight path, resulting in a $10,000 detour for three planes carrying flame retardant, not only costing a lot of money but also hampering the US Forest Services attempts to control and prevent the forest fire from spreading. The drone in question was flying above the legal limit of 400 feet and was also in the no-fly zone commonly put forward when dealing with wildfires.
The second fire resulted in firefighting helicopters being forced to land with as many as five drones present in the area of the fire, the subsequent fire then spread to the highway where at least 20 cars were destroyed by the flames. Luckily the passengers had managed to escape on foot prior to the fire reaching them. This was only a few days after they were forced to suspend a tanker arriving after a drone was spotted in the area around another wildfire.
With three possible culprits an offer of $25,000 has been put forward for the apprehension of the drone pilots, in what can only be considered as serious action against those who would endanger lives and property for a quick photo opportunity.
With lives being endangered on a nearly weekly rate, drone users need to be more careful and considerate or face serious repercussions for their actions.
Thank you Ars Technica for the information.
Image courtesy of the BBC.