Commercial drone pilots are currently debating whether an FPV pilot had the legal right to fly a drone over and dive Empire State Building in New York City.
Every year, numerous tourists flock to the Empire State Building to see the iconic views and incredible architecture from the rooftop deck. This year, we all get to experience the view from the rooftop deck in a whole new way.
One FPV pilot literally flew from the street level to the rooftop terrace and back down, in downtown Manhattan. Flying his FPV drone over the rooftop and then inverts the drone. He then speeds to the ground just adjacent to the building. He descends all the way to the ground, even finishing the flight right over an NYPD cruiser.
After showing this recent drone video of FPV Pilot Michael Matos, to a few of my drone friends, the responses have been mixed. Some pilots love the mesmerizing perspective of the video and how it showcases the Empire State Building. Other pilots have become outright aggressive and angry when they watch the stunt.
Most drone pilots know about the heavy restrictions on airspace in New York City. NYC has a ban in place that inhibits take off and landing in Manhattan and surrounding Burroughs.
Part 107 pilots know how hard, if not impossible it is to legally fly a drone in Manhattan. Drone pilots are wondering if the pilot received special authorization to fly, or if the video is further evidence of rogue drones.
With Federal Airspace limits in place and local limits in place, it will be hard to justify the right to fly and dive the Empire State Building with this one. Albeit, this might be an example of how safe drones really are? Let us know in the comments below.....
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