Families were enjoying a nice cool fall afternoon in Riverside Park when a guy with a drone kinda ruined the mood. We got the video above and the account below from Marianne, a local resident.
“Yesterday, Sunday, I was enjoying a peaceful sunset in Riverside Park around 72nd street, when an aggressive drone kept flying around the in-field where besides me a family with little children and two joggers were. The drone kept flying close to people, 6 feet from me and almost crashed into a jogger and at times would fly up with a lot of noise only to get close to people again.
People, including myself, were really bothered. It disturbed our peace and also flew very close to us, so that I took my shoe off in case I had to hit it and swat it away from me. Finally we saw a middle aged white man with a remote control. He kept going for a long time even though he saw that we were bothered.
I wish Riverside Park was a no- drone zone. It is noise pollution and scary – what if a drone would hit someone in the head- or they were filming us and violated us that way?”
In fact, a drone fell in a highly populated part of the UWS just a few months ago.
If you’re wondering what sorts of rules hobbyists must follow, the answer is not many, according to a recent editorial in the L.A. Times (it’s different for commercial drones):
“Hobby drones, meanwhile, are barely regulated by the FAA, which considers them model aircraft and mostly out of its purview. It’s wholly inadequate to lump in this sophisticated technology — which can practically fly itself, carry cameras or weapons and soar thousands of feet — with old-fashioned radio-controlled hobby aircraft that take expertise and training to operate.
The only rules for drone operators are these: Don’t fly within five miles of an airport or in no-flight areas; don’t interfere with manned aircraft; and keep the drone in sight. Those who break the rules or hurt people face criminal and civil penalties. If the authorities can find them, that is.”