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Drone Footage Of Fireworks Raises New Legal Questions

A slew of recent videos showcasing drones flying in the middle of fireworks displays have raised some legal questions and safety concerns.
Posted at 6:45 PM, Jul 05, 2014

A new trend of flying drones into fireworks displays has lead to some impressive videos, but it could also lead to come legal troubles.

This stunning video, taken by an amateur drone user in West Palm Beach, Florida, shows the drone flying right inside a fireworks display and narrowly avoiding explosions. (Via YouTube / Joe Stiglingh)

It appears this video, which was posted in May and has more than 2.5 million views, has started somewhat of a trend.

Alabama Aerial Photography posted this video taken by a drone inside a firework display on Friday near Lake Martin, Alabama. (Via Facebook / Alabama Aerial Photography)

When pilots fly drones into displays, such as this one in Nashville on Friday, their device could be struck by a firework and potentially reflect the explosions, or the device itself, at the heads of unsuspecting bystanders. (Via YouTube / hytchme)

Forbes reports that it is common practice for local authorities to establish safety zones for firework displays such as these, which prohibit anyone from entering the area. It is still debatable what this means for unmanned drones or airspace in general and no one has reportedly faced charges for flying drones into displays as of yet.

As more and more drones get into the hands of private users, more and more legal uncertainties are beginning to crop up.

WFTS reports some are starting to voice privacy concerns after a drone flew over a beach in St. Petersburg, Florida. Safety is also an issue even in normal conditions because the drones can still fail and drop out of the sky. 

The Federal Aviation Administration has been studying regulations for six years and it will likely be several more before anything new comes out of it.