Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Channel 7 Reporter's Drone Use Being "Looked Into" by FAA

Well it seems the use of a drone to get overhead views of tornado damage over the weekend has come to the attention of the FAA.  Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports today KATV photographer Brian Emfinger's use of his own private drone to cover the aftermath of the storm is being investigated by the FAA.  

“It’s always in the back of my head, ‘How could I use the drone to get shots that other people don’t have?’” said Emfinger, who had been chasing the storm from the moment it touched down. “The thing about the aerial is, for people who have been impacted, it’s one thing to have ground shots but it really gives a sense of perspective about how bad it is. And if people know how bad it is, people can help.”

What does KATV news director Nick Gentry have to say:

“Brian went out to use it last night because we knew we needed some pictures to show the damage,” Gentry said. “It gave great perspective of how bad the damage was in Mayflower.”

The paper reports KLRT used drone services provided by Tim Trieschmann, owner of The Shot Above to get aerial footage of the devastation.  

12 Comments:

At 12:34 PM, April 30, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Using drones is not illegal. Using them for commercial purposes is. So if you got paid to fly a drone and film, you have broken the law. Hello hefty fine.

 
At 12:58 PM, April 30, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So why would KATV allow him to do it while on their time?

And how does Fox get away with hiring someone to do there drone footage?

THV11 purposely hired a helicopter in order to avoid the drone Grey area backlash.

 
At 2:25 PM, April 30, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's good thing they disguised the news director's name by calling him 'Gentry'. It will be harder for the FAA to find him with that extra R.

 
At 2:34 PM, April 30, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

THV's video actually looked better with the helicopter too. You get what you pay for.

 
At 2:59 PM, April 30, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not many Helicopter pilots will fly during storms. A drone maybe a better tool simply from a safety standpoint.

 
At 4:26 PM, April 30, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Manned or unmanned, you need some level of FAA approval. So maybe the other stations went about it legally.

It's a liability. He was obviously flying it over the people and the devastation. Does KATV pay for his insurance since he flies it on company time? Will KATV leave him hanging if the FAA fines him?

 
At 5:08 PM, April 30, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

THV's video was HORRIBLE! It was way too shaky. The best footage is by FOX's drone.

 
At 10:27 AM, May 01, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Discovery channel showed drone video shots during a tornado for the TV show storm chasers and they never got into trouble!

 
At 12:06 PM, May 01, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are several cases being heard in court over this. Right now the going fine is about 10K

 
At 12:56 PM, May 04, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm curious. Lots of people are saying that Emfinger (and/or KATV) faces a heavy fine for using the drone for commercial purposes. How many people have been fined for doing so?

I'll wait while you go look it up.

Yep. That's right. TWO. The first was for $10,000 but it was tossed out by a NTSB judge because there are no real FAA regulations on drone flight. The FAA claimed a commercially flown drone is the same as "operating an aircraft in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another." This is despite the fact that a non-commercial drone or hobbyist RC aircraft operated in the same way would *NOT* be careless or reckless.

The second fine (which was for only $2,200) was levied on a guy in NYC who hit two buildings with his drone and then crashed it near pedestrians. Seems the whole "careless or reckless" argument is a whole lot stronger with him.

As long as Emfinger doesn't crash the dang thing around people... he's probably going to be good to go. (Although didn't he almost chop his head off with it? So, there is still hope for you folks at THV and K-ARK/LRT.)

 
At 9:17 AM, May 05, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brian has made some enemies inside KATV. They mostly hang around the sports office all day.

 
At 11:30 PM, July 18, 2014, Blogger albert crook said...

I have been visiting various blogs for online TV news channel. I have found your blog to be quite useful. Keep updating your blog with valuable information... Regards

 

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