Drone pilot arrested for dropping anti media leaflets over NFL games

A drone enthusiast with a strong dislike of television news was arrested Sunday afternoon after using a drone to float anti-media leaflets over NFL crowds in both Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara and the Coliseum in Oakland.

The man, who was not immediately identified, sent his drone soaring over Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara during the second quarter of the game between the 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks, police said. Later he hightailed it to Oakland, where he deployed the drone over the Raiders game against the Denver Broncos, according to police.

“It was something about free speech and his belief that television stations are corrupt,” said Santa Clara Police Lt. Dan Moreno.

It is illegal to fly a drone within five miles of an airport without authorization. If flown for hobby purposes, a drone operator must notify the airport prior to flight and if it’s for commercial purposes the pilot must have an FAA license and get authorization. Both Levi’s Stadium and the Coliseum are within five miles of airports.

As a propaganda-distribution vehicle, the drone was ineffective, according to authorities. Most of the drone-dropped leaflets were carried away by the wind, landing far from the hands of the football fans they were intended for.


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