Ohio drone pilot pleads guilty to illegal flights over stadium

Watch a legally filmed drone flight over Ohio Stadium in the video player above.

Cincinnati (WCMH) — Two men have admitted to conducting illegal drone flights at another sporting event in Cincinnati, while another in Columbus has had charges dropped.

Both cases stem from investigators who accused three pilots of violating temporary flight restrictions before or during sporting events at three venues. The Federal Aviation Administration creates these no-fly zones within three miles around certain stadiums. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio, violating these is a misdemeanor and carries up to one year in prison, one year of supervised release, and a fine of his $100,000. There is a possibility.

Fly over the Cincinnati Bengals

Dairon Dabney, 24, initially pleaded not guilty to all charges related to flying over the Cincinnati Bengals Stadium. But on Tuesday, he changed his plea to guilty in federal court for violating temporary flight restrictions. I didn’t press charges against him. Federal court records show Dabney entered into a plea bargain with prosecutors.

Dabney, January 15, 2022 I flew a drone over the Bengals stadium., then over the players and the crowd during the game. He hadn’t registered his drone with his FAA, nor was he a properly certified pilot. After flying over the stadium, he posted the drone footage on his social media and his YouTube channel called BrickByBrickFilms.

U.S. Attorney Kenneth Parker said Dabney may have lost control of the drone early in the incident, injuring someone in the stadium and causing panic in the crowd.

“Even if there is no intent to harm, this action poses direct danger to players and individuals in the stands,” Parker said.

Unfazed by the court proceedings, Dabney posted two YouTube videos on Wednesday. FAA agent coming to his house As well as news reports about his guilty plea. He then posted the link in the comments of the original video inside the stadium to attract a wider audience.

“Who wants this FAA video?? Did. “I have faa and fbi ring camera footage coming to my house!! I’m just thinking it should be dropped (sic).

Court records did not give an estimated sentencing date for Dabney.

Fly over the Cincinnati Reds

During the Cincinnati Reds’ home opener of the season on April 12, 2022, Kentucky drone owner Travis Lenhoff flew a drone over the Great American Ball Park. Prosecutors later charged Lenhoff, 38, with operating an unregistered drone because the FAA confirmed in court documents that he had not registered the drone.

Like Dabney, Lenhoff initially pleaded not guilty. In a similar fashion, he also made a plea bargain, pleading guilty to an amended charge of violating temporary flight restrictions, according to court records. to steal his drone, the DJI Air 2S.

Drone Flight Fees at Ohio Stadium Decreased

But not every drone case in Ohio ended in a guilty plea. Columbus police claimed the man flew the drone during temporary flight restrictions at Ohio Stadium in December.but FAA Initiates These No-Fly Zones Finishing the game an hour before the game, finishing the game an hour after, he was flying over the stadium, according to the affidavit. 10 hours ago to the 7:30 p.m. Buckeyes game.

Still, the pilot did not have Part 107 or TRUST certification and was initially charged with operating the aircraft without a license.But a Franklin County District Court Judge dismiss both charges It opposed the pilot and closed the lawsuit on February 16.

of trust certificate Recreational drone pilots are required by law to prove they have passed an aviation knowledge and safety test. Part 107 License According to the FAA, this is a requirement for pilots conducting commercial operations. Drone pilots who want to fly in controlled airspace (common in cities and near airports) must obtain one of these certifications. Request permission before flying.

In addition to pilot certification, drones weighing more than 0.5 pounds and less than 55 pounds must become FAA-registered aircraft before flying, but neither Dabney nor Lenhoff did. For agencies, website Place it where the pilot can for a $5 fee.

https://fox8.com/news/drone-pilots-plead-guilty-to-illegal-ohio-stadium-flights-but-one-sees-case-dropped/ Ohio drone pilot pleads guilty to illegal flights over stadium

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