Drone un-manned aircraft in the midst of a firework display
The age of technology has brought a great many things into the pyrotechnic industry that are wholly beneficial and has saved many a firer from losing digits thanks to the likes of professional firing systems.
Over the last couple of years though, there has been a huge increase in the number of ‘Drones’ being flown over and sometime into firework displays.
There is no denying that there has been some pretty spectacular footage filmed from within a display but this activity still brings forth a huge number of unanswered questions about the legality and in particular the safety aspect of this practice.
The main issue is that despite advice from both the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority – UK) and the FAA (Federal Aviation Authority – US) stating that an un-manned aircraft under 7 kilos (bear in mind that is 15 pounds in old money!) cannot be flown within 50 metres of structures or persons and if the crowd is of more than 1000, they cannot be flown within 150 metres! That is laterally not in the air so there has to be an incredible safety distance.
As far as height is concerned they are not supposed to fly above 400 feet and given that any shell above 12 inches will easily achieve that and more, it cannot really be said that they were flying within ‘safe’ guidelines either.
During firework displays, the safety distances from crowds are carefully measured by the pro firing teams to ensure the safety of the spectators.
All this is completely pointless if some nut job with a drone and a camera flies into the middle of a huge display and one of the shells takes it out and in lands firmly on some little one’s head then they will once again be trying to lay it firmly at the feet of the display team.
I for one think that something has to be done straight away before we end up with another pro team being dragged before the courts again for something completely beyond their control.