High School Sports

FAA concerns with drones and crowds grounds Green Hope's Black Falcons

Green Hope High School's official AFA cyber security chapter, the Black Falcons, flies their "Amazing Grace" aerial drone towards the football field as they practice piloting the craft. They plan on flying the drone to give live feeds from home football games.
Green Hope High School's official AFA cyber security chapter, the Black Falcons, flies their "Amazing Grace" aerial drone towards the football field as they practice piloting the craft. They plan on flying the drone to give live feeds from home football games. cliddy@newsobserver.com

The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement Friday that it contacted Green Hope High after the agency received a report that the school was using an unmanned aircraft to live stream football games. The FAA said unmanned aircraft are prohibited above large gatherings of people.

The Black Falcons club at the school had used a drone to live stream a game earlier this year and had planned to use a newly purchased drone to live stream Friday’s Southwest Wake Athletic Conference football game against Panther Creek.

“The letter advised the school requirements for operating unmanned aircraft, which are prohibited above large gatherings of people,” the FAA released said. “The FAA promotes voluntary compliance by educating individual UAS operators about how they can operate safely under current regulations and laws.”

Wake County Schools spokesperson Lisa Luten said on Thursday, “The drone program has been discontinued because of safety concerns.”

On Friday, the school system expanded its statement: “The Black Falcons, Green Hope High School’s cyber security club, will not fly the drone at (Friday’s) football game due to concerns from the Federal Aviation Administration. Wake County Public School System respects the FAA’s regulations, and will be reviewing our programs to ensure that future aircraft projects comply with safety guidelines.”

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