Drones Around Hurricane Matthew

Drones Around Hurricane Matthew

Fly Safe – Do Not Fly Drones around Hurricane Matthew

In an effort to keep those in need of emergency assistance and first responders safe, we are reposting an email we received from the Federal Aviation Administration.  Do not fly drones around Hurricane Matthew.

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As a result of Hurricane Matthew, there will likely be significant recovery efforts and the FAA may issue flight restrictions in the vicinity of disaster areas. During response operations to Hurricane Matthew, authorized aircraft may be flying at very low altitudes over affected areas. 

 Unauthorized UAS or drone operations may prevent other aircraft from performing life-saving missions and increase the risk of mid-air collision. Anyone, including hobbyist or recreational fliers, who interferes with disaster response efforts is subject to civil penalties of up to $32,140 per violation and possible criminal prosecution. 

 Unmanned aircraft system (UAS) or drone operators are responsible for checking applicable flight restrictions before operating and must not interfere with any aircraft assisting in hurricane disaster response operations, regardless if there is a flight restriction in place or not. 

Drone operators may obtain information about posted flight restrictions by using the FAA’s B4UFLY mobile app or by checking the FAA’s website: https://pilotweb.nas.faa.gov/PilotWeb/.


While drones can be fun and enjoyable by the public, and useful tools in commercial application, we all need to be aware of the dangers they carry.  Operating around emergency response personnel or in areas of high manned aviation traffic is extremely dangerous for manned aviators and those on the ground.  As a professional aviator, manned helicopter pilot, and commercial drone operator, I request that everyone please be safe when operating a drone and do not fly a drone around Hurricane Matthews.  Use common sense, follow FAA guidelines and Know Before You Fly.