FAA investigating drone flight over Panthers-Chiefs game

There wasn’t much of an air attack in the recent Panthers-Chiefs preseason game, but there was a later-identified flying object hovering over Bank of America Stadium that night.

According to Mark Washburn of the Charlotte Observer, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said the operator of the camera-wielding drone was detained and questioned, with the information turned over to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Witnesses said they saw the drone late in the game, until lights from a helicopter hit it and then it disappeared behind a nearby building.

Airspace over stadiums is banned by both the NFL and (more importantly) the FAA. The FAA considers stadiums and major airports as Class B airspace, which is among the most restricted, and unmanned aircraft are prohibited.

A team spokesman said they weren’t aware of the drone until asked by reporters.

While there was no report of charges filed, the incident represents a security breach that aviation officials need to pay close attention to.

30 responses to “FAA investigating drone flight over Panthers-Chiefs game

  1. ISIS and ISIL (and pretty much anyone else) has access to drone trchnology. so yeah, they need to ensure that this never happens again

  2. “the operator of the camera-wielding drone was later revealed to be an employee of the New England Patriots.”


  3. These things are a menace. From violating privacy and pirating copyrighted material to potentially deploying weapons in crowded public spaces, they need to be regulated and regulated with teeth.

  4. Come on Pete… Really? I never stand the PED’s, even the hitting at minicamp… Spying???

  5. ha,…the team officials did not know about it?! i would certainly have better security for my stadium if i were the owner…

  6. Cheaper than paying to go to a meaningless game and less commercials than watching on TV at home with total control of the viewing angle.

  7. There should be a fully disclosed report on the hell was going on. Th scary thing is that no charges were filed and the public is yet to be apprised of the outcome of questioning.

    Instead of Johnny Manziel, let’s see sports media latch onto this. Your report might be worth reading.

  8. It’s amazing how so many jealous fans like to delude themselves that signal and play filming didn’t and doesn’t still occur

    Why exactly do all these hater fans think that coordinators of ALL teams are covering their mouths when calling in plays????

    Roger Goodell’s memo (yes the pre-Spygate one) also made clear that signal filming is FINE – but no longer from the sidelines for use on that game day day (“for that gameday” being the loophole Belichick was using)

    Wake up folks!

  9. Spys using model aircraft… Why would a spy have super bright LED lights and a load buzzing toy?

    Seems like the media and some not so educated people getting up in arms about nothing.

    While it wasn’t the place for it to be flying without permission, perhaps the footbal be kicked or thrown should also be investigated by the FAA?

    There are no restrictions for model aircraft, that’s exactly what this was.

  10. What’s the big deal…. I asked my billionaire buddy Jeff over at Amazon.com to deliver my Groceries to my Upper 500 Section Seats? Have you seen the Stadium prices for food?

  11. The NFL should really use these to their advantage on opening day(maybe make a little money from Amazon if they want to promote their drone delivery and sponsor)…..The game balls could be delivered by these drones to the officials at the 50 yard line.

  12. These are remote controlled helicopters. Radio controlled flying models have been around since the 1930’s. Only recently, some knuckleheads in the media started calling them “drones” and it stuck.

    My dad was flying these things with me and my brother in a field in the 60’s.

    These are not drones, people, no matter how many times we call them that. These are radio controlled model hover crafts… with a camera mount attached. Been around for decades. Nobody has the capability to weaponize them. But they can be dangerous in the hands of an idiot.

  13. Quadcopters are cool. Unfortunately, people need to use them in legal, proper ways. Flying over public events is dangerous, invasive and irresponsible.

    That said, quadcopter video of things like waterfalls, and other natural places it is hard to get to, and for videoing things like fireworks displays…just amazing.

    YouTube “quadcopter” and you’ll get the idea.

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