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So, You're Thinking About Flying Your Drone Through Fireworks

So You re Thinking About Flying Your Drone Through Fireworks WIRED


This is new and relatively unchartered territory for hobbyists, event organizers, and the FAA combined. But if you decide to throw caution to the wind (and, possibly, your drone into the garbage), there’s one thing you should absolutely do: Ask questions.

“Make sure it is OK with the pyrotechnician in charge of the display ahead of time,” says Tockstein. He says that in addition to safety reasons, whoever is in charge might be able to tell you the best route or spot you should pick to fly your drone. “I would probably let someone fly their drone through a display of mine,” he says, “but it would depend on the venue and logistics of the show site. Safety would be the determining factor. The rules I would lay down would be that the drone is not allowed to fly directly over the fireworks guns or the fireworks crew, and that the drone operator would be outside of the ‘fallout’ zone.”

“I will be flying and videotaping my town’s display this year as I did last year,” says Sachs, the attorney and drone owner. “I coordinate with the fire department and the police department by letting them know (as a courtesy) and I remain outside the safety zone at all times.” Sachs suggests you checking with all the requisite authorities (which includes the Coast Guard if the display is over water) ahead of time, and also warns against flying over large groups of onlookers.

“A drone pilot can obtain great video or photos or fireworks and still maintain safety first. They need only fly safely and responsibly at all times.” Sachs says, no matter how high the temptation, don’t fly a drone within a display. “That’s just a matter of being creative. In my mind, flying safely and responsibly take precedence over ‘getting the perfect shot.’”

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Flying a drone through fireworks sounds like a bad idea to me. 

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