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A likely illegal drone video was used by the Chicago Mayor's Office to promote a free block party on the city's iconic State Street.

Illegal drone video used by Chicago Mayor’s Office to promote event

A likely illegal drone video was used by the Chicago Mayor’s Office to promote a free block party on the city’s iconic State Street.

Hat tip to Antoine T.

Chicago Mayor’s Office uses likely illegal drone video to promote event

The illegal drone video was shared by the Chicago Mayor’s Office on Sunday, September 5th, 2021.

“Chicago’s iconic State Street closes to traffic from Lake to Madison today from 11 am-8 pm. Come out and experience the free block party before summer ends,” the description reads on social media.

To call this an illegal drone video, we first have to be 100% sure that the footage was indeed acquired with a drone. Based on the information we currently have, we cannot be absolutely sure. However, it seems very unlikely that the clip was obtained with let’s say a helicopter, a cable cam, or a camera mounted on a 30-foot tall pole. So, we’re sticking with our assumption that the aerial footage was obtained with a drone.

The illegal drone video shows State Street in Chicago crowded with people. The unmanned aircraft flies over people on the ground. Under the latest Part 107 rules flying is only allowed if you have a waiver or your drone meets very specific and strict requirements. Currently, no commonly-used, off-the-shelf prosumer or consumer drone would qualify to be flown over people under a Part 107 certificate.

As you can see in this thorough video below, only a DJI Mavic Mini or Mini 2 with prop guards and the Japanese battery would prevent lacerations and keep the weight under 250 grams and would be allowed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to be flown over people. Perhaps a small, lightweight cinewhoop quadcopter might fit the bill as well, but they are less suited to be flown outside where there might be a breeze.

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Haye Kesteloo

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